How To Paint A Lighthouse Sunset

sunset painting easy

Learn how to paint a beautiful lighthouse sunset with sun rays and a glowing ocean.  This is an easy acrylic on canvas painting tutorial for beginners. You will be guided step by step with a video and process pictures. There is a material list and a traceable for the lighthouse! 

One of the versions I did for this painting was on a smaller 11″ x 12″ canvas paper. I actually think it turned out better than the version on the 16″ x 20″ canvas! Sometimes when we do a painting for the first time and then try to imitate it again, it just doesn’t turn out the same!

sunset painting easy

Later on in this post, you will see a third version with a silhouette lighthouse and fireworks in the sky.  I actually combined my City Fireworks Tutorial with this one. Combining elements from one tutorial to the next is something I see a lot from users submitting their paintings.  You can even crop part of the painting as shown in the image below!

 

Don’t forget to share your version of the painting on Pinterest or Facebook! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Happy painting artists!!

Materials: 

  • Acrylic Paint (I used Apple Barrel Craft Paint for this painting. The other brand I usually recommend is Liquitex Basics. But this time around, I grabbed my Apple Barrel pack because I liked the bright vibrant, already mixed colors!)
  • Paint colors (listed as generic names & the Apple Barrel Name):
    • Orange (jack O’ lantern)
    • Yellow (bright yellow)
    • Red (flag red)
    • Pink (Fuchsia)
    • Black
    • White
    • Brown (nutmeg brown)
    • Navy Blue
    • Primary Blue (bright blue)
    • Light Blue (parrot blue)
  • Paintbrushes in multiple sizes
  • 16″x 20″ canvas or smaller if you prefer. Or use a sheet of Water color paper instead if you are doing this like a water color painting!
  • Water container

Directions At A Glance:How to Paint a Lighthouse Sunset

 

Design Variation

The above is a design alteration! I was hosting a paint night one night and decided to change it up a bit! If you feel inspired by a painting but don’t necessarily want to copy it exactly, try changing the colors and adding new objects! I took the sky in my cityscape fireworks tutorial, added a ship silhouette and made the lighthouse a silhouette as well! It is the exact same composition as the lighthouse above, only different colors.

Traceable:

Need a PDF version? Go to the PDF library page. Also here are instructions on how to enlarge a PDF for painting on a larger scale.

Video:

Step By Step Picture Directions

1. Paint the Composition Out First 

First I painted out the composition of the lighthouse, the hill and the horizon line. To do this, I used watered down navy blue paint and a tiny brush. Note that you can always draw this in pencil first and then go over it with the navy blue paint. You want to make sure that navy blue line is very thin. Anything thick will show up in the finished painting and we don’t want that to happen! The pictures below show the progression of drawing.

The horizon line is 4″ from the bottom of my 16″x20″ canvas. If you’re using a different size canvas, put the horizon line 1/4 from the bottom.

 

2. Paint The Sky

Then I painted the sky. I started this by creating a “wash”with light sky blue paint. A “wash” is applying water to the canvas first and then adding the paint on the color. When you add the paint, it spreads fast!

Paint a “wash”. Add clear water to the canvas first. Then paint the blue on top. It will spread fast!.
I painted the light blue on almost half the sky.

 

Then I cleaned off my brush and did another wash below the blue. I painted fushia pink in this area. Also, I overlapped some of the pink over the blue to kind of “blend” the two colors together. 

Overlap that pink on the blue to “mesh” the two colors together.

 

Then I did another “wash” of orange. Remember, with each “wash” you must apply the water to the canvas first and then apply the paint. The paint will spread fast! I painted orange almost all the way down, leaving about an inch of blank space left. 

Getting paint on the lighthouse is fine! You will be painting over the lighthouse later any way.
Blend the orange with the pink.
Add more pink if necessary! My orange kind of took over so I added more pink on top of the orange.

 

Next I painted the bottom inch that was blank – yellow. I blended this yellow in with the orange a little by painting that yellow over the orange.      

 

3. Paint Clouds

Next I painted in the clouds with a 1/2″ flat brush and white paint. Note that you can use any size paint brush for this! The pictures below are a progression of how I did the clouds.

Paint the top bumpy line of the cloud.

Fill in the bottom part of the cloud.
Pull your brush to the right to fade the stroke.
Make sure you clean off the brush with each cloud if your blue, pink and orange are not dry yet.
Repeat with each cloud. Top, bottom and fade away to the right.
Definitely improvise if you need to! If you have your own style of clouds, do that style!

I also painted very translucent horizontal line clouds in the sky. Make your white very watered down to do this. You will see this show up better in the next picture!

4. Paint The Sun

Next I painted a solid white line on the horizon line and just a little above into the yellow. You want this to be the brightest part of the sky because that is where the sun is! I also painted a small half circle right in the middle of the horizon line. That half circle was also solid white.

Note the translucent horizontal white lines in the sky also representing clouds.
Half circle…more like a quarter of a circle…for the sun!

 

5. Paint The Rays

To paint the sun rays I used very very watered down white to make the line look translucent. Each ray is just one stroke of very translucent white!

 

6. Paint The Lighthouse White

Next I painted in that lighthouse. First I painted the lighthouse in solid white to cover up any of the sunset paint marks that I got on it. Also, my white covered up any of the navy blue line that was left. I used a flat brush for this to make sure my line on the edge was as crisp as possible! Also, if you’re using craft paint (like I was) make sure you go over the white with several coats if this white is not as opaque.

 

7. Paint The Shadow Of The Lighthouse

There is a very distinct shadow on this lighthouse and it is on the left side. I painted the shadow in with a solid coat of navy blue paint. Note the shape of the shadow and where it curves in the middle. 

Note the shape of the shadow before I did any blending. This is just a solid coat of navy blue.

There are a couple ways you can blend the shadow. You can use a wet brush to fade the blue into the white. You can pull the navy blue paint to the white until it fades away. You can add layers of translucent white over the navy blue. Or you mix your colors on your palette (mix navy blue with white) and then apply the paint. Just make sure that your line stays darkest on the far left and fades to get lighter on the right!

how to paint a lighthouse
Blend the shadow until it fades into white.
And if all else fails, improvise! You can always paint over the lighthouse white again and redo the shadow if needed!

 

8. Paint The Lighthouse Top

I used a tiny brush to paint the top of the lighthouse red. Leave the windows blank for now. 

Solid coat of red paint for the top of the lighthouse.

For the shadow of the red area, I used navy blue paint. 

 

9. Paint The Lighthouse Windows

The windows were painted in solid navy blue. 

 

 

10. Paint The Ocean

Next I painted the ocean water. To do this,I did a “wash” of bright blue (primary blue). Paint the ocean with clear water first and then add the blue. I started from the bottom of the canvas up to the horizon line so my blue would get lighter as it gets up. Don’t worry about the reflection and water texture yet.

Paint of “wash” of solid blue.

Start the “wash” from the bottom to the horizon line so the blue gets lighter in the distance.

Then I let the blue dry!

12. Paint The Reflections

The trick with painting water with acrylic is to add layers of horizontal strokes or very condensed “zig-zag” strokes. The color of the horizontal strokes are the same color of the sky because the water is a reflection of the sky. So…first I added horizontal white strokes just under the sun. Yes, these strokes were kind of translucent but can be opaque as well.

Horizontal white lines just under the sun.

Then I added more horizontal strokes of white in the foreground (bottom). These were brighter and more opaque.

Horizontal strokes in the foreground.

Then I added horizontal strokes of pink!

Horizontal pink strokes.
Yellow horizontal strokes.

Then I added horizontal layers of yellow strokes. Be careful with the yellow! The yellow that I was using was not an opaque yellow, it was translucent. This made it kind of turn green when it was applied on top of the blue.

Then I added another layer of horizontal white strokes. This was just under the sun because that is the brightest reflection of the water. 

You can leave this as is. Or keep going with layers of more colors!  I decided to add more blue because I wanted my ocean to look darker and more “water texture”. So I went in and added more horizontal blue strokes. I probably could have added more pink and orange too. Just keep adding your layers until you like the way your ocean looks!

 

13. Paint The Rock

Then I painted the hill. The first step was applying a “wash” of brown paint. My strokes went in an “arc” line.

For the dark areas of the hill, I painted navy blue. 

Dark areas of navy blue.

 

Then I made the area just behind and under the lighthouse even darker by using black. Keep this black translucent by watering it down.

Then I added white to my brush that already had black in it. This will turn the white gray. I painted the right side of the hill and some of the area toward the bottom.

sunset painting easy

sunset painting easy
White paint for the wave hitting the hill!

I cleaned off my brush entirely and added white. Then I painted some “waves” on the bottom of the hill to make it look like they are crashing into the hill.

14. Paint The Windows

For the windows, I painted four diagonal black lines that were parallel to the angle of the lighthouse line. The lines got slightly shorter the higher they got.sunset painting easy

Then I painted a gray (white mixed with black) stroke next to the black line. sunset painting easy

Finally, my final touch was making the lighthouse appear as though the lights were shining! I did this the same was as I did the sun rays. Make a very very very translucent white. Paint a triangular shape coming out of the lighthouse from the window on the right and left.

I also went in and added more yellow into the water just below the sun.

sunset painting easy
Paint the light coming from the windows. Add more yellow on the water just under the sun.

 

Sharing Is Caring!

Subscribe For More! 

  • SIGN UP TO MY EMAIL LIST AND YOU’LL RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS IN YOUR INBOX WHEN NEW ART PROJECTS ARE POSTED!
  • FOLLOW MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS THAT WAY!
  • LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK OR FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!

How To Paint A Scarecrow

Learn How To Paint A Scarecrow

Easy Canvas Tutorial Step By Step Painting

Hello everyone! I’m excited to present to you another Fall canvas painting tutorial! You will learn how to paint a scarecrow portrait! This scarecrow painting can be a lot of fun because you can customize your colors and facial features! The beauty of these tutorials is that I present to you the steps and tools but you can let your imagination run wild after that! Anyhow, the steps in this tutorial are a little different than others. I drew out the entire scarecrow first then painted it in like a coloring book (well sort of). Enjoy and don’t forget to share your results somewhere in social media land!  

See Also:

canvas painting for beginners step by step
Thanksgiving Turkey

Materials

  • Acrylic Paint (I recommend the Liquitex Basics brandApple Barrel Craft Paint, or DecoArt Americana)
  • Paint Colors (in Liquitex Terms): Cad Orange, Cad Yellow Medium, Light Green Permanent, Ultramarine Blue, Bright Aqua Green, Quin Magenta, Titanium White, Mars Black, Burnt Umber (dark brown), Burnt Sienna (lighter brown), Portrait Pink/Unbleached Titanium
  • 16″ x 20″ Canvas or 8″ x 10″ canvas 
  • Various Brush Sizes
  • Water
  • Palette or paper plate for palette
  • Covered work space
  • Pencil
  • 11″ Circle Plate To Trace the Head (5-6″ if you’re using a smaller canvas)

 

Directions:

*Note: A video will release very soon for this one!

Tracables:

These have been optimized for 11″ x 14″ canvas. Download the PDF files here.

Step by step instructions:

1. Unless you are using the traceable, you will need to draw out the entire scarecrow.  First trace a plate on your canvas. The plate was 11″ in diameter. If you are using a smaller canvas, use a smaller plate. Note the position of the plate on the canvas. 

 

2. Then draw the scarecrow’s “neck” (where the fabric of the head gathers).

3. Then draw a diagonal line to represent the scarecrow’s shoulders. 

 

4. Then draw a vertical line in the middle of the shirt and a shape to represent the overall buckle.

 

5. Then draw a squiggle line just below the top of the circle. This represents the bottom of the scarecrow hat.  

 

6. Then draw the rest of the hat. And erase part of the circle.  

 

7. Then draw a half circle to represent where the sunflower is going to be painted. Note I did not draw the petals of the flower. 

 

8. Then draw the mouth and other facial features. 

 

9. Next I painted the background in. I used a turquoise color mixed with white. 

I only went this far down with the blue because the rest was going to be the green cornfield. 

 

11. Then I used a light green color and an angle brush. I made up and down strokes to represent the cornfield in the background. 

 

12. Then I used a portrait pink color and mixed some white in it. I did not mix the white all the way because I wanted the color to have some depth and not be solid. You can see that on my palette how the color was mixed. 

 

13. Then I painted the hat in. I used dark brown, light brown and yellow (see on my palette). I did not mix any colors together on the palette. I just loaded my brush with the colors as I went along without mixing the colors or cleaning off my brush. 

 

14. For the top part of the hat, I made my strokes go in little “X’s” to make the hat look like it has some texture. 


Note where I emphasized some dark areas of the hate (towards the bottom and in the middle). 

 

15. Then I painted the eyes in white. I also used a very small brush to paint on the mouth and the inside of the eyes. 

 

16. I outlined the eyes in black. This is optional. It also looks fine without the eyes outlined!

 

17. I added some eyelashes. Also completely optional! The beauty of these tutorials is that you can customize these paintings as creativity sparks in your own way!

 

18. I painted the nose in with magenta. Then I added cheeks and painted some stitch marks on the nose. 

 

19. Then I painted the flower. I used yellow paint and a small flat brush to do this. I painted one petal at a time and then the center. 

20. I added some orange in the middle of the petals.

 

21. Then I painted the hair. I used yellow, light brown and a tiny bit of orange. I did not mix those colors together, I just loaded my brush with the colors. I used a small flat brush to create the texture of the hair. 

 

22. Then I painted in the portion of the overalls with blue. I also painted in some black lines in the hair. 

23. I painted in white buttons.

 

24. Then I painted in the shirt. I used a small flat brush. I painted magenta vertical lines. (Actually they are slightly diagonal because of the angle of the scarecrow but if you make them exactly vertical, it will look fine!) 

25. Then I painted thinner lines in between the thicker lines. 

26. Then I switched to orange. I painted horizontal lines. 

27. Then thinner lines in between the thicker lines. 

 

28. Then I cleared off my brush and kept it wet. I painted up and down strokes with the wet brush where all the white space was to fill in all the white space with watered down color. 

 

29. Also note that I painted in some dots on the overall buttons with black paint.

 

30. Then I used that tiny brush again to outline some of the scarecrow in black. I outlined the bottom of the circle, the bottom of the scarecrow’s neck, the hat and the overalls. 

 

31. Then I painted that crow! I outlined a triangular shape first then painted it in. 

 

32. I painted the tail and head feathers. Then I painted its beak, eye and feet!  

 

33. Then I painted in the rest of the overalls with blue! I also added some white lines on the bird. Finally, I added some white lines vertical and horizontal on the shirt to make it look more “plaid”. 

Finished! Like my tutorials? Subscribe to my Facebook Page to be update on when new ones get posted! Also, if you haven’t already, check out my other Fall Tutorials. 

 

How To Paint A Christmas Tree Cactus

How To Paint A Christmas Tree Saguaro Cactus 

This tutorial will teach you how to paint one of those majestic looking cacti that can only be found in the Sonoran Desert. Yup, I am an Arizona resident! I’ve grown to appreciate the beauty of our state, particularly the desert, over the years that I’ve grown up here. There is something truly awe inspiring about our desert when you see it for the first time. And yes, some of us “Zonians” do really decorate the saguaros with Christmas lights (with heavy duty gloves of course)! Any how, you are going to be guided step by step how to do this painting. The beautiful starry twilight sky will be painted first, then you will draw the cactus with a piece of chalk, paint it in and add those fun Christmas lights!

Photo Oct 08, 9 22 14 AM

Materials 

Click Here to Go to Amazon Arts & Crafts Store)

 


Directions:

 

 

Turn your blank 16″ x 20″ canvas to vertical position. 

 

Paint in “Mars Black” at the top (about 2-3″). I painted in an arc line.

Mars Black

 

Next I added another arc area of color with “Twilight” blue. I blended that blue with the black as well by painting over some of the black. 

 

Then I added “violet”. I also blended that violet into the navy blue by brushing over the color. 

 

Then I added “Magenta”. This is such a pretty color! Probably my favorite Liquitex paint color. I blended the magenta into the violet as well. 

 

The final color on the horizon line is ” Titanium White”. I also blended this into the magenta by painting over the colors. As you see in the video, I ended up brushing up into all the colors for this step. 

 

Next I took a wet brush, applied titanium white and flicked and splattered stars in the sky. 

 

Then I got a small brush and painted the outline of the moon in with titanium white. When the white was dry, I painted yellow on top of the white. 

 

For the landscape I started with mars black on the bottom and then applied burnt umber towards the top where the horizon line is. 

I defined my mountain line with burnt umber. 

 

The black and the burnt umber are lightly mixed together but don’t make a solid color.

 

Then I drew the entire cactus in with white chalk. White chalk works beautifully on (dried) canvas because it can erase! Go ahead and copy my cactus. If you do come up with your own cactus shape, just make sure it is large and take up most of the foreground! 

 

Then I painted the cactus in a solid coat of titanium white. If there are parts that are translucent, that is fine! The point of the white is to make a primed base to paint the green on.

 

 

Then I took “sap green” and painted the cactus in. If you have ever painted a pumpkin (like my pumpkin tutorial), this is kind of a similar concept. Paint in a curved stroke on the outsides. In the middle, paint in an oval stroke. I got different variations of green by varying the firmness of how I held the brush. I pressed hard in some areas so I could see “cactus lines”. 

 

On the top of the cactus I painted some curved “criss-cross” lines to force it to look a little 3D. In the video, you will see a close up. Or you can click on the image below to see.

 

I painted in the lines of the cactus. It is the same concept as painting lines on a pumpkin or a watermelon!

I did the same thing with the arms. 

 

Then I used a very fine brush to paint in the strings of the lights. I used “mars black” for this. 

 

Paint an “s” line. Leave a blank space where the lights go behind the cactus. Then repeat. 

 

Then I painted the lights. I used a small round brush for this. Basically I did each light in two strokes to make an oval shape. I did one color at a time and painted in random spots. Note that the light socket will come after painting the lights. 

Then I did all the blue lights. 

 

Then I did the yellow, the orange and the green. For the light sockets, I went in with a tiny brush and painted a small rectangle that overlapped just the bottom of each light.

 

For the highlights in the lights, I did one small stroke of white just on one side of each light.

 

And there you have it! Your very own Christmas Tree Cactus!

Don’t forget to share your art on the Step by Step Painting Facebook Page or on Pinterest!

 

How To Paint A Cat And Moon

Learn How to Paint a Cat and Moon

cat painting acrylic

cat painting easy step by step canvas paintings for beginners cat and moon acrylic painting

Description

In this tutorial, you will learn how to paint an easy composition of a cat, or two cats, sitting on a branch and staring at a moon. Paint some swirls in the sky to add to the whimsical effect and also learn how to splatter paint your stars on the canvas!

The leaves can definitely be customized to the seasons. And those tree branches are just like the branches you seen in a few of my other painting tutorials!

Enjoy this tutorial and don’t forget to share your version of the painting on the Pinterest pin or on the Facebook page! Thanks for viewing!

See Also Halloween Cat: 

Kids Halloween Cat

Level/ Duration: 

Level: Very Easy/ First Painting, Duration 1-2 Hours

This Post Contains Affiliate Links

Materials:

  • Acrylic Paint (I used Apple Barrel Craft Paint but give a suggested color if you’re using other paint)
  • Paint Colors:
    • Flag Red (Cad Red Medium)
    • Jack O Lantern Orange (Cad Orange Hue)
    • Yellow (Cad Yellow Medium)
    • Bright Blue (Primary Blue)
    • Bimini Blue (Bright Aqua Green)
    • White (Titanium White)
    • Black (Mars Black)
  • 16″ x 20″ Canvas or 8″ x 10″ canvas or whatever size you want!
  • Brushes:
    • 1″ Flat Brush
    • 1″ Angle Brush
    • Medium Round Brush (#3 or similar size)
  • 9″ Paper plate to trace the moon
  • Palette or paper plate for palette

Traceable (Optional):

Cat PNG

Go to PDF library to download PDF version. With PDF files, you can scale up and down as needed.

If you’re doing the version with the two cats, there is no traceable but they are really very simple to paint! Use chalk to draw the outline of the heads and bodies first and also the tails.

Directions At A Glance:

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by step

 

Video:

Step By Step Pictures

 1. Trace The Moon

First I started with a blank 16″ x 20″ canvas.

 

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by stepI traced an 9″ paper plate with a pencil. This circle represents the moon. (Can you believe how simple this is so far!?)

 

2. Paint The Sky

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by stepI mixed equal parts “bimini blue” and white paint together. Then I painted the turquoise-white ring around the moon. I used a 1″ flat brush to paint this ring. The ring is about 1″ thick (doesn’t have to be exact).




Next I painted a “bimini blue” (not mixed with anything) ring around the first ring. I blended the two colors together using a wet brush. You’ll see in the video exactly how I did this!

 

Then I painted another ring with “bright blue”. I also used a wet brush to blend the colors together.

 

Then I filled the rest of the canvas in (the corners) with bright blue. I kept my strokes going in a circle.

 

3. Paint Some Moonbeams

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by step

Then I used a 1/4″ flat brush to paint arc lines around the moon. I did this with white paint. To make the white more translucent, dip it in the water more.

 

4. Paint The Tree

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by stepThen I painted the tree with black paint. To do this, I used a 1″ angle brush. I recommend practicing your tree first on a separate paper until you feel comfortable painting it on the canvas.

 

5. Paint Some Leaves

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by step

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by stepThen I used a small round brush to paint the fall leaves. Use the tip of the brush to dot in red, yellow and orange leaves. You don’t have to clean your brush off between colors.

 

6. Draw & Paint The Cat (Or Cats)

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by stepThen I drew the cat with pencil. (Pencil will erase on the canvas.)

 

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by step

easy canvas paintings for beginners step by step

cat painting acrylicPaint the cat in black using a small round brush.

cat painting acrylicAlternatively you can paint two cats siting on a branch!

 

7. Paint Swirls & Stars In The Sky

cat painting acrylicUsing a small round brush and some light bimini blue mixed with white paint color, paint some swirls in the sky. Also, to paint stars, flick your paintbrush with white paint to create a splatter paint effect.

 

Finished!

cat painting acrylic

 

 

Sharing Is Caring!

Finished! If you do this painting, please share your painting on Pinterest in the “Tried It” section of my pin or on the Facebook Page!

Let’s Keep In Touch! 

  • SIGN UP TO MY EMAIL LIST AND YOU’LL RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS IN YOUR INBOX WHEN NEW ART PROJECTS ARE POSTED!
  • FOLLOW MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS THAT WAY!
  • LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK OR FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!

How to Paint Jack O’ Lanterns At Night

Learn How To Paint Jack O’ Lanterns At Night on Canvas

See instructions for “How To Paint Pumpkins” here. For the face, I drew my design out with chalk first. Then I painted the shapes in yellow and outlined in black. The video can be found in this post below or go to YouTube to view. Happy Painting!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Materials 

Video Tutorial