Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
You NEED this colorful cow painting in your life, and you're about to feel like a kid again because we're playing with ALL the colors of the rainbow today!
Whether you want an EASY project to spark JOY in your day, or have been searching for acrylic canvas painting ideas for beginners - this cow painting on canvas with a flower in her mouth was made for you!
If you don't have a canvas - paint her in your art journal or on the back of a cereal box.
If you feel comfortable with the easy acrylic painting tutorial in today's video, I'd LOVE to introduce you to the magical world of mixed media art!
I make cheatsheets for everything so you can have MORE FUN with your art! Click the button below to request the FREE cheatsheet for my signature mixed media layering process, the Hamburger System, and I'll email it right over.
After you print your cheatsheet, here's my FREE Hamburger System Playlist on YouTube so you can see the process in action and create along with me.
If you've been following me on YouTube lately, you know I've been doing a series of projects inspired by the authors of my favorite art books. I've also been showing flip throughs of my favorite books because they are just filled with inspiration.
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
I can't say enough about the adorable book by Anna Bartlett that I'm featuring today. Seriously... her projects are the cutest, and her instructions are so simple to follow.
Anna goes out of her way to show you tons of photos and really keeps things simple so anyone can pick up her book and start painting with acrylics - from beginners to seasoned artists looking for easy acrylic painting ideas.
Stay with me till the end of today's video so you can catch a glimpse of Anna's book. It's jam packed with even more EASY canvas painting ideas I just know you're gonna love!
What really inspired me to choose this particular project is the variation of it that Anna showed at the begining of her lesson (above). I fell in love with the bright colors and immediately knew this was the project I wanted to showcase from her book!
I'm using a ginormous canvas today, and don't even know what size this is! That's just my thing. I LOVE to work big. You choose what's right for you. And if you don't have a canvas at home - use whatever you do have! You could do this on a canvas board, in an art journal (as long as the paper is super sturdy!), in an altered book, or on the back of a cereal box (learn how to make your own cereal box journal here).
It doesn't matter WHERE you paint... just paint!
Speaking of paint - the colors I'm working with today are one of my FAVORITE color palettes: Turquoise, Carmine and Yellow. It's delicious!
Anna suggests you do this project in a #12 flat paint brush. If you're not sure what this is, just choose a paint brush that has a squared off top to the bristles, like one of the two at the bottom of the above painting (why yes, I do happen to have a video about how to select the right brush).
Throughout her project instructions, Anna suggests we wash and dry our paint brushes with each layer of color we add. This is actually a really important step - especially the "dry your brush" part, because you can make mud really fast if you don't wash your brush between colors.
Plus, acrylics don't need water to work - they're awesomely formulated and ready to dive in with, straight outta the tube!
How gorgeous is this turquoise?! It's SO happy!!
I'm even in the mood to jazz up my carmine by dding some flourescent pink for pure FUN, and because it lights my soul on fire!
I'm using all Lukas Cryl acrylic paints because I've been using them forever. I discovered them when I moved to Raleigh in 2007 on my first trip to Jerry's Artarama. These acrylics are super affordable, and the quality is amazing. They're a step above student grade and a great value.
After I get all the initial colors added to the cow's face, the next step is to add in some white. Before we do this- we need to make sure ALL the other shades of paint are thoroughly dry. Dry layers are your "friend" with acrylics!
One of the things that immediately attracted me to Anna's book is the fact that she's an "outliner." Personally I LOVE outling and feel like it really ties a piece together.
I used to fight my love of outlining but I decided it's something that makes me happy, so I embraced it! If you look closely at the pictures for Anna's project- she used an indigo to outline instead of black. I decided to add some black to the purple I used in the background for my outline color.
Just a quick reminder - if at any point you feel like you've made a giant mistake- remember this is acrylic paint, you can just paint right over it with another layer, and problem solved!
I love that Anna calls the nostrils on this adorable cow, "apostrophes!" Itsn't that the cutest?! After all the outlines are added, it's time for highlights in white AND red! I know... red highlights?!
At first I doubted myself on doing the red highlights too, but decided to follow the directions exactly instead. Letting someone else gently guide you through a project is a GREAT way to get out of creative block. It helps you to not overthink your decisions so you can just enjoy the creative process.
Thanks for hanging out with me today! Make sure you stick with me till the end of the video so you can see a page by page flip through of Anna's book. You're gonna love it!!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.