21 Easy Painting Ideas That You Can Turn Into Money

Written by Zoe King ✏️

Last updated June 22, 2024

What’s better than easy painting ideas and extra income for anyone who loves art?

Imagine combining your love for art with the potential to earn money, all while enjoying the creative process.

If you love the feeling of a brush gliding across a canvas, the vibrant dance of colors on a palette, and the magic of transforming a blank space into a visual masterpiece, then this page is for you.

Join me as I explore 21 easy painting art ideas to spark your artistic fire and show you how you can turn these creations into a source of income.

If you want to make money with art, remember to check out these tools which are great for artists and art lovers to make money easily. Also, download my free eBook on the top 10 innovative income ideas!

easy painting ideas

Easy Painting Ideas That Will Make You Look Like a Pro

Here are some easy and exciting art painting ideas you can use:

1. Modern Minimalism

Less is more with modern minimalist paintings. Try using simple shapes and clean lines to create sophisticated artwork that complements contemporary interiors.

This is one art idea in which you need to focus on a limited color palette, often using neutral tones or monochromatic schemes.

Using geometric shapes, smooth textures, and precise lines will allow you to craft your compositions effectively. The goal is to create a sense of balance and harmony with minimal elements.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell sleek, minimalist designs through online marketplaces, partner with interior designers to feature your work in modern homes and offices, and offer prints and digital downloads to expand your reach.

2. Abstract Acrylic Pouring

Experiment with different colors and pouring techniques to create stunning abstract paintings.

Acrylic pouring is one of the most popular acrylic painting ideas in the art world, known for its mesmerizing patterns and vibrant colors.

The process involves mixing acrylic paint with a pouring medium and then pouring it onto a canvas to create fluid, marble-like effects.

You’ll need supplies such as acrylic paints, a pouring medium, a variety of canvases, and some basic tools like cups, stir sticks, and gloves.

Once your mixtures are ready, experiment with different techniques such as the dirty pour, flip cup, or puddle pour to achieve unique designs.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Create dynamic and colorful abstract pieces to sell at art fairs, online galleries, and social media platforms. Offering workshops and online tutorials can also generate income while building your brand.

3. Watercolor Landscapes

If you wish to capture the beauty of nature, then watercolor landscapes are one of the canvas painting ideas you need to try.

From serene sunsets to majestic mountains, the great outdoors offers no shortage of inspiration.

Watercolor is a versatile medium that allows you to create soft, ethereal effects, making it perfect for depicting natural scenes.

To begin, you’ll need quality watercolor paper, brushes, and paints.

Start with basic washes to create the sky and background, then layer details to bring your landscapes to life.

Techniques like wet-on-wet for blending colors and dry brush for adding texture can enhance the depth and realism of your paintings.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Market these serene pieces through local art galleries and Etsy. Consider offering prints and greeting cards featuring your work. For additional revenue, teach watercolor techniques through classes or online courses.

4. Abstract Expressionism

Embrace spontaneity and emotion with abstract expressionist paintings. Use bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors to convey your innermost thoughts and feelings.

You’ll need a large canvas and high-quality acrylics or oils

Experiment with layering, dripping, and splattering techniques to add depth and texture to your work.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell bold, emotional pieces through high-end galleries and online platforms. Participate in art exhibitions and competitions to increase visibility. Offer commissioned works for collectors seeking unique, personal pieces.

5. Fantasy Worlds

Fantasy world paintings are amazing watercolor and acrylic painting ideas if you want to create whimsical landscapes inhabited by mythical creatures and magical beings.

You’ll need to brainstorm and sketch out imaginative scenes, complete with enchanted forests, floating islands, or mystical castles.

To bring your fantasy worlds to life, use vibrant colors and intricate details. Try different mediums, such as watercolors for a dreamy effect or acrylics for more vivid and bold imagery.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Create detailed, imaginative art for book covers, game designs, and movie concept art. Sell original works and prints at conventions and online. Collaborate with authors and game developers for specialized projects.

6. Floral Still-Lifes

Flowers are a timeless subject in art and can be painted in a variety of styles, from realistic to abstract.

Their vibrant colors and intricate forms offer endless possibilities for creative expression, making them a favorite among artists and art lovers alike.

To start, choose your preferred medium—whether it’s acrylics, watercolors, or oils—and gather reference photos or set up a still-life arrangement with fresh flowers.

Experiment with different techniques to capture the delicate petals and lush foliage. For a realistic approach, focus on fine details and subtle shading to bring out the natural beauty of the flowers.

If you prefer a more abstract style, play with bold brushstrokes and unconventional color combinations to create expressive, eye-catching compositions.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell through online stores, local galleries, and farmers’ markets. Offer your designs on home decor items like pillows and curtains. Provide botanical painting classes and kits for art enthusiasts.

7. City Skylines

How about capturing the iconic landmarks of your favorite cities with city skyline paintings?

These vibrant and dynamic artworks are sure to appeal to urbanites and travelers alike. Simply select well-known skylines from cities like Dubai, London, New York, Paris, or Tokyo.

You can use reference photos to outline the major landmarks and architectural features. Experiment with different painting techniques and color schemes to convey the unique atmosphere of each city.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Capture urban landscapes and sell prints and canvases online, at local art shows, and to corporate clients for office decor. Create custom pieces for real estate developers and city tourism boards.

8. Abstract Landscapes

Let your imagination run wild with abstract landscape paintings. Play with color, texture, and shape to create unique interpretations of the natural world.

You can gather inspiration from various landscapes—mountains, forests, oceans, or deserts. Instead of replicating them realistically, focus on conveying the essence and emotions they evoke.

Use bold colors, dynamic brushstrokes, and layered textures to bring your vision to life.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Market these works to art lovers through social media, art fairs, and online galleries. Offer workshops on creating abstract landscapes and sell prints and merchandise featuring your designs.

9. Whimsical Characters

Create whimsical characters inspired by your favorite stories or childhood memories.

Sketch out endearing characters with unique personalities and quirky features and then use bright colors and playful compositions to bring them to life on the canvas.

Whether it’s friendly animals, magical creatures, or adventurous children, let your creativity shine as you craft each whimsical scene.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Whimsical character paintings bring joy and imagination into children’s spaces, making them perfect for nurseries, playrooms, and bedrooms.

Sell playful and unique character art through online shops, children’s book illustrations, and animated series. Create merchandise like toys, clothing, and stationery featuring your characters.

10. Seascapes

Channel the tranquility of the ocean with seascapes. From crashing waves to serene beaches, there’s something inherently calming about ocean-themed artwork.

Real-life coastal scenes or photographs can provide some inspiration. Capture the movement and texture of the water, the interplay of light and shadow, and the subtle variations in color.

Deploy techniques such as blending and layering to create depth and realism in the water and sky.

Experiment with different mediums—acrylics for bold, vibrant scenes, watercolors for softer, more ethereal effects, or oils for rich, detailed textures.

Consider incorporating elements like boats, lighthouses, marine wildlife, or coastal vegetation to add interest and context to your seascapes.

Use a variety of brushstrokes to depict the dynamic nature of the ocean, from the frothy whitecaps of crashing waves to the gentle ripples of a calm sea.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell this type of canvas painting through coastal galleries and online platforms. Offer prints, calendars, home decor items, canvas tote bags, and surf apparel. Partner with beach resorts for decorative pieces.

11. Geometric Abstractions

Embrace order and symmetry with geometric abstraction paintings. Play with geometric shapes and patterns to create visually engaging artworks that appeal to the modern sensibility.

Sketch out different geometric shapes and patterns, such as circles, triangles, and grids to give you some direction.

Choose a cohesive color palette and experiment with contrasting colors and shading to add depth and interest.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell clean, geometric designs through modern art galleries, online shops, and interior designers. Offer prints, home decor items, and fashion accessories. Teach geometric abstraction techniques in workshops.

12. Mixed Media Collages

Combine painting with other artistic techniques, such as collage and assemblage, to create mixed media artworks that are rich in texture and meaning.

Start by gathering various materials like magazines, newspapers, fabric, and found objects. Choose a base, such as a canvas or sturdy paper, and begin layering your materials, integrating them with acrylics, watercolors, or inks.

Use techniques like tearing, cutting, and pasting to build complex, textured compositions that tell a story or convey a theme.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell eclectic, mixed-media artworks through contemporary art galleries and online. Host workshops and online classes on collage techniques. Create custom pieces for clients wanting personalized art.

13. Impressionistic Landscapes

Can you capture the essence of a scene with impressionistic landscape paintings?

If yes, then use light, color, and atmosphere to create evocative artworks that transport viewers to another time and place.

You’ll need to select a landscape that inspires you, whether it’s a sunlit meadow, a misty forest, or a bustling street. Use quick, loose brushstrokes and a vibrant palette to depict the changing effects of light and color.

Emphasize the overall impression rather than fine details, allowing the viewer’s imagination to fill in the gaps.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell dreamy, impressionistic scenes through galleries, art fairs, and online marketplaces. Offer limited edition prints and canvas reproductions. Teach impressionistic painting online.

14. Urban Graffiti

Channel the energy of the streets with urban graffiti paintings. Experiment with spray paint, stencils, and bold lettering to create edgy and dynamic artwork.

Pick a large canvas or panel that can mimic the feel of a city wall.

Use vibrant spray paints and stencils to layer your designs, incorporating bold colors, striking images, and expressive lettering.

Try different graffiti styles, such as tags, throw-ups, and murals.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Market edgy, street-inspired art through urban galleries and online platforms. Create murals for businesses and public spaces. Sell prints, apparel, and accessories featuring your graffiti designs.

15. Pop Art Portraits

Put a modern twist on traditional portraiture with pop art portraits. Using bright colors and bold patterns will let you create eye-catching artworks that capture the essence of your subject.

An important piece in the painting process is a subject — a person, pet, or even a famous figure. Try using high-contrast colors and distinct outlines to make the portrait pop.

Incorporate elements like halftone dots, comic book-style lines, and vibrant patterns to give your artwork that iconic pop art feel.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Create vibrant, eye-catching portraits and sell through pop art galleries and online shops. Partner with pop culture stores. Offer custom portraits for clients. License your designs for use on apparel, accessories, and home decor.

16. Surrealism

Surrealistic paintings allows you to explore the depths of the subconscious. This is for those who want to create dreamlike compositions that challenge perception and reality.

Begin by brainstorming and sketching surreal concepts, blending elements from dreams, fantasies, and unexpected juxtapositions.

Apply techniques like detailed realism combined with fantastical elements to create a sense of the uncanny. Play with scale, perspective, and symbolism to evoke mystery and provoke thought.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell imaginative, dream-like pieces through specialized surrealist galleries and online. Participate in art exhibitions and sell prints and merchandise. Collaborate on book covers and album art.

17. Botanical Illustrations

Botanical illustrations are one of the go-to art ideas for those who understands the intricate details of plants.

These highly detailed paintings are perfect for nature lovers and can be sold as art prints or used to create decorative stationery.

To bring out the best shapes, colors, and textures of plants, use fine brushes and precision techniques to capture their delicate features accurately.

Watercolors or colored pencils are often ideal for achieving the subtle gradations and fine lines characteristic of botanical art.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Market detailed plant illustrations to nature lovers through Etsy, botanical gardens, and online print shops. Collaborate with botanical publications and create educational materials for schools and museums.

18. Still Life with a Twist

We discussed still-life painting above, but this art idea involves putting a contemporary spin on the traditional still-life genre.

It incorporates unexpected elements and playful compositions to breathe new life into this classic subject matter.

You just have to set up a still-life arrangement with everyday objects and add a modern twist by including quirky items or unconventional pairings.

Use bold colors, dynamic angles, and mixed media to create a fresh and surprising look. You can even combine painted elements with collage or digital components.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Market these unique still lifes through contemporary galleries and online platforms. Offer prints and art classes focusing on your twist. Create custom pieces for clients seeking unconventional art.

19. Nature Mandalas

Do you love art made out of natural materials such as fallen leaves, petals, and small rocks? If so, then this art idea is for you.

Nature mandala paintings use natural elements like leaves, flowers, and stones to create intricate mandala designs that celebrate the beauty of the natural world.

Arrange them in circular patterns to form mandalas, incorporating geometric shapes and symmetrical designs.

Create your mandala on a sturdy surface like a canvas or wooden panel, and consider adding painted elements or mixed-media accents for added depth and texture.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Sell intricate mandalas inspired by nature through online stores, yoga studios, and wellness centers. Offer coloring books, prints, and meditation tools. Host mandala-making workshops and online classes.

20. Abstract Realism

Merge abstract and realistic elements with abstract realism paintings. Play with perspective and scale to create visually arresting artworks that blur the line between representation and abstraction.

Using realistic techniques will let you capture the essence of your subject, focusing on detail and accuracy. You can also incorporate abstract elements by experimenting with bold colors, expressive brushstrokes, and unconventional compositions.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Market your blend of realism and abstraction through art galleries and online. Participate in art exhibitions and sell limited edition prints. Offer commissions for clients wanting a unique style.

21. Seasonal Themes

From cozy autumn landscapes to festive winter scenes, there’s endless inspiration to be found in the beauty of nature’s cycles.

Seasonal-themed paintings are great for immersing yourself in the sights and sensations of each season.

Use vibrant colors, rich textures, and evocative imagery to capture the essence of autumn leaves, winter snow, spring blooms, and summer sunshine.

How to Make Money With This Easy Painting Idea

Create and sell artworks reflecting various seasons through local markets, online shops, and holiday fairs. Offer prints, greeting cards, and home decor items. Create limited edition collections for each season.

Wrapping Up: Easy Painting Ideas

I hope the easy painting ideas discussed on this page help you find inspiration for your next artwork.

There are countless opportunities to earn extra income by selling your paintings.

Whether you prefer traditional or contemporary styles, there’s sure to be a market for your unique creations.

Experiment with different techniques, subjects, and mediums to find your niche in the art world.

With dedication, creativity, and a little entrepreneurial spirit, you can turn your passion for painting into a lucrative side hustle or even a full-time career.

So pick up your paintbrushes and start painting!

Editorial Disclosure

Every piece of content we publish is developed by knowledgeable professionals with real-world experience and undergoes rigorous research and fact-checking processes.

About the Author

Zoé King is a successful digital entrepreneur and creator who founded SHiFTCADEMY.COM as a way to help awesome people like you find legitimate and future-proof income ideas so you can make money and shift your life forward!

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