Got 3 Paint Colors + 30 Minutes? Let's Paint!

Actions

If you're not sure you have the gear or the guts to try your hand at painting, here's an idea: Start with just three colors. This means fewer supplies to buy and fewer choices to make as you go, leaving you with a totally stress-free way to give it a shot. You're in? These four prompts will point your brush in the right direction.

Pretty prickly pear cacti

A duo of oh-so-trendy cacti easily come to life with just a few colors! Break out the green, blue and black hues and take your canvas into the desert. (You can use acrylic or watercolor paints here!) Just make sure to save the needles for last, and be especially careful to add them after everything else is dry if you're using watercolors. Looking sharp!

A decorative abstract diptych

All you need to make some modern art is tape and acrylic paint. Really! Simply section off areas of your canvas with tape and paint between them. Pull up the tape once everything is dry! Make a few for a bold look.

Idyllic mountainscapes

You can paint up some perfect peaks with just a few natural colors. Here's the key: Choose gouache or acrylic paint colors that you can mix to make green, and then also adjust to be blue-green or yellow-green. This will give you the variety you need to portray the myriad of hues you’ll find in the mountains. (We also give you permission to break the rules — just a little — and add white to the mix if necessary.)

The swirling galaxy

Imitate the beauty of the universe by using black, purple (or blue), and orange. Watercolor is ideal for this type of painting because you can use the wet-on-wet technique to diffuse colors and make your hues feel as though they are swirling. (Bonus points if you pick up round paper to do it on!)

There you have it, painting as easy as 1-2-3!

Next for you
Build your skills and create a watercolor painting that you can be proud of, even if you’re a beginner!
Mary P. Murphy
with Mary P. Murphy
You've got your acrylic paint, your work surface is ready to go, and you're really inspired to paint. Now comes the fun part: Actually putting paint on paper!
by Jessie Oleson Moore
Color studies are one of the most valuable aspects of oil painting, and Val explains how to assess, mix and apply color with confidence. Explore ways to merge the classical and modern palettes as you mix gradations of different hues and chromas to create the exact colors and values that you desire, avoiding troubling muddy color mixtures in the process.
Now Reading
Got 3 Paint Colors + 30 Minutes? Let's Paint!