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How to paint an ombré/ gradient background on canvas with acrylics.

How to paint an ombre/gradient background with acrylics on canvas:

Materials needed:

  • Canvas
  • Acrylic paints (2-3 colours)
  • Paint brushes- nice soft bristles
  • Palette or plastic plate
  • Cup of water
  • Paper towels


  1. Choose the colours you want to use for your ombre background. Select 2-3 colours that will blend well together. TIP: Opt for fluid acrylic rather than heavy body as too thick of a consistency will be hard to blend.
  2. Prime your canvas with some gesso. Make sure it's clean and dry before you start painting your coloured background.
  3. Decide which direction you want your ombre to go. You can choose to paint horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
  4. Mix your first colour with a little bit of white paint to lighten it. This will create the lightest shade for your ombre background.
  5. Start painting at the top of the canvas with the lightest colour. Use a large paintbrush to cover the top portion of the canvas.
  6. Add a little bit of the next color to the lightest colour and mix well. This will create the second shade for your ombre background.
  7. Continue painting the second colour below the first one, blending the two colors together until you get the desired shade and can’t tell where one starts or finishes.
  8. Repeat the process for any remaining colours until you reach the bottom of the canvas. Remember to blend the colors well sweeping your brush back and forth to create a seamless transition. Always working from your lightest shade to your darkest.

Have fun experimenting and trying out different colour combinations! 

For a visual tutorial of this process check out my free YouTube videos here 🥰