How To Paint a Koala: An Easy Tutorial For Beginners

Welcome to our easy step-by-step guide on how to paint an adorable Koala! If you’re just starting out with painting, or you want a fun little activity with your kids, we have an easy-to-follow tutorial just for you!

Step 1: Adventure into the craft store!

Before commencing your painting, it’s always best to make sure you have everything you need! So go on ahead and take a trip to the craft store if you haven’t yet and make sure you have the following materials:

  • Acrylic Paints in the colours, Titanium White, Black, Quinacridone Magenta, Deep Green Permanent, Burnt Umber, Light Blue Violet, Phthalo Blue
  • Canvas, size of your choice
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Brushes in different sizes and ranges
  • Jar with water
  • Paint palette or Paper Plate
  • Paper towels
  • Old Shirt to prevent unwanted stains

Step 2: Choose and paint your background colour!

If you want your painting to have a forest feel, paint your background with a wash of Deep Green Permanent with a mix of white to create a light green colour. Use a flat brush to stroke on your background remember it doesn't have to be perfect! Let the colour strokes be bold so the background looks more abstract! If you want to use a different colour, you may do so and use the same technique as before!

Step 3: Draw and paint your subject!

Draw your koala using your pencil. You can look up some reference photos for this if you’d like! Start with the head first, Draw 3 circles, One big circle in the middle, and one on each side of the big circle. Erase the lines that connect on the side and the bottom of the one big circle. The Circle in the middle will be the Head, and the two other circles will be the ears. To create its body, draw a half-circle on the bottom left area of the head and create its legs at the end! You may add the details after this. Sketch the details like the eyes, nose, mouth, and furry ears!

Once you’re finished with your Koala, add a huge branch on where it’s holding onto, and draw leaves and flowers too if you’d like!

After you’re done with your outline, it’s time to paint the base of your koala. Get some white and light blue-violet on your palette, let the two colours touch but don’t mix them. Use a flat brush and dip it into the middle of the two paints. This is called double loading. By doing this, you are picking up two colours at once and painting them on your canvas! It makes a really nice ombre effect! Use this technique to paint your koala, use circular motions to create the dimension in your painting! After painting your whole koala, paint the tree trunk with brown paint. Create some texture on your tree branch by mixing some white with your brown paint to create a lighter shade. Paint along your tree trunk by doing curvy lines on different parts of the tree! After this, paint the remaining background details like leaves and flowers.

The next step is to finish off with the details of your koala! Use some magenta with white to paint the inside of your koala’s ears, then use your phthalo blue to paint on the nose, use the same colour and a small detail brush to outline some parts of the koala, mix some white to the phthalo blue colour to create a lighter shade, and using an angled brush, create single strokes on the top part of the head, the ears, the sides of the body, to create fur-like texture! And finally, paint the eyes and the mouth a black colour! 

And you’re done! We hope you liked this tutorial for beginner painters! If you want to see more tutorials like this, check out our other tutorials for some easy-to-follow guides!