How To Paint a Seahorse: An Easy Tutorial For Beginners

In this beginners tutorial, we will be showing you how to paint a lovely seahorse under the sea! 

This painting showcases vibrant colours that you and the kids would enjoy painting! So if you love seahorses, stay tuned as we show you an easy step-by-step guide on how to paint a seahorse.

Step 1: Prepare your materials!

Before you start you should always make sure that you’ve prepared all the things you need

  • Canvas size of your choice
  • Acrylic Paint  in the Colours; Titanium White, Mars Black, Turquoise, Yellow Green, Phthalo Blue, Magenta, Yellow Pale
  • Paint Brushes of Various sizes 
  • Palette or Paper Plate
  • Optional Glitter
  • Adhesive For Glitter (ModPodge or Elmer's Glue)
  • Chalk 
  • Cup with Water
  • Paper Towel or Rag

Step 2: Paint your background! 

On your palette, add some white, turquoise, and phthalo blue. With a flat brush, dip it in your water, make sure it isn’t too wet by tapping it on a paper towel or rag, dip it into your phthalo blue and paint on the bottom of your canvas with curved ‘U’ strokes, imagine painting a bowl shape with your paint. 

The whole background will be painted this way so maintain the strokes when you go lighter! The phthalo blue should reach about 5-6 inches of your canvas, then use your turquoise for the middle part by using the same technique! Make sure you also blend the turquoise with the phthalo blue to make it look seamless!

Lastly, add white to the top part and use the same exact technique as you did with the other parts, you don't have to worry if the blues mix with the white because that’s the effect we’re aiming for! Wash your brush and dry it really well so that you can create an illusion of light peeking through the top of your canvas, do this by dry brushing some white paint and creating downward strokes coming from the top! Once you’re done, make sure to dry your canvas really well because it’s time to create your seahorse!

Step 3: Create your Seahorse 

With your white chalk, start creating an outline of your seahorse. To do this, you need to start by drawing the head by drawing a circle about 4 inches down the top of the canvas, the circle should be around 3 inches in diameter. After drawing your circle, draw a large and stretched ‘S’ shape starting from the head and down to the bottom. Then draw a spiral for the tail. Draw an inward curve that is on the other side of the S shape to create the back and the body should be complete. Then go back to the head and draw the snout, and add the back of the seahorse by creating spikes that curve inward and are connected, and the dorsal fin.  

Create a lighter yellow shade by mixing titanium white and yellow pale on your palette, use this colour to paint the whole seahorse. Then for the spikes on the back use the plain yellow pale to make it look darker. Do this for the fin as well but use the mixed paint first for the base of the fin. 

Step 4: Add some details!

Use a round brush and white paint to create columns on the body of the seahorse, start from the bottom of the head then make vertical lines that are also curved, following the structure of the seahorse. Create another line, then connect them with horizontal wavy lines throughout the body as well. Mix some magenta to the yellow to create a bit of an orange tinge then paint it on the inside of the lines you created to create depth. Add random dots on the body and some more white highlights plus the eye. And you’re done!

We hope you liked this tutorial on how to paint a seahorse with an ocean background. If you want to see more tutorials like this, check out our how-to page!