Fabulous Fat Tuesday Easy Painting Ideas

A purple and gold Mardi Gras mask, with intricated scrolled designs, laying on a bed of multi-colored confetti and streamers. Text overlay reads "Fabulous Fat Tuesday Easy Painting Ideas"

Celebrate Mardi Gras Through Art At Home!

I’ve compiled the best Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas so you can take part in the celebrations from the comfort of your own home!

There is something about Mardi Gras that brings much needed magic and excitement to brighten the dark, cold days of winter. If you’re someone who feels the winter blahs, this is the perfect time for you to whip out a fresh canvas and some purple, green, and gold paint.

So, grab yourself a piece of King Cake, drape some beads around your neck, and let’s get painting!

Fun Fact: Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday

Purple, green, gold, and silver beads and chains with purple feathers in the background

Three Fat Tuesday Inspired Painting Tutorials

Each one of these Fat Tuesday painting ideas will teach you a bunch of different painting skills that can help you to win at your art game down the road.

For each step-by-step Mardi Gras painting, I’ll give you a brief summary and all of the different painting skills you’ll get to practice. Let’s get into it! *throws confetti and beads*

Paint a Simple Mardi Gras Mask and Beads on a Blended Background

One of the first Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas that I came across was Michelle the Painter’s “Mardi Gras Mask”.

What actually drew my eye to this one was the blended background and how the shadows and highlights really gave this DIY painting a sense of drama. When creating a piece of Carnival art, drama is your best friend!

Michelle the Painter uses a limited paint color palette and only three brushes for this Mardi Gras tutorial. Plus, one of the colors she uses is a beautiful bright purple that makes my heart sing!

Also, if you look in the description box, under the video, you’ll find a link to the finished painting that you can print and use as a reference photo.

In this Mardi Gras painting tutorial, you’ll practice skills like:

  • Shading
  • Creating easy reflections on the beads
  • Blending wet into wet
  • Painting the mask at an angled perspective
  • Painting a Jester’s hat
  • How to paint circles
  • How to work with translucent/transparent paint on a dark background
  • What to do if you accidentally drop a blob of paint on your canvas
  • How to add highlights and shadows to fabric to create shape and direction to the fabric
  • Painting scrollwork
  • Painting thin lines
  • How to paint sequins
  • How to paint the illusion of stitching on fabric
  • Adding shadows and highlights to round beads

A few helpful painting tips:

  • When blending the background, use firm pressure to lay down the paint and very light pressure to blend the wet paint together (feather light strokes)
  • When you add paint to blend, start on bare canvas and blend into the wet paint
  • If you use a hairdryer to dry your background, make sure to use it on the lowest setting and keep it moving around the canvas
  • If you don’t want to paint your beads with a brush you can use the handle end of different sized paintbrushes (dip the end of the handle in the desired color and tap it on the canvas)

Mardi Gras Inspired DIY Paint Pour

This is the quickest of the Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas and I chose it because it’s a super fun way to create an abstract painting using a very unique method.

“Fluid Art Mardi Gras Bead Chain String Pull” by Mixed Media Girl is such a cool tutorial! She’s going to show you how she uses strings of beads and traditional Fat Tuesday colors to create a wicked amazing piece of abstract art.

Make sure to check out the description box below the video to get the paint recipe that she uses.

Some things you’ll learn:

  • Experimenting with very liquid paint (learning how it behaves, how colors interact with each other, how it dries differently)
  • How to paint an easy abstract
  • Experimenting with different objects to create cool effects

A Dramatic Carnival Mask Painting Tutorial

If you’ve been here a while, you know I absolutely love The Art Sherpa. Cinnamon is a fantastic teacher, with a great sense of humor, and is extremely supportive of new artists.

I’ve heard her say, when asked at what point someone can call themselves an artist, you are an artist the minute you start painting. And, she is absolutely right!

You may think that this portrait tutorial of a woman’s beautifully masked face, called “Romantic Mardi Gras Mask”, shouldn’t be included in a list of Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas but hear me out.

I 100% believe that this tutorial is a great choice for a beginner because it is really detailed with lots of explanations and there is a ton of additional information to make the process even easier.

All of the extra resources, like paint colors, materials used, and links to the website where you can find the traceable, reference photo, and the mini-book, are listed in the description box below the video.

To make things super simple for you, you can follow this link to The Art Sherpa website which will take you right to the video for the Carnival Mask Pre-show, where Cinnamon will show you specific color mixing for the main portrait.

Also, here is a link that will take you to the free step-by-step mini-book pdf for the Mardi Gras mask tutorial so you can print it off and have all of the answers right at your fingertips.

Yes, this is a long video but, keep in mind, you are getting a ton of detailed explanations for every single step.

Even if you feel like you don’t have enough experience to paint a portrait, I urge you to give it a try. It’s a great way to gauge how far you’ve come on your art journey. Paint one when you’re really new and paint the exact same portrait a year or so down the road. Then stand back and bask in the glory of how much you’ve leveled up!

Just remember, detailed paintings that take longer to complete aren’t necessarily more difficult. It’s all about layering your paint and then layering it again. Rinse and repeat.

Plus, look at all of the skills you’ll be learning!

  • How to paint a portrait with dramatic lighting
  • Mixing skin tones
  • Blocking in method
  • Creating values (light, dark) so you have a roadmap that you can build on
  • Learning about the awkward/ugly stage of a painting (beginners take notes!)
  • How to paint lips
  • How to paint a nose
  • Make your subject fade into a dark background
  • How to paint impressionistic feathers
  • Paint hair that’s partially in shadow
  • Add shine to hair
  • Make the designs on the mask really pop
  • Paint a glitter effect
  • How to paint a braided thread pattern on the mask
  • Learn what colors to be thinking about if you want to change the skin tone and keep the drama (and why)

Inspiration for a Original Mardi Gras Carnival Painting

If you’ve decided that you’d rather do your own thing, you can find inspiration through these curated images that are free to use.

If you can’t find one you like, you can combine the different elements that you do like into one painting.

Let your imagination and personal style guide you through what could end up being the best piece of art you’ve ever created!

A pile of purple, silver, and green beads which fits perfectly in our list of great Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas

Fat Tuesday Colors and Symbols To Add To Your Artwork

Let’s say you want to completely rely on your imagination to come up with your own Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas. Where do you begin? What gives a painting the look and feel of Mardi Gras and not just some random celebration?

This is where color and symbols come in. You could literally paint an impressionistic black and white cityscape and by adding purple, gold, and green confetti, you’ve got yourself a fantastic Carnival painting!

If you’re stuck, here are some ideas for colors and symbols that you can incorporate into your painting to make it a lively Mardi Gras extravaganza!

  • Purple, green, and gold (metallic paint would be perfect for this!)
  • Crown, mask, Beads, Fleur de Lis, jester hat
A purple mask with gold decorations in an over-sized martini glass

Kid-Friendly Mardi Gras Decoration Idea

What if you want to use all of the pretty Mardi Gras inspired paint colors but you don’t feel like doing a canvas painting? Well, here’s the most unique of the Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas and, the best part, it’s totally kid-friendly!

You can make dough ornaments, using the recipe and directions for the dough part that I talk about in this Valentine decoration article.

Use Mardi Gras cookie cutters with purple, green, and gold paint to make cute ornaments that you can hang on a Mardi Gras themed tree. You could even hang them in your windows or from a chandelier. And, if you’re planning to have your own Fat Tuesday celebration, they make a great keepsake for your guests!

Concluding Our Festive Carnival Painting Ideas

All of these Fat Tuesday easy painting ideas are designed to teach you lots of different techniques and have a blast while doing it!

You can try your hand at an abstract paint pour, dive deep into portrait painting, or create a piece filled with dramatic lighting.

Maybe you’d rather make some adorable Mardi Gras inspired dough ornaments, or create a canvas painting that’s completely from your imagination.

Whichever way you decide to go, I hope you’re able to capture the fun and excitement that is Mardi Gras.

Which Mardi Gras Art Project Are You Most Jazzed About?

More Articles to Help you Paint a Festive Carnival Art Project

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