How to

Santa Painting

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Discover the step-by-step process of painting a delightful Santa Claus on a 10″ x 20″ canvas using acrylic paints. This tutorial will not only teach you how to paint Santa, but it will also show you how to add an extra touch of sparkle to his hat with some fun glitter. Painting with acrylics is a breeze, and adding glitter is a simple process that will make your artwork truly stand out. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just getting started, this tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to create festive holiday art.


This Tutorial is Also Available in My PDF Shop!

Color Palette

Directions At A Glance


I will also guide you on how to draw Santa, but if you prefer, a traceable template is available for your convenience.


Step By Step Directions

1. Draw Santa

On the 10″ x 20″ canvas, mark the 5″ point from the bottom. This will help you determine the placement of Santa’s mustache. Begin by drawing the mustache just below this mark. Then, draw the nose above the mustache, followed by two curved lines for his mouth. To add cheeks, draw two upside-down semi-circles on either side of his nose. Next, draw his eyes and the lower part of his hat. Complete the drawing by adding curved lines on the sides of his head, which will continue down to form his beard. You can add some spirals to make his beard curly. Ensure that the hat has a wavy and slightly bent appearance, with a puffy white ball at the tip.

2. Paint the Background

For the background, choose a color that contrasts with Santa’s vibrant red hat. I decided on a beautiful turquoise blue. Load a 3/4″ flat wash brush with both turquoise blue and titanium white. Use long, sweeping strokes to paint the background all around Santa’s drawing. Let the blue and white blend together to create a two-toned effect. Experiment with different brushstrokes and directions, allowing the colors to contour around Santa’s hat and head. Feel free to blend the white and turquoise as much as you desire or add pops of bright white in certain areas. Fill up the negative space around Santa and don’t forget to paint the sides of your canvas if you’re using a stretched canvas.

3. Paint Santa’s Face

For Santa’s face, use “unbleached titanium” mixed with a touch of “alizarin crimson hue” to achieve a rosy complexion. Using a #8 round brush, paint his face. You may need to paint over the eyes, cheeks, and nose, but the initial drawing will still be visible through the paint. For the nose, mix a bit more “alizarin crimson hue” into the tan color to make it stand out. With this color, paint the nose. To add a touch of rosy color to his cheeks, dip your index finger into a small amount of “alizarin crimson hue” and form circular strokes on his cheeks. It’s alright if the circle overlaps with the mustache; you’ll be painting over it later. If the cheeks appear too rosy, tone them down by adding more flesh color over them. Use mars black and a #4 round brush to paint his eyes.

4. Paint Santa’s Beard

Next, focus on Santa’s beard. Use a #8 round brush with titanium white as the base color. Ensure that your strokes follow the contour of his mustache and beard, creating a curved flow. Then, add a touch of mars black to your brush or mix it with white to create a gray color. Apply this gray to the bottom part of the mustache, blending it with the white. Continue by adding more gray throughout the beard, especially if you want to achieve a curly beard effect. Paint his eyebrows with a coat of white, and add some gray streaks for a natural appearance. Finally, paint two dots inside his eyes. For the fluffy part of the hat, use a #8 round brush and paint it with white. Add a touch of black to create a gray shade, and paint circular strokes to give the hat a fluffy texture.

5. Paint Santa’s Hat

To paint Santa’s iconic hat, start with a solid coat of cadmium red medium hue, using a 3/4″ flat wash brush. If you wish to introduce color variation, blend some areas of the red with “alizarin crimson hue” for a darker shade. Paint his mouth using “alizarin crimson hue” mixed with a small amount of unbleached titanium color. Use a #4 round brush to achieve the desired shape. If you want Santa’s mouth to appear open, paint the upper part with mars black. Add highlights by painting a thin white line on top of his cheeks and nose. For the fluffy part at the tip of his hat, use a #8 round brush and apply a coat of titanium white. Use the same brush and color to add highlights in various areas of his hat.

6. Paint Snowflakes

To create snowflakes, employ a #4 round brush and titanium white. Use the tip of your brush to paint asterisk-like lines, forming the structure of the snowflakes. Feel free to add personalized designs to each snowflake. You can also experiment with spirals for a more intricate look and add small dots to represent falling snow. Please note that the images may differ slightly as the painting process was executed twice.

7. Paint the Holly

Using a #4 round brush and hookers green hue permanent, paint the holly leaves. If the green color appears too dark, mix in a bit of white to lighten it. Once the green paint has dried, move on to the berries. Paint small circles using alizarin crimson hue, adding a touch of titanium white for highlights on one side of each berry.

8. Add Glitter

To add a touch of sparkle, apply a gloss gel medium or any clear-drying glue to the desired areas. I recommend using a brush to evenly spread the medium. Quickly apply the glitter before the gel dries, ensuring it adheres well. Brush off any excess glitter. You can also consider adding glitter to the background on certain snowflakes. Fine glitter works best for smaller areas like the snowflakes.


Congratulations! You’ve completed this enjoyable painting of Santa Claus. Don’t forget to sign your name and proudly display your artwork.

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Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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