How to Paint Sea Turtles 15 Beautiful Tutorials (Acrylic, Watercolor, Pencil)

There’s something special about painting turtles. Maybe it’s because they’re so cute or because they’re such a unique subject to paint. Whatever the reason, an easy turtle painting can be a fun and easy activity that anyone can enjoy, but firstly let’s learn how to paint sea turtles (without becoming a Picasso)

Turtles are easy to paint because their shell has a unique shape that can be easily broken down into smaller sections.

To paint a turtle, start by sketching the basic outline of the turtle’s body and head. Once you have your sketch, you can add details like spots or stripes on the turtle’s shell and scales around its neck. You might also want to add some definition to the eyes and draw a small nose.

Once you’re happy with your sketch, it’s time to add color. Use nice bright acrylic paints that will bring your turtle painting to life. Start by painting the shell and then move on to other details, such as spots, stripes, or scales.


How to Paint Sea Turtles in Acrylic

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Intermediate

Paint turtle silhouettes in an adorable heart-shaped underwater setting. This painting looks very professional, but it’s very easy to create.

Although the painting requires using a few colors, the results are breathtaking.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Canvas

How to Paint Turtles in Watercolor

How to Paint Sea Turtles

Medium: Watercolor

Level: Easy to Intermediate

This watercolor painting tutorial shows how to paint a sea turtle in small sections. First, an outline of the turtle is painted with a brush and then detailed by adding layers of paint.

Last, details like bubbles and starfish can be added to give the painting a complete look.

Main supplies:


Land Turtle Painting

Medium: Acrylic paint

Level: Intermediate

Aside from sea turtles, you can also paint land turtles. This easy-to-follow painting tutorial shows how to create a realistic land turtle painting with acrylic paint.

Using an easy blending technique, the artist explains how to recreate the turtle’s scales and shell for a stunning result.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood panel or canvas

Sea Turtle Painting Easy

Medium: Acrylic paint

Level: Easy

Painting turtle silhouettes is an easy way to familiarize yourself with their shapes and an easy way to practice painting them. You only need acrylic paint, a flat-headed brush, and a steady hand. Even without the details, painting the silhouette of a turtle can be easy and fun.

Once you have an outline that you are happy with, start to fill in the shape of the turtle’s shell and head.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic board
  • Paintbrush

How to Paint a Turtle Shell

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

Why not add a splash of color to a turtle shell? Painting a shell is easy and can turn an ordinary turtle into something extraordinary. You can have your one-of-a-kind work of art with just a few easy steps.

Here, you’ll need a clean turtle shell that has been properly prepared. It would be best to start with a base coat to cover any existing marks. Once the base coat is applied and dried, you can paint your unique designs.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Turtle shell
  • Paintbrush

Easy Sea Turtle Drawing

Medium: Markers and colored pencils

Level: Easy

This tutorial features a step-by-step method to draw an easy sea turtle — even kids can do it. The shapes of your turtle don’t have to be perfect,  so have some fun and let your creative juices flow.

After you’re done with the outline, get ready to get artistic with markers and colored pencils. And don’t forget the details to create a realistic turtle.

Main supplies:

  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Paper

How Do You Paint a Turtle on a Rock?

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

Canvas and paper aren’t the only surfaces you can paint on. A rock makes a great canvas for easy turtle painting. You don’t have to be an art whiz to get creative with your turtle painting.

You can make your own colorful and unique turtles on rocks or use the rock’s shape to paint one.

Here, the round shape of the rock perfectly mimics a turtle hiding in its shell. Pick a rock to work with, and use your imagination to paint a turtle with its unique shape.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Rock

Colorful Sea Turtle Watercolor Painting

Medium: Watercolor

Level: Easy to Intermediate

Using colors other than greens and blues to paint a sea turtle can be fun. The details and color palette make it look realistic despite using different colors. The artist focused on the scales and shell of the turtle to give it a pop of color and still, making it look realistic.

Main supplies:

  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor brush
  • Watercolor paper

Underwater Sea Turtle Painting

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

An easy way to brighten up a room and have something fun to look at is to create an underwater sea turtle painting. This tutorial is easy to pick up, even for beginners.

The details and its raw brushstrokes are what make this easy painting stand out and be unique.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Canvas

How to Paint Turtle in the Ocean

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

Soft colors and easy strokes can create a stunning underwater scene with your favorite sea creature, the turtle.

After painting the background and outline of your sea turtle, the details can give the painting life — making it look like a realistic scene captured from the depths of the ocean.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Canvas

Cute Sea Turtle Painting

Medium: Watercolor

Level: Easy

If you want to take a break from painting realistic landscapes and still lifes, why not try your hand at painting a cute sea turtle? This easy tutorial will help you explore the watercolor world and create an adorable aquatic friend.

This tutorial is easy to follow and uses a few colors, focusing on painting the details of the scales and the shell. The result is a cute, smiling sea turtle that’s easy to make and fun to look at.

Main supplies:

  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor brush
  • Watercolor paper

Rock Turtle Shell Painting

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

If you want to try something a little more challenging, why not try rock turtle shell painting? This easy tutorial will help you explore painting rocks that you will assemble to create a turtle shape.

You can use whatever colors you like, it’s easy to adjust the size of your turtle, and the result is a unique and fun creature.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic painting
  • Rocks
  • Varnish

Realistic Sea Turtle Painting

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

If you’re an advanced painter, you will find this easy. There are many details to capture, and even the highlights and shadows are accurately painted.

The result will make you feel like you’re underwater, swimming with the sea turtles.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Palette
  • Canvas

Sea Turtle Painting Using Acrylic Pour

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

You can use any color you want in this acrylic pour technique — don’t forget some greens and blues to make the abstract painting show off the hints of a turtle.

After preparing the base color, layering and pouring different colors into a cup will create a marbled color that will create the abstract effect of the painting.

The torch will help add texture and create cells resembling a turtle’s scales. Also, keep in mind that you’ll get different results every time.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic pouring paint
  • Torch
  • Canvas

How to Paint a Colorful Turtle Silhouette

Medium: Acrylic

Level: Easy

Painting a turtle silhouette is easy and fun. Here you can experiment with as many colors as you like. All you need is a little creativity, some basic painting supplies, and a vision.

Feel free to paint different turtle silhouettes and color palettes, and let your style be reflected in the painting.

Main supplies:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Canvas

Painting Sea Turtles FAQ

How do you paint a turtle?

To paint a turtle, first, outline its shell and body. Then fill in the colors. You can use acrylic paint, watercolor, or oil paint to create your turtle painting.

To add details, use a smaller brush and layer on the colors.

What colors do you need to paint a turtle?

While you can use any colors you like for your turtle painting to make it look realistic, most turtles have green or brown shells and lighter colors on their underbelly.

Consider adding some accents of brighter colors to make your artwork stand out.

How do you realistic color a turtle?

To paint a realistic turtle, focus on the texture and details of the shell. Start by sketching out the shape of your turtle with an HB or 2B pencil, then layer in shades of green and brown.

Add highlights to give your painting depth, and use a small brush to add details such as ridges or lines on the shell.

How do you draw a tortoise shape?

To draw a tortoise shape, first sketch out the basic outline of the shell with a pencil. Then add four circles for each leg and two oval shapes for the head and tail.

Finally, use curved lines to connect all shapes to give your tortoise its distinctive shape.

Wrap Up

Now that you know how to paint sea turtles, there’s no excuse not to try it for yourself. Just get a brush and some paints and start practicing.

Who knows, you might even find that you’re good at it.  And if not, then you can always look back on your painting with fondness – it’s easy to love a sea turtle, after all. Good luck!