How to Paint A Pumpkin: Watercolor Tutorial

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Here is a beginner watercolor tutorial for painting pumpkins. Some people associate watercolor painting with the butterflies and flowers of spring and summer but I love to paint in autumn. You can see some of my recent fall-inspired apple and floral paintings on Instagram, plus how to paint the baby pumpkins in the image below, I just posted an Instagram video.  I always love to see the art that you create from my painting tutorials. Please send us your pics or tag us.

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  1. Start with an oval. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
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2. Look at the placement of the base of the pumpkin stem on your pumpkin and add a small oval. Draw a simple outline of the stem paying special the star-like base of the stem.

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3. Start to draw curved lines to define the segments of the pumpkin. The segment closest to you will be the widest and be curved on both sides.

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4. Adjust any segments that appear too wide or narrow. Round out the bottom of each segment and erase the original oval if it is too visible.

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5. The finished pumpkin sketch.

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1. Paint one segment yellow with fairly wet paint on dry paper. Leave a highlight white and several unpainted spots for interest.

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2. Add red to the brush (thicker pigment, not too wet) and drop it in around the edge of the segment. Pull the color into the center a bit to blend but leave the area surrounding the highlight the most yellow.

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3. Continue on to each segment using the same method. The segments may belle into each other slightly where there is wet paint but that will add to the charm.

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4. Once all segments are painted, let the painting dry.

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5. You will want fairly sharp lines in the stem. First do a light wash of brownish black along the dark side of the stem.

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6. Once that has dried a bit, go back in with darker brown and add some detail lines to the woody stem.

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7. And now you have a watercolor pumpkin! IMG_3585 (1)

8. If you would like to add a shadow, Using only water on the brush, paint an area larger than the desired shadow, then drop in paint in blue or purple along the very edge of the pumpkin, letting the paint bleed into the wet shadow area but not far enough to create an edge.

If you would also like to see how I painted these looser, tiny pumpkins see the video I just posted on Instagram @PrudentJacinda

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Can’t wait to see versions from you and your kiddos. Gordon, Quinn and Clare plan to try some watercolor pumpkins today after school.

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