Fall is fast approaching. It is my favorite season because of all of the vivid colors, the crisp fall air, a walk in the falling leaves, the fabulous apple ciders and cobblers, soups and stews that are so welcome on a cool evening. These memories are the inspiration for my “Meow Pumpkin” canvas. The kitten? Well … I have two precious adorable kittens; brother and sister, that I absolutely adore. They are also my inspiration for this piece.
This was my first attempt at actually painting a pumpkin. I have a friend who is a wonderfully talented artist of vintage and folk-type art. This is her technique for painting pumpkins and I have to give a shout out to Kenda! But I have to say, it was much easier than I expected it to be. The kitten is a napkin from a very talented designer in the UK named Hannah Dale. I purchased several different styles of her napkins online. I'll go into more detail as we go through the instructions.
- DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium (DMM20-71)
- DecoArt Traditions Mediums - White Gesso
- EcoArt Traditions Mediums - Glazing Medium
- DecoArt Traditions Acrylics - Titanium White
- DecoArt Traditions Acrylics - Raw Sienna
- DecoArt Traditions Acrylics - Hansa Yellow
- 8x10 Canvas
- Various Paintbrushes
- Tissue Paper Cat
Step 1: Begin by painting over the canvas with a coat of DecoArt Traditions White Gesso and either air dry or heat set.
Step 2: Lay out your design by lightly penciling in the pumpkin. Remove the two white paper ply layers underneath the napkin and discard. Tear out the kitten from the napkin and lay in place. (Tear out the kitten rather than cutting it out as the jagged edges of the napkin will disappear easier onto the canvas using Matte Medium).
Step 3: Mix about a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio of DecoArt Traditions Opaque Titanium White and Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue on a craft mat. Brush onto the surface of the canvas so as to give color to the background but not to completely cover the canvas. You will be able to see the pencil lines of the pumpkin. Heat set or air dry.
Step 4: Painting the pumpkin - first outline the pumpkin using a smaller brush and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber. While the paint is still wet, fill in the pumpkin with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Vermilion (or whatever orange color you choose). Also, paint over the Burnt Umber lines. To add shading, make sure that the left side edges of the pumpkin are wet by adding more orange paint then pick up a small amount of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff on the edge of your brush along with some more orange paint. Start at the top of the pumpkin section and run a highlight line down the LEFT side of the pumpkin; following the curved line of that section of the pumpkin. Keep blending until you get the result you want by adding more paint and blending. Repeat this for each section. Next, add shadows on the right side of the sections of the pumpkin. Repeat the highlighting process only this time, use DecoArt Media Burnt Umber on the edge of the brush along with more orange paint. Be sure that you have added a bit more orange paint on that area of the section first so that it is wet and will blend easier when you add the Burnt Umber and orange combination. Start at the top of the right of the section and follow the curve around toward the bottom of the pumpkin. Add more shadowing at the bottom. For the stem, use a smaller brush and using Burnt Umber, start on one side of the pumpkin top and brush a line from the pumpkin up above the pumpkin and create a stem with a meandering edge. Move to the right side of the pumpkin and paint a line to meet the other side. Thicken the stem as you create the look you want. In the middle of the pumpkin, be sure to follow the rounded tops of each section so that the stem is rising out of the pumpkin's top. Next, add some shadowing and highlights using a smaller brush. Be sure the Burnt Umber area is still wet and add first De
Step 5: If you get outside of your lines a little bit; no worries! DecoArt Traditions Opaque Titanium White does a fabulous job of covering that up! Just brush a light coat over the rouge paint and it will disappear! Trust me! I did it!
Step 6: Now it's time to add the adorable napkin kitty cat. Brush a generous but not sloppy amount of DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the canvas area where you are going to add the kitten image. Carefully lay the kitten image in place and smooth it out with your fingers. Work lightly so as not to rip or bubble up the napkin. Then gently brush over the kitten with more Matte Medium and smooth it out paying special attention to the edges to blend them into the canvas. This can air dry or gently be heat set in place.
In the photo below, you can see what your canvas will look like at this point.
Step 7: Using a new pencil flat eraser and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Vermilion, Titan Buff and a small brush with DecoArt Media Burnt Umber, we are going to make bittersweet vines. Begin by brushing vine randomly around the over the pumpkin using a smaller brush. Next, put a little of the orange and beige paint onto a craft sheet. Press the flat end of the pencil eraser into the orange paint and pick up just a touch of the beige paint (highlight) then press randomly over and around the vines to create the bittersweet berries.
Step 8: Now add a touch of DecoArt Traditions Raw Sienna and Hansa Yellow onto a craft mat. Using a smaller brush, mix the two paints and then using a small sweeping motion from the inside to the outside of the base of the berries, create little leaves or pods at the base of each berry. Once those are completed, add more little green leaves randomly on the vine using DecoArt Media Phthalo Blue Green and a small brush. While the leaves are still wet, add a highlight of Titan Buff onto the green leaves.
** It does not show in this picture but it does in the final canvas picture; also use the round tip end of a paintbrush and dip it into the orange paint. Dot the paintbrush tip randomly on the vine to add smaller berries. You can also add highlights by touching the berries with a small brush tipped with Titan Buff. Let air dry or heat set.
Step 9: To add little black spatters onto the canvas, mix a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black and water onto the craft mat. Use about a 3 or 4 to one ratio of water to the paint. Mix it around with an old toothbrush. Pick up the brush end of the toothbrush and flick it over the canvas, allowing the watery black paint to freely create little splatters onto the canvas. Lightly tap with a paper towel and set to dry.
Step 10: I repeated the bittersweet vines on the sides of the canvas using the same technique as above. Then I used my finger to gently swipe a bit of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black around the edges of the canvas to define the edges even more.
Step 11: Finally, using a larger brush, I sealed the canvas using DecoArt Traditions Glaze by brushing it over the surface of all of the canvas. I let this air dry.
I hope that this tutorial has been interesting and has given you the inspiration to try painting a fall canvas for yourself. They make really fun home décor or smaller versions are cute on cards. The napkin technique is also a really fun way to add adorable images to your art that you may not feel comfortable attempting to paint on your own. I definitely am not a great painter but I definitely have ideas of things that I want to create. This Matte Medium opens up endless possibilities for you!
Please feel free to leave a comment here and on my blog or social media as well. I love hearing from you! Enjoy yourself and have fun creating!