Pumpkin and Mum Bouquet on Canvas

Pumpkin and Mum Bouquet on Canvas

Posted by DecoArt on Oct 6th 2016

Get ready for the fall season with this colorful bouquet made with Americana® Acrylics.


    • water container
    • palette or plastic plate
    • paper towels
    • transfer paper
    • ruler
    • sanding block
    • 3/4" flat brush
    • #6 flat brush
    • #8 round brush
    • #12 flat brush
    • 3/8" angle brush
    • stylus
    • fan brush
    • canvas
    • 10/0 script liner brush
    • blending brush



    Surface preparation: Even primed canvas sometimes is rough, so add a coat of White Gesso, sand it gently with a sanding block, and repeat with another coat of Gesso so that the surface is smooth and easier to work with.

    1. Trace the planks and the grass line onto the canvas. (The surface is 10" wide and the planks are each 2" wide, so a ruler might work for you instead of tracing straight lines from the pattern by hand.)
    2. Using a 3/4" flat brush, loaded with Fawn, begin to paint the boards. Every so often, pick up Slate Grey and work it into the board. (Streaks of Slate Grey are good because they add aging and weathering to the barn wood.)
    3. With the same brush, dry-brush a small amount of Antique Green into the wood to give the illusion that mold is starting to grow on it.
    4. Follow with some dry-brushing of Burnt Umber to further age the wood. Allow to dry.
    5. Shade the planks with Burnt Umber using a 3/4" angle brush (or a size that is most comfortable to you).
    6. Add cracks to the wood with a 10/0 liner brush and inky Burnt Umber.
    7. Use the handle end of the brush with Burnt Sienna to dot in the rusty nail heads. (Do not spend a lot of effort on the boards in the center of the project because they will get covered by the bouquet.)
    8. Grass: Basecoat the grassy area with Irish Moss. (You'll add shading and highlighting to the blades of grass at the end of the project.)
    9. Use white or grey transfer paper to trace the rest of the project.
    10. Pumpkin base and lid: Basecoat with a thin coat of Snow White using a 3/4" flat brush (so you can block in the color over the dark background easily). Allow to dry.
    11. Basecoat the pumpkin with Canyon Orange. (This will most likely take two coats, so let it dry completely.)
    12. Shade the sections of the pumpkin with a 3/4" angle shader brush by floating Burnt Umber in the shaded area of the pumpkin sections. (To float color, wet the brush and dab it on a paper towel.)
    13. Sweep the toe of the brush into a puddle of Burnt Umber. Blend on the palette until you see shades of Burnt Umber weeping into the brush, with the darkest value in the toe and water in the heel.
    14. To dry-brush in some highlight, mix a small puddle of Canyon Orange and Snow White. Using a dry-blending brush, dip the tip into the paint and work into the brush on the palette using pressure and a circular motion. Dab the brush on a paper towel to be sure the paint is worked into the brush.
    15. Paint the subtle highlights on the pumpkin using small circular motions in the direction of the shape you are dry-brushing. (If the brush is properly prepared, it will take some elbow grease to scrub the paint onto the surface.)
    16. For the stem, use a #6 flat brush to basecoat with Burnt Umber. While it is still wet, pick up some Avocado on the same brush and work in streaks of color from the base to the end of the stem to paint the grooves into the stem.
    17. Maple leaves: Using a #12 flat brush (or a size that is comfortable to you), basecoat the maple leaves with Snow White, then with a coat or two of Burgundy Wine. Wipe the excess paint from the brush.
    18. Using the same brush, mix Burgundy Wine and Canyon Orange on the palette. Work the paint into the brush in a clean section of the palette so you end up with a blend of the two colors, but little paint on the brush.
    19. Highlight the leaf tips by dry-brushing some of that lighter color onto the tips. (Start on the chisel edge of the brush at the outer tip and swipe the brush inward toward, but not all the way to, the center.)
    20. After dry-brushing all the tips, add water to the Burgundy Wine/Canyon Orange mix from Step 18 to create an inky puddle of color and paint the veins using a 10/0 liner brush. (It might be necessary to lighten up the color of the veins, so add some Canyon Orange to do so if the veins are not light enough. Do not add Snow White to lighten, as we want the color to remain bright.)
    21. Paint the maple leaf branches with Raw Sienna and the chisel edge of the same flat brush.
    22. Highlight the branches with the 10/0 liner brush and streaks of inky Snow White. (If the highlight is too stark, add some Raw Sienna to the inky white puddle to soften the highlight.)
    23. Instruction #22
    24. Basecoat the green leaves that are under the mums with Avocado loaded on a #12 flat brush (or one of a size more comfortable to you). This may take three coats because of the dark background. (Because of this dark background, I purposefully broke the highlighting rule by highlighting the outer edge of the leaves instead of the center of the leaf.)
    25. Wipe excess paint from the brush on a paper towel.
    26. After the basecoats are dry, load the same brush with a small amount of Olive Green and work the paint into the brush by sweeping on the palette so that you can dry-brush in the highlight color. To do so, stand the brush on its chisel edge and pull it toward, but not all the way to, the center of the leaf.
    27. Wipe the brush clean.
    28. Brush-mix Teal Green and Snow White on the palette and do the same technique as Steps 23-26 to add shading to the opposite side of the leaf.
    29. (Before you start to paint, please refer to the diagram below.) Make an inky puddle of Olive Green and Snow White. Paint the veins with a 10/0 liner brush. (Because we are using a wet-on-wet technique, we can get messy easily if we are not mindful of the shape of the flower, the position of the flower's cup, and the flower's elements. )
    30. Instruction #28
    31. Arrange mum colors in rows on the palette with the darkest colors on the top. (See Helpful Hints #1 & 2 below.)
    32. White mum: Fully load the #8 round brush and lay in the first layer of strokes with Blue Mist (1). While the Blue Mist is still wet, add the second layer of strokes with Snow White (2). (You will notice that some Blue Mist either shows through or blends with Snow White to make a lighter blue color and that’s good.) Let dry.
    33. Add more Snow White (3) in areas where you want a pronounced white stroke. (Those areas will either be highlights or areas where too much blending occurred with the wet-on-wet technique.)
    34. Use the Olive Green/Snow White mix from Step 28 (4) to add some shade into the center of the flower. To do this, prepare the brush as you do when you float color: Load Olive Green into the toe of a 3/4" angle brush and lightly work it into the center, or where you want to add more effect with the contrast color.
    35. If you have lost all of the Blue Mist, wash the angle brush and float some color in to re-instate the Blue Mist (5) in the shaded areas (like around the flower’s cup). Use a very light touch to do this so you don’t erase all the good work you’ve done putting in the highlights.
    36. Instruction #33
    37. Yellow mum: Follow the same process for building the flower as with the white mum (Steps 30-33). The first layer of strokes is done with Mustard Seed (1). While that is still somewhat wet, add Yellow Light (2) strokes. Let that dry a bit and follow with the Pineapple (3) strokes.
    38. Add highlights with Pineapple mixed with Snow White (4) .
    39. Using a 3/4" angle shader brush, re-instate the shadows by floating some Mustard Seed (5) back into the flower to create depth.
    40. Purple mum: The purple mum is a build-up of layered transparent color, moving on to more layers of opaque color. The first three layers are transparent colors: Red Violet (1), Purple Rain (2), and a mix of Purple Rain and Wild Orchid (3).
    41. Add more depth and opacity with Wild Orchid and a mix of Orchid and Lilac (4).
    42. Use straight Lilac (5) and then Lilac with Snow White (6) and vary the color values to your taste.
    43. Shade the cup with Red Violet (7).
    44. Re-instate any petals that got lost in the shading, and add some highlight with Snow White to those petals that would be most in the sunlight.
    45. Instruction #41
    46. Green mum leaves over mums: Paint the green leaves that go over some of the mums in the same fashion as the ones you painted earlier. (Now the bouquet looks natural with some leaves under the flowers and some over them.)
    47. Fall leaves: Basecoat the leaves according to the table above or choose your own color palette.The colors used to shade are bright, but yet the shading itself is subtle. To do this, add Extender & Blending Medium to the brush as you apply the shade #1 color. To do this effectively, prepare the palette in advance.
    48. Start with a puddle of Extender & Blending Medium the size of a dime. Roll the brush into the puddle and bring it to raw shade #1 color, pulling a little of the paint from the main puddle and mixing the blending medium into it. Test the consistency of the mix on a clean spot on the palette.
    49. Wipe the brush on a towel to get rid of the excess and apply some color on the edge of the leaf where you want the color to be the strongest.
    50. Using a dry blending brush in a circular motion, pull some of that paint toward the center. (You’re creating the same gradation of color as you would if you floated it in, but you have more control moving it over the leaf exactly where you want it.)
    51. Instruction #46
    52. Wipe the brush on a paper towel as necessary to keep it dry so that the blend of color remains subtle.
    53. Repeat the process with shade color #2, using very little Extender & Blending Medium to keep that color bolder.
    54. Instruction #48
    55. Acorns: Using a #6 flat brush, basecoat the bottom of the acorn in Honey Brown.
    56. Basecoat the cap with Raw Sienna.
    57. Using a 10/0 liner brush, paint the line details on the cap.
    58. Using the dry-brush brush loaded with a tiny bit of Snow White, dry-brush in some highlight, preparing the brush in the same manner as instructed in the pumpkin section.
    59. Grass: Use a small, dampened fan brush loaded with Evergreen to paint in shaded areas to resemble peaks and valleys in the grass. If the Irish Moss ground area is still too bright, pick up some Avocado to tone down the grass area a bit. When you are satisfied with the ground cover color, let the paint dry.
    60. Wash the fan brush and remove excess water by dabbing on a paper towel.
    61. Pick up some Evergreen and add the background grass against the barn wood and smaller clumps in the grass peaks.
    62. Create inky puddles of Avocado, Evergreen, Olive Green, and Antique Green with a little Snow White. Paint the individual blades of grass, starting with the fan brush, but adding finishing touches of grass detail with a 10/0 liner brush.
    63. Evergreen/Antique Green are used in the shadowed areas while the other, brighter colors are used where more light would hit.
    64. Mix a puddle of Evergreen and Payne’s Grey to create the shadow color.
    65. Use a 3/4” angle brush to float color under all of the elements on the grass to ground them to the grass so they do not appear as though they are floating in space.
    66. Instruction #59
    67. Sealing: When the project is totally dry, finish it with a coat of DuraClear Matte or Gloss Varnish, using a large brush to slip-slap the sealer onto the canvas. (The product is thick and milky in color, but it dries beautifully clear on the surface. The texture you can create with the application adds to the beauty of the finished piece, and it almost makes the acrylic paint look like oils.)


    Pumpkin Bouquet Pattern #1
    Pumpkin Bouquet Pattern #2
    Pumpkin Bouquet Pattern #3