I’ve been in a crafty mood lately and when I saw some really cute painted pumpkins on the cover of the October Family Circle Magazine, I decided what the hell, why not?
For me painting a pumpkin is about 2,430,872 times easier than carving. I am really good at digging all the goo out from inside once the lid has been cut, (and it’s kind of fun) but carving? No way. I’m pretty sure I would cut a finger or three off since I am rather prone to knife wounds.
Of course when one thinks of crafts one wants to do, then one must think of all the fun things one must buy to create said crafts! I think deep down buying things is the only thing I never get sick of on earth. I will buy ALL THE THINGS for a hobby I get interested and then as soon as I have everything I need, I lose all interest in that project. Story of my life.
But back to pumpkins.
So what I needed was pretty simple. A. Pumpkins B. Acrylic paints and C. Paint brushes. I got everything I needed, except for pumpkins, at Michaels.
I decided to go for the Artist’s Loft paints since they were less expensive than most others. I bought the standard black, white, orange and red shades, but also a metallic black and iridescent white.
Also I already had some acrylic paints from Martha Stewart that had a pearl finish, so I used these for one design.
Another one from Martha Stewart I used, also from Michaels.
I bought a couple new brushes (the black handled ones) and then we had some Artist’s Loft brushes already. I really liked the black handled ones, they are soft, apply paint more evenly and don’t shed, like the Artist’s Loft ones tend to. Just like with nail polish and applying makeup, brushes make all the difference in the world in how something comes out.
I first decided to do a simple skull look. This was kind of inspired by both the magazine I was referring to and Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas.
I first drew on the shapes I wanted with a pencil. For me that’s the only way to go with this kind of project because it’s not easy painting directly onto a pumpkin. I used one coat of the regular black and let it dry. Once it was dry I added the black metallic on top. It’s not really easy to see the metallic on camera for some reason though.
I knew I wanted to do a sugar skull type design also, so I looked up some designs online for ideas. I combined a few different looks I saw to create this design.
First I painted the pumpkin with two coats of the white paint. The white is rather streaky and not opaque (gee, just like white nail polish) so it took some patience getting it as even as I could. Finally the next day I painted the whole pumpkin with the iridescent white to make it slightly shimmery.
Once that was all dried I drew the design on with a pencil. Then I started painting it all in.
There were some serious lessons learned here though. One is that the iridescent white is a little hard to paint over. It tends to sheer out other paint colors for some reason. So the purple I used around the eyes and teeth refused to be become opaque. Also, the Martha Stewart paints I was using for the gold and blue are all metallic, so painting metallic on iridescent wasn’t working that great. I had to go over everything three times to get it to show up decently.
And finally, because things weren’t standing out like I wanted, I went over some areas with a black Sharpie marker like the outline of the fleur de lys, and the eyes, nose and mouth areas.
Then I painted another pumpkin completely black. The black paint is really nice and dark so I only needed one thick coat. Then after that was dry I went over the whole thing with black metallic paint.
The black metallic paint posed the same problem that the iridescent one did. It’s really hard to get anything opaque and even looking when you paint over it. So I did orange and white polka dots all over but they didn’t come out as nice as I hoped! Each of these took three coats and they are still really streaky and uneven. Drat. Then I decided to add a black dot in the middle of each one with a Sharpie. I now hate this pumpkin and think it looked better just all black. Oh well, lesson learned!
This is my step-daughter’s design. She made hers more of a fall theme with the different colors and leaves. I love the chevron print!
This is Mr. VV’s masterpiece, almost complete. Needless to say, I think we know who the real arteest in the family is. 😉
Have you ever painted pumpkins?