Home » crafts » How to Paint a DIY Deer Silhouette

How to Paint a DIY Deer Silhouette

How to paint a DIY deer silhouette… it’s so easy! Since deer are our sweet state animal and deer images can be used for so many other projects I thought it would be fun to show you how to paint an easy deer DIY and very easy for a beginner!!!

how to paint a deer silhouette step by step instructions

(this post contains affiliate links. See our affiliate and sponsor disclosure here.)

Welcome if you are coming over from Just a Girl!  We live in the great state of Illinois…the Land of Lincoln, corn, construction and cows! It’s also the land to the White-tailed Deer! As an homage to the state animal that almost took me and hubby out driving home last summer on the way back from a wedding  (It not only took off our side mirror,but scratched our windshield with it’s hooves, and scared the pee out of both of us.); I thought an easy deer silhouette was the perfect project!  Painting a deer silhouette is perfect for fall and winter decor, and once you learn this technique, you can use it for lots of other projects as well. Just like painting your own pumpkin!

Painting an animal silhouette is easier than you think such as creating this deer head silhouette table runner. To use as my base, I actually had a few vintage Illinois maps of rural areas from the 1870’s that I used as  a mixed media background. I copied them so I didn’t have to use the original…You never know when I am going to need another copy of Western Mound, IL. You can also paint a winter scene as a background as well.

To create this project, you’ll need:

a canvas or piece of wood. I just used an extra piece from another project. It measures about 11 x 13 inches.

-matte decoupage medium

-a background  piece like scrapbook paper or a vintage map(I have the printable for you at the end)

-Your silhouette(printable at the end.)

-2 brushes, a thin one for lining and a fatter one for filling

-acrylic paint of color choice

-distress ink

decoupage vintage map onto wood to make a mixed media art background in a deer silhouette

Start by decoupaging your background onto your canvas or wood piece.Here’s a decoupage tutorial here

Once your wood is decoupaged, and dried, you can transfer your deer image. Choose a copywrite free image to use and make a copy of it. Rub pencil across the back of the image and flip over. I have the actual silhouette for you at the bottom as a printable so you don’t have to do all that searching.

pencil transfer method

I didn’t have any transfer paper so I used the good old rub the back of the paper with a pencil transfer technique.

trace and transfer around the outside of your image to make a silhouette of the deer

Position it where you want it on your background, and press firmly with a pen to transfer the pencil to the decoupaged surface.

Painting in a traced image to make a silhouette diy deer painting

Once it’s transferred, you can start painting in the outline with your acrylic paint. I found that painting in the antlers first were the easiest.

paint in your deer silhouette with acrylic paint

I used a wider brush to fill in the deer’s body with blue acrylic paint, or any paint color of choice. You don’t have to stop at a silhouette. If you are feeling artsy, you can also paint in details of the face as well in your acrylic painting. If you want to add some of the deer’s fur, just make the lines a little choppy around the body.

Use an ink pad to age the edge of a map artwork

Once the deer was painted and dried, I took the distress ink and darkened the edges of the board . That’s one of those great tricks to add an aged look to a piece of artwork and explore creativity!

Paint a deer silhouette on a vintage map with a smaller faux deer on a map with a pumpkin vignette

I had this cute, little stag deer in my craft room that I thought it looked perfect  next to the art piece. They are adorbs together. It’s almost like a daddy and baby deer.

Plastic deer and deer silhouette

Here are the printables below if you want to do the project yourself. Including a vintage map printable.Just grab and copy.

Vintage map printable for art and mixed media

Just enlarge the deer print to the size you want.

Deer silhouette free printable for art and mixed media home decor projects

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you love your masterpiece and had fun with this deer painting tutorial!

Next you can head over to Amanda’s she lives in my neighbor state of Wisconsin!!! If you missed any of the states, you can start here are Infarrantly Creative!

If you’re feeling creative this holiday season, consider signing up for the Creatively Made home e-course {Home for the Holidays} and stop by and see my Fall Home decor in the Finding Fall Home Tour with Better Homes and Gardens!

Fall home decor and home tours
Finding home fall home tour



  1. Thank you for the great tutorial!
    Its in the nick of time as I prepare to use an old road map to cover the old back of a vintage metal cabinet room divider.

  2. I’m from Illinois too! 🙂 And I love you deer silhouette art. I agree, perfect representation of the state. I just did a silhouette art project myself, so I was extra excited to see yours 😉

  3. I’m from Illinois too but don’t know much about it other than Lincoln and the roller coaster politics! Thanks for the info and the great project Jennifer!

  4. IL!! WOOT WOOT!!! This is such a awesome project! I love it!! I may have to try it myself.. thanks so much for sharing now on to Wisconsin.. we have a love hate relationship LOL!!! Go Bears!

  5. I love this tutorial – easy peasy! The deer image will look cute at our lake house, and gives me ideas for other silhouettes. Thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.