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How to Paint an Easy Pumpkin Canvas with Step by Step Instructions for Beginners

One thing that always adds the perfect touch to fall decor is some awesome art. There are so many great subjects to paint, and pumpkins are a great one because you can display them at the start of fall and have them out all of the way through Thanksgiving. It’s much easier than you thing, and I swear, you can paint a pumpkin canvas with just a few simple steps of painting shapes in this step by step tutorial and it’s a great subject for beginners!  I am going to show you how easy it is just by painting letters of the alphabet and we are going to jump right in with paint, no sketching or drawing first!
How to paint a pumpkin canvas no art skills required

To paint your own  pumpkin canvas you just need a few supplies !!! The video below shows a bit more of the process,and I also show you how to under-paint to give your painting greater depth. While this is how to paint a creamy white pumpkin, it’s easy to apply this technique and pick different paint colors to make  an orange, green or even blue pumpkin.  Whatever color palette you pick, have fun with the process, you can always paint over it! I can see how much my painting has improved in just a few years with practice. You can find supplies here, or go to the supply list below. Also, if you want to add a cute owl to your artwork, check out these cute coloring pages from the Graphics Fairy. One has a sweet owl that would be so cute to add to your pumpkin painting, you could use it as an outline.

A painted pumpkin canvas DIY
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Supply List
-Acrylic paint or craft paint is also fine to paint with you don’t need a fancy paint set
-A flat brush size  3 or 4 and a flat wash brush
-A cup of water
-paper towel for drying brushes and mixing paint
-Something to mix paint on like  a paper plate
A painted pumpkin cavnas
You can also watch videos here of how to paint with a palette knife instead of a brush for a more rustic looking pumpkin on  a black background.
Adding paint to paint a pumpkin canvas background

When painting a pumpkin on a canvas, think about it as painting a series of shapes instead of the entire thing at one time. It makes it so much easier that way to be relaxed about painting. Remember, pumpkins don’t grow symmetrical either, so if yours is a little lopsided, that’s perfect!

Start by just squirting some dollops of the blue and white on the top 2/3 of the canvas and blend your strokes with the wash brush.
Painting a pumpkin canvas background
 As I blend the paint together, I can adjust the background. If I want it lighter, I add more white, and if I wanted it darker, more blue or sometimes even a touch of burnt umber into my blue to deepen it a little.
Painting the base of a painting on a canvas
 Then add the Burnt Umber to the bottom third of the canvas to create a surface for your pumpkin painting to “sit on”. This creates a wood background look for a tabletop. It’s ok if some white pops out from underneath, this gives it some texture.
Painted background for a pumpkn canvas
Let it dry before jumping into the next step so the paints don’t blend or become muddy.
How to paint a pumpkin using the letter C
 When you canvas is dry, take some of your white paint and  your flat paintbrush  and  paint a “C” shape over both the blue and brown ares you’ve already painted.
Starting to paint a pumpkin shape
 Then do the same on the opposite side, painting a reverse “C” shape. The will create the outside edge of the pumpkin. If you want a taller pumpkin, stretch them up and make them closer to each other.
Painting the pumpkin shape with half circles
 At the bottom,connect them with a little bump and then make a smaller “c” on the inside. These brushstrokes will give you the shape of your pumpkin and create the pumpkin “ridges”.
Painting equal C shapes for how to paint a pumpkin
Repeat again with smaller C’s on the inside, connecting then in the middle. The middle C’s of your pumpkin canvas painting actually form to kind of a football.
USe the letter C to paint s pumpkin shape
And you have your pumpkin shape!!!  The rest is just painting in the basic shape of the pumpkin!
Fill in between the painted C's
 Take more white paint and start filling in the first section.
painting C's to create the shape of a pumpkin
 When you have completely filled in one section,without cleaning your brush, pick up a dab of green and follow the outside edge all the way down. This will give your pumpkin some definition against the white background as you paint a pumpkin canvas.
Use green paint to add a highlight th the pumpkin
 Wipe your brush off,Then take a dab of brown(burnt umber) and follow the inside edge to add some darker shading and depth.
Painting brown to define the pumpkin
Fill in another section,Then go right behind it with another dab of green. Can you see the shape emerge with the layers of paint?
Use green paint to define a pumpkin rib
 Continue this way all the way around. You might notice as I fill my colors mix a little and that’s okay. It gives the color some shadows and depth. If it feels too “shadowy” go back over it with the lighter shade of paint.
Paint the ribs of the pumpkin in a c pattern
Once your pumpkin is filled in you’re ready to paint your stem, and shade the bottom of the pumpkin to anchor it to the table.
Step in painting. apumpkin
Grab some brown with your brush and shade the bottom.
Use burnt umber paint to add a shodow under the pumpkin
Just brush it on in an upward motion until it’s blended how you like it. If you feel the brown is mixing in too much, let it dry a bit and go back and go over it with a little white paint.
Create shadows underneath
 Sometimes with paint it’s good to take a break and assess what works and what doesn’t work.
Painting a pumpkin on a canvas
 Once that’s dry, the painted pumpkin canvas is  ready for a stem!
Add white highlights to the top of the rind
 Take a bit of green and just follow the edge at the top of the pumpkin. The more uneven the better. Painting a pumpkin is not about perfection.
Mix white and green to paint the stem
 Then, pull your paint up and taper a bit as you go. Stems should be fat on the bottom and skinny at the top. Think about it as painting a triangle shape.
Paint a triangle to make a green stem
 You can stop here to look like a green fresh stem, or you can add a little brown paint to make your pumpkin stem look older and a little more dried out.
Add a low light to the back of the pumpkin stem
Add brown paint to the “underside” of the pumpkin stem to darken it and add a shadow.
Add brown to the stem


Add paint it on the entire underside. I did darken my pumpkin under the stem area a little.

Add brown paint to the top to define the pumpkin ribs

 Then you can add with I call “Old stem squiggles” by just looping your brush in a curly-que.
Use brown paint to add a curlicue on the pumpkin
 Once you are done, you can figure out if you want to add anything else. For Halloween you could add a jack o’ lantern face.
I decided to go back and darken my top a little to accent it more, and at some point I smeared brown paint on the blue, so I decided to work with it and smear some brown on the canvas.
Add brown paint to the top to define the pumpkin ribs

How to paint a pumpkin canvas

 You can also add a touch of white to highlight the stem a bit.
Adding highlight to a pumpkin stem
 And let dry! You have your own custom pumpkin canvas! When decorating for fall, it goes perfectly with my fall collection of pillows!
Painted canvas for fall
If you don’t want to paint your own, you can buy a pumpkin pillow and canvas here!
Fall Cinderella pumpkin pillow Jennifer Rizzo
Happy Painting!
Easy canvas to paint a white pumpkin DIY
A painted pumpkin canvas DIY
It makes such a great statement piece over a mantle or buffet.And you can do it in any size you like!You can also sit with the kiddos and pull out the paints and have a fun afternoon as well. If your looking for a few fun fall crafts, you can make your own twig wreath from branches from your yard,  paint a pumpkin topiary, or make a twine wrapped pumpkin.or even paint  a pumpkin pillow!
If you like this post, you might also like:
How to paint a winter scene printable art by Jennifer Rizzo


Monday, Sept. 9th Shannon @ http://www.foxhollowcottage.com
Wednesday, Sept. 11th Jen @ https://jenniferrizzo.com
Thursday, Sept. 12th Kristin @ http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com
Friday, Sept. 13th Maryann @ http://www.domestically-speaking.com
Monday, Sept. 16th Kristin @ http://www.yellowblissroad.com
Tuesday, Sept. 17th Vanessa @ http://www.atthepicketfence.com
Wednesday, Sept. 18th Heather @  http://www.settingforfour.com
Thursday, Sept. 19th Mary Beth @ http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com
Friday, Sept. 20th Becca @http://www.adventuresindecorating1.blogspot.com
Monday, Sept. 23rd Kristen @ http://www.ellaclaireinspired.com
Tuesday, Sept. 24th Angelina @ http://jojoandeloise.com
Wednesday, Sept. 25th Courtney @http://www.frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com
Thursday, Sept. 26th Debbie @ http://debbie-debbiedoos.com
Friday, Sept. 27th Kim @ http://sandandsisal.com
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*This was posted Via Jennifer Rizzo. com


  1. I am new to your site, and it is wonderful!! I am going to try this even though I’m a horrible artist. You make it look very “do-able”. Would you mind listing your exact color names/brand that you used?

    Thanks for the inspiration, Steph

  2. You are most generous in sharing your painting skills – wonderful tutorial – thank you. I have a canvas just waiting for this project. Judy/Texas

  3. Oh I’m soooooo going to be trying this!! I’ve always been intimidated by painting but really want to give it a go. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome tutorial Jen AND for showing off this gorgeous art! πŸ™‚

  4. I have a girl’s weekend coming up and I am trying to think of a craft. This is exactly what we will do while sipping wine. Thanks for the great step-by-step tutorial.

  5. This is so pretty, Jennifer. My little guy loves to paint and I may try this with him or let him do it on his own. Wonderful and easy to understand tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Amazing job, Jennifer. One of my “talents” is that of decorative painting, and unfortunately, it is very hard for other’s painting to impress me. Your pumpkin looks fantastic, though, and is even better knowing that it wasn’t an extremely difficult project. The white pumpkin against the blue background is very eye catching. And the brown paint that you “smeared” on was the perfect final touch. Beautiful!

  7. Thank you, Jen, for the inspiration to try painting again! I just spent the evening following your step by step and I must say my pumpkin actually looks cute! πŸ™‚ It turned out so well & my husband & daughter were so impressed! πŸ™‚ It only turned out so well because of your wonderful tutorial!! That was so much fun!! Hope you’ll post more painting tutorials!!

  8. Thank you Jen for this project! I found it on Pinterest. I have recently challenged myself to put my pins into actions and your pumpkin was my first pin I actually completed since! I love how It came out and you are correct, you don’t need art skills to complete! THANK YOU for these easy tutorial! Fall here come!

  9. Jen, thank you for this wonderful painting tutorial! The white pumpkin is lovely (great change from orange….genius!)) & the colors are so simple & soft. I do decorative painting on furniture, but have never attempted anything on canvas. I will try my hand at painting it this week, just picked up all my materials & I am really jazzed!! Thanks for all the creativity in your Blog, and I am enjoying following you on Pinterest!
    God Bless,
    P.S. Please do additional painting tutorials, we need your inspiration & creativity!

      1. Well I completed it! It turned out really good, but could have been bigger on the canvas. I put it on a high shelf with various sizes of white ironstone pitchers on each side. It looks FAB. My friend Jodie is begging me to give it to her, maybe I will have to paint one just for her. Who knows, maybe I will attempt more art on canvas! (Right now I am redoing the paint design on my coffee table for an update & change. This is the 3rd design in the last 14 years, I love it each time!!) Again, I must say ,keep the projects coming! I feel very inspired…

  10. Thank you. Looking to do this with an orange…would I keep the greens and browns in the pumpkin? Love your instructions.

  11. Greetings from Canada Jennifer … I am new to pinterest and just had a wee peek at the tutorial you did for the painted pumpkin on canvas. Thank you for your creativity and for sharing such a lovely gift. You made it look possible to do and I intend to give it a try very soon.

  12. This is amazing thank you for posting this! I finished mine today and have it hanging in my entryway, looks amazing! I love the fall and the colour twist you put on it!

  13. I attempted this today and although it doesn’t look nearly as good as yours, I’m still very pleased with it. I invited my mom over and we made an afternoon of it. We loved the easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Thanks!

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