Acrylic Painting: How to Paint a Pumpkin on Canvas with Acrylic Paint for Beginners | Elle Byers | Skillshare

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Acrylic Painting: How to Paint a Pumpkin on Canvas with Acrylic Paint for Beginners

teacher avatar Elle Byers, Artist and Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Pumpkin Intro & Supplies

    • 2. Sketch Your Pumpkin

    • 3. Blocking in Color

    • 4. Layering Colors

    • 5. Paint the Negative Space

    • 6. Finishing Touches

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About This Class

Welcome to my class, "How to Paint a Pumpkin with Acrylic Paint on Canvas for Beginners!"


In this class I teach you how I painted this small pumpkin painting on a 6x6 inch canvas step by step.  

Here are the supplies and paint colors I used for this painting:

6 x 6 inch canvas 
palette paper 
paint brushes (I used flat brushes sizes 6, 12, and 1/2 inch)
water to clean your brushes 
paper towels 
acrylic paint

Paint Colors:
Primary Magenta
Titanium White 
Hansa Yellow Medium 
Turquoise Phthalo 
Raw Umber
Carbon Black

If you create a painting inspired by this class, I would love to see it! Click on the "Projects & Resources" tab to upload a photo of your work! 

You can find all of my Skillshare classes here: 

You can also find me here:





Meet Your Teacher

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Elle Byers

Artist and Teacher


Hello, I'm Elle Byers. I'm an artist and a teacher.  My favorite medium is acrylic paint and my favorite subject is flowers!  Check out all of my Skillshare classes at the bottom of this page. 

If you want to see what I'm up to on a daily basis, you can follow me on Instagram.  My available paintings can be purchased on my website, 

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1. Pumpkin Intro & Supplies: Hey everyone, I'm L And today I'm gonna teach you how to paint a little pumpkin painting like this with acrylic paint. I used a six by six inch canvas. You will need some sort of palette. I'm using pallet paper. I used some flat brushes in a variety of sizes. I also used a pencil to sketch my pumpkin onto my canvas at the very beginning. You'll need some clean water to clean your brushes off and maybe some paper towels. I am using six different paint colors today. I am using carbon black, raw umber, Hansel yellow medium, turquoise, and titanium white. And I'm also using primary magenta. I will list all of the paint colors and supplies that I am using below the video in the About section. 2. Sketch Your Pumpkin: I am going to start off just sketching with my pencil here. I'm gonna make an imaginary sort of table that might pumpkin is going to sit on and there will be a shadow underneath the pumpkin. If you look at the reference photo, it is dark or under the pumpkin. And I really just want to get the basic shape. Probably make it bigger as I paint. I'm really doing this for the placement of the stem because I think I could paint the pumpkin. Okay. But the stem I don't want the stem to be on top, right? I want the stem to be coming from a boat down down here, maybe lake. Not a third of the way down, but a good amount. But I'm just going to try to sketch the basic shape of it like that. And what I'm going to pay attention to as I'm painting, if you look at the photo, I'm wanna pay attention to these areas that are a little bit darker and the areas that are a little bit lighter. So around my stem is darker. And then I have some shadows going and misdirection little bit in that direction. But big shadow here. Kind of another one here. Darker line shadow, and then a bigger one there. So I do want to pay attention to that as I am painting. I also notice that there is a legal weight or very light streak going back in that direction. So I want to make sure that some of my brushstrokes are going off in that direction. And then some are coming down forward. Maybe the stone will be a little bigger. Sketch doesn't need to be perfect because you can correct all of this as you're going along. I'm gonna grab my paint and I'm going to start mixing. 3. Blocking in Color: First thing I'm going to do is grab some brown and black and put in some darker areas. That's the black. And only using a tiny bit of black, I'll use a little brown also when I paint my my paint my pumpkin to make some darker reds and oranges. And I'm just going to put in a few of the lines that I see on my stem. If the black and then I'm going to use a little brown down here to outline. And I'll leave some of that white so that I can add in some greens and yellows as well. But that is a good start, right? You think I'm also going to add some turquoise, true? My palette. And I'm going to, I'm going to mix a little bit of brown into my turquoise to kinda desaturated a little bit. And I'm going to have my shadow under my pumpkin. Be this blue brown polar. You'll notice that the shadows not Street, it does sort of cut into the shape of the pumpkin a little bit. So you don't have to make it a perfectly straight line. I'm going to go out, grab a clean brush now and work on my darker reds, which I will add a little brown into me, reds and way Orange. And grabbed my size 12 brush to start. And I'm going to take just a tiny bit of that raw number. And that will kind of deepen my, my red here. And I'll add in a little bit of yellow. And it's kind of giving you a little bit of a brown shade. I'm going to use the darker colors in the areas on the reference photo where I have some shadows. And I'm gonna try to be careful to have my brushstrokes going in the direction of the lines of the pumpkin. I don't want every line coming all the way forward. Some of them need to go toward the back into the sides. And every line doesn't need to go top to bottom either. When you look at the photo, you'll see that right here is pretty dark and then it lightens up as it goes down. So I'm trying to pay attention to things like that as well. And it and a little more brown. I don't want everything to be the same color. So this might seem weird for a pumpkin right now, but hopefully it will create more shadowy areas and the end, some dark right here. And I'm going to be careful around this blue because it'll make my C. I got some blue on there now it's turning my orange green. So I'm just going to wave my brush. I probably should've let that dry first. And I'm gonna just add more color. Everything is kind of looking the same shade. So I'm going to add in a little white and start to lighten some things up. And I'm still paying attention to the direction of the lines on the pumpkin. It looks lighter to me over here. Don't worry about keeping your pumpkin round because you can fix what you don't like when you paint the negative space at the end. Keep adding in different shades of red and orange. Try to stay not completely true to the reference photo, but make sure you keep your areas of light and dark. Now that I have my whole pumpkin covered, I'm going to let this first layer dry. It definitely looks a mess right now. This is not how I'm going to leave it and we're going to add that at least one or two more layers of paint, possibly even three, to get some of these areas blended a little better. While the pumpkin, while this layer of the pumpkin is drying, I'm going to switch back over to my stem. I'm going to try to fix the shape of my stem a little bit. And the mixin, some blues and greens. I like to exaggerate the color on my paintings. I know it looks sort of like a and the reference photo, but I don't want to do Beach. So I'm gonna go with a little green to start. Where are the stem is cut? It's a little bit lighter, so I'm going to dab on some 0s, like a yellowish green. Maybe a little too braid. Tone it down. I'm adding a little white and try to make a lighter shade of green for our, my highlight. One area on the low reference photo in the stem where everything is a lot lighter. And if you wanna D saturates out a little bit, you could put a touch of red, just adding in a little blue to make it pop a little more. All right. I'm going to stop fostering was that and I'm going to let the whole painting dry for a good five or so minutes so that I am able to paint on here without mixing any of the greens into my oranges. 4. Layering Colors: Pay next, I am going to layer more of my pumpkin. And I'm definitely going to reshape it a little bit when I added my negative space. So I'm not worried about all these areas where it's not smooth enough for me. What I'm gonna do for this layer is just tried to mix a bunch of different shades of orange and yellow and red from just these three colours. I want to focus more on adding highlights and shadows. So I'm gonna do some very, some very dark. I'm using my psi is 12 brush. I'm trying to pay attention to the direction of the lines on the reference photo. Layering dark over dark and light over light. Seems to be a, a little more of that ELO down toward the bottom of the pumpkin. And Graham a clean paper towel. Too much paint on my brush. So I'm just going to wipe it off a little. Keep going. Trying to work in fairly thin layers. And I feel I could starting to come together a little bit better. No. Legs at different streaks of red and orange. Trying to make it a little lighter and the bottom, I think I'm going to let that dry. I think I like it. I'm never really sure until it's dry. So what I'm gonna do next is work on my negative space and then figure out if I want to add any finishing touches to my pumpkin. 5. Paint the Negative Space: I am going to grab a bigger brush. This is about a half-inch. And I'm going to use some grave for the background here like the wall and then a little bit more of a blue-gray down here on the, what I'm calling the table area. Mixing a little of my carbon black and my turquoise. You really only need a little of it. Because I know at all overpower the weight. I'm going to bring the paint or the bottom and the sides. What my shadow to be a little jaggedy looking. We're gonna take a smaller brush real quick and just kinda go over the shadow a little bit more like that. And then I'm going to use that same bigger brush to add in some more grey to my wife. My background is not going to be solid. I want it to be a little more shadowy, so I'm not going to, not going to blend my my paint. I want it to look a little streaky. If you look at the photo. Pumpkins not a perfect circle. The stem isn't a straight line. So it's okay if you get some some of your background color cuts into your, your stem in your pumpkin a little. I like the way that looks a little. What's the word? A little wonky, I guess. And then on this side I'm going to use a little more black to give it more of a shadow would look like my little pumpkins so far, I hope you do too. I'm going to let my painting completely dry. Well, it's trying. I'm going to look at it and see where I need to add any finishing and finishing touches. I might need a couple more highlights, so I'm not sure yet. 6. Finishing Touches: K, Everything is mostly dry. A couple of things that I want to do, I could leave it like this. I would be happy with it, but I like to, I always just keep tinkering with my paintings. So I'm gonna do just a little more. I want to touch up and I guess that's too light or I wanted to touch this up a little. I thought maybe my shadow was a little too big. And I like that a little better. And then I'm going to grab a clean brush and just touch up the sides edges of my pumpkin. I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave the stem alone. I paint here still a little bit wet. I just wanna do a little bit more layering. Lighten things up a little over here. I'm going to use a smaller brush for a minute and get some of my some of my lines going in the right direction. I do like this little highlight right here. I think I'm going to stop in a minute because I'll probably overdo it. I hope you enjoyed this painting tutorial today. If you paint your own pumpkin or if you paint something from one of my other tutorials, I would love to see it. You can upload a photo in the Projects tab below the video. You could also tag me on Instagram and my Instagram name is Elle buyers art. And if you would like to be notified every time I post a new tutorial, click the follow button, which should be right over by my name. Alright, I'm calling this one finished. Thanks for watching.