Painting a pumpkin with watercolors

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Painting a pumpkin with watercolors. A truly magical season for the surprising colors that nature offers us, colorful landscapes that are transformed visibly. Everything around us is preparing for winter; you can hear the crunch of leaves under your feet, the foliage of the trees is colored with a multitude of earthy and amber shades kissed by the sun’s rays that begins to set earlier the air becomes sparkling.


I love this period and, even if short, I try to enjoy every moment of it. Today we will dedicate ourselves to painting a colorful autumn composition. Furthermore, we will participate in the excellent challenge of October with our formidable Watercolors!


Let’s paint an illustration with a pumpkin

First of all, I got, like every year, a nice pile of dry leaves with ocher shades that I love to scatter in my studio and have on hand to create an authentic autumn atmosphere.

If you haven’t done so yet, I suggest you go in search of some leaves.

But I’ll tell you more if there is one thing I look forward to in autumn: it is the return of the pumpkin. Pumpkin is the ideal subject for a painted table with a decidedly autumn flavor!


The material we will use in this article

Their high chromatic vivacity characterizes Watercolors. Ideal for experimenting with the properties of watercolor in its various techniques.

The high brightness of the tones distinguishes colors that combine tradition and innovation. Let’s find out what you need today:

We will also use a selection of three brushes from the Princeton Neptune line: Punta Tonda size 4″, Punta Oval Wash (Cat’s tongue with tip) Size ½,” and Punta Round size 12″. The measures are expressed according to the American scale, but you will also find all the information in millimeters on the product page and drawing ideas.


Let’s start with the pencil drawing of the pumpkin

Painting a pumpkin with watercolors

Let’s start immediately with the preparatory drawing of our composition: I placed a beautiful pumpkin with rounded lines in the center with a nice stalk that I then framed between leaves of different sizes and shapes, berries and acorns typical of the undergrowth.



We welcome the Autumn Palette: the colors I selected from my Pantone (strictly made with Maimeri Blue Watercolors). Today’s tutorial starts from warm Yellows up to the most intense Earth colors.

Let’s start with Giallo Trasparente 122, and this tone is ideally diluted with water (on a palette) to make the base of the pumpkin and leaves.

With the Punta Tonda measuring 12 “, paint the base, which will be the first layer of color to paint the following ones.



After drying the first layer of Yellow spread with light glazes in such a way as to create an effect of transparency, letting the texture of the white sheet shine through, let’s move on to the second color: Yellow by Nikel Titanium 109.

Dilute some color with water, use a palette and always with the Punta Tonda size 12″ paint the second layer of pumpkin color. It doesn’t matter that the color is spread out evenly, so let it spread out in a completely unexpected way.


When painting the second layer of color, it is necessary to leave some portions of the pumpkin lighter. This step determines the roundness of the pumpkin with curved shapes.

If we painted the entire surface of the pumpkin with Yellow of Nikel Titanium 109, covering the Transparent Yellow in its entirety, we would no longer have the effect of stratification. For this reason, it is essential to leave out some of the weak areas, which will become the weak points the brightest spots on the pumpkin.


At this stage, load the edges of the individual segments more and then spread the color on the surrounding surface with light brush strokes.

Proceed with the Yellow of Nikel Titanium 109 for the leaves you have previously painted with the first layer of Transparent Yellow. Next, define the edges and part of the leaves by denoting a contrasting color effect. The result of these first two steps will be highly brilliant, thanks to the intensity of the Maier Blue Watercolors.



Let’s now pass to Cadmium Yellow 0832, with which we will define the surface of the pumpkin with the typical orange tone of the pumpkin. For this phase, a brush change is foreseen: here, we will use the Oval Wash tip measuring ½” with which we can work on the information and cutting.


The brushes of the Neptune by Princeton series can absorb and retain a lot of water that will constantly release during the brush stroke. As you go to paint the individual segments, leave some of the lighter and define the edges with more color in such a way as to bring out the different rounded volumes.


The same procedure applies to the leaves on which we will paint the third layer of color with Cadmium Yellow. Again, the ½” size Oval Wash tip is indicated for preparing the funds but can also be used to finish the details. With this brush, you can define the individual leaves with enormous naturalness.



It is known that during autumn, the leaves change color, and that is why this season offers us one of the most formidable scenarios in nature.

Thanks to the multitude of colors, we can indulge ourselves in painting leaves in different tones than usual. In this case, I chose to paint some reddish leaves. By mixing Magenta Quinacridone 186 and a hint of Sepia 486, you will obtain a burgundy red to paint the leaves on the right of the pumpkin and create a chromatic contrast.


We have come to the end of our autumn-flavored table

All that remains is to immerse yourself in the undergrowth with me and paint your version of pumpkin and leaves. We are waiting for your creations, and do not worry. We will be back soon for the following tutorial with a winter and Christmas atmosphere.

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