Painted Pumpkins make Awesome Art!



We are all having a great time with our Fall and Halloween themed activities at school these days.  It’s really helpful to tie learning to topics that the kids are excited about!  Yesterday and today we worked on ‘Pumpkins at Night’.  This was the first time I had done this project and the results were amazing.  I’m so proud of all the little artists in this class.

I promised the students that I would share these picture right away so that they can show them off at home!


I found the idea for this project on a great website dedicated to art for kids.  You can find the instructions here at Deep Space Sparkle.  There are some nice step by step images.

Materials Needed:

large (12×18) heavy weight paper

black oil pastel

red, yellow, blue tempera paints

white or yellow chalk

large black construction paper

paint brush


The Steps:

1.  Have students observe and discuss a real pumpkin.  Note the shape and the bumps and lines.

2.  Have students draw a large pumpkin.  We made ours by drawing an oval in the middle of the page and then two crescent shaped bumps on either side.

3.  Have students draw some leaves in the spaces left on the page.  Everything will be cut out so explain that placement does not matter.

4.  Paint the pumpkin.  This lesson focused on mixing colours so we painted our pumpkins yellow and then (without cleaning the brush :-O ) began to add some red and mixed it right on the page with the yellow we had already used.  With the tempera paint that we had, we found that you need to alternate adding more yellow, then more red and mixing it with long stroked that follow the shape of the pumpkin.

5.  Paint the leaves.  Follow the same process as the pumpkin but this time start with yellow and then add blue.

6.  Leave these out to dry (We let them dry overnight and finished the project the next day).

7.  Cut out the pumpkin and the leaves.

8.  Use a piece of chalk to add highlights to the pumpkin.

9.  Glue the pumpkin to a large piece of black construction paper.  We wanted to have a 3D effect so we glued some thick corrugated cardboard (you could try some cotton balls or scrapbooking double sided foam sticky squares) to the back of the pumpkin and then glued the pumpkin to the construction paper.

10.  Place and glue the leaves.  We placed some in front and some tucked behind the pumpkin.

11.  Use your chalk to add stars and a moon to the sky.  You can use your finger or kleenex to smudge the moon and stars.

Voila!  They are gorgeous and these photos don’t do them justice!

In this art lesson, students learned (reviewed) mixing colours.  We also talked about the word ‘highlight’.  Students learned about highlights on objects.  We also talked about the weight of an object and placement of objects on a page.

We had so many comments on these pumpkins from other teachers and students!  I think that every student felt very proud of themselves today! 


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