I have gleefully painted windows for a couple of decades. Learn about my technique and decorate your windows this holiday season!
Painting Pumpkins And Other Creepy Stuff
Halloween art is a great way to attract ghoulies and goblins to your festivities and share your favorite images of the season.
Pumpkin paintings are bright, colorful images, and can be very entertaining. They can be painted in a natural shape or decorated with facial features. Their Jack-o-lantern faces can be sad, happy, scared or ghoulish. These are wild Halloween decorations that will amuse and frighten your visitors in a good way. The creepy stuff would be Grim Reapers, spiders and webs, grave stones, or black cats.
You don't have to do this specifically on window glass like I do. You can use this technique on what ever you see fit. Create Halloween art on fabric banners, tee shirts, or on wooden or cardboard signs for your yard. Where ever you think they would look best is up to you. Painting Halloween art is one of my very favorite decorating projects as you will see in the images and tips below!
Images and designs M Burgess. Please, Do not copy for commercial use, thanks!
Pumpkin Paintings - For Decoration
We are going to need a few supplies for pumpkin paintings and other Halloween art decoration. You will need some ideas to help you along and a couple of bottles of paint for your project. The books below will give you some great face shapes and expression detail ideas. There are a variety of styles and marvelous features you can use here.
Pumpkin decorations have endless possibilities.
The bottles of tempera are what I would use on glass. Use acrylic for wood and fabrics. Start with a face idea so you know what shape to make your pumpkin. A highly detailed jack-o-lantern would need a wide area for features where a fall pumpkin can be large or small and anywhere in between. You won't be detailing beyond the highlights and outlines. Leaves and vines would be the detail work.
You will need orange, black, white, green, and yellow for most pumpkin designs.
Using A Pattern For Pumpkin Painting
Before Painting A Pumpkin
Or Any Decoration Use A Template Or Pattern
Using a template or pattern before you start applying paint will prevent you from a ruined project. Just like taking notes for research, patterns and templates assist you in a final image design. You know what you want it to look like and setting a template up ahead of time gives you a mock up of the final work. You can see where you want your details and what works and what will not.
Do this if you chose to paint instead of carving your pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern. Drawing the shape of your pumpkin out first helps you place your design.
The outlines on the template above can guide you in setting the details you need for the complete image. Place the eyes carefully where they are balanced on the face. Add a nose and mouth and other facial features that you would like to include.
This template is a squatty, little pumpkin shape. It is one of my standard forms. I do them round or tall oblong or squarish, too. I would decorate these with faces for Halloween or leave them plain and natural looking for a generic fall theme. I will sometimes tie Halloween and Thanksgiving together so the windows can be decorated up until I take off the paint for the Christmas decorating season.
What To Do
After You Have Your Pattern
Trace the outlines of your image on a piece of material or glass after you have constructed the design template or pattern. The most predominant color would be the first paint to use. Leave some of the template lines showing so you don't lose the details in a case like a jack-o-lantern painting. This would help you find your details after applying the base coat.
If you want to do this on a plywood, poster board, or cardboard for a cutout, trace the image out and cut around the outside of the template form.
Once you have your template set and the outline traced on the object you are painting - start applying the main color. Let it dry. Always let paint dry. This will always be the best tip you will ever learn when working with paint!
The additional colors can be added after the base coat dries. If you are painting a jack-o-lantern, move to the facial features. For a natural pumpkin, outlines and leaves would be your next steps.
For the natural pumpkins I use a line of either darker orange or a yellow tint. I sometimes feather in the colors while the base coat is still a bit tacky. This adds some shape and form to my paintings, but you may use a plain black line if you wish. Add splashes of green in leaf shapes and outline them.
Painted Pumpkin On Window Glass
Halloween Flag - An Excellent Pumpkin Image
In the image from this Halloween flag you can see how the artist used red to outline and detail an excellent pumpkin image. Depth is added with white where the cut out features are and yellow where a candle glow drifts out of the jack-o-lantern. This is a great image for a 3D effect.
Take a few ideas from commercial design images and take away details you can use for your art.
Halloween Art Creepy Details - Ghouls And Spiders
That pumpkin is terrified! The image here has him scared of the spider and it is one of my signature designs. Halloween art can be very creative. This was a greeting for one of the clubs I used to drop by now and then. The fun of doing Halloween art is the many images you can incorporate into them. The Grim Reaper here is obviously part of the graveyard and the pumpkin adds a splash of color to the entire scene.
The delicate strands of the spider web can be painted with a single stroke of a paintbrush. Mark a spot you want a web to stick to and use that as your beginning end or the center. Draw a few lines radiating out of it and then use a scalloped line to create the web itself. This design touch can be used to interlace words or letters and added in between objects for extra creepiness!
The point of this kind of decorating is to add your own flair and shapes to the favorites of the season.
The grave stones can be cut out of plywood and painted with acrylic paints so you have your own cemetery scene. Set them up in the front yard and lay a few mummies or pumpkins around them. Decorating ideas are endless for Halloween. There is so much to choose from!
(Someone taped paper with other words to the grave stones before I took the picture so I had to correct the image a bit!)
Happy Halloween Banner - Painted Window Greeting
Halloween art can be very colorful and fun to design. Painted decorations are great ways to share your holiday with neighbors and trick-or-treaters. Experiment with different shaped pumpkins and images. Decorate with smiley guys or vampires. Imitate your favorite themes and have a Happy Halloween!
Guestbook Comments - And Review
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on October 10, 2013:
@Art Inspired: You are welcome! Thank you for your visit. =)
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on October 10, 2013:
@smine27: Thank you for your comments, smine27. It takes a lot of practice to do things like this. Just start doodling and sketching and in a few weeks, ya never know.
Art Inspired on October 10, 2013:
Thanks for sharing your great ideas and talent. Make it a creative day!
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on October 10, 2013:
What a great idea. May I say that you are also a very talented artist. I could never draw that good. Cognratulations on the purple star!
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on July 22, 2013:
@OhMe: Thank you! I have to plan for holidays all year because of my paintings. And you are right -- they do sneak right up on you!
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on July 21, 2013:
Great ideas. Halloween will be here before we know it
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on July 19, 2013:
@Ruthi: Thank you, Ms. Ruthi! It is easy and the results are really fun! =)
Ruthi on July 19, 2013:
Great tips for window painting for Halloween. You make it seem simple enough even for a beginner like me.
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on July 17, 2013:
@askformore lm: =) Why, thank you for the visit! Appreciate your comments!
askformore lm on July 17, 2013:
Thank you for a fun Halloween Lens! It was nice to be amused instead of being scared.
Maria Burgess (author) from Las Vegas, Nevada on July 16, 2013:
@Scarlettohairy: Thank you!
Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on July 16, 2013:
Cute ideas for Halloween painting!