Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

KIDS! How to Draw a Slightly Sophisticated Pumpkin for Fall

When I was in third grade I did not like my art teacher but he taught me one thing I will never forget--how to make a pumpkin look like it has dimension.

 That started a whole 3D thing for me--block lettering, perspective--but that is for another post. Back to the pumpkin. 

Like the title of the post says, this pumpkin is a bit more complicated than a cut-out orange circle and black triangle eyes. It shows dimension, color blending, shading, and highlighting. It takes a bit of time, but the results are worth it, especially for kids who like a challenge.

First, lightly draw an oval--any kind will do. Draw lightly at first because you may want to erase the guidelines later. Mine is a bit wide. 

Then draw a slightly crooked rectangle (technically a rhombus) for a stem . 

Starting at the bottom edges of the little rectangle, draw big curved lines to the bottom of the oval, keeping them a bit apart like this. 

As the lines get close to the edge, curve them to the side of the drawing. And then curve them toward the back, like in picture three.

You should see a bit of dimension now.

To make the stem look 3D add a small oval on top to indicate where it was cut. Many times the cut is not perfect so go around the small over and make jagged lines. Then curve the sides of the rectangle in slightly.

Now connect the curved lines at the bottom and the top, and also around the stem to indicate the shape of the pumpkin. Keep these lines pretty close to the original lines, if they are too curved the pumpkin looks fluffy.

These lines makes it more like a pumpkin and less like an oval.

It should look pretty pumkinish by now.

Then erase the original lines.

Notice the curved lines under the stem also. This also adds shape to the pumpkin and makes it seem plump and round.

To color use any paint you like, markers, or colored pencils.

I'm using colored pencils in several shades of yellow, orange, brown, ocher (a brownish-yellow, great for fall), and russet, (kind of reddish-brown). These are Polychromos by Faber-Castell. I LOVE these pencils, BTW. BUY HERE

First color with the yellows. Use the lighter shades first. Then move to light orange.
When shading use slightly darker colors in the creases and lines, and leave an area lighter if you like to show where the sun hits it. The darkest areas will be behind stem, at the bottom, and in the creases on the pumpkin and around the stem 

Light brown can be used to show shadow around the stem, at the bottom, and in the creases. Don't worry, the pumpkin is not perfect. Wavy lines or mistakes can sometimes add to the charm.

Use ocher, russet, and even some greens in the stem. Notice the lines in the stem that add depth and make it look a bit cracked. Some green can also be used in the pumpkin itself.

If you'd like to make your pumpkin into a Jack o'lantern, with a black pencil draw two triangles to indicate eyes. A triangle for the nose draw and a nice wide smiling mouth. You can even add a few teeth.

To add even more dimension, sketch in lines in the triangles on the left side to show depth. It's almost like you can see the inside of the pumpkin. Do the same of the curved side of the mouth and sides of teeth.

Or you can leave it just as you found it in the patch.

Voila! A pretty realistic pumpkin!

Now you can draw a few more--make them tall, or round, or even in different colors. Here is one done by a boy who followed the directions. It looks great, and very different than mine.

Show me what you make and how you decorate with your pictures.