These pumpkin face ideas use different art techniques to mix colors on your pumpkins. See the 3 easy techniques for adding fun colors to your jack-o-lantern drawings. These art techniques will work for any pumpkin activity.
In the first image, I’ve used some Maped brand Color’Peps Gel Retractable Watercolor Crayons. They are water-soluble so they can be blended with just plain water and a paintbrush. Other brands of water-soluble oil pastels or crayons will work for this as well.
What I like about water-soluble crayons or pastels is that they can be layered and blended with or without water. I started with a printable pumpkin outline that you can download for free at the bottom of this post.
I used a roll & draw page from Pumpkin Drawing Pages for ideas for the eyes nose and mouth. After I outline them with a Sharpie marker, I used a black wax crayon (Crayola) to color in the feature. The advantage of the wax crayon is that it won’t smear and also using a crayon instead of a permanent marker will save wear and tear on the Sharpie markers in your classroom. You could also color the inside of the eyes, nose, and mouth with a yellow crayon to give your jack o lantern a glowing effect.
Adding Color Layers
Next, I went over the pumpkin lines with a magenta gel crayon (Maped). This will give students a chance to experience a little primary color mixing. You could outline the stem with either green or blue. (Blue over yellow would also give students a chance to mix another secondary color.) Then just have students gently paint over everything with water to blend the colors.
In the example above I outlined with a blue colored marker, then pink.
(As you’ll see in the color mixing activity included in the Pumpkin Coloring Pages, (and the image below), to make a good purple, magenta or pink works better than red.)
The last image shows how it looks after I went over the marker lines with plain water.
The Color Mixing Activity Page (Included in the Pumpkin Coloring Pages)
The advantage of the technique shown above is that it is pretty easy and mess-free.
The only tricky part is printing on paper that will work for painting. I found that 90# drawing paper is the best choice. Cut the paper to 8.5×11 and print on it. Test out any paper you want to use first because some paper works better than others for getting the marker to bleed when wet. If a paper is too absorbent it just soaks in too quickly and doesn’t spread.
Add Some Writing
To work in a little writing activity, have students think of an adjective for their pumpkin face. Expressive Monkey’s drawing set and Pumpkin Coloring Pages comes with a page of adjectives that will get students thinking. Then students can do a little creative writing and explain why the pumpkin is feeling that way.
Pumpkin Face Idea #3
Washable Markers & Watercolor
The 3rd and final technique produces some vibrate colors. With all the techniques shown, don’t be afraid to try some non-traditional pumpkin colors.
You Can Use Coloring Pages
If you’d like a super-easy way to get started with your younger students, the Pumpkin Coloring Pages have pumpkins with and without faces (the blank pumpkins are just waiting for students to add a face using a single page of ideas).
Art Technique Steps
For this technique, I’ve outlined the pumpkin and stem with a green water-soluble marker.
Then I painted over the stem with yellow and pumpkin face with a turquoise blue watercolor. Mixing blue and green makes a blue-green, which is an intermediate color, along with yellow-green.
This gives the pumpkins a more intense color than just using markers and water. The marker mixes with the watercolor and produces an interesting painterly effect. Marker lines should remain visible (if students don’t overwork the paint) and give the pumpkin surface the illusion of vertical shadows in the pumpkin grooves. This technique also works best on a paper that is compatible with painting such as the 90# drawing paper.
I create engaging drawing resources that help students build confidence and express themselves through art. I'm a former elementary art teacher of 25 years turned business owner. Giving you the tools you need to bring more drawing into your classroom brings me joy.
I create engaging drawing resources that help students build confidence and express themselves through art.