Buffalo Plaid Rustic Pumpkins
This is one of my favorite fall paintings! My original Buffalo Plaid Rustic Pumpkins painting I created on an 18×18 pallet board my husband made for me. I love these pumpkins painted on wood because it adds to the rustic feel, but I will show you how to paint these pumpkins full of texture on canvas in this tutorial.
I am using a square canvas, but you can make this easy fall painting on any canvas size and shape. All the texture is created using a palette knife, but you can use a brush using the same steps I have in this tutorial if you want to.
In this buffalo plaid rustic pumpkin painting tutorial, I add many layers of paints. If you ever feel like it’s just not working for you or getting muddy, stop what you are doing, and take a break. Grab a hairdryer if you need to, and dry the paint before you add more.
I encourage you to step past that fear, jump into action, and not be hard on yourself. Painting is enjoyable. It’s therapeutic. For me, when I start painting, I stop thinking about all the things in the world… and I feel like we could all step back from everything that’s going on right now, just for a bit, and do something for ourselves.
- Any Brandy: Gray (optional), Black, White, Dark Brown, 2 Shades of Orange, and Metallic Gold
- Craft Smart: Wine & Sage Green
- Americana Deco Art: Cotton Candy, Dark Hauser Green, and Bahama Blue
How to paint easy buffalo plaid
Alright… I am going to cheat on this buffalo plaid! I will not be painting my canvas white, and instead will be using the white of the material to keep this painting tutorial simple. If you want to cover your canvas’s texture or are painting on a different surface like wood, you will want to cover the surface with white and let it dry first.
If you have seen any of my painting tutorials, you know I am not about perfection. I am not going to tape off my stripes of the buffalo plaid, and will just be eyeballing the distance between. This makes the perfect rustic stripe backdrop.
The 1″ flat brush is the perfect width for my stripes. Starting on the edge of the canvas, paint vertical lines all the way across. For nice smooth strokes, make sure to have enough paint on your brush.
You can make them any thickness you’d like, but make sure the white space between is roughly equal to the width of your gray stipes. If you are using a smaller painting surface, make narrower lines, and if you are using a larger canvas, make them a little thicker.
Once you have all your vertical stripes, it is time to do the horizontal ones. Starting on the top edge and with the same technique as above, work your way down. If you want to, you can skip the area where your pumpkins will go since we will be painting over the top.
You will notice that all the cross points will be darker because of the layering. With a small amount of black paint on the same brush, paint over those darker square cross-sections to make them even darker.
Forming the pumpkins
Next, decide where you’d like your pumpkins to be. They should be different sizes and staggered. With white paint on the 1″ flat brush, outline your pumpkin shapes. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect at first. Trust the process. It will all come together.
Many people say their pumpkins look like apples… and they sort of do, just a little wide and shorter.
Then, fill in the pumpkins with a thin coat of white paint. Add a little gray to the small pumpkin’s inside curve, so you don’t lose its shape.
Don’t continue to layer on the paint. When acrylic painting, you want to make thin layers that dry between to keep it from turning gloppy. If you can see the plaid through, that is ok. We will be adding many layers to these textured pumpkins.
Now, you can add an orange layer of paint to your pumpkins. Start with your larger pumpkin in the back. It’s ok if you paint into the small pumpkin some because when you paint in the little pumpkin second, you can overlap it.
I like to use a darker orange base for the large pumpkin and a lighter orange on the small one to give it variation and dimension.
When the orange paint is drying, use dark brown and black paint on a #2 round brush to make your stems.
I know that at this point, the painting isn’t looking how you want it. The paint is translucent in some places, and maybe you can see some of the buffalo plaid through the pumpkins. It’s ok! We are still just getting the base on.
This buffalo plaid rustic pumpkin painting is just that, rustic. We will be going over these pumpkins with some palette knife painting to add even more texture too.
With the small round and mix of brown and black paint, very lightly outline the edge of your pumpkins. Following that same curve, add your inner grooves.
Remember, the less pressure you apply, the thinner the line will be.
I wasn’t satisfied with my inner grooves the first time. You can see how I played with the shape and fixed what I didn’t like in the video.
Palette Knife Painting Pumpkins
This is my favorite part! I love the look of all the scrape-y texture palette knife painting brings.
With a palette knife loaded with both orange paint colors, start to fill in the pumpkins around the groove lines. I even add a little white to my smaller pumpkin.
You can see my tutorial about palette knife painting HERE. Think of it as icing a cake. Hold the knife so that the bottom is parallel to the canvas and lightly scrape the paint on. There is nothing perfect about palette knife painting, that’s for sure.
This is just the beginning. I like many colors in my paintings, and you can see that I added a lot to this one. You don’t have to use the colors I do. Choose any colors you like and truly make it your own.
Now that you have a good base, very lightly drag more colors in, without a pattern, just bouncing around. I add a burgundy, blue, and pink! Take your time and only add a little bit at a time.
Add some texture to the stems too.
Flowers and Leaves
With a palette knife and the green colors, paint leaves near your pumpkin stems.
Around the base of the pumpkins, let’s paint some palette knife flowers. They are messy and loose rosettes. We call them Christie flowers 😄
Load your palette knife and make a circle or two where you want flowers. Add in some texture with a few strokes of other colors using circular/curved motions. Then add a circular center and a few leaves. Check out my palette knife flower tutorial HERE.
Of course, I have to add gold accents! With your favorite gold paint and a palette knife, scrape gold around the edges of your background. Then add a pop to your pumpkins and flowers too!
Watch the Easy Buffalo Plaid Rustic Pumpkins painting tutorial
If you are interested in learning fundamental acrylic painting techniques, check out my 4 part video series – Basics in Acrylic Painting!