Painting a Patriotic Gnome

Today we are going to paint an adorable Patriotic Gnome. We had so much fun doing this last 4th of July, and I even have a template for you! That way, you don’t have to sketch your own Gnome if you don’t want to.

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When I was creating this Gnome idea, I practiced all of my tips for Creating Original Art. 

I had been painting my Americana Bicycle with my painting membership when I found so many cute Americana ideas and combined them into this easy Patriotic Gnomes composition.

SKIP TO VIDEO TUTORIAL

 Gnome on Mixed Media Pad The Social Easel

I am painting this quick little Gnome in my mixed media pad. If you are just beginning to paint, this is like a sketch pad for painting. The paper is thick enough it can handle all the paint and is perfect for practicing in. I paint full paintings in mine because I have a basement full of canvases! 

Favorite Painting Surfaces The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Try out your ideas in your mixed media pad first if you have any anxiety about painting on canvas. It can feel so permanent!.. But not in a mixed media pad. If you find that you absolutely love the work you have done in practice, the pages are perforated and can easily be torn out and framed.

Materials Mentioned

How to Draw and Paint a Patriotic Gnome

When you watch the video below, you will see how I dance around the whole painting as I work. Get all your base colors on there, then go back and finesse the finishing details.

As you work, if you have paint on your brush, think about the other locations that might be ready for the same color and paint those too.

Trace The Gnome

To begin, grab the gnome template HERE. The template I made is sized for a standard 8.5×11 sheet for easy printing and will work perfectly on an 11×14 mixed media pad or canvas. 

Use graphite paper to trace the Patriotic Gnome onto your painting surface. If you happen to be using a larger canvas, you could do a whole scene of fireworks all around!

Once you have your outline traced, you can go over the top of it with a waterproof pen or Sharpie for better visibility. When painting, it’s okay if the lines get covered. In the end, we will add an outline.

Paint the Night Sky

When I originally sketched this Gnome, I imagined a sky blue background, but then I came across all these fun firework paintings! So, I am switching things up and painting a dark navy background by using a blend of black and dark blue. I even mix in a bit of white in some areas for a slightly textured look.

Adorable Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

Blue paint sometimes needs a second coat. If you see some streakiness, don’t automatically paint over it again. It’s best to let your layers dry between coats to prevent it from pulling up the paint or getting gloppy.

Paint in the night sky all around your Patriotic Gnome. Leave a small section at the base for the ground, and paint that in with dark green.

Paint the Gnomes Beard

Now we get to move onto the fun part, painting the Gnome. His long beard has a few layers in it, so we want to start there first. I use a mix of silver and white to get a quick coat of coverage. 

With a touch of black, paint in some shadowing under the Gnomes face blending it down into the rest of the beard. 

Beard Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel Painting Tutorial

Once the first layer is dry, add in my brush strokes in different tones of gray and white.

I pulled out my wisp brush for another layer of hairlike texture. It’s a great alternative to the fan brush for achieving a separated look in those fine strokes. You can see the difference between the rake and fan brush in my blog HERE.

Paint Red Stripes on the Cap

I made this gnomes stocking cap big and droopy so it will fit all those patriotic things we love. I start with the red stripes on the brim and up the cap making sure to leave my spaces for the blue and stars. 

Paint in the Pinwheel

While you still have red in your brush, fill in the pinwheel. The festive pinwheel will be a whimsical addition to this Patriotic Gnome.

Supplies How to Paint a Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

Paint Red Stripes on the Pants

My Patriotic Gnome has red and white striped pants, so I added more red stripes here as I was painting the other red portions. 

Most red paint will take a second coat for full coverage so go back over dry areas if you need to.

Fill in all the White Stripes

Next, it’s time to paint in the white stripes. I chose a soft Buttercream offwhite. Don’t worry if your lines aren’t perfect! When we go in with all the accent lines at the end, it will cover those imperfections up. 

Paint the Blue of the Cap and Shirt

Because I used a dark navy for the night sky, I chose a bright blue to paint in the shirt and portions of the cap that will have stars. 

I mixed a little white with cobalt, and I think it’s the perfect patriotic blue!

How to Paint a Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

Finish Painting in all the Small Bare Areas

With a little bit of black paint, fill in the shoes. Then, use a skin tone to paint his hands and round nose. If you want a little rosiness, add a touch of red.

He is getting cuter and cuter as the page fills. Time to add in some details!

Finish the Pinwheel

To add some shine to this Patriotic Gnome painting, I will be using my gold paint pen. You could use your favorite gold paint and a fine liner brush if you don’t have one.

Pinwheel How to Paint a Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

I use the gold for the handle and to make some sketch-like lines around the pinwheel for movement. 

Then, dip the back of your brush handle into white paint and make some polka dots on the propellers. Next, paint in a small circle in the center with bright cobalt blue or white.

Gold Accents

I love gold accents and a draw accent line around my painting. Add a large gold star on the end of the cap.

details How to Paint a Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

Add Stars to the Cap

It’s time to add the white stars on the hat. I am freehanding these with a fine liner brush, but if you have a stencil that would work, you can use that too. 

How to Paint the Hat on the Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

My stars are a little wonky! They almost give it a rustic look. Polka dots would be cute too.

Create Sketch-Like Outlines

While you have the white on the liner brush, go ahead and add some outlines to your Patriotic Gnome. Use loose sketch-like motions and a light amount of pressure. The white makes everything pop.

Striped pant legs Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

Then, do the same with black paint. I like the texture of the three colors loosely sketched in an outline. Choose to use one or all three!

Add Stars in the Sky

There will be fireworks, but we want a little bit of twinkle from the stars in the night sky too.

With the back of your brush, dot on white stars into the sky. When those are dry, use your favorite glitter paint to brush all around them. This will look so good with the firework show on top.

Fireworks and Glitter How to Paint a Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

How to Paint Simple Fireworks

This little Gnome is out watching the fireworks. To paint fireworks, start with a center point to pull your burst out from in all directions.

Get more tips about painting fireworks in my blog, Fireworks Over Water.

You can paint them a solid or layer for a more colorful pop. I, of course, added a gold layer! I always have to touch up with more gold at the end. 🙂

Watch Christie’s Full Patriotic Gnome Painting Tutorial

I think this painting would be so fun as a family activity as part of your 4th of July festivities. 

I would love to see your Patriotic Gnome. Text “Hey Christie” to 417-217-7044 and show me what you are working on and share it in the Facebook Group!

Keep practicing and stay creative