DIY Rustic Gnome Painted on Wood
After the Christmas trees come down and the lights get put away, the house can feel kinda bare. It’s too early for all the spring colors to come out, so I like to keep winter decor up. This cute ol’ rustic gnome painted on wood is one of my favorites to set by my mantel each year, and I want to show you how simple he was to paint.
You saw how much I love to decorate for Christmas in my holiday home tour, but I do like to keep an eye out for pieces that work from the time fall comes down to spring. So many holiday decorations can be used all winter. Especially gnomes!
I am obsessed with gnomes! They are adorable… every time I see one, I can’t help but grab it.
A few years ago I painted this cute painting of 3 gnomes in a row and was inspired to keep painting them 🙂
I found this piece of Barnwood out in the garage a while back and decided it would be perfect for a gnome wood sign. It’s a 50-year-old piece of sycamore off an old hotel! I love its history.
Don’t be afraid to use a bit of paint in this project because the wood with soak it right in.
One of the number one mistakes made when acrylic painting is not using enough paint on the brush. Make sure you load it up. I give you a close up in the rustic gnome painted on wood video tutorial below.
I don’t do anything to prep or seal my wood signs. It is a personal preference.
If you find yourself a piece of scrap wood that is very splintery, you could sand it some first. But if you are going for a rustic look, do so lightly to keep the unique wood texture.
Make a Sketch of the Gnome
First, I sketched a simple gnome on the wood with chalk to see the lines up against the warm brown.
I like gnomes like this one because they are pretty simple to sketch. Start with a big stocking hat. You can make it bend or stand straight up. Add a brim and a pom on the end if you want.
Then, sketch the long beard. Attach it all the way up to the hat and down till it just grazes the ground.
Peaking from behind the beard, give him some dome-shaped feet and the little bit of leg that may be visible.
And finally, you get to decide if he will have a round button nose or something a little more distinguished. Sketch the nose just tucked up under the brim of the hat.
So cute! And you can make these little guys any shape and size you could imagine.
Paint the Gnome
Now it’s time for painting. You can use any color you like. I painted mine wearing a red hat with a fluffy white brim. This guy has a big ol’ nose peeking over his long salt and pepper beard.
Use a 1″ flat brush to hold enough paint to fill in the large portions. I use a tiny touch of black to change the shade of red for some shading.
On the white brim, I use some SnowTex for texture. I love the way it looks!
Snowtex is a painting medium that has a thick puffy texture to resemble snow with a 3D effect.
I scoop some out onto my palette and use a little bit of white paint or water to help it spread and stipple onto the painting surface.
Paint the black dome feet, soft peachy pink nose, and a gray beard.
I like to use a bit of yellow ocher to my whites for an aged look.
Adding a little darkness by blending in a pinch of black paint under his nose and hat gives depth to the painting too.
You can see in the video below how I create shadows and highlights to transform the rustic gnome painted on wood.
I painted my gnomes beard so long that you don’t even see his pants!
It’s really hard to make a permanent mistake when acrylic painting. Just let it dry and you can go back over and change what you want once it’s dry.
Full Gnome Painted on Wood Video Tutorial
You can put this on your front porch for winter decor or inside the house. Each year it finds its place in my winter decor. This year it is so cute on my fireplace!
I just updated my old red brick with an Easy DIY german shear, and the red gnome and wood tones compliment it so well! If you haven’t seen it, I just shared how I updated my fireplace, and you can find my faux german smear tutorial HERE.
I hope you get the chance to paint one of these cute gnomes. Visit my FB painting community and share what you make!