Back in art school, one of my favorite things was learning about artists of the past. I love seeing their effect on art history as the first to make certain techniques popular. For Halloween this year, we were inspired some of my favorite artists to create these art pumpkins! They each use different techniques and make for a fun learning lesson with kids, too! See how we made them...
(These are items needed to make all five, but you can use less if you're only making one style of pumpkin)
- white spray paint
- tissue paper
- mod podge
- glue gun
- drop cloth
- paint brushes, small and medium
Here's how to start them:
1. Spray paint the entire pumpkin white for a good base coat. For our Warhol-inspired pumpkin, we went with a black base instead of white.
2. To finish with a gold stem, first paint with gold acrylic paint, and let dry for 5 minutes. Next, paint on a layer of mod podge and sprinkle with gold glitter.
Henri Matisse was a French artist known for his use of color and fluid shapes. After being diagnosed with cancer late in his career, his ability to paint became limited so began creating art with paper cut-outs and decoupage.
1. For a Matisse-inspired pumpkin, cut out fun abstract shapes out of colorful tissue paper.
2. Gently paint mod podge over each shape to adhere to the pumpkin and layer until complete.
Andy Warhol was a well-known for his pop art. He used lots of mixed media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, and sculpture.
1. For our Warhol pumpkin, use a thin paint brush to paint white grass over your black base coat.
2. Then, using a glue gun, glue on colorful foam flowers.
Alexander Calder was a sculptor known for inventing the mobile. Known for his use of primary colors and wire figures, his work was always whimsical and sculptural.
1. To make this Calder-inspired pumpkin, first sketch a pattern inspired by his mobiles onto the pumpkin. Then paint with acrylic using a thin paint brush to create the black outline around the loop shapes and fill in the shapes with color.
2. Cut gold wire pieces anywhere between 10-15”. You will want to have varying lengths as well as varying sizes of loops that you create.
3. Bend a loop at one end of the wire and close by twisting the wire around itself.
4. Trace the loop on card stock and cut out to make the wire loops.
5. Use a hot glue gun to glue the card stock onto the loop, then insert the wire pieces into the pumpkin as you like!
Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionism and considered one of the most prolific of the era through his expression of nature.
This Monet pumpkin is the most detailed of the batch. Print out one of your favorite Monet paintings for inspiration and easy reference and try to recreate some of the textures and shapes onto your pumpkin. It can also be helpful to make a quick sketch before hand. We used both medium and small paint brushes to help create texture.
Jackson Pollock was a painter highly regarded in the abstract expressionist movement and well known for his unique style of drip painting.
For our Pollock-inspired pumpkin, we got the whole Oh Joy office involved! This pumpkin style is great for those who worry about perfect lines because this one is completely at the whim of your drips.
1. Over a drop cloth, splatter, and drip paint onto the pumpkin—there are no mistakes!
2. Finish it off by sprinkling glitter and confetti over the paint while wet.
Finally, place them out on your front steps or porch (or even on a bar cart indoors) for a creative take on your fall pumpkin this year!