Pumpkin painting combos 1. Ultramarine blue + burnt umber for a great black. (no black from a tube!) 2. Cadmium yellow medium + Naples yellow = a nice highlight color above an eyebrow or above a lip. 3. Cadmium red medium + cadmium orange = rosy cheeks, nose, or ears 4. Burnt sienna + cadmium red medium, applied under the eyebrows or below the bottom lip for the sense of a shadow on the pumpkin’s skin. Or makes spooky smudges under the eyes!
One of my family's favorite creations was this pug pumpkin, or pugkin, a Halloween version of our dog, Ralph. To attach the eyes and ears, we made holes in each gourd with a hammer and nail and used pieces of wire coat hanger to join them (an adult's job). My daughter Zoe suggested we give it a tongue. We painted a leftover piece of pumpkin red and placed it in the mouth. The perfect finishing touch!
Lining the driveway with large pumpkins can get expensive, so we buy a dozen or so sugar pumpkins. These small squashes cost much less, plus painting them all fills up the kids' time. To give them more character, we cut slits for their mouths (an idea that came about one year when we didn't have time to carve full pumpkins). The little fellows end up looking fantastically creepy. We paint the interior of the mouths dark brown to give them extra depth.
Since we like to decorate in early October, we found that our jack-o'-lanterns were looking pretty rough by October 31. So instead of carving early in the season, we paint faces on one side of the pumpkins; then, as we get a couple of days away from Halloween, we carve the other side for the big night.