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  • Amy Zander

Who Doesn't Like a Little Mouse?

I was busy working on a class project sample of solid wood pumpkins. While I was waiting for the paint to dry a little so I could move on to the next step, I thought I'd add a little fun to the back of one. So what else can I paint on a pumpkin? A mouse of course! They like to burrow and create homes in lots of things, so why not a pumpkin? I penciled him in and switched my paint colors on my palette. To achieve depth and texture, lots of layers are required. I always start with black and work up from there. He is going to appear a little funky before he comes to life. So here we go!

I painted the hole and mouse black then added an orange edge on the right side of the hole to give perspective. I had to look up what the inside of a white pumpkin even looks like! Is it orange like a regular pumpkin, white or something else? It's orange! As long as I had orange paint on my brush, I gave him a couple of hairy brushstrokes. Next layer was a tan, then on to shades of brown and whites. A brush with a small amount of bristles was used. Over and over, the brushstrokes are filled in. Acrylic paint dries pretty fast, so I could just continue adding more layers and hair. I didn't rinse my brush off until I got to the white. I just kept painting small, thin lines.

He is starting to appear! EEk, kind of looked like a wolf for a few seconds! The only way to get the appearance and depth of fur, is to paint on layers. I must have added 6 layers already!

By this point, I am paying a little more attention to detail. Longer strands of hair in front of his ears, darker strands around his neck, body and chin. Yes, the layering continues! I've lost count. I painted in his eyes so I could start adding hair around his eyes. Red paint was added to my palette now. I mixed my own shade of pink for his nose area and toes. Honestly, I've been mixing my own colors the entire time! I didn't have a model in front of me, so I'm back on line, looking at a mouse's features. They are pretty cute!

The last layers were painted and details were added. I finished his feet, added whiskers and a few random hairs to give personality. The final step is to paint on the shadows. They are a very important part to getting the perspective and depth right. I watered down a mixture of black and brown paint to get the perfect color. There is probably more water than paint. The shadow was added behind his ears, under his head, around his eyes, under his toes and whiskers plus around the left side of the hole. Whew, I think he is done! It is very hard to call him finished and set the paint brush down. To be honest, the following day I did add a few white

Well, needless to say the paint is now dry on the original class pumpkins that I was working on! I think that Mr. Mouse is an adorable addition to the white pumpkin. Time well spent. Ok, back to work!

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