Learn how to paint an adorable Valentine’s Day Gnome!
I originally wasn’t going to make a matching “couples” painting out of this design but it sort of evolved after doing the girl gnome! If you wanted them to be closer together you can draw or transfer them closer to the edges of the canvas so they match up. But I think they look adorable just like this!
I will be demonstrating in this tutorial how to paint the girl version. The boy is the exact same background and techniques. You would just draw him differently or use the different traceable.
This is a third in a series of holiday specific gnome painting tutorials I’ve been releasing and there will likely be more!
Enjoy and happy painting!
- 11 x 14 Canvas
- Acrylic Paint
- Cup Of Water
- Optional Traceable
- Optional Graphite Paper For Traceable
- Pencil if you are drawing gnome
- Titanium White
- Mars Black
- Light Portrait Pink
- Unbleached Titanium
- Raw Sienna
- Quinacridone Magenta
- Naphthol Crimson
- See full tutorial on www.stepbysteppainting.net for instructions!
Looking for printable instructions?
This tutorial has printable instructions you can purchase in my PDF Shop.
Directions At A Glance
Step By Step Directions
1. Paint the background
Position your canvas in vertical mode. Use a ruler to draw a straight horizontal line on the bottom (about 3-4 inches from the bottom).
Next load your palette in the three colors: light portrait pink, titanium white and unbleached titanium. Use a 3/4″ flat wash brush for this step.
Load your brush in water and pat dry. Then “triple load” the brush in the three colors. You will be painting “X” style strokes all throughout the canvas (above the line) to create an abstract background.
These three colors combine to make a beautiful pastel-like background. You can control how much pink or white or beige you would like to see.
Fill up the entire canvas blending the three colors together but do not blend all the way. Create areas in the background that have different variations of the three colors. Keep this layer of paint thin and slightly watered down.
2. Paint the ground
Then completely rinse and dry the brush. Load your palette with “quinacridone magenta”. Use the 3/4″ flat wash brush to paint left and right horizontal strokes on the bottom.
Feel free to add some white or other colors from your palette into it.
Wait for your canvas to completely dry before going to the next step.
3. Draw the gnome
You can choose to hand-draw the gnome or use the traceables. If you are drawing, use a pencil and lightly draw the nose in the middle area of the canvas.
Then draw the bottom part of the hat so that hangs above the top part of the nose.
Then draw the rest of the hat all the way to the top of the canvas and have it point downwards to a point.
I decided to draw a heart on the tip of the hat. Then draw the gnome’s hair. Start with two large curved areas that gather to almost a point and draw the hair-ties.
Then draw the bottom tips of the hair.
Next lightly sketch the robe and have it go all the way to the bottom and overlap the pink area.
Draw two ovals for the feet under the robe. And then draw the sleeves and hands.
Next lightly draw a heart (or whatever you would like her to hold).
4. Paint the nose, hands & hair
Use a #4 round brush and the colors: unbleached titanium mixed with a TINY bit of raw Sienna. The raw Sienna will darken that beige color a bit. You want it to be darker than the background so it doesn’t blend too much into it.
Then completely rinse your brush. Paint the hair strands titanium white. Make sure your #4 round brush goes in the curved direction of the hair (painting the strands vertically).
Then mix a little gray on your palette. Use your round brush to paint light gray strokes in the hair.
Note: You want the hair to stay light for the most part, especially if you will be painting the robe gray. If it is too dark, it won’t stand out against the gray color of the robe.
Then paint the little hair-ties. I did this with the color: naphthol crimson.
5. Paint the robe & shoes
Next mix a medium gray on your palette by mixing about 3 parts titanium white to 1 part mars black. Use a #8 round brush to paint the robe of the gnome. Make sure the bottom of the robe drapes over the shoes.
Paint the shoes mars black. Additionally, I added a few darker black streaks in the hair to give her hair some more texture.
Also paint the edging on the sleeves with titanium white.
6. Paint the hat
Use a #8 round brush and quinacridone to paint the bottom edging of the hat that rests above the head and nose. (You can customize the colors in your hat if you want).
Then, without rinsing your brush, add titanium white to the #8 round brush that has the quinacridone magenta on it. The white will mix with the quinacridone magenta to make a lighter magenta color.
Paint in curved inverted strokes all up the hat. I chose to not have my two colors mix all the way and stay “unblended”.
If you want the hat to look like it has “folds or wrinkles”, create some lighter pink areas (or darker) simply by adding more white or magenta to your brush. Then paint the edges and have the lines kind of curve on the hat.
Then paint the heart. I did this with naphthol crimson.
7. Paint the heart & designs on robe/ hat
I did the heart with a light magenta color (same as the hat).
Then paint the designs on the robe. You can customize this area by painting hearts or leaving it blank. I did zig-zag and various line patterns. Paint this with a #4 round brush and titanium white.
Then I painted small white hearts on the hat.
8. More fun details!
I did small polka dots on the heart on her hat and white spirals on the heart she is holding. Additionally, I added a highlight on the top of her nose as well as the shoes.
Add shadow under the shoes by watering down some red and black to a water color consistency. Use any brush to paint left and right strokes under the shoes.
Then paint the heart strings in the upper left corner. The strings were painted with black. Then each heart was painted a different shade of red and pink.
That’s it! Sign your name and show it off!