Summer Gnome Painting Tutorial

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The gnome is back! This time he is chilling on the beach with a beach ball, surfboard and adorable crab!

This painting tutorial will demonstrate how to paint a beach scene with gnome.

Looking for the gnome series?

Check out these tutorials that feature the gnome:

Enjoy and happy painting!


Yield: One 11 x 14 Canvas

Summer Gnome Painting Tutorial

Summer Gnome Painting Tutorial

Learn how to paint a summer gnome step by step with acrylics on canvas.

Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Difficulty Easy



  • Titanium White
  • Mars Black
  • Pyrrole Red
  • Primary Yellow
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Bright Aqua Green 
  • Unbleached Titanium 
  • Burnt Umber


  • 3/4" Flat Wash
  • #8 Round
  • #4 Round
  • #4 Bright


  1. See tutorial on for instructions!

Color Palette


Directions At A Glance


Step By Step Instructions

1. Paint The Sky

Use your 3/4″ Flat Wash Brush and the colors: cerulean blue & titanium white to paint the sky. Load your brush in both of the colors and paint left and right strokes. You can have the white and blue mix together to a solid color or leave it “unblended” so the colors look a bit “streaky”.

The “horizon line” of this painting is about 6″ down. You can either use painters tape, draw a horizontal line or use a t-square ruler to line it up on the side of the canvas to help paint the straight line.

2. Paint The Ocean

Load bright aqua green with a little bit of titanium white. Paint left and right strokes the same way you painted the sky.

Paint the ocean almost all the way down the canvas. Then paint a curved line towards the bottom (about 3-4 inches from the bottom). This will be the shoreline. Paint everything above that shoreline with the aqua and white but leave the rest of the bottom blank.

3. Paint The Sand

Load your palette with unbleached titanium and a little bit of burnt umber. Mix about 5 parts unbleached titanium with 1 part burnt umber (to darken the sand color a bit). Paint the entire area below the shoreline with this dark sandy color.

Note: I left my sand/brown color a little unmixed to give the sand color a little color variation.

4. Paint The Waves (keep is simple!)

Next rinse your 3/4″ flat wash brush off and dry. Load it into titanium white and water it down slightly (so it will be a bit translucent).

Paint small textured/rounded strokes along the shoreline where the sand and water meet.

This white will overlap the water and the sand.

Keep these waves simple! They are in the background and do not need to be realistic or too detailed.

Then paint a few white horizontal lines on the ocean water here and there using the tip of your 3/4″ flat wash brush.

5. Paint The Sun

Next paint the sun using the tip of your index finger (alternatively you can use a round brush for this). Load your finger with a small amount of primary yellow (wipe off a little bit so not much is on your finger).

Press and form a circle for the sun.

Let the paint run dry as you form the circle (the paint will get blurry). You can go over it with a second coat of paint to make it brighter.

Tip: add a bit of white into the yellow paint to make it brighter if the yellow isn’t showing up enough over the blue paint.

6. Paint The Clouds

To do the clouds, I used a #4 bright brush. This is a small flat brush. You can paint the clouds with any small flat brush or even a round brush.

Load the tip of the brush in titanium white and paint in circular strokes forming the shape of the clouds.

Paint these clouds very simple! No need to make them realistic or too detailed.

7. Draw the gnome (or use traceable)

Wait for the painting to completely dry before doing this step. You can draw the gnome free handed with a pencil or use the traceable that is provided with this tutorial.

Start by drawing a small oval for the nose. The placement of this nose is about in the middle of the ocean.

Draw the bottom of the hat so that it hugs the top of the nose and dips down a little on the left and right.

Then draw the hat so that it goes up and then folds down to a point.

Then draw the beard so that it starts below the hat on the left and the right and then dips down to a point. Draw the edges of the beard so that it is textured.

Then draw the sleeves on the left and the right side of the beard.

Then draw a circle for the beachball. Draw the hands so they overlap the beach ball. These hands are simple! Just do a larger arc and then a smaller arc for the thumb.

Next draw the pant legs and the feet.

Draw a strap over the feet and another curve line under the feet for the sandals.

Draw a small starfish hanging from the tip of the gnome’s hat.

8. Paint The Gnome Nose & Beard

Use a #4 round brush to paint the gnome nose with unbleached titanium mixed with a little bit of burnt umber.

Then rinse off the #4 round brush and load it with titanium white and a very very tiny bit of mars black. Paint the beard using long textured and curved strokes.

Paint around the beach ball (as much as possible). Paint the beard all the way to the ground where it goes to a point.

When you paint, you can add a tiny bit of mars black to it so the white turns slightly gray. As the white and black blend, it will create texture in the beard.

Continue to paint curved textured strokes.

9. Paint The Gnome Hat

Use the #4 round brush to paint the bottom of the hat with cerulean blue. Paint in a curved stroke to form the shape of the bottom of the hat.

Then load your brush in a little bit of titanium white. Use the tip of the brush to lightly outline the shape of the hat.

Then fill in the hat. I did stripes by alternating the titanium white and the cerulean blue. I did not rinse my brush between each stripe, I only wiped it off with a paper towel. This allowed some of the blue to mix with the white in each of the stripes.

Paint the stripes so they curve a little bit. Go all the way up the hat and to the tip of the hat.

10. Paint The Beachball & Clothes

Next paint the beach ball circle a solid coat of titanium white. Then paint the sleeves and pants with cerulean blue.

11. Paint Feet & Shoes

Use unbleached titanium mixed with a little burnt umber to paint the feet.

Then lightly paint white stripes on the sleeves and pants. Paint blue straps over the feet and a blue line on the bottom of the sandals.

Lightly paint white highlight lines on the left side of the hat (on the blue stripes too).

Paint a brown starfish on the tip of the hat. Then (optional) paint gray line textures on the beard.

12. Paint Surfboard, Crab & Beachball Details

Use the color pyrrole red to paint the crab. Paint a surfboard shape with titanium white. Then paint beach ball stripes with primary yellow and pyrrole red. Paint the areas of the beach ball so they are curved and go towards the middle.

Paint a black circle at the top middle of the beach ball circle. Paint blue areas on the beach ball (if you want!). You can also customize the colors on the ball.

13. Paint Crab Details And Slight Outlining & Gnome

Paint white circles on the crab with black dots in the middle for his eyes. Paint a white shell.

Then paint one side of the surfboard with gray. Paint the outer boarder of the surfboard with cerulean blue. Note: you can customize the designs on the surfboard!

Loosely outline some areas of the gnome so that some areas “pop” and stand out. You don’t have to outline everything, just some of the outer parts of the shape. For example, I lightly outlined the bottom of the nose, the under part of the hat and the bottom of the beachball circle. I also outlined the fold of the hat slightly.

When you do this outline, make sure you slightly water your black down so it will flow. Use the very tip of your brush to make a thin stroke. You can also use a tiny round brush for this step.

14. Paint Shell & Sand Detail

Paint bright aqua green diagonal lines on the surfboard. Then lightly paint brown wavy lines under the surfboard. Paint some subtle shadow lines under the gnome’s feet and under the crab. Loosely outline the shell with red mixed with white.

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