Learn how to paint this adorable set of three gnomes celebrating the new year! This acrylic painting tutorial is demonstrated on an 11 x 14 canvas with acrylic paints.
Enjoy and happy painting! Happy New Year!!!
- 11 x 14 Canvas
- Acrylic Paint
- Traceable (optional)
- Graphite Paper (optional)
- Pencil & Eraser
- Water Cup
- Black POSCA Paint Pen (optional)
- Cadmium Red Medium Hue
- Cadmium Yellow Light
- Cerulean Blue
- Prussian Blue
- Deep Violet
- Mars Black
- Titanium White
- Unbleached Titanium
Download This Tutorial!
You can purchase the PDF printable for this tutorial which includes different size traceables, instructions in PDF format and video download! Find out more here!
This painting was done using Liquitex BASICS acrylic paint.
Using Craft Paints?
If you are using craft paints such as the Apple Barrels, I would suggest substituting with these colors:
- Flag Red
- Yellow Flame
- Bright Blue
- Purple Iris
The video will show you how to draw the gnomes. However, you are welcome to use this traceable to transfer to your canvas! The PDF file is optimized for an 11 x 14 canvas. You can click on the picture of the traceable and use that to resize to any canvas size.
Directions At A Glance
Step By Step Instructions
1. Draw The Gnomes Or Use Traceable To Transfer To Canvas
If using the traceable, print it out and tape the two sheets together. Place a sheet of graphite paper below and trace the image to transfer it to the canvas. If you do not have graphite paper, you can apply pencil to the back of the traceable and transfer that to the canvas.
If drawing the gnomes, start by drawing three ovals in the middle of the canvas. The ovals are spaced apart accordingly (see picture below).
Draw a pointed hat above the nose of the middle gnome.
Then draw a curve hat on the left and the right of the gnome. Note the bottom of the hats hug the tops of the noses.
Then draw the beards so they are about the width of the hats and curve down to a point towards the bottom of the canvas.
The gnome on the right has a mustache. I drew that under the nose but above the beard.
Then draw ovals for the feet just under the beards.
Tip: use a t-square ruler to make sure the feet are lined up at the same level.
Then draw two curved lines for the pants/robes above the feet and on the side of the beards.
Draw balloons on the left gnome. Draw his hand holding the strings of the balloons.
Draw a champagne glass on the middle gnome towards the bottom of his beard. Draw small mitten hands on each side of the glass.
Draw a curved shape for the hand on the gnome on the right. Draw a diagonal line for the sparkler.
Draw a wavy line behind the gnomes.
2. Paint The Background
Load your palette with “Prussian Blue” and “Mars Black”. Use your 3/4″ flat wash brush and your #4 round brush to paint all the negative space around the gnomes. Loosen the paint with water so that it is thin. Paint in expressive strokes going in different angles.
Use the round brush to help go around a lot of the curved shapes.
Paint around the balloon shapes and the areas between the gnomes.
If desired, paint the sides of the canvas using the 3/4″ flat wash brush.
3. Paint The Snow
Rinse your 3/4″ flat wash brush. Load your palette with titanium white. Paint the ground area under the gnomes’ feet white. Note that the “horizon line” is a little wavy.
Then, without rinsing the brush, add a small amount of Prussian Blue to the tip of the brush. Gentle blend some of the Prussian Blue into the ground area so that there are some shadowy areas in the snow. Try not to over blend.
4. Paint The Noses
Load your palette with unbleached titanium and a small amount of cadmium red medium hue. Mix about 5 parts the unbleached titanium with 1 part red. This will turn the beige color more of a rosy color.
Paint the noses with the #4 round brush.
5. Paint Hats & Balloons
Then paint the left hat with silver (or other chosen color). Paint the left balloon with the silver as well.
Paint the middle hat with “Deep Violet” or other chosen color. Add a small amount of white into the hat for “color variation” and let it gently blend with the violet. Paint in curved strokes in the middle of the hat to create some “form”.
Paint the far right hat with cerulean blue. Note: you may have to mix some white into the cerulean blue to make it brighter and provide enough “contrast” against the dark blue background.
6. Paint Beards
Make a very light gray on your palette by mixing a small amount of black with white. Use your round brush to paint short, curved strokes going downwards to form the texture of the beard.
Load your brush in different amounts of the white and gray for color variation. Continue to paint short, curved strokes going downwards. Paint the entire shape of the beard and make sure it goes to a point on the bottom. You can paint some of the texture so it goes over the background a little.
For the middle gnome, I made his beard slightly darker by adding a bit more black to the gray. Paint the beard using the same technique. Vary the color by adding light gray and white into the beard.
Then paint the beard on the right so that it is the same lighter color as the beard on the left. Paint the mustache so that it is slightly lighter than the beard (so that it stands out). Do the mustache in contouring strokes so they go in the same direction as the shape.
7. Paint Robes
Paint the robes/ paints with the same color as the hats (or different color). For the gnome on the left, I did his robe gold for more “contrast” than the silver. I also used the gold to paint the balloon on the right.
8. Paint Designs On Hats & Balloons/ Paint Shoes
Use titanium white to paint the curved, diagonal stripes on the hat in the middle. Paint small texture “x strokes” on the bottom of the hat for fun texture. Paint a “starburst” fuzzy ball on the top of his hat using titanium white.
Then add gold on top of that white for the hat textures (you don’t have to cover all the white).
Then paint circles on the hat on the right.
Paint the shoes with mars black. Add a little black on the textures on the hat in the middle.
Then add some black texture lines (only a few) onto the beards.
Paint the stars black.
Add a little black on the bottom of the hat above the nose for “contrast”.
Use a black POSCA paint pen for the “2022” and spots on the gold balloon. If you don’t have a paint pen, you can use a sharpie or black paint and a brush.
9. Paint Hands & Balloon Strings
Use unbleached titanium mixed with some cad red medium hue to paint the hands.
Paint the strings with titanium white and a small amount of mars black. Use the very tip of your brush to paint a thin, straight line to the hands.
10. Paint Shadows
Water down a small amount of Prussian Blue to a water color consistency. Use the round brush to paint thin horizontal lines under the shoes of the gnomes to create their shadows.
Paint white highlight curved lines on the tops of each of the shoes.
11. Paint Champagne Glass
Paint the shape of the champagne glass using the round brush and titanium white.
Then add gold in the middle of the glass for the liquid.
Add a small amount of black to the rim of the glass.
12. Paint Snow And Fireworks
Paint small white dots around the sky for the snow but leave room for the fireworks.
Paint the fireworks using the #4 round brush. Start in the middle of the firework. Drag each stroke downwards and release the pressure of the brush so the paint goes to a point.
Paint as many fireworks as you want around the sky.
Then wait for that white to dry. Paint a color over the fireworks. For the yellow fireworks, I used cadmium yellow light. For the red fireworks, I used cadmium red medium hue. When you paint the color over the fireworks, you do not have to cover all the white.
13. Paint Middle Gnome Hands & Sparkler
Paint a smaller firework next to the right gnome’s hand (for the sparkler he will be holding). Paint small mitten hands for the gnome in the center on each side of the champagne glass.
Use a black paint pen to slightly outline the hands. Draw a diagonal line for the stick of the sparkler.
Paint some highlights using titanium white. Paint a white mark on the gnome’s noses. Paint a highlight mark on the left side of the balloons and a few white lines on the left sides of the hats.
Sign your name and show it off!