How To Paint Christmas Cow

How To Paint Christmas Cow

Learn how to paint “Christmas Cow” with instructor Tracie Kiernan! This acrylic painting tutorial will guide you through the steps of how to paint a black and white cow with acrylic paints on canvas. As a fun, festive touch, you will also learn how to paint a Santa hat on the cow’s head and an ornament in her mouth! 

Don’t let this fool you, it is an easy design! I provide the traceable for you so you don’t have to worry about drawing the cow. Then you paint the design in using different techniques! There is no blending or shading except in a few areas and, as always, you can simplify things if you are an absolute beginner! 

Trace this design right onto your canvas! Easy Peasy!

I know there’s a few cow lovers out there because I’ve gotten at least three requests for a cow painting in the past few months! I chose to do a black and white cow because they are my favorite!  And I just love how the colors “pop” with the gray. You are also more than welcome to use it as a non-Christmas painting as well as to paint a different color cow. 

Enjoy and happy painting!


This post contains affiliate links to recommended products use for this painting tutorial.  

Materials List:


Go to PDF library to grab the download.

Directions At A Glance:



Step By Step Directions: 

1. Paint the gray background

This is an easy and highly effective technique for filling up a canvas with a mixed gray background. It’s “expressive” and extremely relaxing! Use a 3/4″ wash brush and the colors: titanium white & mars black. Double load your brush with white and a tiny bit of black.

Paint in cross-hatching and “x-style” strokes. Your colors will blend beautifully into a mixed gray color. Try not to let this gray be too dark or you won’t get enough “contrast” with the black of the cow. It should be a medium gray. 

The goal is to not mix the colors all the way but to create “interesting” shades of gray that blend smoothly and beautifully around the canvas. You may have darker areas and lighter areas. 

Try to smooth out your strokes so that no “sharp edges” from the brush is showing. However, it’s almost impossible to smooth out all the edges and it’s pretty when you see some of the strokes. Try to find a happy balance!

2. Transfer the cow design to the canvas

Wait for the paint to completely dry (about 20 minutes depending on the humidity level of where you’re painting). Then transfer the cow to the canvas using graphite paper. I positioned the cow on the bottom of the canvas but slightly off center to the left. 

Try to press firmly so that it shows up dark on the canvas. It’s best to do this laying the canvas flat on a table and using a dull pencil. Another effective tip I’ve found is to place a book underneath the hollow area of the canvas (if you’re using a stretched frame canvas). 

It’s also important that the eye area shows up in this painting so make sure you press extra firm there!

3. Paint the black areas of the cow with “mars black”

Start with a #4 round brush and loosely outline the areas that are black. Then start to fill in those areas. You may want to switch to a #4 bright brush (which is larger) to fill in the larger areas. 

Although stroke direction is not “critical”, try to get your strokes to go in the direction of the object you are filling in. This gives a little indication of texture when you do this. 

Leave the area just under the right ear blank. In the next photo you’ll see how to add a bit of contrast so the ear will stand out and not disappear in all the black. 

Add just a bit of white to your brush to make a lighter black. Use that color to paint under the ear you see on the right. This allows the ear to stand out.  

4. Paint the white areas of the cow in with “titanium white”

I used mostly the #4 round brush for this step. Outline the areas first and then fill them in with “countouring strokes” that go in the direction of the area you are filling in. 

You may switch to a #4 bright brush for the larger areas or stick with just using the round brush. 

I used BASICS titanium white for this and in my experience, it is very opaque. If you are using a different brand of white you may need to add another coat so that it completely covers the gray. Or you may have to add another coat any way if your gray is darker. 

5. Paint the nose “portrait pink”

I used the #4 round brush for this step too. Fill in the nose with portrait pink. This color is fairly opaque so there’s no need to prime the area first. If it doesn’t cover the gray completely, try adding another layer or a bit of white base to the area. 

For the nostrils, I filled that area with “raw sienna” and “mars black”. Use your #4 round brush for this.

6. Paint the eye in with: “mars black”, “raw sienna” and “titanium white”. 

Use a #10/0 liner brush for this step! It is very detailed but easy! Make sure your eye transferred from the traceable dark enough for you to see. Start in the middle by painting the “pupil” mars black. Then paint the “iris” raw sienna, or a different color if you’d like!Then the white part of the eye, the “sclera”, was painted with titanium white. Optional: Leave a tiny bit of grey left on the far points of the eyes but keep the white part rounded.Wait for the paint to dry a bit then outline the entire eye shape with mars black (like you’re putting eye liner on!). This helps define the shape more and paint over any areas you may have painted outside of the lines of the eye. Then paint the eyelashes on the far left of the eyes. Also, when the black part of the pupil dries, paint two white dots on that part of the eye. 

7. Draw the ornament and Santa hat using chalk. 

Note: Chalk can easily be erased on canvas with a wet paint brush or a wet finger so there’s no worry about messing up during this drawing portion. For the ornament, I used the bottom of a standard size solo cup. If you don’t have one handy, find a circle that’s about 3-4 inches in diameter. Trace that with chalk to get a circle. 

Draw out the string of the ornament with one end hanging out of the cow’s mouth as pictured below: 

Draw the bottom part of the hat. This area will overlap the cow’s head slightly and it bends on the right part just over the top part of the ear. 

Next draw a triangle that slightly bends to the right. 

Draw the pointed tip of the hat so that it is hanging to the right side. This is also a triangular shape. 

Finally draw the circle at the tip of Santa hat. 

8. White out the areas of the ornament and Santa hat with titanium white.

When I do the technique of “whiting out” an area so the background doesn’t show through the paint, I do not fill it in solid white. Think of it like priming the area but you don’t need a heavy coat of primer. I used a #4 bright brush for this and titanium white. 

Do not load your brush with too much white. Remember, this doesn’t need to be solid. Fill in the ornament and hat areas. It’s okay if some of that gray is still showing through. Look at the hat and see where it’s darker in some areas. 

9. Optional: add some gray shadow areas to the Santa hat. 

I’ll admit, this step might be a bit tricky! Try it…if you don’t quite get it this time around, you can always paint over and leave it white for simplicity! 

Make sure the white on the hat is still wet. Mix on your palette a medium gray color (about five parts titanium white and two parts mars black). Paint just the far right of that hat and blend it into the white. Make short smooth strokes to give some texture. 

Blend it into the rest of the hat. I also added this medium gray to the bottom of the hat and, again, blended it into the rest of the white. Remember, this is just shadow and we aren’t going for realism! 

10. Paint the ornament string “phthalo blue” or chosen color. 

I used a #4 round brush and simply painted the string in. Notice what part overlaps the cow’s mouth and which part doesn’t.

11. Paint the ornament in cadmium red medium.

Now this white area is dry, use a #4 bright to paint the ornament cadmium red medium.

12. Paint the Santa hat in with “cadmium red medium” and “cadmium red deep”. 

Again, I used my #4 bright brush for this and the same color as the ornament. Paint the first triangle in with cadmium red medium. 

For the bent over triangle on the right, I used cadmium red deep hue. 

Optional: I also added some cadmium red deep hue on the far right part of the ornament and blended it into the rest of the cadmium red medium hue. 

13. Optional: Add some black “wrinkle lines” on the right part of the Santa hat. 

Note: this step is tricky too! The video should definitely help with this step because it is a bit advanced to explain with text! As always, try it and if you mess up don’t worry! 

Use a #4 round brush and mars black. Paint some “wrinkle lines” just on the far right part of the hat.

Paint a little bit of black on the bent over part of the cat tool. 

Blend the dark wrinkly areas in by adding cadmium red deep hue on to those lines. Also add a few “cadmium red deep” curved lines on other portions of the hat to give it that Santa hat texture. 

14. Paint a highlight on the ornament. 

I tried to imitate my “Red Believe Ornament Painting”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s here so check it out! Basically I did the same thing with this ornament. I painted a highlight with titanium white using a #4 round brush. Then I painted a shadow/dark area with phthalo blue on the right using a 10/0 liner.  

15. Paint holly leaves using a 10/0 liner and the color hooker’s green.

I used a 10/0 liner and the color hooker’s green to paint holly leaves. Paint two on each side of the ornament. 

Outline the shape of the holly leaves.

Then fill the holly leaves in. The holly leaf on the right overlapped the nose. Tip: if the green doesn’t show up well, double load it in some white. Hooker’s green tends to be a translucent color.  

16. Optional: make the highlight brighter and the shadow darker then blend into the ornament. 

I got sort of fancy here! I added more white on the highlight to make it brighter because my original stroke blended because the red wasn’t dry yet. Then I added some more phthalo blue to the shadow area and lightly blended it in with the red. Curve it in a sort of triangle shape to give the ornament depth.  

17. Paint snow using the back of a paint brush.

Basically dip the back of any paint brush in titanium white and stamp dots all throughout the background. 

Tip: try using thicker handles and thinner handles to get various sizes of snowflakes. Also cluster some of the snowflakes in areas.



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How To Paint Mommy & Me Penguin Painting

Have a “Mommy & Me” or “Daddy & Me” or “Auntie & Me”, etc. paint night at home! You can even make this to a “Couple’s Theme” painting by modifying the penguins a bit and tracing two large penguins.

You will learn how to paint this connectable acrylic canvas painting of two adorable penguins ice skating together. The paintings match up together with the swirls in the sky as well as the penguins holding each other’s hands. 

This is a delightful painting that you can add your own personalized touches to – customize the colors, add cute Christmas themed elements like a snowman or lights on the trees, etc.!

And if you’re painting with a younger child, I’ll try my best to provide you with some modifying tips to make the painting easy for your little one.

This painting was done on two 11″ x 14″ canvases painted side by side in their portrait orientations. I provide a traceable that you can print out of each penguin and transfer onto the canvas. Enjoy the memories you create while painting with your special little one and happy painting! 


  • Two 11″ x 14″ canvases (preferred size, although you can try it on different sizes or do one whole 16″ x 20″ canvas)
  • Acrylic Paint (You’ll need a lot of titanium white and primary blue so you may need extra of that color. See my color conversion chart here if you’re using a different paint brand)
    • Mars Black
    • Titanium White
    • Primary Blue
    • Cadmium Orange Hue
    • Deep Green Permanent
    • Light Blue Permanent
    • Cadmium Red Deep Hue
    • Phthalo Bue
    • Brilliant Purple
  • Paint Brushes (I Use Royal & Langnickel Zen Synthetic Brushes)
  • Penguin Traceables


Directions: go to PDF Library for the printable. You’ll need to determine the placement of the penguins when tracing them on separate canvases to allow the hands to meet. 


Directions At A Glance:



Step By Step Directions:

1. Draw a wavy snowy line on both canvases so they connect. 

Make sure both your canvases are in portrait mode and side-by-side. Use a pencil to draw a wavy line all the way across both canvases. My line started at about 5″ from the bottom. 

2. Paint The Sky with: Primary Blue, Titanium White and Mars Black (only mommy uses the mars black). 

Gather your three colors: titanium white, mars black and primary blue. You will both need a large brush for the sky. I used a 1″ Oval Wash Brush in this kit. Some other suggestions are this, this or this. You can also just use the largest and softest brush you have on hand! 

Have your child paint a white circle in the upper left corner. Just a small circle, about the size of a silver dollar.

Then don’t rinse the brush but instead dip it in primary blue. Paint around that white circle. The blue should turn into a lighter blue. 

See how the colors blended as I painted around the white circle? Don’t paint over the white circle, leave it white!

Continue painting in circles around that moon. Keep adding primary blue to your brush. If there is still white on the brush, that is okay.

As you paint in circles, your blue may be getting darker and that is okay, that is what we want! Continue loading primary blue to your brush. Paint in smooth circles as you go the the edge of the canvas. 

3. Now it’s mommy’s turn! Start with mars black on the far right.

This part of the sky is furthest from the moon so it’s darker. Start on the far right and paint a curve. 

Don’t rinse the brush. Add primary blue to your brush and continue painting to the left. Let that blue blend with the black. Tip: If the black is too over powering, you may need to wipe some of that black off of your brush. 

Rinse your brush then add just primary blue. This will allow the blue to get lighter without black being on the brush. Continue adding primary blue and curving the colors in the same direction as you work towards the left of the canvas. 


4. Keep painting the sky and meet in the middle! 

Both you and your child will continue to add primary blue to your brushes as you work your way to the edges of your canvases and meet together in the middle. 

For added color variation, you can add a bit of titanium white to your brush and also thin it out a bit with water to get it to flow better. If you notice your brush is getting very dry at this point, you may wish to dip it in the water (but no dripping paint). 

4. Optional: add some moon rings going in a spiral. 

I used a #4 bright brush for this step. Start with titanium white and paint a spiral line starting from the moon and working your way in a spiral as you reach the canvas on the right. Tip: there was not a lot of white on my brush when I did this. It dried out as I went in this spiral adding to the effect of it looking translucent. Also it blended in with the blue that was already on the canvas. 

5. Splatter Paint Snow & Stars with an old toothbrush

Both you and your child will love this step! Use an old toothbrush. First dip it in water then pat it dry. The toothbrush should be wet but not dripping. Then dip it in the titanium white. Depending on how thick your paint is, you may need to water the white down a bit. Mine was an ink consistency when I did this. Flick the brush so little white splatters get all over the sky! 

Try experimenting with splattering close to the canvas and far away. 

6. Paint the snow horizon line and light blue snow on the bottom. 

Use your large wash brush that you used to paint the sky. Paint titanium white to define that snow line again. Tip: If your blue isn’t dry yet you may need to wait.

Then paint light blue permanent on the bottom of the canvas and blend up into the snow. Do this by dipping your not rinsed brush of titanium white into light blue permanent. Lightly paint on the bottom. Then gradually add more titanium white by painting from the bottom to the top. The horizon line should be the lightest white and the bottom should be light blue.


7. Wait for painting to dry then transfer your penguins. 

Position your penguins how you like them on the canvas. You may want them to be holding hands so arrange them to the far edges of your canvas. 

Then place your sheet of graphite paper under the traceable and trace your penguins onto the canvas.

Tip: the baby penguin has some space between the edge of the paper on the hand so you may need the paper sticking off of the canvas a bit as pictured below. 

The penguins may or may not be as visible in the dark areas of the sky. If this is the case, you can use a black paint pen or even a sharpie pen to outline the penguins. This is especially helpful if you’re painting with your child so he or she can easily see the drawing. 

8. Paint the penguins in. 

You don’t have to go in this order but I found it easier doing the white first and then the black. I used a #4 bright brush to paint in the bellies and the face. I painted over the eyes but around the beak. If you outlined your penguin with a black paint pen you won’t have to worry about painting over lines. 

I used a #4 round brush and mars black for the black areas of the penguin. The round brush helps get into those curvy and pointy areas of the penguin. I left the area of the scarfs open.  Remember, you don’t need to go in this order of painting the penguin in. Your child may want to do the entire face and hat and work his or way down. That is okay!

For the beaks I used cadmium orange hue and for the eyes, I dotted mars black. I still used that #4 round brush for this step. 

The mommy penguin’s scarf was cadmium red deep hue. I used the bright brush for painting this! 

Adding a little bit of titanium white to the brush when painting the scarf will give that dark red a bit of color variation. I also let the paint brush stroke dry out as it reached the tips of the scarf. 

The hats were also painted with cadmium red deep hue. Then I used titanium white for the white base of the hat. The child penguin’s scarf was done with brilliant purple. Then I used a 10/0 liner brush and titanium white to paint the “frill” on the tips of the scarf.

I also added some polka dots on the mommy penguin’s hat. The white circles on the tops of the hats were painted with titanium white. As far as what brush to use, decided on whether the round brush or the bright brush is more comfortable for painting the hats in. I used the bright brush for the larger areas and the round brush for the smaller areas. 

9. Paint the ice skates

I chose phthalo blue for the mommy ice skates and brilliant purple for the kid penguin iceskates. I also used a #4 round brush. Start by painting the shoe of the skate.

Then mix black and white together on your palette to make gray. Paint the blade of the skate in. 

Optional: To add more details to the skates, use titanium white to paint three curved lines for the laces. Also paint a white highlight line on the blade of the skate. 

10. Use a #4 round brush to paint skate lines on the ice. 

Mix primary blue and titanium white (about equal parts) to make a light blue. Use your #4 round brush to paint wavy skate lines. It may also help to water this down slightly to get it to flow better for these lines. 

Connect the two canvases together to make the skate lines match! 

11. Paint Trees

To paint the trees, I used a #4 round brush and the colors dark green permanent and titanium white. Start with dark green permanent and paint an outline of a tree.

Paint the tree in solid with the dark green permanent by painting downward strokes with your round brush. 

Then dip your brush in titanium white without rinsing the brush. Start at the bottom of your tree and paint downward strokes. Work your way to the top of the tree. 

That white will mix with the dark green permanent and make the tree lighter so you can see it better and so it looks like it has snow. 

For the trunks of the trees, I used mars black. 


Sign your name and show it off! Find a special place to hang and display your paintings! 


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Holiday Gift Guide For The Beginner Painter


Here is a list of great Amazon art products that a beginner artist and acrylic canvas painter will sure love! A lot of these items are used throughout this website. Some of these items will help you store all your paints and brushes or even make the artist life a bit easier! And some items are things that I love using even though they are other art mediums! 

–>Scroll down to #10 to see what I’m currently swooning over!

1. Liquitex Acrylic Paint Packs

I like buying acrylic paint packs because they come with multiple colors at a value price. The Liquitex BASICS pack comes with every BASICS color that exists so you know you’ll have every color you might need for a painting. Then when you’re ready to try some heavy body professional paints, Liquitex also sells a pack of their traditional professional paint colors in the heavy body. I’m a fan of Liquitex for the quality and easy price point and both paint sets are great options for the beginner painter!

Liquitex BASICS 48 Piece Acrylic Paint Set 22ml Tubes

Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Classic 12 Colors 2oz Tubes

2. The Masters Brush Cleaner & Preserver

To preserve your brushes and truly clean off all that extra buildup, I recommend this Masters Brush cleaner! This is a popular and highly rated product on Amazon. It cleans off acrylic, oils, water colors and any other mediums you may be using your brushes for. 

The Master’s Brush Cleaner and Preserver

3. Bulk Canvas Packs

Amazon has its fair share of bulk canvas packs and they all come at a great value! I like the 11 x 14 size because it’s compact and the perfect size! This 7 pack of stretched frame canvases by Academy Art Supply is a great value. Canvas Panels tend to be cheaper. You get the same canvas texture but it’s wrapped around a board instead of a wood frame. Get several of these 12 packs and you will be painting masterpieces all year! 

11″ x 14″ 7 pack stretch canvas panels
11″ x 14″ canvas boards 12 pack


4. Canvas Paper

I love this canvas paper pack! Sure it may “curl” a bit but it does provide a similar texture that canvas panels give you. I recommend taping it down with painters tape to the surface you are working on. It’s great for practicing and painting your masterpiece on. It comes with 24 sheets.

Canvas Paper 11″ x 14″ 24 sheets


5. Paint Markers

These Uni Posca markers are hot and trending right now! I you’re a rock painter, you’ve most likely heard of them. But you can also use them on canvas! They are opaque water based markers that come in fine to medium points. You can use them to paint all those detail lines with more control than using a round brush. 

Uni Posca Paint Markers 15 Piece

6. Stay Wet Palette

If you spend more than one session on a painting you may be interested in getting a stay wet palette. This palette will preserve your acrylic paints for days and prevent them from drying out. 


7. Brush Storage

Artists end up with A LOT of brushes. And pens, markers, styluses, sharpies and pretty much all those random mediums made from a stick! You may be looking for a more versatile way to store all of them other than in a typical cup. This brush storage can hold up to 96 brushes!

Brush storage and organization rack


8. Paint Storage

This organizer can hold multiple tubes of paints and keep them all organized, easy to find and readily available while your are painting. You can also store brushes and pens in this holder as well.  

Paint tube storage

9. Tabletop Easel 

If you’re looking for a tabletop easel that will hold up to a 16 x 20 canvas, this particular one will! It also has a storage drawer that can hold supplies. It’s a sturdy wooden design that you can set on a table during your painting sessions and then easily put away and store when you’re finished.

Extra large tabletop easel


10. The Original Buddha Board: Relaxing Water Drawing, Painting & Writing Board with Bamboo Brush & Stand

This is a unique item that I’ve been eyeing on Amazon for awhile now! It’s definitely on my Christmas wish list this year. Basically you paint with water, the stroke shows up on the board and then it slowly fades away. If you’re interested in the “zen art of letting go” that is the whole concept this board is based off of. But I like this board especially because you can practice brush techniques with it! You can use the bamboo brush it comes with but also you can use your other brushes as well. So cool!!!

The Original Buddha Board: Relaxing Water Drawing, Painting & Writing Board with Bamboo Brush & Stand


11. Prismacolor Pencils

I LOVE Prismacolor pencils! They are soft, vibrant and just so much fun to use! They’re great for coloring with but I actually use them to create my sketches and practice blending techniques. I’ve noticed that Prismacolor pencil packs seem to be less expensive on Amazon! 

Prismacolor Pencils Bundle Pack

12. Royal & Langnickel Zen All Media Brushes 

Zen All Media Paint Brush 5 Pack

These are the brushes I use! The Zen All Media brushes are great for acrylic paints. They’re durable synthetic brushes with a great firmness level. All Media means that you can also use them for watercolor, gouache and other paint mediums.

13. Dotting Tools

These are just soooo pretty to look at! They are called dotting tools and they do just that – make dots. You may have a few if you’re a rock or mandala painter. They can be used on canvas too! They make dot designs and stippling techniques much more precisely than a regular round brush can do. 

13. Artist Apron

I love wearing the artist aprons made out of canvas material. I actually use it to dry my brushes in between rinses! There’s also something sort of “magical” about putting the apron on that makes you feel like you can create just about anything. 


How To Paint A Gingerbread House

How To Paint A Gingerbread House

Learn how to paint a Gingerbread House with acrylic paints on canvas. This was so much fun to paint! I’ve been wanting to do a gingerbread house painting for awhile now and finally put a tutorial together for it. This tutorial will guide you through the steps of how I did this painting but it’s certainly open for a lot of customization! This is a fun Christmas Canvas Painting you can do with your kids as well.  I provide a traceable so you don’t have to worry about drawing the house. Think of all the creative possibilities and types of candies you can add to this design!  Enjoy and happy painting!

This post contains affiliate links.



Directions: the PDF is available to download for free in my Traceable library. Print on standard size 8.5″ x 11″ computer paper. You won’t need to trace this until the entire background is painted. 


Directions At A Glance:Step by step painting with Tracie Kiernan, How to paint a gingerbread house on canvas, christmas painting ideas on canvas



1. Paint the background light blue permanent and titanium white. 

You’ll need a large wash brush (I used a 3/4″) and the colors light blue permanent and titanium white. Double load the brush and paint long up and down strokes. Let the colors blend on the canvas without blending all the way together so that it looks “icy” in the sky. 

2. Transfer the gingerbread house to the canvas. 

If you’re using the printable, get it ready and printed on a standard size computer paper. Place it over the graphite paper and trace with a pencil. The design will transfer to the canvas. Note: the placement of the traceable is about three fingers up from the bottom of the canvas. 

3. Paint the white snow hill.

Use your 3/4″ flat brush and titanium white to “cut in” on that hill line and fill the entire area solid white. 

4. Paint the brown base of the house with raw sienna.

Use raw sienna and your 3/4″ flat brush. Paint up and down strokes except for the area where you need to “cut in” on the roof and paint diagonally.  Note: you can switch to a smaller #4 bright brush to get into the tighter areas. 

Grab some white on your brush and lightly blend it in with the raw sienna “dry brush style”. This gives the brown in the gingerbread house some color variation. 

5. Paint the door raw umber.

Use a #4 bright brush to paint the door raw umber. Leave some gaps around the door but don’t worry about getting the edging perfect because that will be painted over with white later. 

Then “dry brush” some of that burnt umber on the bottom and the top areas of the house.

6. Paint the white trim on the door, snow on roof, windows and chimney. 

Use a #5 or similar size round brush for this. Paint the trim around the door titanium white.

Then paint the snow on top of the roof. 

Next paint the windows. Since the windows from my traceable were gone, I just estimated them at this point!  

7. Paint the icicles and heart.

Then I painted the icicles in titanium white and still used that #5 round brush. 

Optional: you can dip your brush in a tiny bit of blue and blend it into the white a bit for some color variation and shadow in the snow.

I also painted the heart with Titanium White as a way to “white out” the area for it to be red. 

8. Paint red stripes on the door trim and chimney.

Next use any brush to paint the red stripes on the door trim and the chimney (I used my #5). The exact color of red I used was cadmium red medium. 

At this point I also painted the heart in. 

9. Paint the gumdrops on roof and ground path. Use one color at a time. 

The colors on my palette for the gumdrops are: cadmium red medium, cadmium yellow medium, light green permanent and primary blue. Because it’s no fun to constantly switch colors, I painted all the red gum drops first and then continued onto the next colors. 

Optional: When painting the path, try to make the gum drops get slightly larger towards the bottom to create a sense of “depth”. I also angled my path a bit. The shape of these ground gum drops is a basic oval shape. 

10. Paint the white smoke and add details to the gumdrops. 

Next I painted the swirls coming out of the chimney with titanium white and that same #5 round brush. Also I switched to a 10/0 liner to paint tiny dots on the roof gum drops and a reflection line on the ground gum drops. Oh and also – that door knob!

11. Paint the trees.

To paint the trees, I used my #5 round brush and the colors: light green permanent, hooker’s green and titanium white.  

When I paint trees, I start out with a basic outline of the tree. Drag each stroke down with the round brush so that it starts out thick but gets thin as the paint runs out. 

Then I fill in the inside of the tree using that same technique of dragging each round brush stroke from top to bottom. 

Repeat those steps for the tree on the right. 

To get the “texture” and darker areas on the trees, I used hooker’s green. Rinse your brush off and grab hooker’s green.  This time start from the bottom of the tree. Drag each stroke down one at a time (paint short curved lines). 

Then work your way up the tree painting more short curved lines so that the lines overlap each other as you go from bottom of the tree to top of the tree. 

To paint the trunks, use burnt umber and paint a line. To add a bit of snow, use a clean round brush (#5) and paint more strokes starting from bottom of the tree to the top of the tree.

12. Outlines some black smoke and a few other areas with mars black.

Next I wanted that smoke from the chimney to stand out better so I used my 10/0 liner and the color mars black to outline the line again. I did not completely cover the white. Oh and also I painted the stars on the trees too with cadmium yellow medium. 

I also picked some areas to slightly outline with the black. Be careful with this step! It may be tempting to outline everything but that’s not the point. The point is to add just a bit of black outline to “some” areas. I added black on the bottom of the ground gum drops. 

And I outlined the right side of that heart. 

Part of the chimney and the stars on the trees were outlined as well. Remember, any outlining I do is optional and you don’t have to copy it if you don’t like that style! 

13. Paint the lollipop and candy cane.

To do the lollipop and candy cane, you’ll need to white out some areas first. Start by painting a titanium white circle in the general area you’d like to see the lollipop. Note: I did paint the candy cane stripes on the doorknob in too with cadmium red medium. 

Then paint the stick from the circle to the ground. Also, paint a white candy cane shape where you’d like your candy cane to be. 

Wait for that white to dry a bit. Then proceed with cadmium red medium and your 10/0 liner. Paint a spiral starting from the center of the circle and swirling out. 

Paint a yellow spiral on the circle. 

Then paint a blue spiral on the circle. 

Finally, paint the stripes on the candy cane in with cadmium red medium. Also, I outlined the circle of the lollipop and the candy cane with mars black. 

13. Paint shadows on the ground.

To do the shadows, I used watered down primary blue mixed with white (about equal parts). Use a #4 round brush to paint some shadow lines just under the trees, lollipop and candy cane. And if you look closely, the ground gum drops have a tiny bit of shadow underneath too. 


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