Here’s a harvest pumpkin watercolor art project idea for kids and adults to paint with watercolors using the raised salt painting method. (First published September 28, 2016; this post is updated and republished to improve the content.)
Here’s a pumpkin painting idea for young and old alike! Using the raised sait watercolor painting technique to paint a harvest pumpkin is an easy and engaging fall painting idea that is fun for kids from preschool age and up. Painting a pumpkin with watercolors is a magnificent way to celebrate the harvest season.
Children and adults of all ages will enjoy the salt painting technique used to create this raised watercolor harvest pumpkin art project. By sprinkling salt on glue before painting it, artists can achieve intricate raised crystalline textures that enhance the visual appeal of their pumpkin artwork.
In other words, this unique raised salt art form allows the painter to create textured, three-dimensional effects on the surface of the pumpkin, bringing the depiction to life with unique patterns and contours. You might also enjoy using the same raised salt painting method to create a Halloween Pumpkin.
Related: The Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
Fall Harvest Pumpkin Art Project for Kids and Adults
I’m in love with how this pumpkin painting art project turned out, but it is not how I imagined it at all–It turned out even better than I thought it would! Read about my daughter’s pumpkin painting below, or skip to the step-by-step raised salt pumpkin art tutorial in the next section.
My Daughter’s Pumpkin Watercolor Painting
My daughter is totally and utterly obsessed with pumpkins. She was instantly enamored with them when they started showing up on doorsteps on our daily walks when she was an infant in the fall before Halloween.
She loves everything about them, including going to the pumpkin patch. And she also thinks that they MUST be orange.
She even has a pumpkin sensory bottle that she plays with all year–Halloween or not.
So, this pumpkin art started out as a simple pumpkin salt painting similar to the jack-o’-lantern salt painting my daughter made without the pumpkin face because she wanted to paint a pumpkin. But neither of us realized how much we would learn about raised salt painting when we made it.
I knew the green watercolor paint would run into the orange a little, but since this was the first time my daughter had tried salt painting with pipettes, I didn’t know how heavy her hand would be.
She enjoyed using the pipettes. and watching the colors run into each other. However, she was upset that the pumpkin wasn’t completely orange once she finished her pumpkin painting.
So she threw a fit when her pumpkin turned green. I tried to convince her that it looked great because it made her pumpkin art look more like a gourd, but that didn’t stop her from complaining. In the photo below, you can see how her harvest pumpkin painting looked once it was dry.
From Messy Pumpkin Art to Cinderella’s Pumpkin Painting
Then, all of a sudden, I had a fantastic idea. I put a flat wash paintbrush and watercolors on the table with it, and asked her to paint her pumpkin art again. But this time, I told her that she could paint with watercolors to fill in the outline of the pumpkin art.
She was thrilled–and we both LOVED how it turned out! You can see her finished harvest pumpkin painting in the photograph below.
What a beautiful opps we created together! Beautiful Oops! is a children’s book that shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful.
Creating pumpkin art and experimenting with a new watercolor painting method allowed my daughter to experience her own beautiful oops. And it was lovely to witness her initial anger transforming into complete joy as she painted her pumpkin orange. Now you can use the tutorial below to paint a pumpkin, too!
Fall Harvest Pumpkin Painting Supplies
Please read through the step-by-step pumpkin salt painting instructions below before starting this harvest art project so you know the steps involved and can make a more informed choice about the art supplies you will use to paint a pumpkin.
- Watercolor paper
- White glue
- Table salt
- Choose one of the following watercolor paint options:
- Paintbrush or pipette (Choose one or the other))
- Baking sheet or tray
How to Paint a Fall Harvest Pumpkin Step-by-Step Directions
Preschoolers and younger elementary-aged children will need assistance creating pumpkin art, while older children and adults can complete this project independently. You might also enjoy using this same art technique to paint a Rainbow Shamrock.
1. Draw a harvested pumpkin.
- Draw or sketch a pumpkin for your child or have them give it a go on their own.
- Feel free to copy the pumpkin shown in the photographs, or do your own thing.
- It doesn’t need to be perfect because you will cover the pencil lines with white glue in the next step.
2. Trace the outline of the pumpkin art with white glue.
- Trace the pumpkin outline with white glue.
- Children may need help with this step in the raised salt painting process.
- Keep the glue lines separate if you do not want the colors to run once you start painting the pumpkin art.
- The fall harvest pumpkin art photo collage tutorial below shows what happens when the salt and glue lines touch, and the story above shares what happened to my daughter’s pumpkin painting.
3. COVER The Lines of Glue (Pumpkin Outline) WITH SALT.
- Place the pumpkin art outline on a baking sheet or tray.
- Cover the glue lines with salt.
- Do not wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next step.
4. Shake the excess salt Off the Pumpkin Outline.
- Gently shake the salt off the pumpkin outline onto the baking tray.
- Pour the remaining salt into a small bowl, mason jar, or storage container to save for your next raised salt painting project.
5. use a pipette or brush to apply watercolor paint to the salt lines and glue.
- If you use liquid watercolors to paint your pumpkin art, you can use a pipette (like my daughter in the photos above and below) or a paintbrush.
- If you use a watercolor pallet for this pumpkin art painting, gently apply the paint by touching the paintbrush to the raised salt lines. (If you choose this pumpkin painting option, you will need a cup of water to rinse your paintbrush.)
- Enjoy the transformation of your art as the green runs into the orange. Or, keep the different colored salt and glue lines separated if you do not want the colors to run.
- You can see the green bleeding into the orange lines as my daughter applies green in the photo tutorial below.
- For more photos that show pumpkin salt painting in action, check out the step-by-step salt painting tutorials below:
6. Paint the pumpkin with watercolors to fill out Your beautiful fall harvest pumpkin Painting (optional).
- Use a paintbrush and Stockmar watercolor paints, liquid watercolor paints, or a solid watercolor pallet to paint your fall harvest pumpkin once the salt paint is dry.
- Of course, my daughter used orange watercolor paint to make her pumpkin orange and painted the leaves of the harvest pumpkin green, but feel free to use whatever colors or combination of colors you like!
Pumpkin Watercolor Art Salt Painting Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial
The step-by-step photo tutorial below shows how to paint pumpkin art with watercolors using the raised salt painting method in the photo tutorial below.
Fall Harvest Pumpkin Watercolor Art Project
This harvest pumpkin watercolor art project is an easy painting idea for kids and adults. Engaging in this creative fall art project nurtures artistic expression and fosters a deeper connection to the rich traditions of the fall harvest season.
Children preschool age and up can enjoy the salt painting technique used to create this raised salt watercolor fall decoration. The creation of harvest pumpkin art can be a deeply therapeutic meditative practice that enhances mindfulness and the appreciation of the beauty in seasonal transitions.
We also recommend checking out this list of fall activities with a printable bucket list.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
More pumpkin Ideas
- Halloween Pumpkin Salt Painting
- Pumpkin Patch Field Trip Ideas (Includes our favorite pumpkin books!)
- Glow in the Dark Halloween Pumpkin Sensory Bottle
- Decorate Play Dough Pumpkins
More Halloween Ideas
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- Tissue Paper Ghost Craft
- 13 Healthy Treats and Fun Alternatives for Halloween
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- Giant DIY Spider Web
- Halloween Spider Door Decorations
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