In this blog post I’m going to show you how to make your own pumpkin 3D picture like artist Purple Faye’s (me) original 3D acrylic painting, using the ‘Make Your Own Pumpkin 3D Picture Kit’ by Yorkshire artist Purple Faye.
First, you need to buy the kit here
Your kit contains step-by-step instructions to talk you through the cardboard and modroc stages of making your pumpkin 3D picture. However, as the kits don’t contain paints I don’t go into any detail as to how you might like to paint it. You can enjoy making it up for yourself but just in case you’d like some guidance here’s how I made the original 3D acrylic painting that the kits are based on. I made this one back in October 2012 when I just moved into my pop up shop in Castleford as a way to celebrate moving in and to decorate my shop for Halloween. Every October since then I put it on display in my studio as a nice reminder of this time. That’s why I finally decided this year to make a kit so you can make your own. So every year you can get it back out and remember when you made it, which is something you can’t do with a real pumpkin that will rot away once you’ve carved it.
I started by drawing the pumpkin design directly onto the piece of cardboard, you don’t have to worry about doing this as you already have the design drawn for you by me in the form of the template. All you need to do is cut it out and use that, following my instructions of which bits to cut out and where to put them.
Next I cut out the design. Building up the cardboard layers to make it 3D then sticking them onto the blank canvas.
It is this cardboard stage that makes them really 3D but because it is cardboard it isn’t as heavy as people think it will be when they think it’s solid plaster being used. So you don’t need to worry about it making your wall fall down when you hang your masterpiece on it.
The next stage is applying the modroc (bandages with plaster of Paris in them) over the cardboard layers.
I did this by getting my piece of modroc and cutting it to the rough shape of what I needed, keeping in mind that it shrinks when wet so it’d need to be a bit bigger plus have some overlap to go round the edges too. I cut it when it’s dry as it’s easier to cut when it’s dry rather than wet. Plus once it gets wet that’s it you have to use it, so if you don’t need to use it all then you can’t save any offcuts for later.
I wet the modroc by filling a container (an old Tupperware dish) with cold water (using cold water slows down the setting time so you have longer to use it, warm water speeds it up) and a squirt of PVA/craft glue then dunking each piece of cut out modroc separately to try and reduce the amount of scrunching up in the water.
When removing the modroc from the water I try to wring out as much water as I can without distorting the shape too much. I then place it on top of the cardboard and start to smooth it out so it covers all the area that I need it to. I continue to do this until the whole cardboard shape is completely covered, then I leave it to dry.
When the modroc is setting and still wet it looks a lightish grey colour and gets more white the drier it gets. I try to leave mine overnight at least to make sure it’s fully dry, it dries faster the warmer it is so if you wanted to speed up the process you can use a hairdryer on it.
Once it’s dry I give mine a quick sand with some fine sandpaper, just to get rid of any rough bits, then I start to paint it with acrylic paints. You can use whatever paints you have available though. For this one I used orange, yellow, green, navy blue and black.
I started by painting the whole of the pumpkin orange, once as the base coat to seal the modroc and then another top coat to make sure it was fully covered. Next I painted the stalk green and the eyes, nose and mouth holes black. Once the orange and green had dried I used the yellow to add highlights and finally mixed a navy blue with blue and black to paint the background so it looked like a dark sky but not quite as dark as black which I didn’t think worked as well. Using black for the background made the eyes, nose and mouth look like they were part of the background instead of being the inside of the pumpkin.
So now you know how to make your own pumpkin 3D picture like artist Purple Faye’s (me) original 3D acrylic painting, using the ‘Make Your Own Highland Cow 3D Picture Kit’ by Yorkshire artist Purple Faye.
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