How to Make a Happy Scarecrow Face Painting

Written by chérie de sues
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How to Make a Happy Scarecrow Face Painting
Use this cheerful picture as the template to paint a happy scarecrow. (scarecrow happiness image by Janet Wall from

A scarecrow's smiling face can enhance a child's bedroom, the side of a pumpkin or a framed watercolour painting. The bright eyes, sewn mouth and rosy cheeks are easy to draw. With a few steps, each part of the scarecrow will lead to a happy, cheerful painting. Watercolours or acrylic paint can make the scarecrow vibrant and alive. Make this a family project and give children their own brushes and let them have fun.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat table
  • Newspaper or plastic sheeting
  • Pad of 8-by-11-inch watercolour paper
  • Bread plate, approximately 5 to 6 inches in diameter
  • Plastic ruler
  • Watercolour starter kit
  • Watercolour palette
  • Fine-tip permanent black ink pen
  • 1-inch paintbrush
  • 1/2-inch paintbrush
  • Small rounded paintbrush
  • Small angled paintbrush
  • Damp washcloth

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  1. 1

    Place newspaper or plastic over a flat table or work surface.

  2. 2

    Draw a circle on the watercolour paper using the bread plate. Use the plastic ruler to draw a line where the scarecrow's hat will begin across his brow. Draw the bow-tie using the ruler or freehand---whatever feels comfortable.

  3. 3

    Dip the 1-inch brush into the water and stroke the sienna brown paint, then rub the watercolour palette to deposit the paint. Repeat two times, and rinse the brush. Stroke the brush into the yellow paint three times and place on the palette 2 inches from the sienna brown and rinse the brush. Stroke the white paint three times and place on the palette 2 inches from the sienna brown and yellow paint.

  4. 4

    Choose the 1/2-inch brush and dip it into the water. Blend all three colours a little at a time into the centre of the palette to create the colour of wheat.

  5. 5

    Rinse the brush and wet the 1-inch brush with water. Swirl the brush into the wheat colour and wash the entire background of your scarecrow. Avoid the pencil lines delineating the face, bow-tie and hat of the scarecrow. Rinse the brush thoroughly and draw the shaggy corn-husk fringe over the eyes, the oval eyes, eyebrows, nose and the stitched mouth of the scarecrow.

  6. 6

    Use the sienna brown and a touch of yellow watercolour paint with the wet small round brush and paint a thick border on the lines of the hat. Use the 1/2-inch brush to fill in the rest of the brown hat. Rinse the brush, then use a hint of yellow to create light hitting the hat from the sun. Use a darker sienna brown to create shadows where the hat receives no light. Rinse the brushes.

  7. 7

    Mix part of the wheat colour in the centre of the palette with a darker sienna brown using the wet 1/2-inch brush. Rinse the brush. Combine another part of the wheat paint with a hint more of yellow. These three colours will make the corn-husk effect for hair, the bow-tie and the fringe over the eyes. Use down strokes or side strokes with a wet 1/2-inch and 1-inch brush to create the natural corn-husk variations. Rinse the brushes, then use the round brush to add dark sienna or the lighter shades to the picture.

  8. 8

    Use red and white paint to create a blushing pink shade. Apply the colour with the small round brush to the scarecrow's cheeks. Rinse the brush and mix orange with a bit of the sienna brown to create a pumpkin-coloured nose. Rinse the brush and allow the picture to dry. Apply the mouth, eyes, eyebrows and trace around the nose with the black fine-tip permanent marker.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the damp cloth to wipe your brushes and dab away excess watercolour. Erase dark colours with the damp washcloth to make them lighter. Test a small pinch of salt with a wet watercolour wash to see the effects.
  • Keep the glass of water away from the work in progress.

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