Sugar Skull Pumpkin Decoration – Dia de los Muertos

Sugar Skull Pumpkin Decoration – Dia de los Muertos

hello everyone its Shel C from
PaperOcotilloStudio and today I’m sharing with you another day of the dead
or Dia de los Muertos project. this was the original one that I made for the hop
that was last week and I will put the link to the hop video in the the in the
in screen if you haven’t watched it yet all about Day of the Dead and it was a
really good hop there’s a lot of really interesting people participating with
beautiful projects so I bought this fake pumpkin at my local grocery store when I
was grocery shopping I don’t know what he was doing in the grocery store but it
was $4.99 and it’s made out of some kind of styrofoam I think with a rubbery
coating on the outside it’s a little banged up but then I really wouldn’t be
anyway because they’re outside all the time and then they pick them and they
throw me in a you know whatever truck or something so the first thing I did is I
wanted to make it look a little bit more realistic because it was very plain
white it’s just got a simple coating over it so I used some pit spins which
are a India ink pen from fabric histo on their brush pins excuse me and I went in
the creases of the pumpkin starting at the top and coming down and I blended
that with my finger because that type of ink doesn’t dry instantly but once it is
dry its permanent so I just used like a like a mustard yellow and kind of a
green gold and a medium brown tone I just went in the little creases and I
blended it with my finger up and down to make to make the pumpkin look more like
it really would I also was gonna I was planning and doing some splatters on it
but I forgot again but my original idea was to put some
splatters on around the top and bottom to to kind of make it look like dirt
maybe a little bit or I don’t know I just wanted to make it look more
realistic the the stem on it is made out of plastic but it does look very
realistic I didn’t have to alter it at all it it has bright tones and and dark
tones of brown and then it has that little curly thing that pumpkins have on
it so then I started to make my design and I’m using a very soft letted
graphite pencil to draw on it and the only problem with this that I’m having
is that when I need to erase which I am an eraser type of person I don’t like
messy lines I was having a little bit of trouble erasing it so I ended up using
some acrylic paint to kind of touch it up at the end but what I didn’t realize
until I looked at this video is that it’s really hard to see it’s hard for me
to stay in the camera frame because of the 3d nature of this item so I hope
that you can see what I’m doing well enough to understand if you would like
to do something like this with a real pumpkin or a fake pumpkin that you can
keep you know for a long time I mean the real pumpkin obviously it’s gonna rot so
you can’t keep it forever but it’s a fun project to do on a real pumpkin too for
Halloween of course keep in mind that day of dead
is not Halloween and it’s not a costume it’s really more a cultural thing
because the sugar school makeup has become so popular other people are
associating it with Halloween because it’s about the same time around the same
time and it’s it’s not the same that Dia de los Muertos is about honoring the
dead about remembering the people who have passed on the pets who have passed
on usually there’s an altar set up which is really just usually a table and it
would like a orange colored tablecloths on it there’s food left out water left
out and things like that photographs looking
at the photographs you know a photograph album or our photos in frames it’s it’s
really has nothing to do with Halloween it’s a really different holiday so keep
that in mind if you’re not familiar with the holiday
I’m not latina I’m as wide as they come but I do live in Arizona which it has a
very large population of Latino people and this holiday is very important
there’s a parade downtown that ends up in a big celebration at the end with
live music and and you know it’s a party a party celebrating and thinking about
the people who have passed on which I think I honor this holiday because I
think it’s better and and more realistic to be celebrating our loved ones who’ve
passed rather than sitting around being sad you know it’s it’s better to do it
that way I also think that having a wake is a lot more fun than having a funeral
and I hope that when I pass on that they have a wake and not a funeral and
everyone doesn’t sit around in black crying because I lived a good life and
yeah it’s sad but it’s not you know it’s just a part of life it’s the circle of
life it’s what happens it’s reality so you know that’s what I’m saying I think
this is a beautiful beautiful holiday I think it’s wonderful and I’ve adopted it
as something that we do in my family we I use a tray that I painted and we make
a little altar put it on the kitchen table with you know Roquefort cheese for
my dad and and pepperoni for Teddy who passed away and clean water candles
usually decorate with marigolds and other bright bright colors
bright bright colors because it’s a celebration and not a sad thing so this
this decoration that I’m making right now will sit next to my altar this year
it’ll also just sit out on the table decoration for the whole rest of the
month but I drew that is the sugar skull or
Calavera type design on the pumpkin with the very soft pencil it’s actually it’s
the graphite colored or gray colored sabelo all pencil which is the watery
active one I thought it would be more easy to erase because it’s very soft and
it’s easy to draw on something weird like this this is this is rubbery or
plasticky has a strange texture on it so it worked great
it drew on there very well and then I’m using the acrylic paint which this is
that big set big twenty four piece set from Artesia
and so it just has a lot of colors I can get a lot of colors and I’m using a
music purple and orange and red and yellow and bright blue bright green
those type of colors to paint in my design I’ve got flowers I’ve got
flourishes I’ve got the traditional skull shape which has that dark
underneath the cheekbones sorry I’ve been sick it’s not going away very
quickly it’s got the dark eye sockets in the
dark shape where the nose would be which is kind of like an upside-down heart and those were done in black and then all
the decorations the payment on decorations are done in color and I’m
using some fine paint brushes these are these are the ones that have the acrylic
handle which I really like because I tend to throw them in the water and
leave them and yeah I do that a lot of a brush abuser so I like these ones with
the acrylic handles and I’m using like very very fine tipped
ones I started out with the flat brush to go inside those dark areas that were
gonna have a lot more paint but then I switched you it to the ground
tipped fine ones so the design you paint there they’re all kind of similar but
they’re all different if there’s something that you want it specifically
on there you could certainly put it on there there’s no right or wrong to doing
this it’s just decorating the skull and putting some bright colors on it to
change it from a very dark and spooky thing to something that’s that’s more
bright and colorful and cheerful so I’ve seen everything from you know I mean if
it was if it was a supposed to be a specific skull you could put something
on there that that that person liked but the general design is out there there’s
if you search on Pinterest for sugar skull you’ll find tons of stuff and if
you don’t if you don’t feel comfortable making up your own design then you can
find something out there that you think is attractive and you can do this
yourself on a real pumpkin or a fake pumpkin like this styrofoam rubber weird
fake thing it looks realistic though I think it looks good it looks like a
white pumpkin which there’s a lot more of those being grown these days I saw
also real white pumpkins in the grocery store as well so I think that’s pretty
cool you could also carve something like this
into a standard pumpkin and make a jack-o-lantern out of it if you have
some small carving tools you could do that to you I’ve seen people do that too
but of course I wanted to make something that I could keep and a real pumpkin
just isn’t going to last so if you put a rib eye if you don’t cut the pumpkin and
you put acrylic paint on it a real pumpkin it’ll last a lot longer but we
have these animals called javelinas which are a type of wild people would
say they’re pig but they’re related to pigs but they kind of look
like pigs they are blind and they use I mean they’re not completely blind but
they don’t see well and they use their their noses to find stuff and if I put a
pumpkin outside even overnight on Halloween
they come and eat it because they like pumpkin I guess but I guess that
Halloween is a big buffet when I first moved here about 17 years ago I thought
I was going to have some beautiful you know seasonal pops out front
I was gonna put flowers in them and it was around the fall time and so I I
bought marigolds and chrysanthemums and and I put him in these beautiful
terracotta pots out front and the first night that they were out there those
javelinas came and they ate the tops off of all the flowers so after that I just
realized that the javelinas think that anything yummy that I put out there is
gonna be able favorite so I don’t really put out pumpkins except for just right
at Halloween on the night of it writers were doing candy and then after that I
bring them back in or else I throw them back in the water
cut them up and throw them in the wash back behind for the javelinas when you
know the season is over I have no need for that pumpkin anymore so the next
thing that I did after I got all the acrylic painting done I thought it still
needed a little bit of I don’t know I liked it I like black lines around
things and so I decided to use my pasta pans which are of course a paint pen an
acrylic paint pen which writes over pretty much anything in fact I haven’t
found something it won’t ride over but if you put it on something slick that’s
non-porous like glass it will wipe off I mean it’ll stay on there as long as you
know wash it but then if you wash it it’ll come off so and I think that’s the
way of any acrylic paint so I use my fine tip black in my fine tip white
to go around the designs and then also to add like a white highlight to the
designs which i think is attractive and then I didn’t get out some of my colored
medium point pins just to touch up some of the areas of color
the acrylic yellow paint it just it’s just translucent that’s it’s the way
yellow paint is there’s not really a yellow paint
unless there’s one that has a lot of fillers in it that is not translucent so
in that in this the center of the flower at the top of the forehead you could see
my graphite lines through the paint and so I used the yellow marker which is is
opaque which means it has fillers in it and colored that back in so that you
couldn’t see those lines I didn’t think the lines looked good
picking through the yellow paint and I think I also used a green a green marker
too to kind of fill in some of the green areas that paint was a little bit of
pink I mean a little bit translucent also so that is what I’m doing it’s it’s
not a complex process it’s just something that you would do for fun and
to make a really cool decoration for a holiday that you might decide celebrate
or that you might already be celebrating because why not have a celebration
there’s never a bad time to celebrate something even if it’s death and I also
used the white pin to kind of touch up a few areas as well where I couldn’t get
the lines to erase quite as well as I would like them to so you can put some
of that white paint from the pasca pin onto a little brush with water a little
bit a little moist brush and paint in things with it too it’s it’s quite
opaque like a titanium white would be so I do wish that this video I had just
been able lay the pumpkin down and do all of it in
frame really well but I just didn’t work out that way I thought that’s what I was
doing when I was filming but I wasn’t obviously and it’s just because of the
nature of the 3d shape it’s just hard to film it I guess and I’ll remember that
so what I did end up making for the hop is a pair of shrink plastic Calavera pet
a cat and a dog earrings so if you haven’t watched that one you can watch
that one too you and I have a few other videos on here that are about this
holiday even when I made my ultra train but the video is really not very good I
didn’t talk and I played music through the whole thing because it was one of
the very first ones I made on my channel and I was too shy to talk at the time
now I just chatter the whole time I just talk and talk and talk and talk and I’m
not talking to anybody there’s nobody here except for all of you but it’s
become very easy to do that for me now but back in the day when I first started
my channel I did not like to talk so it’s kind of funny how things change so
these these flourishes near the nose area are purple
they are die accessing purple which is a very dark color and so on the video they
kind of look black but when you see the pictures at the end you’ll see that
they’re purple which is my favorite color but I maybe should have mixed that
color with a little bit of white because it was really is a dark color and it’s
one of the only true Purple’s in the acrylic paint blends you know the real
the real paint doesn’t have a lot of purples in it it’s got a fuchsia and
it’s got this dioxin you’ll find some other blends obviously that they’ve made
but the real colors that used to be made with with things that we now know are
poisonous like cadmium those true colors the original colors there’s not really
purple other than this one in fuchsia which is
a purpley pink so just a little bit of interesting knowledge for you there
purple has long been neglected I don’t know why it’s the best color so I hope
you’ve enjoyed this video in my nattering on about whatever I whatever
silly thing comes into my head if you did like it please give it a thumbs up
leave me a comment or question below tell me if you think you might start
celebrating this holiday or if you already do and tell me about how you
celebrate it if you already celebrate and that would be interesting to me I do
read all the comments and I respond although usually I don’t have a lot to
say but I do respond to the comments and I respond to the questions if there is
once also share this on your Pinterest or your Facebook if you think somebody
would enjoy doing this project and that would be awesome that helps my channel
links to what I used on the project will be below the video in under a title
materials used in links and those links will probably mostly be to Amazon unless
I find a better place somewhere else but I do get affiliate pennies if you use my
links on Amazon so I always appreciate that so that to finish off the pumpkin I
put some silk leaves which are from you know those plastic silk stem things with
flowers on them because I thought it needed something at the top that was
green so that’s it for me thanks bye bye you


  • Peg Robinson says:

    Love those fake pumpkins. They last longer then the real stuff. Looks like fun!

  • cheryl7476 says:

    I always love the originality of your art, Shel. My daughter teaches college Spanish and always has an alter set up in her classroom for this holiday. She’s as “white” as you. During her Masters degree, she developed a Colombian accent, thanks to her friends in the program. Hope you feel better soon, my friend.

  • Cheryl Sigler says:

    LOVE * this
    Thanks for Sharing💕🦋

  • cheryl amey says:

    Fantastic sugar skull.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Beautiful pumpkin will look great by your alter.

  • Kissmygrits69 N'joi says:

    Awesome Shel!

  • Laura Greggain says:

    Great pumpkin Shel. I love the idea of this holiday too. Here we can buy real pumpkins, in several shades of orange, white, pink, and a shade of light blue grey. …the things they can grow hey

  • Keryn O'Keeffe says:

    Thanks Shel. Totally agree with your view of life and death. It is the only sure thing in each life, in my opinion. The pumpkin looks great. Hope you’re feeling well again soon.

  • Peggy Mcg says:

    love this! the BEST part of your art videos is seeing how you shadow and enhance your designs.

  • Sue Falls says:

    I love your commentary!!! Very informative!!! So much fun!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • lynda reed says:

    well, just glanced through the comments it appears its all been said. love the pumpkin its beautiful and like all sugar skulls bright and celebratory.

  • Debbie Bonner says:

    Beautiful Sugar skull pumpkin Shel! Glad you are comfortable talking now!!!

  • Susie’s Craft and Planning Cottage says:

    Looks fabulous Shel xxx💕

  • Ella Conner says:

    YOU afraid to talk?? I know what you mean though and I’m glad you aren’t afraid anymore. Your sugar skull pumpkin is pretty. Hope you feel better soon 💖

  • Vicki Brooks says:

    Cute project (but I hate Halloween…too scary!!) F.Y.I. A favorite acrylic artist I follow uses colored or white chalk to lay down her design and when she paints over it, it just dissolves away. It can also be wiped off if you want to change something that you're not happy with. Good idea, huh?

  • Alice Dantes says:

    Wow. Sooo beautiful. Totally awesome.

  • Shirley Gearman says:

    Great pumpkin Shel 😀 sugar skulls have become quite trendy in Australia but for the wrong reason! They are being associated with Halloween (an event that is growing in popularity here). I like the cultural significance of Dia de los Muertos ❤️ It’s something I would celebrate. I’m glad you chat away in your videos 😀 As well as teaching us so many great arty things you are very entertaining xx

  • Linda Smith says:

    Your pumpkin is beautiful. Our family does not celebrate the Day of the Dead but I think it is a celebration worth thinking about. What a wonderful way to honor your loved ones who have passed.

  • Judy Ptak says:

    The pumpkin turned out very pretty. Good job.

  • Scrapitydoodah says:

    Love this. You did a great job

  • Laura Murphy says:

    Hello Shel, I like your pumpkin. I have three different sized foam pumpkins. I am going to decorate one similar to what you have created and start celebrating Day of the Dead. My sister and I had celebrations of life for our parents when they passed away. I much prefer a celebration of life over a sad and depressing funeral. I have already let my daughter know that my final wishes are a celebration of life when I pass away. I want people to remember the good memories and not be sad. Life is to be celebrated. Thanks so much for sharing Shel. I enjoy your chatter because it's like crafting with a friend long distance. Have a beautiful day.

  • Michelle Dees says:

    Made a sugar skull myself today. It is on Instagram (deesmichelle). Just linked your video too.

  • Deborah Rusignuolo says:

    Fantastic as always thank you for sharing.

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