Pumpkin Wash in Ink!

In this lesson I’ll be showing you how to make an ink wash sketch of a pumpkin (perfect for this time of year!).


  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Watercolour paper
  • Indian ink
  • Several small watercolour brushes
  • Water pot
  • Paper towel for cleaning


  • Start with a very simple pencil sketch as a guide for your ink painting.
  • Find the overall proportions and the shadow shapes (the parts of the object that don’t receive direct light).
  • You don’t need to fill this in – as soon as the line sketch is finished you can start painting!
  • Use ink diluted with water to make the tone lighter and wash this middle tone over the shadow of the pumpkin.
  • The use less diluted ink to lay in the darker tones (background, ground shadow etc.).
  • You can also do other washes of midtones (such as the ground plane in light).
  • Then you can keep developing the form by applying gradually washes of darker tones over the halftones.
  • Try to keep some of the pumpkin completely light (these are the highlights).