21 fall painting ideas to try this autumn

Fall is a brilliant time to cosy up with a coffee and paintbrush! Explore our favourite fall painting ideas to find lots of autumnal inspiration

Fall painting ideas

When the air starts to turn chilly and the leaves are turning golden, we love to settle in for a cosy painting session to create beautiful works of art. It’s lovely to be able to take the time to explore your creative side and find inspiration in the beauty of nature at this time of year.

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Whether you’re a fan of fall watercolor paintings or acrylic projects, you’re sure to find something to inspire you this autumn. These fall painting ideas vary in difficulty – we’ve included fall painting ideas that are easy to complete in an afternoon as well as more complicated projects. There are some fall painting ideas to try with your children too!

Learn how to paint mushrooms, design your own fall wreath, paint a cabin in the woods, decorate a pumpkin, create a botanical leaf illustration and much more.

Looking for more painting inspiration? Take a look at our art journal ideas and watercolor painting ideas, or explore our watercolor painting for beginners guide. If you’re looking for gift ideas, take a look at our pick of the best gifts for artists.

Looking for fall painting ideas that are easy to do? Read on to discover our favourite fall painting ideas…

21 easy fall painting ideas

1

Cabin in the woods

Imagine your own dream cabin in the woods and paint in into a cozy fall scene. This fantastic painting created by the artist Kim Everhard really captures the feeling of walking through a forest in the fall. Learn how to paint a cabin in the woods step by step with Kim’s expert guide.

Fall painting ideas – cabin in the woods
Kim Everhard Art

2

Blackberry watercolor painting

In the fall, the hedgerows and woods are packed with juicy blackberries. This autumnal painting of a cluster of blackberries was created by Elena Mozhvilo. She has worked from a photo to paint this lovely fall painting. We love the effect she’s created around the edges of the blackberries – to get this effect yourself, add a blob of paint to the edge of your painting, then tilt the paper so that the paint runs over the paper. You may need to wait for each side to dry before adding more blobs of paint, but the finished result is very striking.

Fall painting ideas – blackberries
Unsplash/Elena Mozhvilo

3

Watercolor galaxy

Have you ever tried stargazing on a clear autumn night? Capture the beauty of a fall night with this watercolor galaxy project. You’ll use some simple watercolor techniques to build up layers of color before adding a sprinkling to stars using white gouache paint.

fall-painting-ideas-watercolor-galaxy

4

Autumn watercolor sign

Combine calligraphy and watercolor painting to make this beautiful autumn watercolor sign designed by Elena Mozhvilo. Start by sketching the outline of the label, then paint your leaf design around the outside. Once that’s dry, write the word “autumn” in the middle of your label. If you haven’t tried calligraphy before, take a look at our calligraphy for beginners guide for lots of tips and advice.

Fall painting ideas
Unsplash/Elena Mozhvilo

5

Woodland stream

If you’re lucky enough to live in the countryside, it can be fun to head out for an autumn walk and stop to paint what you see while you’re there (or take a photo for later if it’s cold!). Kim Everhard was inspired to paint this gorgeous woodland stream painting following a backpacking trip in Pennsylvania. Find out how to paint a woodland stream with Kim’s step-by-step guide.

Fall painting ideas – woodland stream

6

Folk art patterns

Folk art patterns like these remind us of myths and fairytales! Folk art motifs are often found in Eastern European countries and they’re lots of fun to paint. You might feel inspired by folk art designs to create your own unique patterns! This beautiful watercolor painting is by the artist and illustrator Kasturi Roy.

Fall painting ideas – folk art
Unsplash/Kasturi Roy

7

Decorated leaves

This is a painting project from parenting.com is really fun to try with kids – or make by yourself! You can decorate autumn leaves using acrylic paint or an acrylic paint marker, then seal your designs using ModPodge or PVA glue. Looking for more things to make with children this fall? Check out our easy craft ideas for kids feature.

Fall painting ideas – decorated leaves
Aaron Dyer of parenting.com

8

Fall wreath

Get creative and paint your own fall wreath in shades of red, orange, yellow, green and blue. For this project, artist Elena Mozhvilo has drawn her initial design in pencil, but you could get a more free-flowing drawing by simply painting your leaves and berries onto the paper without making an initial sketch. Try doing it both ways and see which technique you prefer.

Fall painting ideas – wreath
Unsplash/Elena Mozhvilo

9

Decorated pumpkins

Pumpkins don’t just make great lanterns – you can also use them as a canvas for your own painted designs! We love this delightful desert oasis painted pumpkins project from We The Dreamers. Try it for yourself and see where your imagination takes you.

Fall painting ideas – decorated pumpkins
We The Dreamers

10

Botanical painting of fall leaves

Botanical painting is the art of creating accurate pictures of plants. It’s a real skill to master, but luckily there are lots of brilliant tutorials available so you can improve your painting skills. Lizzie Harper is a botanical artist who creates illustrations for books and magazines. There are lots of helpful botanical painting tutorials on her website, including one which explains how to do botanical paintings of autumn leaves.

Fall painting ideas – autumn leaves botanical painting
Lizzie Harper

11

Easy autumn leaves

If you’re looking for a more simple way to paint autumn leaves, try this easy autumn leaves project by Shayda Campbell. You just need to paint some areas of the paper using watercolor paints, then draw leaf outlines over the top with a black fineliner pen once the paint has dried. It’s a simple technique, but very effective.

Fall painting ideas – easy autumn leaves

12

Misty mountain scene

The poet John Keats referred to autumn as the “season of mists”, so what could be more autumnal than a misty mountain scene? It’s easy to recreate this atmospheric landscape by the artist and illustrator Kasturi Roy. Start by painting a light wash for the backgrounds and the mountains using watercolor paints, then add darker layers once the first layer has dried. Always make the landscape in the distance lighter and paint the foreground darker to create a sense of depth and perspective.

Fall painting idea – misty mountain scene
Unsplash/Kasturi Roy

13

Ombre fall leaves

If you’re looking for fall painting ideas that are easy to follow, you can’t go wrong with this ombre fall leaves project. Create your own stunning  painting using this tutorial created by Katieillustrates on Pinterest. Start by painting your branch in black watercolor paint, then add green, yellow and brown paint to get this amazing ombre look.


14

Pumpkin painting

It’s not fall without pumpkins! Try painting your own watercolor pumpkin patch like this one by Elena Mozhvilo. Mix and match different colors on your pumpkins to create your own fall watercolor painting. Heritage pumpkin varieties often come in a selection of interesting shades, so look up pictures of them before you begin.

Fall painting ideas – pumpkins

15

Autumn flowers and leaves

Painting a selection of autumn flora and foliage can help you to create pleasing fall painting. In this tutorial by artist Shayda Campbell, she shows you how to produce your own autumn flowers and leaves painting.

Fall painting ideas – autumn leaves and flowers
Shayda Campbell

16

Fall tree foliage

Practice painting a fall watercolor tree with this simple technique by @thepalepaper on Instagram. Start by painting the trunk of the tree, then add branches and build up the foliage in layers. Experiment with different tree shapes until you have a whole forest!


17

Watercolor pebbles

If you’re near the beach, go for a walk and stop to sketch or take photos of any interesting pebbles that you see (don’t take them with you – if you’re in the UK, it’s illegal to take pebbles from a beach). When you get home, use your photos or sketches to create a lovely watercolor pebbles painting with our tutorial created by Esther Curtis.

Fall painting ideas – watercolor pebbles

18

Harvest moon

The moon often appears red or orange in the fall due to dust in the atmosphere – and looks very spooky as a result! Try producing your own harvest moon on a canvas using acrylic paints using this painting by artist Ruth Wilshaw as inspiration.


19

Watercolor leaf print

This is a great art project to try with children. Paint onto a fallen leaf with watercolor paints, then gently press it onto a sheet of paper. The results can be very beautiful! Learn how to make leaf art on the Elementary Art Fun blog.

Fall painting ideas – leaf print
elementaryartfun.blogspot.com

20

Autumn scene

Practice your watercolor mark-making and paint a vivid autumn scene! Illustrator Zakkiya Hamza demonstrates how to paint an autumn scene and boost your painting skills at the same time.

Fall painting ideas – autumn scene
Inkstruck.com/Zakkiya Hamza

21

Watercolor mushrooms

Watercolour mushrooms look great by themselves or as part of a larger painting. Artist Shayda Campbell explains how to paint watercolor mushrooms that look natural. She’s created a YouTube tutorial with lots of expert tips too.

Fall painting ideas – watercolor mushrooms
Unsplash/Shayda Campbell

Need to stock up on some art supplies? Explore our guides to the best watercolor paints, best acrylic paints and the best drawing tablets for beginners.

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Featured image by Unsplash/Elena Mozhvilo