Paint A Watercolor Gnome In A Few Easy Steps

Today I want to show you how to paint a watercolor gnome in a few easy steps. I recently used a gnome I knit a few years ago as inspiration to paint one in watercolor. I will show you the steps I used to paint this fun little gnome that could be used for a holiday decoration or card.

Paint a watercolor gnome in a few easy steps

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Knit Gnome Inspiration

How I painted this watercolor gnome ispired by one I knit.

I love this little gnome I knit a few years ago from an Alan Dart pattern. One night I decided to try painting it in watercolor. I had so much fun with this project that I have now painted several gnomes. Here’s a few photos showing how I painted my next gnome in watercolor.

How to paint a watercolor gnome


Daniel Smith watercolors or this set, watercolor paper, Molotow paint pen, mechanical pencil with .3 mm lead, brushes

Simple steps to paint a watercolor gnome.


1. The first photo shows how I drew the simple body shape of the knit gnome. Then I added a hat, arms and other features. I did this example in pink and green to make it easier for you to see.

2. Use a light pencil to sketch your gnome on watercolor paper following the first example. Keep it simple. You can add more details as you paint.

3. Next I added watercolor starting with his hat, then his clothes and boots. When I painted his clothes I had to be careful to leave white for his beard. The last step was painting his nose and adding a little rosy color to his cheeks and some light gray strokes on his beard.

4. When the watercolor was dry I used a white Molotow paint pen to add strands of hair to his beard. (A white gel pen would also work.) After the paint pen dried I added some very fine pencil lines that also looked like the hair in his beard. I kept adding the white paint pen then pencil until I was happy with his beard. I also used my pencil to add a thick and thin outline around his hat and in a few other places. To finish I added a shadow under his feet and some paint splatters and snowflakes.

More gnomes

A watercolor gnome by Tammy Northrup
My Watercolor gnome

Here’s another gnome I did with a little different hat and pointy shoes. By changing the colors and details you can create a variety of winter or holiday gnomes.

More ideas

Here’s how I created a watercolor leprechaun following the same steps!

Follow my tutorial to Paint A Watercolor Leprechaun In A Few Easy Steps

You can learn more about how I painted this little gnome here.

Free template for a watercolor gnome from
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