Reading Time: 5 minutes

Inspired by a project originally designed by Joan Shade, this Halloween plate is sure to please all the ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood!



Sand and seal the wooden plate with a coat of All Purpose Sealer to lightly seal the surface.

Sand as needed and basecoat the rim of the plate with Carbon Black. Base the inner bead of the plate using Mid Value Cool Beige. Base the center of the plate with Norwegian Orange.

Jo Sonja plate painted orange

Apply an even coat of Retarder to the center of the plate. A mop brush may be used to eliminate puddles. With a small amount of Retarder in a large soft brush, slip slap Dioxazine Purple over the surface leaving some Norwegian Orange showing. While the center is still wet, wipe your brush to remove most of the colour. Dip the brush in Retarder and wipe the brush again if needed.

Pick up Brilliant Violet in the brush and slip slap over the Dioxazine Purple. Softly blend colours together. Norwegian Orange should not be completely covered. Dry the center using a hair dryer. When dry, apply Retarder to the center of the plate again. With Retarder in a clean brush, pick up Amethyst and slip slap colour into the center of the plate again fading out to the edge. Blend softly. Dry thoroughly; a hair dryer can be used.

Apply Retarder to the same area. Using Retarder in a clean large brush, side load into Dioxazine Purple with a touch of Carbon Black and blend on palette to soften. Float colour around the outside edge of the Norwegian Orange area. Repeat if needed to deepen colour.

Lightly draw ghosts and pumpkins on rim using a pencil.

Jo Sonja plate with 4 colours


Draw the bats and the branches that grow out of the center of the plate. Using a 10/0 liner, outline the bats with Carbon Black. Base the extended branches with Mid Value Cool Beige. Fill in the bats and paint detail after the center of the plate is completed.

Remove any graphite lines. Dry thoroughly.

Bats: Brush mix Nimbus Grey and Carbon Black to base coats the bats. Shade under the bat head with Carbon Black. Corner load a small flat brush with Carbon Black and shade above the eyes. Nose and mouth are Carbon Black. Eyes are Yellow Oxide and Warm White. Add a touch of Yellow Light to brighten if desired. Apply a thin coat of Retarder on the bat and softly glaze Brilliant Violet onto the sides of the body and head. and tips of the wings.

Branches: The bead on the plate is painted as a branch. Rebase the branches in the center of the plate with Mid Value Cool Beige. An old #3 round may work well to dry brush colours on the branches. Dry brush Burnt Umber on the outside and inside edge of the bead. Apply touches along the top. On the extended branches, dry brush colour on the top and bottom edge. Add touches of dry brushed Mid Value Cool Beige if needed. Highlight using a small amount of Yellow Oxide and Unbleached Titanium. Use Unbleached Titanium for the final highlights.

Jo Sonja halloween plate with bats


Ghosts: Basecoat ghosts using Nimbus Grey. Mix Nimbus Grey+ Carbon Black (1 :1/2) for the shade colour for the ghosts. Apply a light coat of Retarder on the ghosts. Side load into the shading colour and flip-float or place floated colour back to back to shade the folds of the ghost. Shade also under arms, etc. When dry, float a soft glaze of Dioxazine Purple in the shaded areas. Dry. The highlights are dry brushed. Dry brush the base colour onto the highlight areas. Brush Nimbus Grey + Warm White and dry brush this in a smaller area. Lighten with Warm White and apply in an even smaller area. Eyes are Carbon Black.

Pumpkins: Basecoat the pumpkins Norwegian Orange. The pumpkins are highlighted in steps. Apply Retarder to the pumpkins. Using Vermilion, apply the first highlight. Dry and repeat this step again. Make a mix of Yellow Oxide + Vermilion for a light orange and use this to dry brush the highlight. The next highlight is Yellow Oxide dry brushed on in a smaller area. Mix a mid value green for the stems. Begin with Yellow Oxide and add small amounts of Carbon Black for a green pleasing to you. Base the stem using this colour. Add a small amount of Carbon Black to your mix and use to shade the base of the stem and one side. The highlight is dry brushed using Yellow Oxide. Tendrils around the stem are Yellow Oxide + Unbleached Titanium, shaded with Mid Value Cool Beige + Burnt Umber.

The shade colour for the pumpkins is a brush mix of Dioxazine Purple + Burgundy. Apply a light coat of Retarder on the pumpkins and use a flip-float to apply the shade colour to the creases of the pumpkin. Dry. Pick up a touch of Carbon Black to the mix and float shading around the outside edges of the pumpkin. Apply this colour to shade where the stem connects to the pumpkin.

finished ghosting around jo sonja halloween plate


Dry thoroughly and brush on a coat of Clear Glaze Medium front and back. Dry. Apply two or three coats of Jo Sonja’s Matte or Satin Polyurethane Water Based Varnish. Have a spooky Halloween!

Jo Sonja’s Artists’ Colours Tutorials

Welcome to Chroma Online!

Please select the country you want to visit.