I usually like to make the top section with a decorative edge and coordinating color but you can paint the entire gourd one color if you prefer. I mark a decorative edge around the top approximately 3" down from the top.
I used DecoArt Americana acrylic paint in Hauser Dark Green for the base coat. Since this color is very dark it takes 2-3 coats for nice coverage. Once the base coat is on I highlight over the entire area with Lt. Avocado and Hauser Light Green. It give the gourd a nice mottled look like you are looking through a nice blurry wooded area.
I draw out the flowers on paper and cut out around the pattern. Transfer your pattern onto the gourd using graphite paper. I decided to put two sets of crocus blossoms on each side of the entrance hole (in reverse directions) and then a set of three blossoms centered in the back. All the designs will be located coming from the bottom edge of the gourd as if they are growing from the ground.
I'll post more steps in the next few days everyone!