Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter Tree Project

{Winter Trees by Mia, Age 4}
Currently, there is no snow to speak of, which aside from making us Michiganders feel that global warming is of real concern, means that there is little craft inspiration lately. However, there have been some brilliant sunrises and sunsets in recent days, and this reminds me of an art project I did in elementary school. It's a simple idea, and the end result is very striking. (Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do it justice, but you get the idea.)

  • white paper
  • watercolor paints
  • paintbrushes
  • black marker
  • newspaper (optional)

1) Protect work surface with newspaper if desired. Then fill your paper with watercolor paints. 
2) Using a black marker, draw a winter (deciduous) tree or trees.
3) Display your winter tree project for some extra beauty on these dreary winter days.

  • For paint colors, I would suggest pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues since these are colors you often see in the sky at sunrise or sunset. Set aside and allow paint to dry completely.  
  • While watercolor paper is of course the preferred paper to use with watercolor paints, any paper will work, although thicker papers stand up better. 
  • We used an 8" x 8" scrapbook page. They came with a scrapbook and since I use decorative papers for my scrapbook pages, I save the plain white ones for kids' art projects. (The 12" x 12" size scrapbook paper fits nicely into the photo frames made for records, by the way.) 
  • You could also use markers with different widths of tips to get various sized branches. 
  • Before doing this project, I had Mia look out the window at our trees and pointed out how the trunk is widest at the base and then the branches get narrower as they get higher and higher up the tree. I think she understood, but she ended up frustrated because she couldn't draw them as well as she would have liked. Which is probably why this project was originally done when I was about 10, not 4.

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