Paint a Winter Tree

If you paint a winter tree, you have the chance to study and draw them without any worries about leaves. I’ve posted my favorite method of drawing “Y Trees” before but this time it’s with a winter theme. • View How to Draw a “Y” Tree MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Oil Pastel, black • Oil Pastel, blue • Tempera paint, white   DIRECTIONS 1. Draw a large “Y” just using a black oil … Read More

Cardboard Treehouse

I’ve been experimenting with more dimensional after school classes this school year, and am happy to report that my kids seem to love it. On Friday they made these tree houses, and got so involved in decorating them they worked right through the last minute of class. MATERIALS Cardboard Paper cutter (heavy duty type) Corrugated cardboard Craft sticks (narrow and long type) Match sticks Craft glue Masking tape DIRECTIONS NOTE: There was a bit … Read More

Scotch Tape Fall Trees

All the supplies for these fall art trading cards actually came from my local Staples store. MATERIALS Card stock paper, cream colored Scotch Expressions masking tape Scissors Black ultra thin Sharpie marker Trading card sleeve   DIRECTIONS Cut 2.5″ x 3.5″ cards from card stock paper. Students use an assortment of Scotch masking tape to cut and apply grass and trees to each card. Tree trunk and branch lines are applied with an ultra-fine … Read More

Fall Tree Silhouette

One of the drawing tendencies I would love to break students from is making trees with blunt ended branches. I think it comes from thinking of them as a series of rectangles, when actually they are more like a bunch of very skinny and pointed triangles. 1. I had the students use a chisel tip black permanent marker on coated white paper (found some at local Kelly paper store) and start with drawing a … Read More

Moon and Tree Silhouette

This tree silhouette art is a multimedia project using chalk pastel and tempera cake paint. Each media does what they do best – make fuzzy backgrounds and opaque coloring. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Old CD for tracing • Chalk pastels (blue and purple recommended) • Tempera cake paint, black • Paint brush, water DIRECTIONS 1. Students traced a CD on a 9″ x 12″ sheet of paper. The background of the “moon” was … Read More

Kandinsky Tree Collage

If you combine the idea of rings of color with a tree, you get a Kandinsky tree collage. Try to have the students make as much variation as possible – some thin, thick, large, small and so on.   MATERIALS • Warm colored card stock paper, for the leaves • Cool card stock paper, for the ground and sky • Black card stock paper, for the trunk • Scissors • Glue stick   DIRECTIONS … Read More

Blowing Leaves Fall Tree

Perspective is learning that the further away objects are, the smaller they appear. This painting idea comes from one of the Usborne art books, all of which I am very fond of. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. Students start by painting an off-center tree, with trunks and branches. A thick trunk with thinner branches work best. 2. Colored leaves in varying sizes are painted next. Some may be left on … Read More

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Trees

My goal for my watercolor students is to have them learn how to bleed colors together when they want, and keep them separate when they do not. This series of modern trees were easy to draw, and left lots of room for watercolor experimenting. MATERIALS Watercolor paper Crayons Liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS I was inspired by Eloise Renouf’s Etsy store, and used her designs to help students draw very simple abstract trees. I drew … Read More

Birds in a Tree Painting

My watercolor project for today was inspired by a stock art drawing, simplified again and again until it felt doable for even kinders. 1. Draw the mother bird, then the baby, then the tree branches, leaves and finally clouds. 2. Trace the pencil drawing with a black Sharpie marker. 3. Add some details with a crayon, such as yellow lines to the leaves and pink feather lines to the birds. 4. Paint with liquid … Read More

Geometric Winter Trees

This Geometric Winter Trees project will help students focus on making lots of shades of green. I asked mine to make at least three different ones for a simple but colorful abstract landscape.    MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Crayola Watercolor Mixing Set • Crayons • Hole Punch • White paper, scraps • White glue   DIRECTIONS 1. To begin, I asked the students to draw at least three triangles trees, with simple trunks, … Read More

Winter Birch Trees

This Winter Birch Tree project uses tape to block off the tree shapes, and watercolor paint and salt to make the textured midnight sky. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Masking tape • Scissors • Watercolor paint, blue • Table salt • Acrylic paint DIRECTIONS 1. Tape a border around the edge of a square of watercolor paper with 1″ painter’s masking tape. Cut thick and thin strips for trees that touch the top and … Read More

Stained Glass Tree

This can really look like a stained glass tree if you use bright colors in the negative space around the tree. I love the combo of black Sharpie trees and then soft oil pastels to fill in, but I have discovered that the marker will bleed in time to make a fuzzy line. If you want to avoid that, either use a black pastel or scan the original so that it looks perfect forever. … Read More

Oil Pastel Tree

I found this project on Artsonia.com. I love how it makes students think of trees as a series of branches, and not just a fluffy shape that sits on a stick. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Oil Pastels, I like the Portfolio brand for blending DIRECTIONS 1. Students draw a large “Y” on their paper. 2. They add smaller “Y”  on each side, alternating as they go up each branch. To make the “Y”  the most realistic, they … Read More

Positive / Negative Scratch Tree

This starts as a “negative” scratch art picture and is completed as a “positive” marker drawing. Students can become more familiar with both terms while they make a spooky night drawing. 1. Glue a sheet of Scratch Art paper to a larger sheet of drawing paper. A white border that is 2 to 3 inches wide is best. 2. Use a wooden stylus to draw a tree that is going off the scratch paper. … Read More

Kandinsky Fall Tree

If you combine the idea of rings of color with a tree, you get a Kandinsky tree collage. Try to have the students make as much variation as possible – some thin, thick, large, small.   MATERIALS • Warm colored card stock paper, for the leaves • Cool card stock paper, for the ground and sky • Black card stock paper, for the trunk • Scissors • Glue stick   DIRECTIONS 1. A green … Read More

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