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Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 10: Autumn Tree Painting

Behold: an indoor landscape of fall color!

The breathtaking colors of changing leaves is one of my favorite parts of the season.

Today my girls and I brought the outside in by painting our own fall trees.

I found inspiration for the project on Pinterest. I looked at the picture and did my best to emulate it. I'm thrilled with our results. In particular, I love how we all started with the same example and same base shape, but each put our own spin on it. To me, that's the best art!

This is one I highly recommend doing. Here's what you need to get started:

Paint-- red, yellow, orange, green, and brown. I gave the girls tempera paint, but I used my acrylics (as such, my own color palette was slightly expanded as I had 2 shades of yellow, 2 shades of brown, 2 shades of green, red, and orange) 
Q-Tips-- a separate one for each color (these serve as the paint brushes)
Sturdy white paper 8.5 x 11-- we used special paper designed for acrylic paint
Large round tracer

In anticipation of a potential messes, I lined the floor with a dollar store table cloth (in case anything gets dropped--today a Q-Tip went rogue but no worries because it landed on the cloth) and lined the tray table work spaces with waxed paper (besides the obvious benefits, it's also good at the end because I threw all the Q-Tips on it and rolled it up and tossed the whole thing. Clean up was a breeze!)

Now the fun part!

For the tree trunk, trace the two sides of a ruler from the bottom of your paper up about four inches. For the leafy area, trace a large circle on top. Finally, if desired, free-hand some branches inside the circle toward the bottom. My younger daughter didn't wish to include those.
Paint the trunk and branches.
Use Q-Tips to dab on leaves. Use the circle as the guide to contain the image shape.
Add more and more "leaves" in various colors to your tree.
Don't forget you can have some falling from the tree to the ground.
This dot-dot-dot-dot-dotting can start feeling tedious, so you may want to take a break and see if you can make your Q-Tips stand on end in your tree.
Two of them fell the split second before I snapped the picture.
When you've decided you don't feel like random dotting any longer, you can fill in the remaining white space with larger sections of color...
Or you can dispense with the dotting altogether and smear the paint on like so.
I love them both!

You can also personalize it by adding things like grass, a pile of leaves on the ground (ready for jumping into), or a self-portrait.

My older daughter said she thinks her leaf pile looks like a cheese burger without the bun. I agree!

Doing this project with my girls was the highlight of my day, and the pictures turned out even better than I'd imagined.

May the rest of your weekend be filled with the same richness of color and pleasant surprises!

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