Last night I attended a FUNdraising event at my local Uncorked Artist, one of those cool paint-and-sip places. (Have you ever been? If not, you should totally go. It's fun.) At this point, I've lost track of how many times I've gone, but it's probably very near 20. My house is starting to look like an art studio.
As usual, I brought treats--some chocolate chip bars (another recipe from Sally's new cookbook!) and apple pie truffles. Both were gobbled up in no time. I didn't get around to taking photos of the cookie bars, and I can't share the exact recipe I used (copyright again!), but here's a link to another, similar recipe from Sally's blog. I'm sure they're just as delicious! As for those apple pie truffles? I CAN share that recipe--with pictures and process--and I will--soon--so stay tuned. You'll DEFINITELY want to make those. They're getting RAVE reviews from every adult who tries them. (My kids, alas, were not fans... Kids!)
Anyway, back to the painting.
Typically we paint on canvas, but recently the venue has started offering glass painting and wood projects, as well. So I thought it was high time we branched out. (Get it? Branch? Because it's trees on wood? LOL. I know; I'm hilarious.)
Normally, I'd just share the photo of my finished product and leave it at that. However, this is something you could totally replicate at home--it would make a fun weekend project for one of these autumn weekends. (Not that it feels like autumn. It's back up into the stupid 80s again and I got a mosquito bite yesterday! A mosquito bite in October!)
Because I was busy painting, I don't have step-by-step pictures to show you. But I can walk you through the basics of what we did.
wooden plank (5.25" h x 24" w x 3/4" thick)
a bit of sandpaper3 types of brushes (I don't know the official names of them, but I found a photo on amazon which might help for some reference. We used 1 thin kind- similar to the 1 Round; 1 medium kind with a bit of a puffy head- the height of the 5 Filbert with the poof of a 3 Round; and 1 about 1/4" wide flat brush like the 8 Bright)
|Photo from amazon.com Creative Mark Shortie Mixed Brush Set|
acrylic paints in the following colors hues: dark brown, rust brown, red, orange, dijon yellow, yellow, kelly green, and dark green (for general reference to give you a sense of the colors, you can look at these through Amazon: burnt umber, burnt sienna, scarlet, orange yellow, yellow ochre, mid yellow, pale green, sap green)
1. Start off sanding any rough edges or splintered spots from your board.
2. Once smooth, mix some of your burnt sienna with a tablespoon or two of water (do this step in a small cup) and paint it onto your board like a stain using your large, flat brush. Cover one flat side of your board as well as all the edges. You don't want the board too dark because you'll be putting more color on it later when you paint the trees, so go light on the base color. If it goes on too dark, add some more water to mute the color and/or use paper towels to quickly wipe away some stain. Allow to dry. (You can speed this process along with a hair dryer.) Rinse brush in water.
3. Next, turn the board vertically and, along the right hand side (about 2-2.5" of the 5.25" width) you'll be painting a background color for the trees (which will get details later). Moving in the order the paints are listed above--from dark brown to the rust brown to red to orange to dark yellow to yellow to green to dark green-- use the damp flat brush to paint about three inch blocks down the board (approximately 3 inches per color working down the 24" length of the board). Your colors should overlap slightly as you work down the board. These don't have to be incredibly dark since, again, you'll be layering color over them later but they should still be pronounced against the background color.
4. Once that's mostly dry, you'll use your thin brush to paint in your tree trunks. Turn your board so that it's horizontal again and start near the middle-- about 12" in (you'll probably be somewhere near the first yellow section if you spaced them 3" each)-- and begin painting lines from the color to the base of the board. In the color part, add some branches. They'll be partially covered in the next step. Vary your branches and trunk thicknesses and try not to be too uniform in your spacing. You're aiming to create about 16-20 trees across the board. Here's a fun youtube video tutorial for tackling tree trunks and branches and an article with general tips for tree painting.
5. For the final step, you'll use your mid-sized pointed-puff brush to dab in detail (to look like leaves) on the trees. You'll work left to right, moving along the painting in the same color order as you did in step 3. Dab the brush into the paint and then onto the board in clusters. (This time, you won't dilute your color.) Again it's a good idea to overlap colors because the trees are growing into one another so there would be thicker coverage where they overlap, as well as some color blending.
As my instructor said last night, work until your eyes feel happy. That's how you'll know it's done. My own eyes didn't feel happy until I added a couple blots of color from my red into my green and some green into my brown--not a lot, mind you, but little flecks (since no tree turns all at once. That's the beauty of autumn, after all!)
When the painting is all dry, you can hang it up. I'm thinking I may add some wire to mine and hang it over the door. We'll see.
It might also make a lovely hostess gift for Thanksgiving. Just sayin'.
Here are the two my husband and I painted. (His on top, mine underneath.) As you can see, each one is similar, but unique. And they're both beautiful.
Now go off and make one of your own.