Monday, July 13, 2015

Birch Tree Painting

I found a tutorial on how to make a beautiful painting with perfect birch trees.  I've been feeling really inspired to paint recently, and this looked like a pretty easy project, so I decided to give it a try.  The original used an 18" x 24" canvas.  I used a much smaller one, because I already had it on hand.

Materials needed:
Canvas (any size works)
Black acrylic paint (for the trees)
Blue acrylic paint (or another color for the background)
Red acrylic paint (or another color for the accent)
Painter's tape/masking tape
Paint brushes of various sizes

Step 1: Decide where your trees are

With the painter's tape, mark off the space that will be the trees.  They need to be completely covered with tape.


I liked the idea of one larger tree, and the rest smaller.  I also tried to mimic the way they were slanted slightly, instead of being completely parallel.

I also decided to paint the sides of the canvas, so I set my painting on a box to access all of the sides.


Step 2: Paint the background

I used a blue called "cobalt blue."  I think a lighter color might have been nicer, but this was the lightest I had.  Using a regular brush, I painted in all the white of the canvas.


My paint must be cheap, because it turned out very streaked. I bought a sample pack at Michael's that included a lot of different colors.  Now that I'm exploring this medium more, I might buy better paints.

Step 3: Paint the trees

The original method calls for using a credit card to line the edges of the tree and drag the color towards the center.  Since mine was much smaller, I used one of the reward cards designed for your keychain.

This was actually very easy.  I practiced a few times on a piece of wax paper.


Once I was confident enough, I removed the left-most piece of tape and scraped the black paint along the edge, dragging it slightly inward.


The more I used the reward card, the more comfortable I became with the action.  It was very simple to accomplish, if a bit nerve-wracking.  

Continue to remove the tape one at a time and repeat.

With overlapping trees, pay attention to which one is in the back and which one is in the front.


Step 4: Adding the embellishment

On the large tree, I added a painted heart.  The original instructions used gold leaf, which would give it a lovely finish.  But I didn't have any of that on hand, so I stuck with plain red paint.  Then I added my husband's and my initials.



I loved this project!  It was so easy and really fun.  I would have liked the trees to be a bit thicker, but now I know for next time.


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