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.
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.