How to Draw and Paint Watercolor Folk Art Trees



I posted a photo of these easy watercolor and line trees last year on Instagram and so many of you requested a handout. It took me this long, but I finally created a handout (for this lesson) and a video too!

This is just the perfect type of lesson: easy, technique rich and beautiful. To create this project, give each student a piece of watercolor paper (not essential but the watercolor paint will look more vibrant on watercolor paper than sulphite paper), a black waterproof marker and access to watercolor paints.


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Draw tree trunks with a Sharpie or waterproof black marker.

Step 1 drawing and painting folk art trees

Draw larger trees near the bottom of the paper and smaller trees behind the larger ones OR draw a row of trees like I did in the video.

Draw various lines to create the branches of the trees (refer to handout for ideas).

Step 2 drawing and painting folk art trees

Use watercolor paints to create a halo of color around the tree branches. If you don’t want the colors of paint to bleed, make sure to allow for space between each halo OR paint a few and then add in more after the first trees dry. This approach takes longer.

Step 3 drawing and painting folk art trees

If you create this lesson in your art room, I’d love to see it!

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Free drawing guide download- folk art trees

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  • Linda Dinsmore

    Wonderful lesson, thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa

    Thank you!!??

  • Brenda

    Love this

  • Nikole M. Raflik

    love it!

  • Anne

    Thank you!!

  • Mel

    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Roberta J Smith

    We did the leaves for a tree that I created on a large bulletin board and they turned out beautifully. This is a wonderful extension to our leaf project. Thank you so much!!!

    • Patty

      Thank YOU Roberta!

  • Kelly Warne

    Great idea!

  • jodeworks2u

    Love this

  • cris

    You’re so talented. thank you so much for sharing your gift with us. I love all your posts and I am so thankful for the time you spend to share it with it with the world. (heart emoji) thank you!

  • Liz Gregory

    Love this lesson. I’m trying to download the guide but nothing is appearing in my email,

    • Patty

      Have you checked your junk mail folder? Is it a school email address that might be blocking DSS? Can you try a different email?
      Let us know and then reach out to for more help ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Patty

    I LOVE this lesson! I have taught art for 26 years and really enjoy teaching your lessons! You are an inspiration to all! My friends who were afraid to teach art now are having a lot of fun!

    • kelita 3grade

      nice job

    • kelita

      nice job i am in grade 3

  • Vernecia

    Will love the free drawing guide, very fun and easy for kids to add to their art catolog

  • monica Kaul

    Love this project. Can you tell me where I can access the video you created for the folk Art Trees? I am a member, but cannot find it. Thank you. Monica

    • Marine (Team Sparkle)

      Hi Monica: You will find the video inside the FALL TIME FAVORITES BUNDLE, in the ART ON A CART mini-curriculum ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Angela


  • Ruth Inman

    i look forward to the guide

  • Jenny Montz

    Thank you for posting your lessons. It has helped me teach on line art.

  • coco

    This was really fun !!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kimberly Jones

    My third graders loved this “Folk Art Trees” lesson! Thank you for sharing it. It has been an especially wonderful lesson to use during our virtual art classes.

  • Simoni Leal

    We love it

  • Lesidia Scott ( home mentor)

    Nice project; easy breezy, it is so colorful and any color chosen works well with each other no matter how you arrange them. Therefore getting my 5 year old kindergartener to complete the assignment was a breeze. I created one and demonstrated the strokes for the paint and she was off to the races, ๐Ÿฅณ very creative

  • Nitheesh. P


  • princess

    Thank you so much don’t know what I will do without DEEP SPACE SPARKLE.

  • jlwaldman

    Fantastic! We have 9 grands and I have an art studio for them and their friends! After COVID, we will have fun, thanks to you!

  • Raema Amelie Macababbad

    Thank you so much, I love painting and you’re so good!

  • Alyssa Brown

    I used this for my Kindergarten class in April (Arbor Day). We combined it with the Caldecott winning book from 1956 A Tree is Nice (Un รกrbol es hermoso in Spanish). The book also uses water color in its illustrations. We use our trees to write opinion pieces on why trees are beautiful / nice / necessary.

  • Sandra Treco

    I love this lesson!! Thank you – perfect virtual lesson for my first graders!!!

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