How to Draw and Paint Folk Art Trees

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.

The October Freebie pack is chock full of Fall themed lessons, drawing guides, technique tips and video tutorials. Download this handy drawing guide before you get started on your folk art trees:

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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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How to Draw and Paint Folk Art Trees
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 🙂

  • 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 support@deepspacesparkle.com for more help 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 !!! 🙂

  • 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, 🥳 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 árbol 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!!!

  • Dianne

    My students struggled with the lines, and I showed them how to do the trunk. They were surprised at how simple the lines were and adding little bulk to them. I think it is a GREAT lesson for my students. Thank you for sharing!

  • Cheri

    I did this with my grade 1-2. They loved it! Last week we did the African Elephants so they wanted to add a background and horizon line. lol. So we used chalk pastels; attempting to create a light background with the side of our chalk and not smash the chalk into the picture. Some did. Some created a chalk dust covering in their area of the room. 🙂

  • Christina


  • Jean McCormick

    I will try this with my 1st and 2nd graders.

  • bettyc.rivera

    Fabulous!! Will do this with my students!! Thank you so much Patty for sharing your creativity!🌷

  • Ramona Hall

    Thank you so much for sharing all of your amazing ideas with us! You are a one-of-a-kind!

  • Karen Parsons

    I wish I was still an Art teacher!!!
    Your art ideas and on line presentations keep getting better!!!!!

  • Vera Trembach

    I have used the artist Paul Klee and his trees for this lesson. I try to complement my lessons with a famous artist in history.

  • Donna

    I love this idea. I might use it for a library story time I do

  • Heather

    I would love the free download and handouts but the link is not working for me.

    • Bethany

      Hi Heather! I just tested the download link and all seems to be fine on my end. Are you clicking the box that “Click to Download”? When I tested the link, I added my name and email and received the Folk Art Trees. I know the Chrome and Safari browser both work well so try one of those browser if needed.

  • Bertica Garcia Dubus

    This is perfect! Thank you.

  • Tegan

    I love this. I’m envisioning a family portrait represented by trees.

  • Briana

    This project is so lovely! Thank you!

  • Renee

    I love these trees! So beautiful and whimsical. But I feel like we (first graders) should use them as a collage element with something more… but don’t know what… Any ideas, anyone?

    • R

      More specifically, I plan to use the cool colors for a winter feel.

  • Juliana Sofranko

    This is a great site for ideas! I’m a folk artist in watercolor and acrylics. I love your site.

  • kelly L polizzi

    hello. every time i click on the download for the printable, it brings me back to this page.

    • Bethany

      Hi Kelly. Are you using Firefox as your browser? We’ve found that Chrome or Safari work best. If you click the yellow download button and add your email address we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. If that doesn’t work for you please reach out to support@deepspacesparkle.com for help!

  • Melanie

    Looking forward to doing this lesson tomorrow with my students.

  • Darilyn DeMaria

    As a 2nd-grade teacher, I want to use art to strengthen my modeling of Growth Mindset and honoring creativity as the foundation for important problem-solving skills. I always try to align a weekly art lesson with what we are studying. Thank you for acknowledging how busy I am and giving me so many great opportunities to make my students feel loved and proud!

  • Meghan Smith

    I was trying to download the free fall packet, but it wasn’t working. I would really love a copy of the fall packet.

    • Bethany

      Hi Meghan! Everything is working on our end. If you click the download button and add your email address we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. Our website works best with Chrome or Safari browsers. Enjoy.

  • Pat Christianson

    Terrific project ! Going to give it a try.

  • Jan

    Great lesson

  • Ricky

    A very nice project and very clearly explained

  • Mona Milan

    I appreciate this art lesson for my students!!! Thank you.

  • Amy Erb

    Great fun & easy to follow lesson! Thanks for sharing! I also appreciate the tip for removing extra color that bled over to another tree.

  • Bonifacio

    Love This!

  • Heather

    Tree handout

  • caro


  • Joan

    I love this activity. It’s so creative & joyful & accessible on so many levels.

  • Katka

    love it

  • Iris Moraes da Silva

    Sou professora de Artes Visuais no Brasil. Adorei sua proposta dessas árvores. Vi no YouTube e adorei. Parabéns!!!

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