I grew up in a rural area of Prince Edward Island where the land is basically flat with just a few hills. Perfect for cross country skiing. My bestie, Leslie and I would snap on our skis and spend hours searching for the smallest of hills to ski down. Often we would ski until dusk when the winter skies turned a blistering pink. Such a glorious contrast to the barren, snow-covered land.
It’s not easy describing how desolate and beautiful this landscape can be to an 11-year old So-Cal kid, but by the looks of their artwork, they totally got it.
I must admit. As we embarked on this project, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I was a bit worried that the children might not find the project engaging enough.
I was so wrong.
It was almost as if the children knew that if they finished this piece, they would be proud. Even the most art challenged students created an incredible piece, full of personality and style.
Watch the video tutorial here…
Click the yellow button below to DOWNLOAD the drawing handout for the Winter Tree Silhouette as well as this months January Freebie Pack lessons. Add your name and email and we’ll send it straight to you!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
– 12″ x 9″ 90 lb. watercolor paper
– Pan watercolor paints
– Small & medium paint brush
Using a pencil, lightly draw TWO lines to divide the paper into three sections:
– background (sky)
– middle ground (snowy fields)
– foreground (shadow/fence)
Wet brush and paint WATER over top 1/3 of the paper (background). Don’t scrimp on water!
Dip paint brush into YELLOW paint and paint a half-circle for the setting sun. The wet paper will cause the paint to expand and blur.
Next, dip in ORANGE paint and dab watercolor around yellow sun.
Dip paint brush into RED paint and dab around orange. Do the same for PINK and PURPLE paint until the entire sky is colored.
SNOWY FIELDS AND FOREGROUND
Now that the sunset is painted, have the children paint with watercolors on a dry surface using the wet-on-dry technique. Because the paper is dry, the paint will create clean, crisp edges.
Pick one or two colors from the sunset (yellow, orange, red, pink or purple) and brush color in gentle sweeps over the white blanket of snow.
Using a small brush and the black paint from the watercolor tray, paint a line of trees along the horizon line. Using the side of the brush tip makes it easy to line up a good number of tree trunks then you can dab the brush to make the tops of the trees.
Next, begin to paint a row of small vertical lines to create a fence. For extra detail, add tiny “x’s” for the barbed wire.
Using the drawing guide, start by painting your lines of the tree to map out the tree’s trunk and main branches.
Paint at least 3 branches: one that extends off the side of the paper, one pointing to the top of the paper and the other branch moving towards the inside of the paper. The style of tree dictates how extreme the angle.
Using the tip of your paint brush and black paint, start at the branch and move brush away, painting a very thin twig.
Keep making smaller and smaller branches that extend away from the trunk.
Fill in the trunk with black paint.
The final step in the painting is to add shadows below the forest on the horizon line, below the tree trunk and along the fence line.
Dip paint brush into black paint and make a small puddle on the cover of the watercolor palette. Add a few drops of water to make a light grey paint. Use this light color to add shadows on an angle below the three elements listed above.
Have you done this lesson? I’d love to hear how the instructions worked for you or if you tried a new technique.
I created a detailed lesson plan describing the process of introducing and teaching this multiple watercolor technique lesson. It looks rather hard to do but don’t be intimidated. It’s one of those projects that’s totally doable even if you’ve never taught watercolor before.
This lesson can be found in the Sparklers Club Membership. For more information on joining, sign up to our waitlist HERE.
Click the button below to DOWNLOAD the January Freebie Pack. Add your name and email and we’ll send it to you!