Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vermont Fall Trees

These little watercolors were a big hit with my third and fourth graders and yielded a great result.  This is a project you can start in the morning and hang in the afternoon to enjoy before the leaves really do fall which is about to happen suddenly up here in Vermont.

To make these paintings you will need: Reference photos that show a variety of tree shapes and structures, a piece of paper, a paint box, and a couple pieces of chalk.  That's it.

Each child started with a 8X5 piece of paper.  Use the side of the chalks to lightly tone the paper.  We used yellow and green for the ground and blue and violet for the sky.  Blend the colors with a paper towel to make them light, misty, and very atmospheric.

For the tree mix a little black and brown in the lid of the watercolor set, or any color you like.  Start  the trunk and a long tapering line.  Add 2 or 3 thick branches on each side.  Make Y-shaped branches at the end of each branch.  Fill in more branches as needed to balance your tree.

Stipple in leaves.  Have your paper towel handy for this step because you will need a relatively dry brush.  Mix e red, yellow, green and orange paint with water in your set.  Dry your brush really well before picking up paint.  Stipple a little on your paper towel to adjust the wetness in your brush and when everything is right, stipple the leaves on your paper.
Kids loved making these little paintings.  And like I can start them in the morning and hang them in the afternoon.
Happy painting and enjoy those fall colors.