Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fall Trees

This is a fun and great fall project for kids. I did this one with my 2nd grade class and they seemed to really enjoy it. What you'll need for this project:
  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Water bowls
  • Black india ink or watered down black tempera paint
  • Straws (coffee straws work best)
  • Q-tips
  • Yellow, orange, and red tempera or acrylic paint
  • Paper towels or coffee filters
We first talked about fall and how the seasons change. Then we discussed horizon line. Once they seemed to get the idea, I had them draw a horizon line with a pencil about three inches from the bottom. We used our fingers to help us measure (about four fingers from the bottom).

I then showed them how to paint their grass using green, yellow, and brown to give the illusion that the grass was changing color.

Next, we painted the sky. I showed them how they could paint their sky blue and while it was still wet, take a crumpled up paper towel or coffee filter and press it into the wet paint. When you lift up the crumpled paper, it will also lift up some of the painting, giving the illusion of clouds.

Let your painting dry before moving on to the next step. When everything was dry, I showed them how to paint their tree trunk on or below the horizon line using black india ink. Then I showed them how they could use straws to blow the india ink to create branches. When they were done with their branches, they used q-tips and fall colors to paint leaves on the branches.

There's a lot of little steps for this project and the kids get to experiment painting using three different techniques! They especially loved painting with the straws. Just remind them to not drink the paint! You'd be surprised how many need to hear that tip :)

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