At last week’s Creativity Lab, the freezing temperatures matched our frosty art project! We created a lovely wintry scene, using watercolors and salt to create texture and movement within the painting. Even the littlest learners enjoyed this project, learned about color mixing and composition, and were able to create beautiful finished products.
All you need for this project are:
- Watercolors (Crayola or similar is fine- nothing fancy!)
- Painter’s Tape (1/4″, or if wider, cut into 1/4″ strips)
- Black Crayon
Begin by laying thin strips of tape from top to bottom of the page, about 1 1/2″-2″ apart. These will be your birch tree trunks. Tear short pieces of tape and add these to create branches.
Next, paint the entire surface of the paper with plain water- you want your paper to be nice and wet in order for the paint to blend and work well with the salt. Then paint watercolors over top of the water, blending colors such as blue, purple, red or pink and even green to create a wintry color palette. After you’re done painting each section, sprinkle salt over the paint. It will give the painting a fun “frosty” look and texture, and your kids will be amazed as they watch the salt soak up the paint! If the painting is already too dry, the salt will not activate properly- so if this happens, just sprinkle a little more water over it until you get the effect you want.
Let your paint dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Gently peel up the painter’s tape. Using a black crayon, outline each trunk and the branches and make some short horizontal lines to show the texture of a birch tree.
Now for the final step: using a very diluted gray, paint the left-hand side of the trunks and branches to create the natural shadows and coloration of birch-tree trunks.
You’ve created a lovely winter birch-tree painting!
Here’s a beautiful example my student Joelle made: