Thursday, September 26, 2013

Stamped Autumn Tree

Ok,  just one more tree project and then I'll move on.

This is a very easy one that is quite striking.  It includes use of a homemade stamp.


- wc paper
- watercolour paint or disk tempera, blue, green. black, and Fall colours
- spray bottle with water
- scissors
- sticky back craft foam
- piece of corrugated cardboard, wood, or even a small candy treat box (smartie)
- ink pad


Tape off wc paper onto art board.   Paint in a sky starting with lots of blue paint, then gradually just painting with water to create a graded wash.

Paint in a horizon line and the ground.

Let dry.

Take 1 or 2 scraps of wc paper.

Paint with Fall colours, spray some water on to get the colours to mingle a bit.

Set aside to dry.

When background has dried paint in a tree with a few major branches.

Let dry.

I love, love, love using craft foam to make my own homemade stamps.  It's kid friendly, no carving or using sharp tools, cheap, and produces a great effect.

Having sticky back foam makes it super easy but you could use regular craft foam and just tape in place with a loop or glue in place.

 You could also use store bought stamps.  I'm always picking up some from the dollar bin at Michaels.

Cut a leaf shape out of the foam.  Using a pencil and pressing hard draw your detail lines.

Remove the sticker paper and stick to a base.  I often use wood (2"x2") that
is cut into cubes.  You can also stick to corrugated cardboard or even to an empty little treat box.

Cut out some leaf clumps.  Stamp on your leaf stamp here and there.

Glue into place on the tree.

That's it for this one.

Here is another variation.  The individual leaves are cut out.

The tree is cut from painted paper and the small branches are done in pastel.

The stamp on this one is made from plasticine or modelling clay.

Roll your modelling clay into a cylinder shape.  Tap one end on the table to make it wider and flat.

Carve your design into the clay with a toothpick or skewer.

Instead of a stamp pad I used black tempera.

See you next week.


  1. These are gorgeous! I can't wait to try it with my students! I have a question for you. I am a K - 3 art teacher and I have a very tight budget - about $1.50 to spend on each student for the entire year. That's for all the art supplies - pencils, paint, glue, paper, etc. It's so hard to order supplies!! I had to cut clay from my curriculum for the first time in 8 years! I've never found watercolor paper that is affordable. I just use heavyweight paper which works OK for paint but just isn't the same. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. Affordable WC paper is always a challenge. When the schools are able to pool together and buy in bulk it's easier. I also find we make smaller reason I started doing 'inchies' as well. I too, use heavy paper as a substitute for WC. Costco is a good source for heavy paper. They recycle the paper that is between the cereal boxes and paper goods, if you ask they will let you take it for free. They are very large sheets which I cut down. I roll on a coat of primer (just the discount contractor stuff from the paint store or Walmart) and then use this for projects. It's not exactly the same, but it's durable and similar to working on a gesso coated art board. It allows you the ability to erase and lift off paint.
    Another option is to contact a paper supplier that sells to printing companies. They often stock a textured paper (called a laid paper) it has raised, almost embossed lines on it. It responds just like wc paper and is cheaper.
    Sorry to hear that you had to cut out clay, that's terrible. Hang in there! :)
    Hope that helps.