Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fall Forest Landscape

This is a project that was inspired by my recent homework assignment on complimentary colour relationships.

The orange/blue combination always gives me a strong feeling of fall.

In my assignment I worked a landscape thru different complimentary colours varying values to create different moods.

This was my orange/blue series.

and this was the painting that inspired this project.

I quite liked the way the colours blended and how it looks like I have figures in the foreground. 
Can't wait to continue working this series.


- paper for painting, I used a heavier piece for the background and some regular drawing paper for the hills
- disk tempera paint in orange and blue
- liquid tempera or acrylic in orange, blue, white, and black
- masking tape
- scraps of corrugated cardboard
- scissors and glue
- china markers, pencil crayons, or chalk pastels, optional


This piece is more dramatic with a vertical presentation so cut/use your paper to this advantage.

My paper was 12"x8"

Tape off your edges.

Using a ruler mark off your horizon line in bottom third of your paper.  The horizon in this piece is a lake so we want that nice straight line.

Using disk tempera or watercolour paint in your sky. 

Set aside to dry.

Take a piece of drawing paper and paint with liquid tempera or acrylic.  I used blue and white mixing a bit to also get a light blue.

I want variation of colour and to see the brush marks so don't over work this.

Set aside to dry.

Now paint an orange piece of drawing paper.  I had some leftover from the last project so I just used that.  Let dry.

I wanted a bit of texture on this piece so I used some bumpy craft foam to print on some blue and white dots.

By now my background paper is dry so I add some blue disk tempera or watercolour in the lake area.

Let dry....this is where those hair dryers come in handy!

Now it's time to cut my blue and orange papers for my hills/mountains.

I like to measure the width I need and cut the paper to fit.  I'm making my marks on the back.

I then turn the paper over and draw on my hill. I like to pick what part of the paper I want to use.

Cut and glue into place.

I have my hills on the same side of the paper but you could also have one on other side for a different composition.

To print on my trees I'm using a few pieces of corrugated cardboard.  I just use the edge and I will tape several pieces together to get a thicker line if I want.

The trees need to be fairly dark so it's black with a touch of blue....a little white got in there as well :)

A practice page is always a good idea.  Here I'm using up some extra blue paint.

Now those trees will have some highlights, they will be picking up light from that orange sky so I add just a few touches of orange.

At this point I realize we needed a little dark on the other side to balance it a bit so using watery paint (black with a little white) I added a few tree lines on the distant shoreline.

I watered it down because I want them to be hazy...they are in the distance.

Finally I added some china marker but you could use pencil crayon or chalk pastel.

I outline my hills/mountain by following the paper and add some strands of grass in front of the trees.

That's it.

Using different complimentary colours gives your paintings a whole different feel.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Autumn Collage Tree

This autumn collage focuses on squares and rectangles to give the tree a pixelated like appearance.


-2 pieces of paper for painting
- square piece of heavier paper for background
- paint, I used acrylic but you can use disk tempera or liquid tempera (yellow,orange,red,brown,green,blue,dark blue,white)
- pencil crayons, wax crayon, and/or pastels
- glue
- scissors


You want to start by painting the paper for your squares. I wanted colours ranging from light yellow to dark red.

For the first paper I start by painting the yellow on one side.(1/3rd) I even add a touch of white to my last strokes on the end to give me a really light yellow.
I then paint orange on the other side. (1/3rd)  In the middle I pick up yellow paint with my brush and a touch of orange and paint that middle tone in.  I like to see the brush marks so don't feel you have to have it perfectly blended.

For my second paper I paint one side orange and one side red. When I finish my red side I added just a touch of brown to my last strokes to give me that nice dark red.
 I paint in the middle tone with both colours.

Set papers aside to dry.

I used a square piece of heavier paper for my background.

I taped it to my art board so I would get that nice white border at the end.

Draw a few lines at the bottom for your horizon, somewhere for your tree to sit.

Paint in your sky.  I like a bit of variation in my sky so I made one area darker.  This is where my tree will be in shadow.  I like to see those brush marks so again don't feel like it has to be fully blended.

Paint in your ground area.  I made that same area darker.

I made my hill in the distance a bit duller, (add a little brown to your green) this makes it appear further away.

Paint in your tree.  Now most of the branches will get covered but it helps to give you a visual framework of where to put those leaves.

You'll have more control if you use some dry media for your smaller branches.  You can use pencil crayon, wax crayon, or even pastels.

I bought a bunch of twistable pencil crayons this year as I am so tired of having to sharpen a gazillion pencil crayons every time we use them at school. We'll see how they hold up.
I also added a little bit of grass strands in front of the tree, some shading down the trunk on the dark side, and some marks with white pencil crayon to show the texture of the bark.

When my papers have dried I cut my squares and rectangles. About the size of a fingernail.

You need more than you think as we will be layering our colours.

Just look at all that gorgeous colour!

Before we start gluing just remind yourself where we want the colours to go.

We want lighter values on one side closer to top and darker values on other side closer to bottom.
It also matches our background.

Now it's time to glue.  Start with your middle colours.  With older kids have them glue squares and rectangles straight up and down, (it helps with that pixelated look).

I know that younger kids will glue them more haphazardly and that's ok it will still look good.

Keep on gluing layering and overlapping.  Leave a little of the background showing here and there.

As you get to the end add those darkest reds and lightest yellows.

You can also cut some of your squares in half making some skinny rectangles to place here and there on your top layer.

Prop your collage up and take a good look at it from a can see where you need to add a few more lights or maybe some darks.

Add a few on the ground and that's it.

Another stunning autumn tree.