connecting curriculum and creativity through art

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Forest.

These fabulous paintings on watercolor paper were created by 4th grade art club members. 

Going along with our Nature Studies and Georgia O'Keeffe we created these in 40 minutes, all before school started at 8:30a.m.  We first talked about layering. I told them I saw a painting that I loved and thought we could create our own forest in a different way.

Step 1
Students used tempera paint and painted the tops of trees. Two different sets of trees were painted, one set larger in the foreground using one color and one medium-sized set in the middle ground using another color. 

Lastly, at the bottom of the watercolor paper 
three different tempera colors were used over lapping each other to give the illusion that this is the forest in the background. 

Step 2


These students were so excited that I gave them the spray bottle of watered down tempera to spray a texture look on their paper. Unfortunately, for me they didn't have the best aim and major over spray hit my hand and arm as I held their papers. 
Oh well, lets just say the rumors were flying that the fourth graders were spraying me and that I had a really hairy arm! lol.
 I didn't care, they are such great kids and hey, paint can be washed off, right?  
The parents were telling me the next day about how excited their children were after that 1st meeting.

Step 3

Glue down painted paper strips that resemble the trunks of the trees. These strips were pre-painted in a previous class.

Step 4
Stamp and/or paint smaller branches on the trunks with black tempera paint.
This was really easy to do and gives a great design
 element to the paintings.

Painting Branches with Small Brushes

Stamping branches with white x-ray cardboard

The students just loved creating them.
Here are some of their finished paintings.

12 x 18 Watercolor Paper
Tempera Paints
Various Brushes
Painted Paper


Laura :)


  1. Beautiful. The layering of interesting pattern, shape and colour adds to the overall impact. I am pinning. Thank you.

  2. Hmmmmm. A great use for all those narrow strips of painted paper I have stored in a box. Thanks!!!

  3. I just love all the different processes that you used in this project! I agree. The work is fabulous!

  4. These ars just so wonderful. I love the abstract expression. Your students did well :)

    Tatjana Knudsen ( = Meet the Creative Part of Me)

  5. Wow, these came out so pretty and the textures are amazing! I'll be featuring this on The Crafty Crow soon!

  6. Wow, I have to try this with my kids! Thanks for this beautiful post!!