Our Last Day of School…

This year’s last day of school seemed to come on us more quickly than ever.  I realized sometime in May that we hadn’t gotten to nearly half of the art projects I wanted to try this year.  On a whim, seeing the lonely watercolor brushes and the beautiful sunny day outside, I decided to go for a rather involved, and messy project. “Who cares?” I thought. After all, this is the last day of school.

paint brushes and water color
painting supplies for art

I love Pinterest! Honestly, I do love it.  But, I  feel a little craft-retarded when I get on there and start looking around.  Maybe that is what got me interested in doing art with my kids.  I figure, I may never be an amazing artist, but its fun to explore art with my children.  I love art supplies, paints, textured papers, pencils.  We can try different art activities together and just learn as we go along.

Anyway, the week before, as I was gawking around on Pinterest, I found a lovely project that linked to a very lovely website called, Beafunmum.com.  I just love this mom’s approach to life!  On her site, I found a neat watercolor technique I wanted us to try.   This project is called a Watercolour Experiment!  Perfect.  That sounded sciency and manageable.

The watercolour experiment turned out to be a lesson in making a Splatter Tree.  Splatter trees turn out well on thick, water color paper or tag board. I find it on sale at the craft store or sometimes I find it  at garage or estate sales.  Often, to save on expensive stuff like thick art papers when we are trying a new technique, I will cut a nice piece of thick paper in two for a practice round.  Then, when we feel comfortable with the technique,  I move everyone up to a full-sized piece of paper.

The most exciting part of this project is splattering and spraying. First, you get to splatter watercolor paint into a loose triangular shape on your paper.

Autumn Bloom Tree Watercolour experiment
Vague triangle shape

The more color the better.  I didn’t realize that there is actually a method to splattering.  The boys liked this…First you get your paint drippy thin.  Then, after you have dabbed some onto your brush, you use a second brush to lightly tap the first brush with the paint on it.  It is kind of like tapping two drum sticks together, the first drum stick with the paint is on the top; the second drumstick is on the bottom, tapping lightly.  This method carefully splatters the paint in a somewhat controlled manner.

News Flash!  You definitely want to drape your table in newspaper before you begin.

Next comes the misting!  We grabbed an old spray bottle from the laundry room and filled it with water.  We used an old hairspray bottle.  After a round of paint splattering with one color, we misted and sprayed the page until the paint started to bleed a little bit.  This is what makes the cool autumn tree effect.  The page is splattered and sprayed, splattered and sprayed several times until it  has a well developed triangle of color in the center.

While the splatters were drying in the sun, we took a lunch break.

About an hour later,  we came at the project again.  This time, our job was to carefully paint a tree trunk between all  the colorful splatters and drips.  We painted the trunks with a finer brush dipped in black or brown paint.

Autumn Bloom Tree Watercolour experiment
painting the branches through the splatters


Painting the tree trunk onto the splattered page.
Painting the tree trunk onto the splattered page.


Then, whallah!  The experiment was complete!  Boy, this was eye catching and fun for all of us.  Doing the project outside on a beautiful spring day was the best part.  And, it really wasn’t as messy as I thought it would be.   Using the newspaper helped a lot with making an easy clean up.

Here is a link to the watercolor project. You will find many more details about how to complete it there.  Go outside and give it a try.

Here is a link to her  site:  http://beafunmum.com/

Autumn Bloom Tree Watercolour experiment
My 11 year old’s completed piece

2 thoughts on “Our Last Day of School…

  1. Sounds like a great art project! You’ve inspired me to do more art projects with Natalie (my homeschooled daughter)! Look forward to hearing about your next art project!


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