Birch Trees

Variations of this project are often posted on Artsonia.com, but I like the subtle colors that come out in this version by painting with a toothbrush.
1. Each student starts with a 9" x 12" sheet of watercolor or heavy paper. They are to tear off six strips of 1 1/2" wide painter's masking tape at various lengths from 6" to 7" long. Then, carefully tear each piece of tape down the middle and attach each joining the straight edges so that the outer edges are rough. Note: Overlapping the shorter lengths will create narrower trees for enhanced depth of field, as shown. Place the pairs randomly on the watercolor paper with top ends touching the top of the page. Press all of these “trees” down firmly.2. Using acrylic paint, dip a toothbrush in green paint and hold over the paper. Rub a thumb over the bristles so that paint splatters onto the paper. Don't worry about smudges as they will look like clumps of grass. Repeat until the bottom grass area is filled. Wash the brush and repeat with blue for the sky above.
3. After the paint has dryed, carefully peel away tape to reveal white trees. Water down black paint until it is very thin. With a brush, paint a gray vertical stripe on the white tree to represent the shadow. Repeat on all the trees, always keeping the shadow on the same side of the tree.
4. With thick black paint, paint small horizontal marks randomly on the trees.
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