I recently came across this beautiful watercolor painting over at Simple Art Project Ideas.
It looks really incredible I think (as though great talent and skill are involved), but it turns out a child can make it! These are the first tries of my six year old and I which we finished in about half an hour (plus drying time).
The painting is done on a piece of heavy watercolor paper with the edges, tree shapes and moon blocked out with painter's tape. The crisp borders go on as wide as one would like while the tree trunks and branches use torn tape to give their edges a more natural look. After the tape is smoothed down, the whole thing is painted and sprinkled with salt. Yup, salt! Who'd have thought this culinary staple would create such magic? We let ours dry for about 40 minutes (more might be necessary depending on the wetness of the piece) and then carefully removed the tape and salt. Lastly, while we did not, one might then choose to hand paint embellishments on the trees or wherever desired.
In Tamara's piece, as well as in those we created, I thought the crystalline forms looked more like leaves than snow or stars so we tried out some alternate compositions with this in mind.
The most difficult portion of this project was tearing the tape. When my six year old wanted to do one of her own then, she skipped the trees and just went for cutting a moon to stick in a beautiful night sky. (Hers is the one in the middle above.)
With this one, I thought it might be interesting to make the "leaves" yellow and so painted an under layer and let it dry prior to adding the final paint and salt.
It needs a little tweaking, but I still love the idea and the possibilities of a tree or alternate scene for each season. We were using coarse grain salt on these. I'm wondering what a finer sprinkling might do, especially for the star effect?
Spoiler Alert: If you're on my Christmas card list, a certain element of surprise in our holiday greetings may now be lacking.