Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Tree for K

K has been doing some redecorating in J's house, and they needed art to go over the couch in the living room. I offered to paint something, and we agreed on three canvases like this. I found it here. But it was featured on one of the blogs I regularly read. (Sorry, I don't remember which one)

So, K bought some large canvases and I went to town with them. Only I changed the colors to suit us.

After covering the canvas with a light aqua blue, I began drawing out the picture using a sketch I made as a guide.

I used watercolor pencils, so the lines would fade out and not show through any paint. I carried the design across the three canvases.

After solidly filling in the lines with dark brown, I began to highlight the limbs using a lighter brown, then adding shading with a brown and black mix. I used simple craft paint because the really good acrylic paint is just too darn expensive for my pocketbook.

When all the highlights and shades were just like I wanted, I coated all three surfaces with a mix of Modge Podge and water. I originally wanted to use a glaze, but the local Walmart didn't have any. (No surprise there.)
I wanted to age it a bit, so I added some brown paint to the mixture. Then began painting it around the edges like so.

Of course that wasn't the end of it, as I needed to dab it with a wet cloth to spread it and make is look like more than just paint on a canvas.

I worked my way out from the corner so it would fade as I went. It's a trial and error process and you have to work fast with the Modge Podge because it's more like Elmer's glue than glaze. It dries very quickly, but if you rub aggressively with a wet cloth before it sets up, you can remove any mistakes. As you can see, I made the corners a little darker than the rest.

I didn't have a spot to hang them on the wall for a good photo, but you get the idea.

I was a bit afraid I'd mess it up when I started the aging, but I said a little prayer and it turned out great! I pray a lot over my work, and it's always a great help to me. I wish I had a place in my house for something like this. But I'll enjoy seeing it when I go visit J.


  1. What a great idea - I like that!

  2. I want one! it's beautiful!

  3. Ok Erin. Wedding gift? Do you want it the same colors or different? And what size do you want the canvases? These are 20x24.

  4. I am so excited to see that you used my project for inspiration and then took it to the next level with shading and aging! Way cool! I'm going to feature this!

  5. That is awesome - I'm SO impressed! Great job!

  6. Very cute. I love it.