I just realized I better hurry up and post these Framed Winter Scenes before we completely miss winter. We kind of already did, since it’s been about 80 degrees here in Los Angeles for most of the winter, but still, these are really fun to make, and the techniques can be applied to a lot of different art work. Here’s the how to.
I demonstrated several kinds of winter scenes prior to this activity with my art class, while showing different photographs of winter scenes. I showed birch trees examples, fir trees and snow capped mountain scenes. Then the kids were off to do their own scenes. I’ll break down the basic steps below, that applied to each scene.
The first step for every scene is to make a tape frame around your paper with the painter’s tape. I cut the watercolor paper down to about 5×7, but you can do it any size you want. Place the painters tape all around the border of the paper to make the frame.
-For the birch trees you lay down tape vertically for the tree trunks and branches. To make skinny branches we ripped the tape down the middle and it made nice sharp edges.
-For the fir trees make triangles for the trees with two lines at the bottom for the trunk.
-For the snow capped mountains, make upside down v’s, as many as you want, and then zig zags underneath the top of the point for the snow.
We did all our drawing in black pastel.
Next, it’s time to paint. We kept the skies blue and used white tempera paint for the snow or light blue watercolor paint. After we added the paint we sprinkled salt to create snow over our painting. The salt absorbs the watercolor paint leaving white dots on the paper perfect for snowy winter scenes.
*Note, the salt won’t be absorbed my the tempera paint, it will just sit on top of it and dry or fall off. That’s fine too.
Once all the paint is dry, you can lift up the tape off your winter scenes. If you made birch trees you can take your brush and dab small black lines with your brush at an angle to make the texture of the bark on your trees.
*Note* Adding a frame using the tape technique is a fantastic way to make all art look extra special. We do this all the time when working with watercolor paints. Everything will look really great when you pull the paint off, even a pile of brown paint can look gorgeous in the right frame. You’ll be amazed if you haven’t tried this yet. Just make sure you’re using thick paper, like watercolor paper, so that your tape doesn’t rip the paper. It won’t work well on thin paper.
The kids at art class, ages 5 to 8, were very proud of their winter scenes. We did an art show at the end of class and they were so pleased to show off their work to each other and their parents. Happy winter everyone! Hope you are all cozy and warm with your families no matter how many degrees it is outside. xo Meri