Art for Kids: Painting an Abstract Swirly Tree Silhouette With Acrylic Paints | Em Winn | Skillshare

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Art for Kids: Painting an Abstract Swirly Tree Silhouette With Acrylic Paints

teacher avatar Em Winn, Teacher, Art Instructor, Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction and Supplies Needed for This Project

    • 2. Step 1: Paint the Background

    • 3. Step 2: Paint the Tree

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About This Class

Are you searching for a fun and unique painting project for your child? 

Are you looking for an art project that will ensure artistic success and confidence?

Are you seeking an experienced art teacher to guide your child into the wonderful world of acrylic painting?

This Abstract Swirly Tree painting project may be just what you are looking for! Designed with beginners in mind, this project is perfect for children ages 6-12 years old. By following along with me, step-by-step, your child will learn the skills to create masterpieces of their own long after the project is complete.

There are three steps in this art project:

  • Step 1: Paint the Background
  • Step 2: Draw the Design
  • Step 3: Paint the Design

The process used to teach this project is a kid-tested, step-by-step method that will both inspire and delight your child into drawing and painting action! This process involves observing, following instructions, and creating until the student is happy with the outcome.

Students will learn basic acrylic painting techniques and apply these techniques to complete this project. This Abstract Swirly Tree painting project is designed to give children the tools they need to begin their artistic journey into self-expression, reflection, and creative thinking.

Supplies and materials needed for this project:

Let the creative fun begin!

Meet Your Teacher

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Em Winn

Teacher, Art Instructor, Artist


Hi. My name is Em Winn and teaching art to children is what I love to do! I pride myself on creating dynamic, meaningful, and engaging art lessons that are taught in a relaxing and joyful way. I have over 20 years teaching experience in the elementary classroom and in the art studio, and I feel that I have a good grasp on how to create a learning environment that makes children feel happy, motivated, confident, and successful. Let the creative fun begin!

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1. Introduction and Supplies Needed for This Project: Hey, friends, how are you? I hope you're having a great day today. Today we will be creating this project this cool tree silhouette project against, ah, background That's nice and free flowing and it has several different colors. So I wanted to go over the supplies and the materials that you will need for this project so you can gather them up and be ready to go. The first thing that you'll need is a piece of paper. The paper should be pretty thick because you want to make sure that it can hold the acrylic paint very well. The next thing you will need is paint. I have this type of acrylic paint that I'm going to be using today. There's a different type that you can use this well looks like this. So you can either use the tubes or the bottles. It's up to you. Whatever you have available to, you will work. The's paints right here. I chose thes three colors. You could choose whatever color you like, but what I would suggest is that you choose colors that are relatively light because we really want our black tree to stand out. So make sure that the colors that you choose are pretty light. You will also need black that black is going to be for the tree. Another thing that you will need for this project is some water. Water is always handy to have when you are doing on our project. That way you can clean your brushes, or, if you have a little spill, you can clean it up with the water. You won't need a variety of different paintbrushes. I have three here for this project. I used just these two, but sometimes it's nice to have 1/3 1 a smaller one around, just in case you need to make any small little detail work. I also would suggest a pencil with an eraser and a paper tell a paper tell is always a good idea to have around, just in case you have a little still for a little mess. Another thing you need is a pallet. I like to use a paper plate because we could have really easy cleanup with a paper plate. This is used to put the paints on, so when you dip the paint brush in the paint, it's nice and big. The last thing you'll need is a mat To protect your workspace, you can use a mat. You can use some, um, newspaper. You can use a tablecloth, anything that will protect the area underneath your artwork because acrylic paint does stain. So you want to make sure that you protect your area where you are working already. I'm really looking forward to, and I really am excited about teaching you this project. Let's get started. 2. Step 1: Paint the Background: already friends. So the first thing that we're going to do is we're going to choose our colors that we're going to use for our background. I would suggest you use lighter colors because your tree is going to be black, so we want the tree to really stand out. I am choosing to use these warm colors, which are yellow, orange and red. So we want to put a small amount of paint onto our palate. And then what we're going to do is we're just going to start painting and we're going to make some swirls. We're going to make some lines and just go kind of go with it. We're going to go with the flow with this particular project. So I would like to get a lot of paint onto my paintbrush, and I'm just going to start painting. I'm not going to draw first. I am not going to really think about it that much. I'm just going to start painting. I want to make sure I have full coverage, which means that I cover all of my white, the white part of my paper. So I'm just going to make some curved lines and I'm definitely going to be making some swirls because I love swirls. Maybe some swirls like this. And my objective for this is to cover up pretty much the whole entire piece of paper with this color. So maybe I'll do something like this, something like this. Do you see? I'm going pretty quickly. I'm not taking a lot of time with this because I want to make sure that I'm not thinking too much about it. Some lines. All right, so that's pretty good for my yellow. I think I might come back and add a little bit more. I think I'm going to move on to my orange. And did you notice I didn't even rinse out my brush? I didn't even rinse out my brush. And that's okay, because I don't like my colors to blend a little bit. Is in the orange just kind of following along, just going with the flow like that. And I think I was safe. That area for the red along here, if you put some color here when that in and again, I'm not thinking too much about what I'm doing. I'm just kind of going with the flow a little. That's that's what you do. Sometimes when you're creating artwork, just kind of go with the flow. You a little bit over here, a little more coverage there and maybe even like a little triangle right here. I think what I'm going to do at this point, I'm going to skip on to my read. So did you see what I did? I didn't even rinse out my brush again. I'm just going to finish off with my red. All these air so pretty together, these colors, You know, if they mix a little bit on the piece of paper, that's absolutely fine. That's actually encouraged. This part of the process really doesn't take that much time. Go put a little swirl right here. Okay. Thank you for being patient with me. Almost finished. There we go. No. My whole entire piece of paper, it's filled with color. What you could also dio is you can also put some dots on your piece of paper the way that I would suggest thinking dots is turn your paintbrush upside down using the bottom part, and you just dip it into your paint and then you can create a nice and round dots. You could put dots anywhere on your piece of paper that you like. How does that look? I think I'm very happy with that. Going to clean off the bottom of my paintbrush. And then I'm going to put this part of the paintbrush into my water so it couldn't be rinsed out. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to allow my painting to dry. And the reason why we like it to be nice and dry is because when we paint our tree onto our piece of paper, we do not want a lot of mixing of the colors for this particular project. So I'm going to be coming back and a little bit, probably in about 45 minutes to an hour. And by that time, my painting should be completely dry. And then we will be ready to create our tree. I'll see you back here in a minute. 3. Step 2: Paint the Tree: already friends. I'm back and my painting is, for the most part dry. I think I have one little wet spot right here, but that's not even going to be in the area that I'm going to paint, so it's going to be okay. What I'm going to do at this point is I'm going to sketch out my tree and it's going to have a wide trunk, and then it's going to be off into some swirly branches. So let me show you how we're going to do that. We're going to sketch a tree with our pencil, and I'm hoping that you can see this on the video. But basically what I'm going to do is start heres the middle right here, and then we just start a little bit right of the middle, and I'm just going to come up with my pencil and I'm trying to press down pretty hard and make us swirl, and then I'm going to do the same thing on the other side, come up and make us world now, right here in the middle where these two lines are. I'm going to make a V, and that's going to separate off one branch from the other. These are two main branches. Then I'm going to take this upper part of the V and maybe make a swirl here and make a swirl here. And just any place that I feel would look good for another swirl. I'm just going to put one there so for this will come up, make a swirl here, make a swirl, maybe here going this way and then maybe make a really tall swirl coming out from this area like that. I think I'm going to start there. And then what the great thing about art is is that you can add stuff later. So if you feel like there's something else that you'd like to add after you feel like you're all finished, you could still at it. That's the neat thing about art. So let's start with that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to take my medium sized paintbrush. It's about this size, and I'm going to use this to paint. If I like to make some really tiny branches, what I'll do is we use this very, very thin one that's very thin paintbrush, but for right now, I'm going to start with this one. So let me get a little bit of black paint black acrylic paint onto my palate already. So I have my black paint here, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to start at the bottom of my artwork and I'm going to move my way up because the bottom part is where the thickest part of the tree is. So I'm going to put some paint, some black paint onto my paintbrush, and I'm just going to start painting right over my lines. Here we go. And what I'm doing isn't just following along the pencil line. And as you can see, I'm very, very careful about this part because I want my branches to be nice and swirly. And remember, if you run out of pages like I did on there, you just go back and you dip again and you get more paint on your paintbrush. So basically the way that we start this, this part of the project is you just called cover all of your pencil lines with the black paint. So we're just going to cover all of those lines with the black paint and then we will come back and we will make some of the branches a little bit thicker. Was finished with this part going to start down here and come up. And if this is not perfect down here, that's OK, because trees are not perfect. You know that right there, Bumpy. And there won't be. Here we go. All right, So what we're going to do now is we're going to start filling in, so we're going to start filling in the bottom, make your coverage nice and thick. That way, the tree will be really, really dark. That's the look that we're looking for and we move on up. You lied on up that tree. Now, when we get to a split like this, what we're going to Dio is we're going to make a the so part of our paint is going to go off. This way, in part is going to go off this way. See how that works. So the branch is a little bit thicker towards the trunk and a little bit thinner as it goes out towards the branch. The end of the branch. Okay, we'll show you again. So look at how skinny this is. We want to thicken it up a little like these. So we add a little bit more paint are see that? Here we go. Now there's two branches coming down here. We want to turn that into a V like that, See how that works? And here's a B right here. We want to thicken that just a little still a little bit. The main thing is with art is that you need to do what you feel like you want to do with your project. So even though I'm giving you suggestions, you can absolutely do whatever you like. Whatever you think looks good, is what you should dio. That's really, really an important thing about art. Your art is yours. I'm really liking this tree. I think it looks really cool. We go. I think this one you'd still be a little bit thicker. So I'm just kind of looking at the tree now. And I'm looking to see if I want to add anything. I think I might want to add something up here, so what I'll do is I'll come out and make us world just like this. Make sure it's a little bit thicker towards the bottom, just kind of looking around to see if there's any more black that I'd like to add. Do you think we'll add a little bit more here? So it's important to look at your artwork after you think that you're finished because you might not really be finished. But you know what? I think I'm finished. I think I really like the way that this is looking. So I hope you had fun with this project, and I hope that you continue to watch these videos and let's keep creating. We'll see you next time by