Simple Christmas TREE Step by Step Acrylic Painting on Canvas for Beginners
Hey everybody it’s Cinnamon Cooney Your Art Sherpa, I’m really excited to share this fun little painting with you today it’s called “The Lonely Christmas Tree” and it really needs you to give it some company. I’m gonna show you how to paint and all the steps everything you need to know to complete this painting it’s a great first painting and it’s a great fun painting that you can do right in the middle of all of the holiday stress so get your paint get your brushes grab your materials let’s get started alright let’s begin this really fun project we have an eight-by-ten canvas board it’s prepped it’s ready to paint I don’t have to do another thing to this. i have the paint colors phthalo blue, phthalo green, Mars black, Cad yellow medium hue, Cad red medium hue and titanium white. now listen if you don’t have this exact red this exact yellow on this particular painting that’s not actually that big of a deal because we’re not doing a lot of color mixing so just use what you have in paint along I think you’re going to find it’s really easy a lot of fun. let’s get started I’m going to grab this nylon brush here this is a stiff brush. I’m going to dip it in the water and dragged off the excess water, see cause i don’t want it to be super wet, i don’t want to be really really soaked and I’m going to get the ends of the bristles swirled around in my blue paint here, see how it swirled around in the water is pulling the pigment up. let’s paint our background in back and forth, see how I’m just painting that back and forth, I’m not going up and down a bunch of different directions just back and forth, dipping in, pulling out more paint, this whole painting let’s do the whole background together. that’s nice. sometimes i go back up very softly with my brush even on the smooth background and I blend back and forth to make sure that all the white canvas has disappeared. Get more paint when you need it and notice that I’m not swirling the whole little area of paint into my brush. little soft pass up, it’s a nice smooth finish. rinse your brush out get that acrylic paint out of it and put it to the side. Now this is a good time to let your paint dry you can either use a hair dryer to dry it or just allow it to air dry but it’s important that it’s dry before we apply the next layer. for the next part I’m gonna use a really fun technique to create a field of stars and i’m going to use a really simple household tool, a toothbrush, that i’m not going to be using to brush my teeth with anymore and a very soft fluid white paint, so the paint you see my palette here, this is heavy body, but to do the splatter i’m going to use a soft body paint. Now a little trick is is that craft paints are often soft body paints, i’m going to get my brush all in this paint and i’m just getting in there so it’s all over there, pull out any extra bristles you think are gonna just fly in to your canvas. This parts a little messy on the manicure but it’s a lot of fun and it’s a great place if you want to grab a little volunteer to come give you a hand. Take the brush apply your finger and then just splatter doesn’t take a lot to go a long way, that’s a lot of stars be sure and rinse your toothbrush out after because when the acrylic paint dries on it, it can really gum it up and guess what it’s a good time to draw your painting again. the next fun tool that I’m going to use is called a stencil brush this is a brush it’s round and all the bristles have been cut off flat, one of the things I like to do to check on my stencil brushes is to make sure that none of the hair, the filaments, the bristles are coming out of the brush when I pull on them because i don’t want to shed all over my canvas, i’m going to get a little of it in my heavy body paint here just swirling it around like this i’m not going right in the middle of it i’m just going to the edge here, you can see how it’s just the tip of these bristles that has paint on it and I’m going to kind of scramble in a little sort of “U” shape here and i’m going to do that with a little circular motion I’m gonna go up and down a little bit but overall my fluffy fluffy snow is going to be put in with this sort of “U”. add a little more to your bristles I don’t worry about painting out all the black, I mean all the BLUE that’s here because that’s kind of creating my shadow, be sure all the way to the end and you can grab just a little extra to make sure that some of this is a little more white. right. in other areas just fluffy fluffy snow in places that snow sometimes they call it powder. To clean my brush I’m going to dip it in the water, just the edges of it, in the water swirling around and bring it over to my towel and get the extra paint out, that’s still going to need a wash after but this will let me put it to the side well I’m ready to get to the next part of my painting. The next part of my painting i’m going to use a small bright brush this is a number 6 you could use a 4 or a 2 on this painting because the painting is so small. i’m going to dip it in the water dragged off the extra water and come and get a little black paint loaded on my brush. See i push it around in there and get in there but not all the way up into the metal just on the edge of these wonderful bristles. These are synthetic and they’re very firm so they work really well with my paint. i’m going to come right here almost at the top of this hill and I’m going to make a little line on the edge of the brush dragging very carefully now I don’t have the perfect straight up-and-down line and you don’t need to have one either and I don’t want to take it all the way to the top so i need to leave some room for the star at the top of my tree. so once i have that there, at the bottom here i’m gonna take a little of it and i’m going to just make a little cross brushstroke just a small amount i don’t want my trunk to be too thick because I want my tree to feel a little delicate, but i do want it to be a little thicker at the bottom peeking out from the pine needles that are coming down. This is a great time to put in my shadow which is going to be a little of my blue paint a little of my green paint, oh wait ,we’re going to get a little crazy here, a little of my black paint, then go ahead and grab some white, and then right under here I’m going to go back and forth with this darkened snow coming down making this little shadow and I want to be a little streaky hear. If you’re having trouble getting the streak you can even grab a little more white paint and make sure that it’s in there. I’m going to rinse that out, really well, and put that to the side and I’m going to grab what’s called a round. so this is a round and it comes to a nice point and it’s a great brush to do this technique with. though you could use a lot of different styles of brush and still get a good result. i’m going to dip my brush in the water. I’m gonna take my black and I’m going to mix it into my green paint over from the edges over to my green. I want my black to definitely have a green cast it’s going to be important showing under the tree. and i’m going to come on the tip of my brush just pull out a little stroke on each side along this trunk. a dip in water come over here almost going to keep pulling these little strokes out, I’m going to just breathe and relax sometimes painting can get a little stressful, you start to feel like it’s got to be perfect, that you’ve got to be perfect but that’s not actually what painting is about painting is about giving yourself a little time to slow down, be creative, hear yourself think. As I’m coming down my pine tree i’m going to do something very important i’m going to make it a little bit wider and for sure i’m going to stop making brushstrokes leaving about all gosh a half inch of that trunk exposed and I’m just mentioning that now just in case you’re having a really good time and got a little bit ahead of me. that happens there’s no speed in art. I’m just pulling this out and allowing the tip of the brush to make these soft feathered pine looking little brushstrokes. I think it’s pretty fun there we go, i remember that it’s got to be widest at the bottom, right, Widest the bottom. it’s ok if you see a faint line of your black trunk there because there’s so many layers that are happening and that will disappear. You can also go through and check the shape your pine and make sure that this feels like a pine you were hoping to make. at the bottom i’m going to flick on the edge of my brush and kind of create a little ballet skirt shape coming out, maybe pull a little bit up here some shape. now I’m gonna take a little blue over my green, I’ve got some black still in there but mostly it’s green. I’m going to grab some white believe it or not the paint underneath still being a little bit wet HERE will help us. I’m going to come here and I’m going to make a little highlight, i’m not going to paint out all my dark paint. see I’m dashing along here and I’m going to make a little section let’s make a little section right here 1 2 3 4 let’s skip a little bit make a couple here 1, 2. see how we’re leaving some dark. it’s really going to help our tree feel like a tree! grab some more white and green paint. I’m going to do something similar here let’s go 1, 2, 3 we’re not painting in all our dark cause we want some shade, and I’m come along here and grab a lot more green paint want it to feel real green. Then just come along the tip here and do that same thing, skipping and leaving a little of the dark to give my trees some shape, doesn’t that give it a lot of lovely shape. little strokes and 1. 2 come down here and really make a lovely skirt. I’m going to flare some out here and I want to make sure that I’ve got some flared everywhere some to come right here. what a nice little pine tree. This is a good time to rinse out your brush if you want. grab a little of your white and blue, together and add a few little snowy shadow parts there, make sure it’s dark enough underneath and if it isn’t get a little of your black and a little of your green and come back and make sure that there’s a dark area too, for the light that the tree is blocking. now while that’s drying check your stars and if they’re dry i’ll show you how to make some twinkles in the sky with the detail brush. I’m going to get one of my favorite detail brushes, this is a small 0 (Zero) brush with a very fine tip. sometimes i like to use an even smaller brush if I need to. I’m going to dip my brush in some water and I’m gonna come get some just white paint loaded on my brush, gonna pick a little spot up here and I’m gonna make a very very fine line, another very very fine line, then I make little cross lines , little circles kind of implied around. Isn’t that pretty that’s a twinkle, i like to twinkle lots of things sometimes it’s nice to make a little tiny one, isn’t too particular not to big up his little, he’s happy he’s twinkling in the sky, Put another one over here. I rest my pinky on my canvas, this only works if the canvas is dry though, it helps me steady my hand and can be something you can do if you’re having a little trouble steadying your hand. I like my little circles around there, i think we need a couple more twinkles. just on the tip go “x” “x” line through, long-line “x” “x” line through, line through, just making little twinkles. let’s make another kind of noticeable one right here, couple of “x”s and then the little circles of light you can have as many twinkles in the sky as you want it’s your sky, make it all twinkle. now I’m gonna grab a very special tool that’s going to make this an easy job. i’m going to use a very special to let me show this to you, this is called a dauber, they come in a lot of styles they’re not particularly expensive this is a quarter inch and its small you can get these at most craft stores i’ve even seen them at dollar stores they’re located kind of everywhere you should be able to find them any of the styles of dauber will work i’m going to dab or dip in my dauber into the paint making sure that the end of my dauber is coated and i’m going to very carefully place my red christmas balls around my tree. I want the paint come off evenly, it’s nice sometimes to even take one and hang it off a branch here like that can you see that? how it hangs off the branch? I’m going to arrange them so that they are pleasing to me. that one’s off in a little branch, i want to leave room for my twinkle lights that are also in my tree so I can’t cover the whole tree in these beautiful ornaments and still have room for that rinse your dauber off. IT’s time to get another detail and put in those twinkles and stars. Now I think a good tip here is to make sure that the whole piece is dry before you begin to twinkle stars, if you have to rest your hand like I do to study your stroke you’re going to want to make sure you’re not dragging wet paint all over the canvas. Take a minute and check that it’s dry .Once i’m totally sure that it’s dry, i’m going to take my two detail brushes i have two different styles here, what I’m looking for is a very fine point, that gives me a lot of control, i’m going to get my brush a little bit moist and go find my paint. i’m going to get my cad yellow mixed into it put a little of my white into my CAD yellow and I’m gonna roll my brush and try to load just the tip. I’m gonna make a little dot at the top of my tree with my yellow, doing my best to make a line straight up and another one coming straight down. I’m going to make another cross line and my 2 “X”‘s. once I have those in and just dip my brush again to make sure that the paint is flowing off well or I can take even my fluid white to thin it out both work you’ll notice that i’m not getting it up into my metal and if it was up into my metal I would wipe my brush off to clean it. i’m going to make little radiating bands out into the sky, like this, this star. this is a special star, if you were walking at night in the winter in the cold this would feel lovely to see. Doesn’t that feel lovely to see? make sure that I’ve got a nice amount of top. now i’m going to make little versions of this throughout the tree. i might even switch to a smaller brush you could use just one brush that’s really up to you. let’s just do the same thing make a little twinkle right here. crossbeam. there you go. twinkle that little guy out so wing it out. make a bunch of these around the tree, dot here. I’m just going to place these around try not to clump them up too much. maybe some can be twinkle-ly-er than others. it’s relaxing. my brush, if it gets clumpy reload I’m trying to keep it out of the metal of my brush. when you feel that you put in enough twinkle lights much like decorating your trees at home then you have your last little step which is the highlights. rinse out your brush , wipe off with the towel to make sure there’s no paint build-up and then i’m going to use the soft body paint. yes you can thing you’re white paint with water but if it’s possible for you to get some soft body paint or craft paint in white that can help you get this very delicate effect. it’s not necessary. I’ve seen people do a lot, all kinds of things. i’m going to add this lighter reflection a little bit more, i think to the right side of my twinkling star, and come here i’m going to do this over every little twinkle i have, just a little bit extra twinkle in your star. isn’t this nice! Just twinkle the rest of those stars Just keep going now once your twinkles are all in there sparkling it’s important to add a little reflection to all of your jolly red christmas balls so with that same detail brush let’s put those little reflections in. I like the reflection point it’s one of my favorites and what I like to do if you can see this like to make a little curve stroke and then a couple little dots, curve stroke, little dot, see I’m putting a little extra shine. pretty fun stuff. add those to all of your jolly red ornaments. I’m gonna add three there, just trying to say there’s a little bit of starlight reflecting. Now this is the best part which is that you get to sign your piece because you’ve done original artwork. if this is your very first painting i really hope it’s not your last. I hope this is the beginning of a very long art journey and if you’ve been painting for a long time I hope you’re really proud of what you did, you plan to hang it on the wall and keep bringing it out year after year let’s put our signature on. I’m going to get my brush a little bit with and i might go get my black paint and I’m very carefully going to pick a place that won’t bother me in the composition of the painting, i’m going to add my name, just so i remember that i made this one. Cause hopefully there’s gonna be a lot of little lone christmas trees out in the world from now on cheering up our homes. I hope you enjoyed the time you spent with me today I know i enjoyed spending it with you, if you’d like more information about painting and art go ahead and check out the artsherpa.com and I really want to see you at the easel really soon!