I had my laptop open to the tree painting I liked and started out by sketching with pencil on the canvas. I began by free drawing the trunk, the outline of the roots, the main branches of the tree and the swing. Using a pencil was great because I could easily erase any lines I didn't like.
I started painting with 'Au Natural' from JoAnn brand acrylic paint. I painted the inside of the tree before I painted the outline so that I wouldn't paint over the outline.
I made sure to stay within my sketch so that the branches wouldn't end up being too big for the the size of the tree. I also knew once I was done with all of the branches I could cover any of the pencil left once I began outlining.
After I finished painting all of the tree and branches that I sketched, I grabbed a smaller more sturdier brush to start on the branches. I looked at the painting of the tree I liked and put a similar amount of little branches as in the painting.
Once all of the branches looked similar to my favorite tree painting, I took a break and then stood back to see where else I wanted to add branches to make them look fuller so that I could maximize the amount of thumb prints we can get at the reception.
I then used and even smaller and sturdier brush and 'Chocolate Sprinkle' acrylic paint to begin outlining my tree. I put shadows throughout the tree for depth and along the branches.
Then I used the same brush from when I painted the base of the tree and used 'Au Natural' and 'Hot Cocoa' acrylic paints. I dipped each corner of the paint brush into one of the paints and then brushed the paint on the canvas. I did not premix, but let the paint mix as I used the brush so that I would get the light effect onto the tree.
I then painted the swing and premixed 'Au Natural' and 'Hot Cocoa' for the heart that is carved out of the tree.
I'm very critical about my handwriting and didn't want our names at the bottom of the tree to look bad so I started brainstorming for ideas. Cassie remembered my Cricut Expression that I got for Christmas and so it was christened!
I used my Winter Wonderland cartridge because that was my favorite font and got to work cutting the letters into some scrapbook paper, which I then cut and taped to the canvas. I used a ruler to make sure that the wording would be centered and then I used a black paint pen to fill in the letters.
And here it is! My finished tree! I am so excited how it turned out and still can't believe I was able to do it. I used a black fine tip Sharpie for the letters within the carved heart and put detailing on the wooden swing to make it look real. I also added some detailing to the rope to make it look more realistic. I'm going to use a dark green, light green and pink ink pad for my thumb print leaves.
I cannot wait until our reception in August to see my tree with thumb prints and all of our guests signatures!