This is Anthropologie’s $2,000 dollar painting “Tree of Life.” Ahem.
Since I like to craft and paint my own stuff, and help others do the same, I got inspired by a post at Lorilyn’s blog called “There’s spit in my hair”~ and did it myself.
First, go search the garage for used lumber. 1×4 or 1×6 or 1x 8. Or you can re-use the surface of an end table. You can piece any widths together and secure them like this:
Next, I divided the board into several colors, based on the left over green & blue paints I had in the garage. I watered them down a little, and sanded with medium grit paper when they were all dry:
I used pencil and drew the base, looking at the model. Then I used Gesso (white paint is fine) for the leaves. Try a super stiff, small brush so you can shape out the edges. I am not a fine arts painter! I just fiddled with the basic oval shape and the brush made it easier.
Now you have to be brave. In order to get these leaves faded and sitting “behind” the primary tree, I mixed white Gesso and water. I used about one teaspoon of paint with a cup of water. Take a larger brush and lightly load with water+paint mixture and try it on a corner, to test. It dries lighter than it goes on, so you’ll have to experiment.
This looks pretty chalky white! But, after letting mine fully dry, it was much more subdued. From here, I gave mine a good sanding, blending the leaves into the background.
I really wish I had gotten a picture of just the trunk when I was done. I drew the trunk and basic limbs with a pencil. With several erasings and changes, I finally got a shape I liked. I painted the trunk and limbs next, saving the leaf-drawings for last.
Looking at it all painted, it felt too bold and explicit, and what I wanted was softer and more muted. I was going to put on another layer of the paint+water, but changed my mind and tried lots of light sanding instead. That produced the effect I wanted and pulled the elements together.