I made this birds on a branch silhouette painting for my daughter for Christmas. She recently moved into her first apartment and I wanted to give her a special gift. It had to be a surprise though, I didn’t want her to know what it was. Let’s face it, when kids become young adults, Christmas presents aren’t really much of a surprise anymore, but I really wanted this one to be. Besides, her favorite holiday is Christmas and she has always loved the secret, magical element of it. So how could I disappoint her?
I started snooping around on her Pinterest boards to see if there was anything I could draw inspiration from. Boy was I in luck! I came across this photo…
However, the link from Pinterest was a dead one, it went to a blog that had been closed down. I did some searching but couldn’t find the source of this lovely painting.
Now here’s a funny story. I finished the painting a few days before Christmas, but because my daughter is a Facebook fan of Crafts by Amanda, I couldn’t share my results there for fear of her seeing it. So instead I shared the photo with a group of craft blogger friends. My friend Colleen from Just Paint It replied saying she was almost finished with a very similar painting using the same inspiration! How’s that for a coincidence?
Anyway, my daughter absolutely loved it and has it hanging in her room. I have to say I’m really happy with how it turned out and almost wish I had made two simultaneously so I could have one too!
Here’s the painting I made for her when she moved into her new place. This one is hanging in her living room. White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting.
I started out by grabbing a screenshot of the Pinterest inspiration and printed it off and used that as my template. I scored some lines on the picture to give me a better feel of placement on the canvas since I would need to draw freehand.
I used Americana acrylic paints for this project. Here are the colors that I used:
- Warm White
- Light Buttermilk
- Flesh Tone
- Traditional Raw Sienna
- Dark Chocolate
I started by painting the canvas with Light Buttermilk then softening the center with Warm White. I wanted it to have a little texture in the middle so I used a household sponge, applied the paint a little heavy, and dragged the sponge through in a criss cross type pattern.
I used the sponge for the entire background starting with Flesh Tone. Just dabbed it here and there, really random but following the frame of the inspiration photo. Next I used Traditional Raw Sienna, dragging and blending with the sponge, just until I liked how it looked. For the highlights, mostly at the top with some at the bottom, I used Butterscotch. As you can see from the paint in the pie tin I was not concerned about my colors touching each other, in fact it’s good to have them mix a little. It adds to the flow and dimension of your painting.
I darkened the corner and edges with Dark Chocolate and finished off the edge shading with Black. Once the paint was dry I sketched on the main outline of the branches and the birds.
The rest is really easy. It’s just black, so use a long liner brush to add all the branches and the outline of the birds. Fill in the birds with a flat brush. Use the liner to add smaller branches and simple leaves.
That really is it! I hope you like it and that you found these instructions helpful. :)