White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

It was Christmastime, last year. My daughter and I had just visited the craft store for some supplies and decided to browse around Pier One, which just happens to be next door to the craft store. They always have such a wonderful display of ornaments and I’m always on the hunt for inspiration. That’s when my daughter saw a painting she loved and asked if I could make one for her.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

Funny story actually. The employees of Pier One must be worried about the competition stealing their ideas as they were eyeballing me and my camera phone quite suspiciously, and Kristen was supposed to be my lookout. Instead she’s over at the other end of the store drooling over wall art.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

This is the painting that she saw (pictured left, daughter’s cell phone) and the picture on the right is from the Pier One website. The piece is titled Cherry Blossom Wall Art and sells for $199.95. When Kristen was showing it to me, she made a point to say that she didn’t really like the stenciling in the background of the painting, so when I created my own a year later, I left that out.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

So here we are, fast forward 12 months and my baby girl is moving out on her own. She’s the first of my brood to venture out, though not my oldest, he’s still living here. She and her roommates have secured an apartment 20 minutes away and I wanted to make her something special as a house warming gift.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

Luck would have it that my contact at DecoArt gave me an assignment that couldn’t have had better timing. They needed a new photo/project for one of their catalog pages for their Americana paint. For the project I could only choose from the colors specified on that product page from the catalog. As soon as I saw the colors on the catalog page I knew exactly what I was going to do.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

The only supplies needed for this project are a 24″x30″ canvas, a small household sponge, some matte sealer spray and the following Americana paint colors:

Slate Grey
Neutral Grey
Sable Brown
Soft Black
Traditional Raw Sienna
Dark Chocolate
Cashmere Biege
Light Mocha

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NOTE: Each of the following step photos can be enlarged by simply clicking on the photo. 

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comFirst I thinned out some of the Slate Grey with water, 3 parts paint 1 part water should do it. I applied it to the canvas using a brush, but blended it with a soft cloth.

While the canvas was drying, I dropped the cell phone picture of the Pier One painting into Photoshop Elements and added a grid (View > Grid, change grid size in the Preferences). If you don’t have Photoshop, no problem, just use a ruler. I did a quick screen capture of the grid covered photo, then opened the screen capture and printed it. Then I went over the grid lines with a black marker to make them more visible. This was just to help me gauge area while sketching out the tree onto the canvas.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comNext I used a pencil to lightly draw a skeleton of the tree onto my grey canvas. Once the skeleton was in place, I then added the meat of the tree so to speak, creating the initial outline.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comFor this entire process I needed a lightly damp sponge. So I kept a small tub of water and a hand towel nearby. The sponge should be barely damp. Get it wet, squeeze all the excess out, then blot it on the towel.

First I shaded around the tree using Neutral Grey. To do this, I worked in small sections. This is important since acrylic paint dries fairly quickly. First I painted around the outline of the tree, then blended it with the damp sponge by running the sponge almost to the outline and blending the paint outward.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comNext, using Sable Brown and a sponge applicator (pouncer), I added some color to the outer edges of the canvas. Again, I blended the paint with the damp sponge.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comI used Fawn, and the same method as the previous step, to add some highlighting in between each of the branch sections. Blend, blend, blend!

Finally, I used small dabs of Soft Black around the corners of the canvas. In this instance, I did use a wee bit more moisture in the sponge since I was blending such a dark color. This helped with spreading it out more.

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White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comI filled in the tree using Traditional Raw Sienna. Then I used a long liner brush to add the details on the branches.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comTo add depth to the tree, I mixed together Dark Chocolate and Soft Black and added it over the Traditional Raw Sienna. I made sure that there was some of the base color still showing through, and I blended with the damp sponge as well. This had to sit and dry completely before the next step.

To highlight the tree, I used Cashmere Beige and blended the edges with the sponge.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting (steps) - CraftsbyAmanda.comTo finish off the branches I used a long liner brush and Soft Black, and traced over the thin lines on the twigs. I purposely didn’t cover them completely, I wanted the lighter color showing through.

Now I was ready to add the flowers, which by the way is a lot like icing a cake. It makes you smile and you know that you are not only in the final stretch, but you’re about to add a bunch of beauty to your creation. Dip the handle end of a paintbrush into Light Mocha. Small flowers can be created using just a dot and a small amount of paint, while larger flowers you’ll need more paint and you’ll “draw” them on using a circular motion. Just keep adding them until you are happy with the results.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.comLet everything dry really well. When the painting is completely dry, give it a nice even coat of sealer. Wait an hour or so and give it another coat. 20 minutes later, a third and final coat, just for good measure.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.comHere are some close ups of the different areas of the painting.

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

I hope you enjoyed this painting as much as I enjoyed creating it. My daughter was absolutely ecstatic when I gave it to her. She even tweeted this:


Aww! And I have the best daughter in the world too. :)

White Cherry Blossom Tree Painting - CraftsbyAmanda.com

:) :) I love you too baby girl. I can’t believe you’re all grown up and leaving the nest! It seems like only yesterday I was cradling you in my arms and singing you goodnight. Don’t forget to come home and visit your old mom. ;-)


  1. chandel says

    WOW!!! that turned out beautiful!! while i could never do it myself (i cannot draw to save my life) I think i like yours better than the original!! And the fact that your’s was created with Love, makes it all the better :)

  2. teresa frutos says

    You are extremely talented!!!! I could never make it look as good as yours. Will you consider making another to sell? I would absolutely love it!

    • Kay Halford says

      Love, Love it better than the Peir One you are so talented and your daughter is so lucky to have a talented mom like you.

  3. Deborah Jennings says

    I love this tree! I am going to have to make one! Hum, I wonder how you’d paint dogwood blossoms. That would be great to have around Easter!

  4. says

    I agree with many others that I find your version more beautiful than the original. The original is too glittery and clunky… I think the stencil background is very distracting, and makes it look a little cheap. Yours is neat and clean and warm and absolutely peaceful~ ♥

  5. Safeena says

    Ur painting is absolutely beautiful.. Im going to try it myself. It’ll be my first big painting!! Thank u so much for the inspiration n the detailed instructions.. wish me luck :)

  6. says

    I’m so excited that I happened upon your site tonight!! I just went to my very first Canvas Painting event tonight with my daughters and LOVED it! So finding your site with your awesome work and great tutorial just really made me smile!! I will be back as soon as I purchase the paints and sponges!! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      How fun! I really want to sign up for sewing classes at JoAnns but just haven’t found the time yet. Guess that’s one of my new year resolutions! :)

  7. katerina says

    O M G.this is so nice. i love it and i am going to try it myself.
    If it turns out good i will be very proud.
    i will led you know.Thanks for the idea,keep it coming.

  8. Kacy says

    Thank you so much for sharing your process. I am an art student and while painting is not too much in my field as a graphic designer, I loved the small experience I had with it in a mixed media course and color theory. I often want to try it out but am not sure how to get started, your process has given me so many ideas and really helped me see how to piece together a painting. I have to agree with everyone else yours is much better than the original!

  9. Bindhya says

    You r such a lovely mom..feel like cry while I read .. I think about the day my son leaves me..also very good painting..

  10. sandy says

    Your painting is so beautiful.Thank you so much for shareing.It has inspired me to try it for myself.Thanks again for the tips.

  11. Francine Nault says

    WOW that is so beautiful and thank you Amanda for sharing. Your instructions are fantastic, we can`t go wrong! Someday I will make one of these, I just love it. Keep up the good work and thanks again.

  12. Middy says

    This is beautiful….the painting and the story behind it. I love t a million times more than the original. It’s stunning!
    My stress reliever is painting and you have inspired my next piece. Best wishes to your daughter on starting out on her own. She’s very lucky to have such a caring Mom.

  13. Sydney says

    Hi Amanda,
    Im trying to recreate what you did and I cannot for the life of me get your sponge technique down when you’re painting with your Neutral Grey and Sable Brown.

    • says

      Hi Sydney. Are you using the damp towel to blot and blend? That’ the most important part to achieving that look. Acrylic paint dries quickly, so working with the damp towel helps tremendously!

  14. Ziya says

    Hi Amanda, thank you so much for this idea. I did this painting for a very dear friend of mine as a housewarming gift. First off, I’d like to say I was being lazy and decided to do everything free hand, haha! And went a little overboard with the details on the tree and the number of flowers on it.. I wish I could send you a photo of mine though.. just to make you feel proud that someone’s used you ideas. I am not a blogger and therefore have no clue how to attach my photo here. Thanks again..

    • says

      Hi Ziya! It sounds wonderful and I am so glad you found inspiration in my painting :) Feel free to email me a photo I would love to see it :) Simply click the contact tab above my photo on the right side bar of the blog. :)

  15. Jacqueline says

    I use other artists photographs for my painting inspiration- but would never copy a work to sell…I think that is copyright infringement. Making it for your daughter is finE, but going on to sell someone else’s ideas as your own doesn’t sit well with me(as an artist myself). However I think it’s fine to share the techniques you used to copy. Even those easy paintings done at wine and paint places are copyrighted, you need to be careful.

  16. says

    I agree, I wouldn’t sell my painting if I used another artist’s work as inspiration, unless of course it was different enough. I can see how the post you read may have not made that clear, but I was discussing selling my “portraits on wood” even though I receive lots of requests for my other work.


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