Nature is alive and beautiful, and as a family, we celebrate this on a daily basis. I stumbled upon artist, Tim Knowles online, and his tree drawings inspired this activity.
It’s an easy activity to do with kids and holds promise of mystery and magic on a breezy day. A tree that draws! You can’t help but notice the wind, and how it moves the leaves in a dance, or how pretty the bird’s song is. It forces you to be still, and watch, and listen.
One of Tim Knowles Tree Drawings
Oak On Easel
Stonethwaite Beck, Smithymire Island, Borrowdale, Cumbria
Our Tree Drawing
Backyard Tree (can anyone recognise the type of tree?) On Easel
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Canvas (or other hard surface to tape the paper)
Watercolour Paper or an Art Board
Drawing material of choice (heavy sketching pencil, felt pen, permanent marker)
You can purchase all of these materials from a discount or art store (and even places like Target, Officeworks & BigW). I decided to use three A5 pieces of pastel watercolour paper for one feature, and then an artist board for the other. An artist board is like very thick cardboard with a canvas front. It’s brilliant for all kinds of projects and not as bulky as a canvas.
2. Tape paper to canvas or straight on to an easel if you have one
This way, the paper will hold still for the tree. Keep the tape right at the edge so it doesn’t damage the paper too much.
3. Set up the paper in front of a low branch
Use an easel (if you have one), a step ladder (like I have) or a chair.
4. Tape pen to a branch
Look for a branch that naturally moves in the wind, that is close to the ground.
5. Adjust canvas in front of pens
Move the canvas in place so the pens are only just touching, and the tree draws with the wind. It’s beautiful to watch! Leave for a few hours and see what happens.
6.Date and hang
I purchased this lovely frame half price at Target.
Backyard Tree (can anyone recognise the type of tree?) On Branch
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
I also hung an art board on a branch (using an alligator clip, to hold the board, and a ribbon).
The children were AMAZED and very excited to see the final picture. They though this one looked very much like a bird or swan. Can you see it?
Date and time
- Give as a gift: couple a photograph of the tree in a frame with the relative drawing
- Create a memoir of a special place visited or holiday destination
- A fun weekend activity
- Build on the tree drawing shape to create another drawing
Button BabyJuly 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm
Very beautiful idea! I think I might try it someday, when I have free time. Kelly, you are full of great ideas!:)
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Renee VeldmanJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:00 am
What a fantastic idea! Your blog is an amazing source of beautifully simplistic yet quite profound things to do with kids.
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