Lit Christmas Tree Painting

This is, by far, one of the most ambitious projects I’ve done to date, but I’m so proud of how it turned out.  (excuse me while I pat myself on my back)

This is a long post because I’m going to take you step by step to show you how I did it.

This is my Lit Christmas Tree Painting.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

If you read my posts about how I painted the Christmas Tissue Box: Part 1 & 2, they go into even more detail about how I paint the sky, clouds & evergreen trees.  (the blue 1 & 2 will take you to the posts)  There are a lot of pictures, so most of them will be in a thumbnail size.  To see them at full size, just click on the picture.  Use your ‘back’ button to go back to this post.

Sky:

I started with a 16″ x 20″ stretch canvas.  I painted the entire canvas with white acrylic paint.  Then I got the paints that I needed for the sky.  I used a dark blue, a medium blue, a dark purple, Floating Medium and a flat brush.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

I dipped the paint brush into 2 of the colors and made crisscross strokes starting at the top & adding more layers until I got to about half way down the canvas.  Every time you need more paint, dip the brush into 2 different colors.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

When I got to the half way mark, I stroked the paint across to make a small valley.  Using a little of the floating medium, I painted across the sky crisscross strokes to smooth it out.  This give the sky area some depth & movement.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting          Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Clouds:

Dip one corner of the cleaned brush into some white acrylic paint.  Then, with the white facing the top of the canvas, make small semi-circles.  Reload the brush with more paint as needed.  Add a second layer of semi-circles.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Add more layers to the clouds until you make them the way that is pleasing to you.  Then with the white paint facing the bottom of the canvas, make little semi-circles to the bottom of the clouds.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting          Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Lightly dip the cleaned brush into the Floating Medium,  Go over the clouds to smooth the strokes out.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting   Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Trunk:

I used 3 shades of brown paints.  A very dark, a medium shade & a lighter shade.  Using the same flat brush, dip the brush into 2 shades at a time.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Let the paint brush do the work for you.  The paints will give you highlights & shadows.  Make a trunk for the tree.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Lit Christmas Tree Painting          Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Once you have the trunk made, you’ll want to add limbs & branches to either side.  These are to give you a guideline for adding the pine needles.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Pine Needles

I used several shades of green from dark green to a neon green.  And the brush that is going to do most of the work for you is a fan brush.  Again, dip the fan brush into 2 or more shades at a time.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting          Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Stroke the paint on to each branch, starting at the top, working your way down, and do the branches that are towards the back first.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

The angle that you hold your brush will make the pine needles.  Mostly, the brush is held sideways.  Keep adding pine needles until the tree is full.  Once the tree is painted, add a few strokes to the base of the trunk to create the look of grass.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

At this point, the tree could be complete.  This is the time to sign & date your painting.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

But if you want to add snow to the branches, you’ll want to dip the ends of the cleaned fan brush into white paint & lightly go over each pine needle area.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

After all of the pine needles are covered with ‘snow’, use a toothpick dipped into some white paint, and add random dots to the painting to make it look like snow is falling.  Don’t forget to add some to the front of the tree.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

And you know me, I need my glitter.  It makes the white paint look like it’s glistening.  I used Clear Tacky Glue, white iridescent glitter, a flat paint brush & a detail brush.  I painted over the branches with the glue & then added glitter one section at a time.  Once the tree was glittered, I tapped it off & went on to the snowflakes.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

After I tapped off the snowflake glitter, I added some glitter to the base of the tree & ground snow.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Again, at this point, the painting could be finished.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

But I wanted to add some lights to the Christmas Tree.  I found these lights at Walmart.  They’re battery operated & they have a timer, so once you set them, they come on at the same time every day & stay on for 6 hours.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting          Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Now comes the scary part.  Using a razor, I made 36 slits in the canvas.  A slit for each light.

Making slits in canvas for lights          Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Then from the back, I pressed the first light through the slit.  I wanted a yellow one on the top.  First light in.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting   Lit Christmas Tree Painting

I kept pressing the lights into all of the slits until the entire string was finished.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Then using the Clear Tacky glue, I glued the lights from the back.

Glue backs of lights in place  Lit Christmas Tree Painting

Once the glue has dried, it’s finished.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

And here it is, hanging on the wall.

Lit Christmas Tree Painting

I am so very proud of this.  It was time consuming, mainly waiting for the paint to dry, and nerve wracking when I cut into the canvas, but it was worth it.

Happy Creating everyone!

I’ll be joining:

Create With Joy for Friendship Friday Blog Party