Pine Branch Painting

Nov 30, 2012

Fall is such an amazing time of year!  While on a recent nature walk, my daughter and I could smell pine in the air.  The smell of pine mixed with the scent of the ocean was just magical.  There were many pine branches covering the walking path since it is very late autumn.  My daughter and I thought it would be fun to paint with the pine branches, so we took some home with us.


Here is what Sophia and I collected.  I wanted to introduce color tinting so I collected three branches.


I placed three rows of paint on a baking tray to create a large palette.  One row was a pure hue of green, the next was a line of green and a line of white that when mixed together would create light green. The last row was just white.  


I placed a pine branch next to each of the three paint rows.  I had my daughter mix the green and white paints together with one of the pine branches.  This was such an incredible sensory experience!  Not only was she able to observe first hand how a pure color blends with white to create lighter tint, she was able to engage her sense of smell by painting with the pine branch. Each time she swirled the paint, a beautiful pine scent was released. And, the tactile experience of holding the pine branch added yet another dimension to this process-oriented painting experience!


We prepared our canvas.  We placed a large piece of brown packing paper that we received in a shipment on top of a drop cloth and smoothed it out with our hands. 


I told Sophia to start painting with the lightest color first.  She immediately grabbed a pine branch started whacking white paint on the paper.  The paints splattered to create a fun design.  As an added bonus, each time my daughter hit the paper with the branch, more of the pine scent was released.  


Then, Sophia picked up the branch that she mixed the white and green paints with and started splattering and swirling the paint across the paper. Finally, she splattered the pure green hue of paint on top of it all.


When Sophia was finished painting, I placed the pine branches on a piece of plastic wrap to dry.  After they dried, I sprayed them with a non-toxic sealer.


Once the paints dried on the brown paper, I wrapped a present for Sophia's best friend.


I added twine and tied a pine sprig and a pine cone to the package.  I love how earthy and rustic this package looks.  Sophia gained so much from this process (and sensory) oriented painting experience.  


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