Our favorite time of year is around the corner again and with it all of that beautiful fall scenery. This project is inspired by our Paint & Fold Winter Reflections. This is a favorite technique of ours. It is a fun and simple way for the kiddos (and adults) to create beautiful reflections.
If you enjoy our Paint and Fold Autumn Reflections, you may also like some of our other autumn arts & crafts.
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What you will need:
Watercolor paper or mixed media paper
Acrylic paints (thinner acrylics or tempera paints not recommended)
Paint brushes, sponges, cotton balls, cotton swabs
Start with a piece of watercolor paper or mixed media. We go through a ton of watercolor paper in our house, so we usually cut the paper in half. It conserves our paper and it creates a smaller canvas for my little one which is usually helpful in keeping her engaged. You may of course use a full sheet, if you choose. Fold your paper in half or try a different ratio if you prefer more sky. Watercolor paper is thick, so you will have to apply some pressure to get a good fold.
Paint the bottom portion in a shade of blue. Paint the top half in a lighter shade of blue. Let the paint dry. It shouldn’t take very long, but if you are impatient like us, you can use a hairdryer,
Now for the fun part. You can use a paintbrush, sponge, cotton balls, swabs, or anything else that you can think of to apply your paint. Read the tips below before getting started. We didn’t use much rhyme or reason with our scenes. We just had fun spreading the color around to give the feeling of trees. You can make it as detailed or as simple of a project depending on the age and experience of the artist.
A few tips:
Work in small sections. You will want to do your folds quickly before the paint dries.
I recommend acrylic paints. Tempera paints will be too runny and if you have cheap acrylics, they may also be too runny.
If you are cleaning your brushes between colors, dry them off before dipping into your paint again. Wet or drippy paint will run and smudge.
Fold often and reapply paint as often as you need to achieve your desire results.
Now let’s dive in!!
Apply paint to the top portion to begin your landscape.
Fold your paper and run your hand across the folded paper to transfer the paint from one side to the other.
Keep working a little at a time adding your colors and folding in between.
We switched between sponges, cotton balls and our paintbrushes to apply our color and fill in gaps.
When you are done creating your trees, add lines for tree trunks, if desired and add a line of paint into the crease and fold again and apply pressure to the crease to create your ground.
When you are satisfied with your reflection, dampen a brush and brush back and forth horizontally only on the bottom half. It will catch any bits of wet paint and help smudge it a bit and give it a nice watery look.
You can skip this step, but if you have Modge Podge accessible, brush a generous layer over just the watery reflection. The Modge Podge will leave a glossy finish, which works wonderfully to finish off the look of water.
You may add any small details to the top portion of your picture, like clouds or birds, or add a tree to the forefront of your picture. As I said, you can make it as simple or detailed as you like. Here is our finished project and a few others that we made.
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