Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Winter Wednesday: Tree Silhouettes

The trees are so beautiful in winter, especially if there is snow on them. The curvy lines silhoutted against the winter sky never lose interest for me.
This is a simple winter nature study. Just pick a tree in your yard or on your street and view its branch patterns and silhouette or you can sketch the shape of a whole winter tree in your nature journal. This activity can be done from a window if your weather is too cold or snowy, or you can take a short 10-minute nature walk and take photos and then work on sketches for your nature notebook from the photos.
If you do not know the tree you are going to sketch, this little book can be very helpful with winter tree identification.
The parts of a tree are labeled in the Handbook of Nature Study on page 619, and these labels are a nice addition to a nature journal.
Another option is to collect twigs from different trees and compare them. (HNS, pg. 624) Can you identify the parts of the twigs. Sketch them in your nature journal.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Once they have become familiar with how tree silhouttes look, you can
do an art project next, if you like. This is a two-day project.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Take a sheet of white watercolor paper and paint your sky background over entire surface of the paper.
You can use more than one color, especially if you want to do a sunset picutre but try to keep the colors somewhat separate. They can run together a bit but you don't want it to become one single mixed shade. Let dry completely. Take your black paint, (could also be ink ) and make it quite watery. Using your paintbrush or an eyedropper drop in some paint at the bottom. We wanted a strong trunk so the kids used the end of the straw like a brush and pulled the paint up a bit. You could also just use a paintbrush for this step. Add more black paint where you want your branches to begin and blow the paint as far as you can. Try to get as many branches as you can. You can move your paper around if this makes it easier. Keep blowing until you have the tree looking the way you want it to. This project is from that artist woman.

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