Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snowy Pine Trees Framing the Watercolor Aurora Borealis Sky: Paper Craft

This is the forth installation in my watercolor aurora borealis, northern lights, series.

The first was Simple Craft: Little House in a Watercolor Aurora Borealis where I detailed all the steps and created my watercolor northern lights backgrounds.

These trees are the  forth out of series of five, so here they are: the snowy pine trees.

This is the watercolor background I started with.

Northern Lights Background

I thought the green pine trees would be a nice contrast to the red shooting up from the middle of the sky.

Set up of the pine trees

Having the tree bursting out of the boundary of the sky, I thought, gave the feel of their nearness bringing us into the picture.

I used:

  • white printer paper for the snow
  • brown construction paper for the tree trunks
  • green construction paper for the branches
  • one cotton ball for the snow on the branches
I cut out

  1. the snow 
  2. a short thin brown rectangle for the little pine tree's trunk
  3. a larger, thicker brown rectangle for the larger pine tree's trunk

Snow and Tree Trunks

Don't do any gluing yet, so you can move the pieces if you want.
Making the Large Pine Tree Branches
 Take a sheet of green construction paper. Place it in front of you lengthwise and fold the bottom right hand corner up to the top edge of the paper making a triangle.

First Fold: Making a Triangle

 Cut off the extra paper not part of the triangle.

Cut of the Extra

Fold the triangle a second time bringing the bottom left corner up to the top right corner.

Second Fold

Cut along each fold so that you have four very large triangles.

Four very Large Triangles

Take the top two triangles and fold the bottom corner up to the top.

Two very Large Triangles, Folded

Cut along the fold of these triangles so they become four large instead of very large triangles.

Cut along the Fold

Now you have the branches of the large pine tree.

Place these large triangle--branches--on to the large tree trunk.

Placing Branches on the Large Tree--One

Placing Branches on the Large Tree--Two

Placing Branches on the Large Tree--Three

Placing Branches on the Large Tree--Four

So now we have the large pine tree in it's place but not glued on yet.

Next is the Branches for the Little Pine Tree
One very large triangle will become all of the little pine branches.

One Very Large Triangle

Fold it in half.

Fold the Very Large Triangle in Half

And then again.

Fold the Very Large Triangle in Half a Second Time

Cut along the folds, and you'll have four small triangles.

Four Small Triangles for the Small Pine Tree Branches

Place the little pine tree's branches on the same way you did for the large pine tree.

Little Pine Tree's Branches Placed On

Now you can glue all these pieces on in the same order we created them:
  1. snow
  2. tree trunks
  3. branches, from the bottom up
I like to use a cotton swab dipped into a small puddle of glue and sparingly applying the glue with the swab to the edges of each piece.

Apply a thin line of glue along the sides and bottom edges of the snow.

I didn't put glue along the top edge of the snow, so I could tuck the tree trunks in more easily. 
I finally decided this was easier than loosely gluing the top edge of the snow as I did in the other aurora borealis watercolor crafts in this series.

Putting Glue on the Trunks

Starting to Glue on the Branches

Oops--I put glue on the corner of the branch hanging off the edge of the background.

Next time I won't put glue on that corner.

Almost finished gluing on the Branches

Trees Glued On

Now that the trees are glued on, we can stretch out a little cotton for the snow.

First put a line of glue along the branch, and then put the stretched cotton on top.

Apply Glue for Snowy Branches

Stretching the Cotton over the Glue for the Snowy Branches

Cotton all glued on.

Snowy Pine Trees Framing the Aurora Borealis

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