Winter already?! Not yet, but it’s the time of year when nature (and that includes us!) prepares for it. Are you excited for winter, or perhaps you’re dreading it? Whatever your stance, how do you mentally and physically approach the coldest, darkest season? Maybe you’ve pulled out warmer clothes and put away shorts and tees, or increased your time outdoors while it’s still light out. Perhaps you’re thinking of trying out a new season ritual this year! In biology, “deciduous” describes trees that release or shed their leaves at the end of the growing season. Before the leaves fall, the tree collects their nutrients, storing them in its roots to prepare for a potentially harsh winter or dry season. Follow the steps below to create your own winter birch tree painting!

What You’ll Need:
Acrylic Paint (blues, white, and other colors you might like to add, like yellow for some warm sunlight)
Hard bristle brushes
A piece of string or yarn (cut longer than the height of your canvas)
Working space you can get messy
Canvas paper or heavy paper/cardboard
Masking tape

Step 1:
First, secure your paper or canvas to your working surface with some rings of masking tape on the back side. (If you have a canvas board this is not necessary.) Place some blue and white on your canvas (if you have tubes you can squeeze color directly onto it) and dab the color around with your brush, covering the entire surface. This will be the background of your forest, so if you’d like more white towards the bottom to resemble snow, or blue towards the top (sky), or other arrangement, place the color accordingly.

Step 2:
Saturate your string in white paint, and holding both ends firmly, place and drag the string across your vertical canvas, making your trees. You can shorten the string used to create branches and change the angle of the string as you like too.

Step 3:
Add any final details such as twigs, highlights, animals, etc. to bring your forest to life!