Fall Aspen Trees Mixed-Media Art Lesson (Watercolor Painting & Collage)

fall trees painting and collageFall Aspen Trees Mixed-Media Art Lesson (Watercolor Painting & Collage)

Oh how I LOVE fall! Where we live in Texas there pretty much is no real fall season. It goes from crazy hot to luke-warm and then back to crazy hot again. For a while my family lived in Tennessee and I remember how absolutely beautiful the changing of the trees was-vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Like the trees were on fire!

The inspiration for this project has come from many places. I knew that I wanted to combine fall aspen trees collaged with watercolor salt painting, and add the fall leaves with tempera. Here is were the inspiration came from:

Fall Aspen Trees

Fall Aspen Trees Fall Aspen TreesAspen Trees: My mother sent me the two pictures below from her vacation in Colorado recently. I am SO jealous! I saw these pictures and knew I wanted to create a picture with fall aspen trees.

Other Art Teachers & Artists:








Here is how we did it:

Supplies: 11×15″ Canson Watercolor paper, 1 x 12″ & 1/2 x 12″ Card stock strips (3 per student), Random size smaller strips for branches, sharpies, liquid watercolors in blue & purple (we used reclaimed markers), table salt, red, orange and yellow tempera paint, Q-tips



  1. On the long  & shorter strips, use a ultra fine tip sharpie to draw horizontal lines on the tree (vary the length of the lines & make sure they never go all the way across).
  2. Draw “eyes” on the strips (vary the size).
  3. Glue the branches onto the trunk of the tree. Write your name on all trunks. Paper clip together for next time.


  1. Draw 3 rolling hills on the lower half of you paper.
  2. Paint the sky with watercolors and sprinkle salt into the paint while it is still very wet. Best to let dry or they sky will bleed with the hills (as ours did-some kids really liked that though).
  3. Paint the hills with green for a fall picture or light blue for a winter snow scene.


  1. Glue the aspen trees onto the background watercolor paper. Vary the placement so they don’t all start along the same base line. (have one per hill)
  2. Apply with “leaves” using Q-tips and tempera paint. Try to group the leaves (like piles) instead of randomly where ever on the painting.

fall trees mixed media painting and collage fall trees mixed media painting and collage Fall Aspen Trees

Student Artwork

If you choose to use this lesson or to repost it (written info or photos), please link it back to my blog. Create Art with ME. All images and text are © Michelle C. East – Create Art with ME

  1. Andrea Werboff

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