We love cotton ball painting. It’s such a fun painting activity for kids of all ages, both my kids love it and so do I! This orange tree painting turned out great, I love the bright green colors and the pop of orange.
Painting the leaves with cotton balls gives the leaves a fluffy texture that is hard to get when painting with a brush. We used a cork to stamp on the oranges, it was super easy and they look great. Check out my collection of painting ideas for kids for more fun and creative art projects to try!
This printable is great for younger kids who might find it hard to draw a branch on their own, you can print it out on cardstock and they will have lots of fun painting with cotton balls and stamping with corks.
Create your own orange tree cotton ball painting
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- Printable branch template (optional)
- Canvas pad, cardstock or regular canvas
- Acrylic paint in blue, two shades of green, black, orange
- Paint palettes, I usually use plastic lids
- Cotton balls
We used a canvas pad for this project, our canvas was 12 x 16 inches and I cut it in half to 12 x 8 inches. If you are using the printable branch template, you can simply print it out on cardstock and use that, you can also use a regular canvas if that’s what you have. Whatever you use, it will look great!
1. Because this project is more of a branch than a whole tree, you will want to cut your paper in half if you are using a canvas pad (our painting was 12 x 8 inches). If you are using the printable template, make sure you print it on cardstock.
2. Paint your entire canvas blue for the sky. Our paint was mixed with white so you can see some white streaks here and there in the sky which I think looks nice. Using a larger flat brush for the sky works well and helps younger kids cover the entire paper.
Let the sky dry completely, or if you are wanting to move on quickly, you can use a hair dryer to help speed things up.
3. Draw in a branch with a pencil. Depending on the age of the child, they may need some help to do this. Using my free printable branch template makes this easier, especially for younger kids, while older kids might prefer to draw their own. Paint the branch black and let it dry before moving on.
4. Next, it’s time to move on to the cotton ball painting. We used two shades of green, one dark, and one light. I love how these two shades of green look together on this painting. So bright and fresh and perfect for a summer tree.
Start with your darker shade first then move on to the lighter green. Remind kids to dab on the paint with the cotton balls and not to smear the paint around, which will make the leaves a muddy color.
Related: Field of Tulips Q-tip Painting
5. Once the leaves are dry, you can move on to stamping the oranges on. Using a wine cork and some bright orange paint, dip the cork into the paint and stamp on your oranges.
I just love how bright and vivid this orange tree cotton ball painting turned out! The two shades of green, the pop of orange and the bright blue sky make this project one of my favorites.
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