Unique Klimt Tree Of Life Art Lesson

Are you looking for a fun and unique way to create a Tree of Life inspired art lesson? This elementary art project is great for 2nd graders and up and they will love painting their own tree of life in a unique way.

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that when clicked, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read our full privacy policy here.

Questions To Ask Kids About Klimt’s Artworks

  • Why do you think Klimt used a tree in his works?
  • What do you notice on the branches?
  • Does this look like a real tree?
  • What would you add to your tree of life? Would you have a lot of branches or just a few?
  • Would your tree be big or small?

Note About What Painting To Show Children

We have found over the years, the view of L’Arbre de Vie, Stoclet Frieze (The Tree Of Life, Stoclet Frieze) painting is easier to discuss with elementary-aged children. This example only has the tree and not the people on the side that may distract from the tree discussion.

You can choose to show children any painting, it just allows them to focus on the tree and not on what is happening with the people.

Allow For Artistic Choices

Some of our projects allow for a lot of artistic choices, such as our easy food sculpture lesson. This lesson allows for some choice, but limiting supplies helps young children create easily.

As always, our own artworks are going to be inspired by Klimt. This lesson is not about making a complete duplicate because each child should be able to create their own tree of life.

It is so important to always allow children choice in their artworks. In this case, it can be as simple as picking the colors for the sky and how they paint their tree.

Recommended Supplies

For Shaving Cream Prints

  • Shaving Cream
  • Liquid Watercolor or Acrylic Paint
  • Cardboard Scraper or Squee
  • Tray or Cookie Sheet
  • 9″ x 12″ Heavy White Drawing Paper (at least 80 lb.), Tagboard or Watercolor Paper
hand holding small craft paint bottles.

For Painting Trees

  • Black Tempera Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil

How To Make A Unique Tree Of Life Art For Kids

Step 1: Create Shaving Marble Cream Background

We have a detailed post on how to make shaving cream art papers. But here are the basic steps.

  1. Place shaving cream on a cookie sheet or tray.
  2. Smooth out with a spatula or cardboard so you have a thin layer bigger than your paper.
  3. Add drops of acrylic or watercolor paint.
  4. Swirl with a toothpick.
  5. Print your white paper.
  6. Remove and scrape off the paint and shaving cream mixture.
collage of making shaving cream swirled paper.
Get the full detailed tutorial on how to make shaving cream paper in this post.

Step 2: Let Shaving Cream Paper Background Dry

blue, green and purple shaving cream marbled paper.

Step 3: Draw Horizon Line and Tree Truck

Add a horizon line with a pencil about two inches up from the bottom of the page. Draw only the tree trunk.

blue and purple marbled paper with tree trunk and ground drawn.

Experienced Art Teacher Tip: It is easier for children to just paint the swirly branches than try to trace their drawings. They always make them too complicated and it becomes too hard to paint.

Step 4: Paint Black Silhouette

Use black tempera paint to paint the bottom of the ground, tree trunk and swirly tree branches of their choosing.

black painted swirly tree on blue, green and purple background.

Step 5: Let Paintings Dry

Tips

  • Some of my favorite trees are the small ones children chose to paint. In order to get a variety of trees offer children different-sized brushes to paint with.
  • Demonstrate what will happen if they smear their hand across the black tempera paint. This will show kids how to keep their hands lifted when painting with thicker paint.
  • In these examples, the shaving cream paper was made with acrylic paint in shaving cream. Our favorites are actually normally done with liquid watercolor paint.
  • You can make these artworks any size you want. If you need to make them as small as 6″ x 9″ children should be able to paint trees with smaller brushes.

Art Lesson FAQs

How do you easily do shaving cream art with a whole class?

On the first day of this project, I would consider running a station where students print with you. You can reuse the same shaving cream for several kids. Have a warm and cool colored bin so they can make a choice about the colors they want for their skies.

What age child can complete this art lesson?

We normally place this lesson in our second-grade curriculum, but this lesson would work for any child in the upper elementary art classes as well.

Do you have to have a shaving cream background?

No, you could create any type of background before painting a silhouette. Watercolor paint, markers or tempera paint would be good options if you do not want to print from shaving cream.

More 2nd and 3rd Grade Art Lessons

Here are a few more art projects that we have had great success with completing with children that are around 7-9 years old. All of these lessons would be great for 2nd grade and above.

Follow us on Pinterest or YouTube for more arts and crafts ideas!

If you like this easy tutorial, be sure to give us 5-stars below and have fun being creative with your family.

2 different tree of life paintings on different marbled backgrounds.

Tree Of Life Art Project

Kids will love this easy painting project inspired by Gustav Kilmt's, Tree Of Life paintings.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Arts and Crafts For Kids
Keyword: Klimt Art Project For kids, Tree Of Life Art Lesson
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Dry Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Cost: under $5

Equipment

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint Palette or Plate

Materials

For Shaving Cream Prints

  • Shaving Cream Liquid Watercolor or Acrylic Paint
  • Cardboard Scraper
  • Tray, Bin or Cookie Sheet
  • 1 piece 9" x 12" Heavy White Drawing Paper, Tagboard or Watercolor Paper

For Painting Tree Silouhettes

  • Black Tempera Paint

Instructions

  • Place shaving cream on a cookie sheet or tray.
  • Smooth out with a spatula or cardboard so you have a thin layer bigger than your paper.
  • Add drops of acrylic or watercolor paint.
  • Swirl with a toothpick.
  • Print your white paper.
  • Remove and scrape off the paint and shaving cream mixture.
  • Let paper marbled paper dry.
  • Add a horizon line with a pencil about two inches up from the bottom of the page. Draw only the tree trunk.
  • Use black tempera paint to paint the bottom of the ground, tree trunk and swirly tree branches of their choosing.
  • Let the paintings fully dry.

Notes

  • It is easier for children to just paint the swirly branches than try to trace their drawings. They always make them too complicated and it becomes too hard to paint.
  • Some of my favorite trees are the small ones children chose to paint. In order to get a variety of trees offer children different-sized brushes to paint with.
  • Our favorite way to make marbled shaving cream paper is actually with liquid watercolor paint.
 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tutorial Rating




I accept the Privacy Policy