Christine Thornton's Art Studio

building skills and nurturing creativity

Paper Mache Tree Sculptures

Art Start October 2015

These paper mache trees took five classes to make. We started by learning to draw trees, noticing how they taper from top to bottom, how their branches split off, how different varieties of trees are shaped, and how they are affected by their environments. We brainstormed about what kinds of creatures might live in trees, and what kinds of structures people might build on or near them. Then we got started on our sculptures. We started by building armatures out of wire, foil, cardboard and tape. Armatures are like the skeleton of the sculpture- they are a structure for the paper mache to stick to. We used instant paper mache pulp and applied it to the armatures. Sometimes the wet paper mache needed a little help drying.

After the paper mache dried, it was hard and strong and ready to paint. Next we talked about what colors trees might be depending on what type they are or depending on the season, and how realism is just one option- with art you can choose whatever colors you want. They painted the sculptures accordingly. Leaves were made of yarn, painted polyfill, or fabric. Creative details like animals, Christmas lights, people, swings, birds, nests, and unicorns were made with Sculpey clay. Enjoy!