In this art project, we’ll create a fun, step-by-step watercolor landscape that makes a great piece of wall art.
This art project is inspired by Paul Cézanne. Cézanne was a French artist and painter who played an important role in the transition from the 19th-century Impressionist art movement into the 20th-century, often referred to as Post-Impressionism.
Post-Impressionism was a response to the Impressionist movement in that artists began to depart from depicting their observations of the world and began to explore more of their own artistic vision, style, and emotion.
Cézanne was from a wealthy banking family in France and during his college years he complied with his father’s wishes and attended law school all the while continuing with his drawing lessons.
He committed himself to his pursuit of art in 1861 and left for Paris. His father eventually accepted his choice of career and helped support Cézanne financially.
In his artwork, Cézanne simplified natural forms into geometric essentials. He painted in simple forms and shapes of color. In his later work, he preferred to work from direct observation and his work developed with a light, airy painting style.
Our inspiration piece for this art project is Almond Trees In Provence, 1900 by Paul Cézanne.
The fun part of this project is that we’re going to paint this watercolor landscape on a coffee filter!!
Supplies needed for this project are:
- Printed 8 ½ x 11 color copy of the inspiration painting.
- 1 large (12 cups) coffee filter.
- 1 embroidery hoop (8 inches).
- Watercolor paints.
- Watercolor brushes (small and medium are best).
- Paint palette.
- Graphite pencil.
The first step is to flatten the coffee filter by ironing it. Place your iron on a low/medium temperature and iron your coffee filter on a towel or other heat-safe surface.
Once your filter is nice and flat, place it in the embroidery hoop. This is kind of like stretching a canvas! A little bit of tape to secure the coffee filter can help keep it in place while you secure the embroidery hoop.
We’re using a coffee a filter for this painting because the texture of the paper allows the watercolor paint to easily blend and soften.
Using a pencil (not too sharp since we don’t want to tear the coffee filter), lightly sketch the horizon line and the general shapes of where you would like to place your trees.
You don’t need to include any details, just enough to know where to apply your paint for the leaves of the trees.
Step-by-Step Cézanne Watercolor Landscape
- Mix the lightest colors of yellow and orange and apply them to your coffee filter (using your pencil drawing as a guide).
- Use water along the edges to help the color soften and blend.
- Gradually add more colors – lighter colors first then darker colors (use the inspiration painting as a color guide or create your own colors).
- Allow the painting to dry after step 3.
- Using a small brush and darker colors (colors mixed with more paint and less water) add the details of the trees and branches.
Add as little or as much tree detail as you’d like.
Keep your painting flat and allow it to dry completely.
Your finished watercolor landscape can easily hang as wall or window art!