Add this simple cherry blossom tree painting to your acrylic painting to-do list!
Just starting out in your painting journey and looking for an easy painting idea? Painting a cherry blossom tree is a perfect starter canvas project that will add to your confidence with acrylics.
In the tutorial below I will guide you, step-by-step, how to paint a simple cherry blossom tree trunk. You’ll also learn how to paint the beautiful pink colored blossoms using an unexpected and unconventional painting tool – bundled Q-tips (cotton swabs)!
I used the Q-tips paint method in another easy painting tutorial, how to paint hearts 3 easy ways. It’s amazing what these little cotton swabs can do!
I’m also a believer in learning to mix your own paint (yes, even for beginners!) So, instead of buying a premixed tube of pink paint, you will learn to create different shades/tints of pink (for your blossoms) using basic primary red color.
If you want to learn how to paint more easy flowers with acrylic, check out how to paint lavender flowers, and how to paint a sunflower tutorials! They’re easy, fun and geared towards beginners who are learning.
And just like those lovely pink blossoms, I hope your painting journey is filled with plenty of beautiful blooming experiences and moments- that you truly enjoy being in.
Enjoy the tutorial and have fun with it!
- Primary Red Acrylic Paint
- White Acrylic Paint
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint (or brown)
- Optional: quinacridone magenta acrylic paint
- Q-tips (cotton swabs)
- rubber bands
- medium size paint brush (flat)
- water container
- paint palette
- Paint your background using your black and white paints. Use straight horizontal brush strokes to move the paint across the canvas. Notice the bottom and top edges of the canvas are darker. Add more black if you need to get the edges darker.
- Once your background is dried, take a pencil, chalk or charcoal to trace your tree on the canvas
- Take some black paint and water it down a bit, so its very fluid and flows easily off your paint brush. I find a small round brush works best here. Fill in your tree with the thinned black paint.
- Once your tree is dried to the touch- time for the cherry blossoms! Take 4-5 Q-tips, bundle them together using an elastic band. To mix your first tint of pink: use half white, half primary red (if you want a brighter pink, add a touch of quinacradone magenta to the mix, if you have it). Once mixed, use your bundles q-tips and dab the pink onto the branches of your tree.
- Now we are going to mix a dark shade of red. Take your primary red, and add in some burnt umber (or brown) (3 parts red to 1 part burnt umber). Using the same technique as above, dab this color onto the branches using your Q-tip bundle.
- Now for a highlight color: mix a very tiny amount of red with some white. This will look like a very pale pink. Use the q-tip bundle to dab this pale pink on your tree.
- Repeat steps 4,5 and 6 until your tree fills out to your liking. For fun, try to create different tones, shades of pink by adding more or less white/brown to your red. The more variations of pink/red the better! Enjoy, have fun and experiment away- you can't go wrong here - the beauty of abstract art!
- To finish things off, add some pure white highlights. Take a single Q-tip (not the bundle), add single dabs of white paint all over your tree. Do this sparingly at first, and see how you like it. Add more highlights as needed.
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Acrux7 Round Point Paint Brushes Set, 12pcs Paintbrushes Tip Range from Detail Liner, Medium to Large Size for Watercolor, Oil, Acrylic Painting and Craft, Nail, Face Paint (White Pen)
Q-tips Cotton Swabs, 750 ct
PHOENIX Pre Stretched Canvas for Painting - 9x12 Inch / 8 Pack - 5/8 Inch Profile of Super Value Pack for Oil & Acrylic Paint
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Mars Black
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 8.45-oz tube, Titanium White
M. Graham 1/2-Ounce Tube Watercolor Paint, Quinacridone Rose (33-156)
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Burnt Umber
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Primary Red
Cherry Blossom Tree Finished Painting
Fun for Kids too!
This was a fun painting to make- and its for all painting levels. From beginners, and beyond – even kids can do this (and they’ll LOVE the cotton swab part).
My kids and I painted together and it was both fun and enlightening (kids are natural artists and its amazing to watch what they create). They ended up creating their own version of the cotton swab tree – check out their creations below.
Painting is a Process…
I hope you enjoyed painting this simple cherry blossom tree and had fun experimenting with the paint mixing.
And always remember: painting (and learning a new skill) is a process. With each new thing you learn and each new painting you make, you are on your way to becoming a better painter.
Be proud that you are here, painting and learning away- you are doing amazing things- my artist friend 🙂
Until next time, stay nifty!