Trimming The Acrylic Christmas Tree

Tis the season to get crafty! This last weekend was my neighborhood’s holiday decorating blitz, the wreaths are up, the lights are shining, and the inflatable Santas are waving. While I was trimming my Christmas tree I got to thinking, “hey, this could be an interesting pour project…” and so began the early stage of my newest project.

Supplies I Used

Living on the west coast now, I don’t seem much snow during the winter season. So, I decided to give myself a little white Christmas through this lovely art form. My vision was a proud Christmas tree, shining bright during a silver storm of snow. I knew this pour would take multiple techniques and steps, one for the background, one for the tree itself and then my embellishments, I had set myself a little Christmas challenge.

This holiday season, I decided to test myself as a pourer and try a technique I’ve long admired but never tried: air blowing. I had it in my mind that air blowing would be the perfect way to get the haphazard look of those pine fronds. Suffice to say I still need a lot of practice before I get the technique just right, but more on that a little later.

A lot of different mixes and formulas went in to this project. For starters, I wanted my silver and white background to be swirly and cellular to mimic a snow flurry. I’d had a bit of luck with this in one of my previous pours so I decided to give that another go, but with more WD-40 to hopefully up the cells (Santa, this year I would like a butane torch for Christmas).

Christmas Tree1

The little blob that came out of my flip cup was so promising and just what I was hoping for, it reminded me of a freshly shaken snow globe. The paint wound up being a bit thicker on the canvas than I thought it would be based on what I had working in the cup, but nothing a bit of tilting and some poking couldn’t manage.

Christmas Tree2

I wanted my tree to have dimensions in its colors, I didn’t just want a bright green blob taking up space in the middle of my beautiful snow storm. So to get the richer colors I wanted I mixed my bright green with a bit of that deep, deep ultramarine blue that I firmly believe any artist should have in his or her arsenal. I wanted this batch to be thinner so it would spread the way I envisioned during the blowing process but not fully watery, it was a hard balance to strike. I wanted to help myself as much as I could so I poured out my blowing color in the rough shape of a little tree.

Christmas Tree3

When the time came to blow I was far too timid and the paint didn’t do what I was hoping it would. The blowing technique is definitely harder than I assumed, the paint is unpredictable and can’t totally be guided where you want it to go. Looking back now I think I could have gotten the spikey effect of pine fronds if I’d used a smaller straw, but this is all such a beautiful learning experience! What I wound up with after I was light headed from manipulating the paint was a bit of a blobular mess, but I believe that no piece of art is a mistake or a lost cause so I broke out my little paint brush set and gave it a flick of the wrist here and there.

Christmas Tree4

With everything finally starting to look like a tree and not just a big green monster coming for my Christmas cheer I was able to take a step back and admire what I’d done. So the technique I tried didn’t pan out for me this time, but the colors working on my canvas were just what I wanted. I didn’t use any silicone in my greens because who has ever heard of a tree with cells?

Christmas Tree5

After everything was dry and I ruled out anything needing a repour, it was time to trim this tiny acrylic tree. I started with some strands of gold garland, added a few festive red ornaments and finished the whole thing off with a bright metallic tree topper. This project was so much fun and wound up being an entire day of crafting in between my other decorating duties. I hope this most wonderful time of the year brings me more ins-pour-ations!

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