Handprint Tree and Leaf Canvas Art Tutorial

Handprint Tree and Leaf Canvas Art TutorialFall is such a fantastic time of year…all the colors, the tastes, the smells. I love bringing the feel of the seasons into my home, so I decided to make more canvas prints. I know, I have a ton of canvas prints already, but they are such a fun and beautiful way to capture memories like the size of my boys’ hands and feet and the moments we spent together creating it.

You may have seen my Spring Wall Collage or maybe you saw the first in this Fall Wall Collage series, my Handprint and Footprint Gourds. Well, I’m going to keep adding to the collection. I know it’s a little late in fall to be finishing this up, but you can always make one if you can’t make them all. Perhaps you could add one to your collection each year! Or you could make it a season-long activity, like we did. My fall wall is still in the process of changing over from spring (yes, I missed summer.) It’s almost fitting though, because the weather is still quite confused. The trees are changing color, but there is still a lot of green. The weather said our temps are supposed to be in the eighties. By the time my wall is finished, it’ll finally feel like fall has begun.

This time around I wanted to bring in the leaf aspect of fall. We did hand and arm print trees with falling leaves as well as a collage of handprint leaves and pine cones with fingerprint acorns. So. Completely. Cute. It feels like fall in my home already. PS, I have two more paintings I am working on, as well as my fall wall post!

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees CanvasThis one is an updated and upscale version of my Fall Trees Handprint Art. I wanted to include both boys in this one and have it on a media that can better be displayed and kept over time.

What You Need

  • Canvas(es) of your choice (I usually purchase these on sale or in the “as is” section at the craft store or use a discount code. I don’t care if they are marked up a bit or even have a pin hole, because it will be covered up with paint.)
  • Paint (I used acrylic browns, yellows, oranges, greens, and reds as well as a tiny bit of black.)
  • Paint brushes in various sizes (I use a large for the base color, medium for painting on hands, and one or two different thin ones for details)
  • Damp washcloth (for messes!)
  • Dry washcloth/towel
  • Cup of water (for rinsing brushes)
  • A sink nearby
  • A hairdryer (or time to wait between layers–I waited this time)
  • Mounting brackets

Directions

1. Paint the base layer of the canvas. I made mine look like a fall sunset. I used red then orange then yellow, made sure the brushes were pretty wet for a watercolor look, and blended them up to the top. I came back and added a light brown color at the base for dirt. You can add extra detail if you wish, but I kept this one pretty simple. Let dry (use the hairdryer on low if needed.)

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 12. Paint a darker brown color on the palm of your child’s hand and down his arm a ways.

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 23. While the paint is still wet, press the painted part gently onto the canvas where you want the tree, making sure the full print comes off. If you have more than one child, add more trees! I had both of my boys do one.

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 34. Fill in the prints with more of the brown paint so they look like fuller trees. You can also add roots at the bottom.

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 45. Add little branches in between the fingers.

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 56. Add some details to the tree. I made it look like there was bark and added a hole to one of them.

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 67. Have your child start adding fingerprints around the top of the tree for leaves. Let some fall at the foot of the tree and show a few in the process of falling. I had my boys use typical fall colors–red, orange, yellow, and brown–and add a few green on the treetops to show that the leaves are still changing. Add extra details to the leaves if you wish, but again, I kept this one simple.

Arm and Handprint Fall Trees Canvas Step 78. I also used a thin paintbrush and black paint to add a few birds to the top of the piece, flying above the trees.

9. Add mounting brackets to the back of your print at the center of the top.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage
 

What You Need

  • Canvas(es) of your choice (I usually purchase these on sale or in the “as is” section at the craft store or use a discount code. I don’t care if they are marked up a bit or even have a pin hole, because it will be covered up with paint.)
  • Paint (I used acrylic browns, yellows, oranges, and red-orange.)
  • Paint brushes in various sizes (I use a large for the base color, medium for painting on hands, and one or two different thin ones for details)
  • Damp washcloth (for messes!)
  • Dry washcloth/towel
  • Cup of water (for rinsing brushes)
  • A sink nearby
  • A hairdryer (or time to wait between layers–I waited this time)
  • Mounting brackets

Directions

1. Paint your base layer. I painted mine a light brown color. Let dry.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 12. Start with leaves. Paint the palm of your child’s hand. I painted yellows, oranges, and red-oranges, even some with a bit of brown, and didn’t bother to wipe up in between so it looked like the leaves were still changing.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 23. Gently press your child’s painted hand onto the canvas, making sure the full print comes off. Add several leaves around the canvas. Let dry.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 34. Add some details to the leaves. I basically just added a tiny bit of brown to the most prevalent color in each leaf and painted on stems and veins.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 45. Add some pine cones! Paint the palm of your child’s hand brown, having him keep his fingers together in a pine cone shape.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 56. Gently press his hand onto the canvas until the print is transferred. Add a few!

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 67. Add some brown paint to the prints to fill them in. Let dry.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 78. Give the pine cones some details. I used a light brown color and added “u” shapes or bumps starting from the bottom (palm of the hand) up, making them smaller as I went up. I did the “u” shape, but an upside down “u” shape or an “n” shape will work well too. Basically, just do a pattern that separates the light pine cone petals from the dark base.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 89. While you’re waiting for that to dry, add a handful of acorns throughout your painting. These are simple. Dip your child’s finger into some brown paint and add fingerprints to the canvas. Let dry.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 910. Paint darker brown caps onto the acorns. Add some bumps if you wish, so make them look like real acorns. I also painted a few small leaves in a different shape through the painting (honestly, this was to cover up the fact that the boys smudged on the painting, but I think it adds a great detail.) I also added some branches behind everything to pull it all together.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 1011. I wanted more depth on the pine cones, so I went back through and added some thin, dark brown edges along parts of the pine cone petals to make them stand out more. You can add a little bit of very light, almost white brown too if you want to make it look like they are getting hit with a little light.

Handprint and Fingerprint Fall Collage Step 1112. Add mounting brackets to the back of your print at the center of the top.

Bonus tip: Do not forget to sign and date your artwork! This is an important step in any keepsake craft. You do not want to forget those memories with your children, or how old those handprints are. Take lots of pictures too!

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Which canvas painting will you start with? What’s your favorite thing about fall? Share with me in the comments below.

If you decide to do this project, I would love for you to share on my Facebook page or email me at artscrackers@gmail.com!

Written by Alyssa Darby

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5 Comments

  1. I loved your flower canvas idea from this past spring and this one is just as cute! Looks like we have a project to do this weekend 😉 Have any of these in mind to create for Winter? or even Christmas? I’d love to make them as Christmas gifts! 🙂 Keep up the good work Lady!

    • Thank you, Megan! I am working on some for winter/Christmas, but I’m a bit behind this year (as the footprint and handprint canvases for my seasonal walls take a while.) I might try to make one or two and share them if I have time. I do have one I am working on (that we have done in the past) that includes kids and canvases meant as Christmas gifts, but it doesn’t involve prints. I would be happy to share with you when it’s completed!

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