What do you do when you’ve created some type art that you’re just “not feeling”? Paint a leafless tree on it!  Trees are subject that can be made into abstract, representational and mixed media and upcycling existing art makes it not only challenging, but a lot of fun.

paint a leafless tree

If you have existing art that’s maybe the wrong colour, wrong texture, who knows.  All you know is that either it’s going in the bin or you’ll have to be really creative on how to make it what you want.  I’m not a perfect artist and I frequently create art that I’m not liking so it’s no surprise that on background #7 in the Book of Backgrounds 2013 series it was a perfect background to paint a leafless tree on.  It had an effect of heavy cracked glass and it looked just like ice.

This project was inspired by a walk that Joe and I took with Mia.  Armed with my walking stick (Coyote defense) we walked a very, very long trail along the Mountain and I picked up this really cool branch (looked like a leafless tree) that had broken off during the very damaging Ice Storm a few weeks ago and with difficulty, used this branch as inspiration for the painting named “cold”.

Paint a Leafless Tree by Upcycling Existing Art


  • Background from Book of Backgrounds 2013, Number 7

Paint Pallette: DecoArt Traditions Acrylics

  • Raw Sienna – DAT43
  • Burnt Umber – DAT46
  • Titanium White – DAT35
  • Perinone Orange – DAT08
  • Brown Madder – DAT47
  • Indian Yellow – DAT11
  • Yellow Deep – DAT10
  • Ultramarine Blue – DAT26

Prep and Mediums

  • DecoArt Traditions Extender & Blending Medium – DATM02


Royal Soft-Grip Brushes

  • #8 Gold Taklon Round – SG250
  • #5 Gold Taklon Shader – SG150
  • #5 & 8 Bristle Bright – SG1425

Fabulous Fine Point Liners

  • #4, 6 & 8 – R2195

Fusion Glaze Wash

  • #1 – 3700

General Supplies

  • Royal Square Brush Basin – RD325
  • Royal Brush Grooming Pad – RD100
  • Essentials Palette Paper – RD358
  • Palette Knife – LC2
  • baby wipes or kitchen wipes
  • paper towels
  • heat gun or hair dryer
  • misting bottle to keep your paints from drying out
  • wax or parchment paper to protect your table (currently using the Unstick Arts and Craft Sheet)
  • 1000+ Stain Remover to clean your brushes
  • masking tape


What did you think?

Stop and think for a minute…do you have a piece of artwork, whether it’s a painting, drawing, art journal, atc… anything that you are not fond of that you’d be willing to try and upcycling it?  Please share your comments below.