Painted Saguaro Cactus

There's a fair amount of overlap between my Fun Family Crafts job and the kids crafts I make. A few days ago, I started working on a round-up of all the Cinco de Mayo crafts we have at Fun Family Crafts. After searching through them all, I was inspired to do a cactus craft. Specifically, a painting. It's easy.

Painted Saguaro Cactus

Materials: Strathmore watercolor paper, Testors Sand CreateFX Texture Paint, Folk Art acrylic paints (green, black, white, brown, yellow), paintbrush, Sakura white gel pen

First, a disclosure: I received the paints from Testors and Plaid as part of the 2016 FaveCrafts Blogger Event. All hyperlinked items are affiliate links, which means you don't pay anything more, but I get a small commission off any purchases. As always, I only endorse products I use and love.

1. Start by spraying the sand texture paint onto the paper. I tried it on a canvas (left) and on the watercolor paper (right) and both covered beautifully. Let the paper dry. 

2. Use a dusty green to paint a saguaro cactus on the paper. Keep it simple with just two arms, or add as many as you like. 

3. While the paint is still wet, mix a tiny bit of black paint into the extra green you used to paint the cactus. This will be your shadow color. Decide where the light is coming from in your art, then add a shadow to your painting wherever one would naturally fall. Let the paint dry.

4. The flowers of a saguaro are large and white. During the late spring, they grow at the ends of the main spear and the arms. Add some simple white flowers to your painting, then dot the centers with yellow.

5. While the paint is still wet, add a very, very tiny bit of brown to the white paint. This is the shadow color for the flowers. Add it to the still-wet flowers where the shadows would naturally fall. Let the paint dry.

6. The spines of the saguaro grow along its ribs, so use the white gel pen to draw parallel columns of spines on the cactus. The spines follow the curves of the arms, so curve those columns of spines accordingly.  

I think my next cactus project is going to be a silhouette against a sunset. 


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