Dimensional Fall Tree (Experimenting with Piping Flour-Thickened Paint)

A large number of the crafts I make could start with the introduction, "So I had this idea and wanted to see what would happen if..." In this case, I wanted to see if I could thicken inexpensive acrylic paint with flour*, then pipe it onto a canvas as if it were frosting. It didn't quite work as I'd hoped, but I'm happy with the end result. And it was a lot of fun to make!

I started out by painting a blue background on a square canvas, then painted a tree onto that. While the paint was drying, I got out the flour, acrylic paints in fall colors, and ziplock bags. 

I put about 1/4 cup of flour into a bag, then added a very generous squirt of yellow paint and a teaspoon or so of water. I added more paint and kneaded the bag until everything was evenly mixed and the consistency of thick frosting. I cut a tiny hole in the end of the bag, then started piping leaves onto my tree. 

It worked well at first and I was enjoying piping little leaves onto the branches. But then my bag clogged. I removed the clog, only to have another clog a few seconds later. I tried to squeeze out that second clog (not wanting to get as messy as I had carefully extracting the first one), but that just made things worse. The more I piped, the globbier the paint got.  

Time for a new technique! I mixed up some orange flour paint and applied it in globs with a plastic knife. It was actually really fun to drop paint globs onto the branches. 

I kept going using that technique, adding two more colors of leaves. When I was happy with my tree, I let the whole thing dry overnight. Success!

*I'm fully aware that there are artist-grade options for thickening paint, like gel medium and modeling paste. And of course, I could have bought thicker (i.e., more expensive) paint to begin with, but the point of my experiment was to make a kid-friendly project using things from around the house. Thus the basic craft paint, flour, ziplocks, and plastic knife. 

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