Step 1: Sketch Outline in Chalk

hand shown sketching branches with leaves on a wall with chalk
Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
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The walls already had a base coat of interior latex with an eggshell finish, which is ideal. "Oil paint or latex with a higher gloss might make it hard for acrylic craft paint to stick to it," says decorative painter Brian Carter. Before you begin, paint a large piece of foam board with the same base color to provide a practice surface when you're working with thinned craft paint. On the walls, use painter's tape to create an edge along the bottom, right where the branches start, to give you a clean line.

Starting at the base of each wall frame, sketch the branches with chalk, erasing mistakes with a damp sponge. "Imagine how something would grow from the ground, and play with it until you get a look you like," says Carter. Establish the structure by sketching all the branches first, then add the leaves.
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    Tools List

    • artist's brush
      Small, Round Artist's Brush
      (No. 795)
    • abrasive sponge
      A Sponge

    Shopping List

    1. Large Piece of Foam Board

    2. Painter's Tape

    3. Two Tones of Acrylic Craft Paint Brian used Barn Wood for the twigs and Metallic Pure Gold for the leaves, both from FolkArt

    4. Chalk