I created the Book and Activity Advent on my other blog, Bella Dia,
in 2007 - hard to believe it was that long ago! Anyway, I thought
it was time for an update, so throughout the advent this year you
will see some new books and project ideas but the original
ones will still be available too.
Book: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
and illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Activity: Stopping By Woods Art Project
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening is the first new book of the
advent and I had a lot of fun creating an art project to go along with
it. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening is of course one of Robert
Frost's most well-known poems and his beautiful words are brought
to life with the gentle illustrations of Susan Jeffers.
I may get tired of the snow and ice, but I never get tired of watching
it snow. I believe it's one of the most magical gifts nature has to offer
and Mr. Frost captures that so eloquently. Learn more about Robert
Frost here and about the illustrator Susan Jeffers here.
If you have the opportunity to go for a walk in snow covered woods
then that would be great inspiration for this project, but you can also
look at photos on the internet along with the art in the book.
I took the close-up view; standing in the woods you don't always see
the tree in full, merely the trunks layered one after another. In the
project, you'll notice that the bottom of the trees are staggered while
the tops go fully to the top of the card.
I created two versions, one for younger kids and one for older kids and
adults. The younger version uses black acrylic paint while the older one
uses India ink. It's a great project to do as a family and I think they
would make beautiful homemade greeting cards too!
Stopping By Woods Art Project Tutorial
• gray cardboard cut in rectangles (mine are 4" x 5½")
• black acrylic paint and/or black India ink (and an eyedropper
if your ink doesn't come with one)
• white acrylic paint
• painter's tape
• stiff paint brush
• soft paint brush
• cardboard box to do the splatter paint in
• newspaper or such to cover your work space and
paper towels or rags for messes
Step 1: Tape the cardboard down to your covered surface; cover
about ½" of the edge. Creating this mat around the edge adds
a bit of sophistication to any art plus it holds it in place.
Younger Version With Acrylic Paint
Step 2: Squeeze out a small amount of paint in a jar lid or similar, and
paint vertical lines (tree trunks) with the stiff paint brush. The bottoms
should be staggered but the tops should go up to the tape line. Don't
worry about making a solid black line, it looks better with some of the
background coming through. Emphasize that the trees that are closer
to the viewer appear wider than the trees that are further away.
Older Version With India Ink
Step 2: Apply the India ink with an eyedropper. Use it to make
straight vertical lines to represent the tree trunks. Stagger the
bottoms of the trees while the tops should meet the tape line or
go past it. Trees that are closer should be wider than the trees
that are further away.
Step 2a: Use a toothpick to drag around the ink to create a more
textured tree trunk. The ink will thicken as it drys and the toothpick
will ultimately be removing some of the ink. Keep a paper towel in
your hand to wipe off the excess ink from your toothpick. It's a bit
like scratch art with less scratching! Let dry. The ink will be shiny
and have a slight raised texture when it's dried.
Step 3 for both versions:
Remove the art, including the tape, from your surface and
put it in the bottom of your cardboard box for splatter painting.
Squeeze some white paint in a small dish and add a bit of water.
Use the soft paint brush for splattering. The paint should hold
on your brush but flick off easily.
Start splattering paint onto your tree trunks. Hold the brush and gently
tap it with your other fingers. You can decide how long you want
to "watch the woods fill up with snow"!
Step 3a: You can add more snow at the bottom, if you like,
either while it's in the box, or remove it, and put it
back on your covered surface.
Let it dry. If you're in a hurry, use a hair dryer.
Now the best part (you know it is!) - gently pull up the tape!
This is the acrylic paint version all finished...
...and this is the India ink version. I love the texture of the India ink!
If you like this project I hope you'll share it on
your favorite social media channels!
The original post for Day 4 of the Book and Activity Advent featuring
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco and tissue paper
silhouette ornaments can be found here.
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