Turn stumps into canvases for creating whimsical nature portrait art of your family!
Inspiration for making art can sometimes strike unexpectedly and in unusual places. Who would have thought that a stump could turn into a canvas for creating beautiful nature portrait art featuring our family? The idea came to my two-year-old, and I had nothing to do but follow his lead.
When my son first made two shaky circles on a piece of paper and happily proclaimed that it was “mommy” my heart burst with happiness. He must have felt it, for he has produced countless renditions of “mommies” since then. Some of them appeared unexpectedly in places where I would least expect a portrait to spring up. Like this one! A stump-headed mommy.
Since he made this impromptu portrait, I couldn’t look at our stumps without chuckling. Oval-shaped stumps were perfect prompts for creating the faces of rustic woodland creatures, and with fall in full swing, we had no shortage of materials for making nature art.
Autumn Nature Portrait Art
On a nice day, we set out for a walk. My son was carrying a bag in which we were collecting vivid leaves, nuts and pinecones. We have been enjoying warm weather, and hardly any leaves have turned golden yet, so my boy was very excited whenever he spotted a red or a yellow splash in the green of the grass.
We came home with late flowers and fallen petals, rocks and pieces of bark, acorn caps and shiny chestnuts, and of course, many leaves. Oh, and a branch of grapes! Autumn is a good time for a leaf hunt, but if it isn’t autumn wherever you are, spring petals and summer blossoms could bring just as many bright colours. As a matter of fact, I’d love to try it again next spring.
Update: I never did stump portraits because we moved away, but we created nature art with bird ink drawings in the spring.
We got home, sat on the grass in the garden and made portraits. It was a ton of fun! They were quirky and whimsical, reminiscent of woodland trolls or gnomes.
Styling leafy hair was my favourite part. I think it could become a new autumn fashion, don’t you? My husband came and made beards out of petals for some of the characters, so we soon had a family of stump-heads.
Before setting off to work on his masterpiece, my son arranged and rearranged our treasures several times. Rocks and acorn caps were his favourites. Finally, he went to work on his autumn version of “mommy”, while helping himself to the grapes.
Here is a new Mommy! If you wonder about the tribal facepaint under the eyes, I prefer to think of them as smiling wrinkles, but Budster said they were eyebrows.
Mandala Nature Art
We also created an abstract mandala-like design. Those stumps turned out to be versatile canvases.
From an invigorating search for early coloured leaves to relaxed crafting in the backyard, this project turned out to be a fun experience. Even our tennant squirrels were happy. We left our finds outside, and when we came back later to sort them out and take some inside, the chestnuts and walnuts were missing, with a couple of cracked shells lying in the grass. Not a big loss! There are a few glorious months of fall ahead of us, and I’m sure that by the end of November, all of our pockets will be full of little nature treasures.
Have some nature fun with our nature STEAM bundle! Children will learn about nature while playing games, completing engineering challenges, going on scavenger hunts, and making art with natural materials.
Use the printable templates and make cute unicorn paper crafts. Colour your unicorn paper dolls, play with them, and create more dresses for them!