Nature Arts and Crafts
“Always continue walking a lot and loving nature, for that’s the real way to learn to understand art better and better.”
—Vincent Van Gogh 
Even though Art in the Garden and our other free family summer activities have ended, we would still like to post our crafts so you can see the type of things we do at the Center.
During the first four weeks of Art in the Garden this summer I focused on people and animals. However, I decided that we needed to look beyond these major players and focus on something just as important, nature. For one week we concentrated solely on the nature of the area, painting our own masterpieces.
Below, I have included the directions so you too can take part in making your own beautiful creations.
Nature Arts and Crafts
Watercolor Pencil Nature Bookmarks
We can’t always go out and experience nature. Sometimes we don’t have the means, ability, or live in a place where we can be out in the wild. But why not carry a bit of it around with us wherever we go? Not only will we have a little bit of nature to take with us, but we can also carry around our own miniature masterpiece. Creating your own watercolor artwork with pencils instead of paint gives you more control, and has a faster cleanup.
Make Your Own Nature Bookmark
- Watercolor or thick paper
- Watercolor pencils
- Cup of water
There are three different ways to paint with watercolor pencils:
1) Watercolor Pencils Only
- Take your watercolor pencil and dip it in water.
- Draw whatever you want, dipping the pencil in the water when it dries.
2) Water First Then Pencil
- Take your paintbrush and dip it in water.
- Wet the paper.
- Take your colored pencil and draw.
3) Pencil and Painting
- Take your watercolor pencil and dip it in the water.
- Draw whatever you desire.
- Dip the paintbrush in water.
- Use the paintbrush to “paint” the pencil artwork, by taking the paintbrush and going over your drawing, filling in, mixing colors, etc.
Painted Rock Paperweight
This activity involves nature and art at a deeper level as you actually use nature in creating your art. This is a fun activity that allows children to make a beautiful and useful piece. You can use your finished masterpiece as a decoration or a paperweight.
Make Your Own Painted Rock Paperweight
- An Adult
- Bleach or other cleaning product (This should only be used by an adult)
- Adult should clean the rock with bleach or other cleaning product.
- Let child paint the rock.
- Allow it to dry.
- Use as decoration or paperweight.
For more about creating your own art, check out our interactive game, History Canvas.
For more on nature and art check out the post Past Exhibition: Thomas Moran, Yellowstone Wildflowers in Early Summer and More Yellowstone Flowers, by Nancy McClure, our electronic communications manager.
Or visit the Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
1. Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, “To Theo van Gogh. London, beginning of January 1874,” January 1874, b13 V/1962, Vincent van Gogh: Letters, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Holland, accessed August 14, 2014, http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let017/letter.html.
Van Gogh, Vincent. Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, “To Theo van Gogh. London, beginning of January 1874,” January 1874. B13 V/1962. Vincent van Gogh: Letters. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Holland. Accessed August 14, 2014. http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let017/letter.html.