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The Kid Should See This

Cotton swab painted trees blossom with color

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Using a bundle of cotton swabs as painting tools, art tutorial YouTuber Jay Lee Painting demonstrates how stippling layers of acrylic colors can transform small blobs into a verdant tree.

Lee uses different colors of paint and different types of canvas, from black paper that accentuates the colorful paint to scrap cardboard to a more traditional white canvas.

green tree with stipple tool
For a more sustainable approach, avoid plastic stem cotton swabs, rinse and reuse the tools for as long as possible, or explore your local art store for a similarly-textured tool.

yellow tree on cardboard

The yellow palette below could be used for a springtime or autumnal tree, or use fantastical colors to create a tree from your imagination. Lee adds birds, a grassy hill, and a small building in the blue tree video below.


Layer greens with bright colors to create a blossoming tree, or go all in on shades of a single color mixed with white. Falling petals, a twisted trunk, and a magical figure in white complete this spring cherry blossom painting:

cherry tree with a twisting trunk

Find @jayleepainting on Instagram and YouTube.

Previously from Lee: How to paint layered petals with watercolors.

Plus: How to paint ‘perfectly imperfect’ watercolor flowers.

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