How to: Paint a Matisse-Inspired Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

Perhaps it's the change in weather that has got me craving bright colors and bold patterns this season! So, I decided to take some inspiration from one of my favorite artists, Henri Matisse, and how he so perfectly captured natures whimsical form and shape. And with summer just around the corner, I decided to create this mixed foliage painted tray to add that burst of color and pattern in our home. 


Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

What you'll need:

  • Wood Tray (you should find these at most craft stores)
  • Sharpie Oil Based Paint Pen in various colors (I chose green, gold and black)
  • Pencil
  • Wood Sealer (I used a liquid form)
  • Paint Brush
Mixed Foliage Painted Tray


1. Begin by lightly sanding your tray and giving it a good wipe to remove any sawdust. Take your pencil and begin creating fluid shapes of different foliage. You can refer to an image of Matisse's work to help guide you in movement and flow. (Note: You may want to skip this step if your colors are lighter, since you might see the pencil markings under your paint. In that case, trust your gut and do it freehand!!) 

Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

2. Once you feel your design looks right, simply paint over your pencil guides with your Sharpies paint pen in whatever color pattern you choose. The paint will bleed a little around the edges, but I found that it wasn't so much that it was noticeable. 

Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

3. may choose to paint along the edges of the tray, handles or leave it as is. Let the paint dry completely. Use a spray or liquid sealer to protect your tray and allow to dry. Then enjoy!

Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

With trends coming and going quite frequently, a tray is a great way to introduce a certain look in your home without having to worry about investing in anything too big or expensive. They are also functional and useful, let's not forget! I tried to stick to about three colors that I thought went nicely with my decor, but you can use as many or as little as you prefer! It's definitely adventurous, but I think that's why I love it so much! Yay for trying new things - don't you agree?! 

Mixed Foliage Painted Tray
Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

Mixed Foliage Painted Tray

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Brittni Mehlhoff on May 01, 2015:

Love how this turned out!

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