My second graders just finished paintings inspired by Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. They started by painting a watercolor wash for the background, yellow on most of it with a little bit of brown on the bottom. Next class, we drew the tree together. On the SmartBoard I showed them Klimt's painting and drew on it, emphasizing the Y shape where the tree branches split from the trunk and the way the trunk and branches get skinnier as they move away from the base of the tree.
Once the trees were drawn I showed them how to choose paint brushes based on the needs of their painting. I told them to get a medium sized flat brush and a small round tip brush and showed them how to move the brush from side to side to create a very crisp line with their paint. They took the painting part very seriously, it was actually silent in the room for a while they were so focused!
The final step was to add a few sequins to imitate Klimt's patterns. If I had it to do over (which I do, next year!), I would order sequins that are only circular and/or square. The kids got a bit too focused on the different shapes and lost their focus on their patterns.