The branches were made by applying a dab of paint on the painting surface and pressing a piece of paper on top. After pressing, I then pulled the paper away from the painting surface making sure I was pulling from the top edge of the image. For example, if I pulled the paper up from one of the side edges, the branches would be "growing" sideways. If I pulled from the bottom edge, the branches would look more like roots.
Note, the amount of paint will have to be experimented with to get the "just right" look you want.