All About Leaves - Art November 12 2009

Celebrate the end of your study of All About Leaves with one of the following art projects!

[caption id="attachment_3521" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Photo by buildmakecraftbake"]Photo by MominMadison

Photo by MominMadison

Leaf Rubbings

These can be done with very little preparation. Make sure each group of students has a variety of leaves to choose from, white paper, and a couple of different mediums - I would have crayons, colored pencils, chalk and maybe even oil pastels available.

Direct students to place the leaf on a solid surface with the ridged side up, then place the piece of paper on top. Go over the paper using the crayons (or other art medium), varying the pressure for different results.

Give students some time to experiment, using different kinds of art mediums, paper, leaves, and pressure to create a leafy work of art!

Leaf Prints

Photo by buildmakecraftbake[/caption]

These are my favorite leaf art projects, and there are a couple of different ways to do them.

The first is to make an actual leaf print. I like to have students do a watercolor wash on watercolor paper a day or two before the leaf printing. I also make sure I have plenty of scrap paper or newspaper on which to practice.

When it's time to make the prints, I like to use a variety of colors of heavier paint, like tempera, and I direct students to paint the ridged side of the leaf, then print on the practice paper. They'll figure out pretty quickly how much paint is too much, and also what kind of pressure is need to make the kinds of prints they want. They also can use this time to experiment with color, putting a variety of paint colors on different sections of leaves.

When they're ready, they make their final leaf prints on their watercolored paper.

In Relief

[caption id="attachment_3525" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Photo by Helen Rawlinson"]Photo by Helen Rawlinson[/caption]

Another way to do a leaf print is to create negative space and print leaves in relief. The picture on the left is a great example, and also very well done.

This will take your students some time to practice. Provide plenty of scrap paper and newspaper for them to play with texture, color, and creating negative space using leaves. You might want to provide a variety of paper and art mediums for them to use with this project.

Also, provide a variety of tools for students to experiment with - different sizes of brushes, brayers or rollers, and even sculpting tools to help create texture or definition with their use of paint around the edges of leaves.

Leaf Collage3000317748_f1c8116bcd_m1[1]

A leaf collage is generally a collection of leaves glued together on a piece of paper in an artistic way. And this is certainly an option for your kids.

But what might be fun is using the techniques above to create a more unusual collage - leaf rubbings along with prints, and then decorated with some of the Seasonal Signs collected on a nature walk. Give students a choice of backgrounds, mediums and color, and let the creativity begin!