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Leaf Prints

Hello There Natural Families! Its Brittaini again for your weekly art lesson! This week I have a great lesson that involves nature and the wonderful process of printmaking! This is one of my favorite methods to work with because you can use virtually anything you have on hand to create a beautiful and textural work of art.

Any colorful paper for printing (rice paper, construction, comics, recycled artwork, etc)
Block Printing ink OR tempera acrylic paint (most paints you have around the house are actually temperas)
paint brush
pastels and/or chalk, crayons would work too
leaves found outside varying in size…newly fallen or fresh work best. dried leaves wont work

1. Take a walk or you and your child can go around to the different trees, bushes, shrubs in your yard and pick an array of different types of foliage. You can extend into science by looking up the tree leaves and identifying them.

2. Spread out newspaper on your work space, have lots handy for printing. A printmakers area tends to get messy fast. Have your paper ready to print on and squeeze out small amounts of different colored paints on another piece of newspaper. Put the pile of leaves in an easily accessible spot.
2. Have your child choose a leaf to work with. Have them also pick out what color of paint and what color of background paper they want ahead of time. This can also be part of a planning process or if you prefer to just let them go with the feeling that works too 🙂
3. On a separate piece of newspaper, flip the leaf over and let your child paint on the underside of the leaf in an outward motion. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the leaf as it is delicate and can tear easily. Encourage them to use as many or as little colors as they would like.
4. Carefully flip the leaf over onto the printing paper in a clean area. Using clean newspaper, place over leaf and rub with pressure all over the leaf. Carefully lift off newspaper and leaf to reveal your print. Now the fun begins! Once you and your child get the hang of it, you will have a blast trying out different combinations with leaf shapes and colors.
5. When your art work is dry, you can have a lot of fun adding details with crayons, pastels and/or chalk. Create a border or add additional detail on top of the printed areas. Use a contrasting color around the edges of the printed areas to make it pop out from the background.

Hints and Tips:
*Have a smudgy print? use less paint
*try printing the same leaf twice without adding more paint for a more undefined look
*Print on greeting cards or make smaller prints to send as postcards in the mail to far away relatives and friends.
*Tear or cut around the edge of the printed leaf and glue onto another sheet of paper for a collage look
*use other things to print…dont limit yourself to leaves.
*Have fun be creative and dont follow any rules

Brittaini Pulver is the owner and designer of Long Mountain Art.  She currently co-habitates with her son Santiago 7, Adelina 1 and thier father Aaron in Columbus, Ohio where she teaches high school art.

One thought on “Leaf Prints

  1. that looks like tons of fun. I hope we find the time to do some leafprints! thanks for another great post!

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