Monday, October 1, 2012

Multi-Media Leaf Art

 Alexa, 2nd grade 

 Calvin, 2nd grade

 Jenna, 4th grade

 Sonja, 2nd grade

Sierra, 2nd grade

My experiment

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf's a flower"  Albert Camus

Even in seasonally challenged SoCal, where the temps hit the 90's here today, there are signs of autumn all  around. I love the twisted shapes of the fallen leaves and the change in the shadows. I combined the watercolor printed leaf project from Groove is in the Art with the observational leaf drawing with cast shadows from Color Collage and Much More to kick off my new Mixed Media Art Class..

Leaf prints were made with leaves and watercolor (fresher works best for this part in order to get the veins and details). These were left to dry over night. I had my students take one leaf and use their best observational skills to create a contour drawing. I like to go over the difference between a stylized drawing versus a contour drawing and show both on the whiteboard. Line work was gone ever in thin Sharpie and chalk pastel added for color. I gave them free reign with this. A cut cast shadow was added and glued underneath for an added punch of emphasis. I think this is a great project for a variety of ages and skill levels.


  1. A beautiful contrast between the hard-edge shadowed leaf and the softly blurred background. Brilliant :)

  2. I love these. I am not an art teacher but a Mom who has a daughter that loves Art, and we were recently collecting leaves. I'm going to make this with her. Oh, and I'm also in Calif and yep...not very Fall like today, was it?!!

  3. Mary, I've never tried leaf printing using this process. I love the subtle results!!!

  4. I love this idea Mary. I will have to give it a try.

  5. Love these Mary , we will see you Monday. Took Jenna to the Doc today she was diagnosed with Strep : ( started antibiotic today.. she should be good to go in a couple of days..

  6. How do you make the leaf print with watercolors?

  7. If you click on "Groove is in the Art" I have included a link to the blog that explains the process. But basically, you are going to paint a very wet layer of watercolor onto you paper and place down your leaves (veins up). Go back over the edges of all of your leaves with a darker color so the outline edges of your leaves will really show up. Let this dry completely and just lift up leaves. You'll find that some types of leaves work better than others, so I'd do some experimenting. I clipped leaves from ivy and shrubs as well as some newly fallen maple leaves.


I appreciate your comments and feedback!