Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Watercolor Experiments with Leaf Prints

My final themed art class this summer is Art Experiment Lab. It's half art class, half science lab. Our first project dealt with how different materials reacted with watercolor. It expanded on a project I did last October. The children first started with a watercolor wash and laid their leaves down, veins up. I offered salt, rice, rubbing alcohol in mini spray bottles, and baby oil to use about their pieces. The children could see which elements absorbed the watercolor and which repelled it. Last they used a darker color to paint around the edges of their leaves and left them to dry. If they chose to, they created a contour leaf drawing with chalk pastels to glue to their finished piece. While this project emphasizes process over product, I think their pieces are quite magical. Artwork by K-4th graders. ( The original idea for this project can be found here from Groove Is In The Art )


  1. These are amazing! I just pinned this for the future, I hope you don't mind! This is a perfect STEAM lesson! Science and Art! Your students did a beautiful job! Thanks for explaining how you created them!I was looking at them trying to figure out how you got the watercolor leafy shapes! I'm so excited about them I have to go try it now! :)

  2. I'll be pinning this too!! I especially love the ones with dark defining the leaves.

  3. Thank you Mrs. C and Christie. It's a fun project to play around with and change up to suit your needs. I have found that leaves that lay flat work best. Fortunately for me, my parents and brother had some shrubs that needed a little pruning. But newly fallen autumn leaves would be perfect.

  4. Very interesting how the students used the colors, some are so advanced! Like the warm color popping out from the cool color backgrounds! I bet these lead to a lot of great discussions. I will have to do something similar to this if you don't mind. . . maybe with a few grade levels to keep things sane because it is a lot of materials:) LOVE!


    1. Sounds good Erica! Yes, it does incorporate quite a few materials. But I think this project could definitely be tweaked to work for larger groups.

  5. Interesting result! I love the contrast of colours!


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