|Funky Oak leaf, by Mia (age 3 1/2)|
- real leaves
- watercolor paints
- white acrylic paint
- pencil, pen, or marker
- Lay a dry leaf on top of newspaper and trace around it. Larger leaves tend to look better.
- Use watercolors to fill in the leaf outline.
- Let watercolors dry and cut out leaf shape.
- Paint a white rectangle or square (larger than your leaf) on another piece of newspaper. Foam brushes work nicely for this. You don't need more than one coat of paint. It looks nice if the newsprint shows through somewhat.
- While the paint is still wet, lay your watercolor leaf on top. It will adhere itself as the paint dries. No glue necessary!
- Cut newspaper into a rectangle or square and display. You may choose to leave some newsprint border around the white, which looks nice.
|My "traditional" Maple leaf|
- I used a black gel pen to trace the leaves with. When cutting out the leaf shapes, I left the black outline because I like the graphic quality, plus is was softened by the watercolors, giving it a kind of blurry look. You could trim the outline off if you prefer or use pencil so it doesn't show as much.
- Mia used lots of colors to paint her leaves, not all of them ones that you would see in nature. I chose to stick to the traditional fall color palette for my leaves. I think both turned out equally well.
- I didn't have to actually do step #6 (trimming paper to a square) because I used an insert in the newspaper that was already the shape I wanted.
- I left a bit of the newsprint border showing not just for the graphic contrast it provides, but also because it has today's date at the top. (If you're like me you save all kinds of projects the kids make but you don't always remember to date them because they were drying, for example. This eliminates that problem!)