first grade artists have been using beautiful fall leaves from our school garden to make art! Each leaf was inked with white paint using a brayer and then printed on black paper. Students made multiple prints on a page to create an interesting composition making sure to include a ghost print (a second print made without inking the same leaf again). Once the paint dried, bright colors were layered with colored pencil to create a vivid autumnal display.
printmaking lesson to 4th graders using leaves and white tempera paint. The vein side of the leaf was inked with a big brush and white paint. Composition and positive and negative space was emphasized. Some students used overlapping to create depth. The background was sponge painted with white and blue leaving black around the edges of the leaves to create contrast. Colored pencils were used to add color to the leaves.
Many art teachers use this lesson as an introduction to watercolor. In case you don't have a pile of autumn leaves handy, we have included tree leaf patterns that you can print out. We've also added a variation to this lesson, so that you can make a colorful background for your favorite leaf.