" Some days we paint with large bold strokes, like when someone finishes a book report or gets a piece of music ready for performing. Most of our days are softer in color. A little dab here a little dab there, following a rough draft, but allowing ourselves to paint outside the lines when we want too. "
~ Deborah Jean

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Make a Fall Leaf Picture Book ~ part two

Welcome Back to making a Fall Leaf Picture Book!
How did gathering, pressing and tracing your leaves go? Are you ready to paint?

  Here are a couple of pages in progress from our book this week. What I love about this project is taking the time to be aware of all the color's, textures and shapes in the fallen leaves we gathered. As we traced our leaves onto the water color paper we became even more aware of how varied all these elements are in each leaf! Lastly, I love the joy creating brings to our home. It's one of my favorite ways to slow down, be in the moment and with our children at the same time.

Get Ready to Paint: 
  • Cover your table or work surface with newspaper or a plastic table cloth.
  • Gather your brushes, sea sponges, paint pallets, and paper towels for blotting.
  • Fresh glasses of water for each artist
  • Water color paints ( tube preferably but not necessary)
  • Your pages with traced leaves


Spread your gathered leaves about the table and near the pages you'll be painting. Before you begin to paint, take a few moments to observe and discuss the many colors, textures, and shapes of the leaves with your young artists.

In this photo our daughter chose to paint the gold she see's in the leaf first. After it dried for a few minutes she returned to the leaf adding a deep red to the edges followed by some veining. 

As you talk about the colors of your leaves, think about the back ground colors for your pages too.  Ask your young artists questions about where their leaves are and what they are doing!

ASK: Are your leaves lying on the green grass or are they flying through the air against a bright blue ( or a cloudy ) sky? Are they sprinkled on the walkway or floating in a puddle of water like the leaves on our daughters page here?

Any colors that contrast with the leaves will make them POP off the page and create more excitement for the viewer!

I love how our daughters friend chose a bright violet for one of her leaves... It's not realistic at all, but it harmonizes with the golds, reds, and greens of the other leaves wonderfully! At this point she hasn't chosen her background color. I can't wait to see what color/s she chooses! 

Here are a couple of pages out of  our Spring Picture Book . The images in this book were painted and colored separately on to paper plates then applied to a page that was painted before hand for the chosen images. This is fun collage idea and can be applied to your Fall leaf book as well... Paint a back ground page, let it dry. On a separate sheet, paint some leaves, cut them out and glue them on! SIMPLE! 

Both sides of the page have images and background color on them just like a real book! 

These are the covers to our Ocean Picture Book and the Spring Picture Book! 

( back page to Spring picture book ) 

*  Decide which pages will be your COVER and BACK of your book
* If you wrote a poem, will you place it on the front inside cover, or spread out the verses on the pages?
* To bind your book, punch three holes down the left side of your pages and tie together with ribbon, twine, yarn, jute, string, or what ever you have on hand.

There's more to creating art than mastering a technique. Especially in the beginning!

Before you and your child paint your pages, experiment on a " play sheet " of  water color paper first...
Try using different colors, more or less water, bigger vs. smaller brushes and brush strokes and play with contrasting color ideas! 

BASIC Water Color Painting Tips:
  • The more water you add to your color the more translucent the color. ( more see through)
  • The lesser amount of water you add the more opaque/deeper your color will be. ( more coverage)
  • Let one layer of paint dry for 15 minutes or so before adding another color for shading, or texture
  • Change rinse water when it becomes cloudy or muddy looking
  • To add texture to a leaf dampen your sea sponge, blot it almost dry, dab it in your color of choice, blot again then lightly tap it up and down on your leaf.
  • What else could you use to make patterns in your leaves?  
The mission behind this create with the season ART IDEA  is to help you and your child connect with nature and sharpen observation skills. To have fun playing with a new art medium and to have the experience of making a book you will treasure for many years to come. Just think, when the last leaf has fallen and the ground is brown, ( or white with snow) and skies are gray you can pick up your fall leaf book for a big dose of color!

  You've gotten your feet wet and your brushes too and spent precious time creating with your child.

What other ideas can YOU come up with for more Picture Books? 

Thank so much for joining us in making a Fall Leaf Picture Book! 
I promise a post when ours is complete... In the meantime... Happy Painting... and don't forget to post about your book when it's finished and send me the link too!

" you yourselves must be filled with wonder and when you have acquired that, you are prepared."  ~ Montessori

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Thanks for visiting today! Id love to hear about your home school happenings too. I read and enjoy each and every comment so leave one for us all if you have the time!
Happy Creative Homeschooling
Deborah Jean