How to Make Art with Leaves (Part One)

hi i'm julia hood the manager of school and family learning at reynolda house museum of american art
in our pop-up studio today we're going to take a material that's commonly found
leaves from deciduous trees and we're going to make a simple leaf rubbing
this is probably a familiar activity and then give an option for how to make it a little more
interesting so simple leaf rubbing with crayon and then we'll add watercolor
to make a work of art like this and i'll show you other ideas for what you can do with your
leaf wrapping i'll show you what you need to complete this project and how to do it
first gather some leaves freshly fallen leaves that haven't dried yet are ideal here i have
three different kinds of oak and some maple leaves for a simple leaf rubbing you need a plain piece
of paper a crayon and possibly some tape to hold down your leaves with a pair of scissors you can
cut out your leaf rubbings to use as decoration for our project today we'll use a piece of paper
suitable for watercolors if your watercolor paper is too thick it won't take your leaf
rubbing very well and we'll need watercolor paint a brush a cup of water and a few paper towels
find the underside of the leaf where the veins are sticking up this side should be up the side
that touches the paper when you make your leaf wrapping tape down the leaves especially for
younger artists and place your paper over the leaves tear any paper off your crayon hold the
crayon flat against the paper and rub over the leaves try to hold the leaves in place with
your other hand to get the clearest image change the direction of your crayon rubbing as you need
you can then cut out your leaves to add as decoration to other items
for example you can place a leaf on a solid color background and glue it down and hang it
up here i'm taking a handmade book and putting the leaf on the cover almost like a sticker or here
i made another leaf rubbing with a lightweight watercolor paper then i wet my brush to prepare
the first color of paint add water to your first color then begin to paint the paper
because the wax of the crayon will resist the water meaning it won't take it on and because the
paint is light you'll still be able to see your leaf rubbing even though you're painting over it
rinse your brush well before you change colors the more water you use the lighter your colors will be
you can try using different colors of crayons and
making different compositions with different leaves have fun

We’re just going to leaf you with this latest Pop-Up Studio from Manager of School and Family Learning, Julia Hood: in this episode, use that fall foliage to create unique rubbings with additional pops of watercolor.

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