Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And the Leaves That are Green Turn to Brown...

This post title comes to you with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel!

Autumn, when all art teachers must make the kids work with leaves. Which is not a bad thing, leaves are beautiful. Like all things in nature, none are identical. They have different shapes and no leaf is JUST one color. The red ones have a touch of ochre, the green ones are a little brown or yellow. I decided we should really work with the mixes of colors and used this as an opportunity to break into my new Dick Blick chalk pastels and teach the kids about blending colors.

Black paper. Nothing shows up the vibrant chalk pastels like black paper. These chalk pastels were new to me, by the way:  handled like a pastel but with a lot more dust, softer than a chalk. Exhibit A: See pictures of kids covered in chalk dust! But talk about vivid!

 I thought it would be pretty to use several long sheets of paper to allow the kids to work with several leaves and mount them together. And learn a little about composition to boot.

First they "drew" their leaves onto the paper with Elmers glue. I asked them to use more than one leaf design on each page so they could work with their composition skills. I even encouraged them to overlap the leaves but that took courage and only a few did it. Still, excellent drawings! When the glue dried it created a resist to the chalk and they were able to color them in using a limited palette of autumnal colors. I showed them how to blend with just ONE finger.

                                And then we mounted them on colored paper. GORGEOUS!!!!

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