The deadline to sign up for the Nature Inspired Art Exchange is right around the corner!
With the exchange in mind we asked Amy, creator of Art Together, to share some art inspiration to give participants, both big and little, ideas for the exchange. She chose some wonderful posts from her blog to share beautiful leaf inspired art she created with her daughter. (Simply click on the title links to head over to Amy’s blog and learn how they were created.)
Autumn Leaf Inspiration
We live in New England and we’re surrounded by leaves right now, so when I thought about what sort of inspiration to offer here on making nature art, that’s naturally where I landed. The foliage has been so brilliant this year. Of course leaves are fun for rubbings, paint prints, and sun prints, but the two activities here involve the color of the leaves, too, and I absolutely love color.
(Inspired by “Gorgeous Gigantic Flowers” in What’s the Big Idea? by Joyce Raimondo)
Artist Georgia O’Keeffe is well known for her oil paintings of flowers from a very close-up view. A couple of autumns ago, my then-4yo daughter and I drew and painted leaves from this perspective. She had just turned four, so her drawing was very free-form, but she spent quite a bit of time investigating her leaf’s colors and putting them on the page.
I enjoyed the process of making the leaf BIG—it can be so much fun to really hone in on a small area and render it large.
If you try this for the nature art swap, you’ll want to try to get the margins of your leaf to extend beyond the edge of your 5×7 paper. I had the most success starting from the center and working my way out, including some edges of the leaf so it was clear it was a leaf. My daughter and I used tempera cake paint for these, but you could use any medium you like, wet or dry.
Last autumn, my daughter and I collected some gorgeously colored leaves at the playground, traced them onto our watercolor paper, and then worked on adding color. Watercolor has the ability to blend really easily—sometimes when you don’t even want it to—because wet paint will bleed into wet areas. You can use this to your advantage to blur the boundaries of different areas of color, just as often occurs on a real leaf. (If you don’t want an area to bleed, let it dry before painting over it or next to it.) If your leaf is red, yellow, and orange, you can create orange right on the paper where the red and yellow blend.
These leaf paintings are still some of my favorite pieces of artwork that we’ve created together. Trimmed to 5×7, as for the art swap, they’d be perfect for framing.
Thank you for the art inspiration, Amy!
We are so excited about the exchange and many wonderful families have already signed up. Head over to the exchange post to learn more and sign up to participate!
The deadline to sign up is Monday, November 10th!
Amy Hood blogs about art, homeschooling, and occasionally other topics at amyhoodarts. She writes and publishes Art Together, an e-zine designed to inspire confidence in adults to explore open-ended art-making alongside children. Each issue is full of activities, information, a featured artist and material, and friendly encouragement about how fun (and yes, easy!) it is for adults and kids to play with art materials together.