While looking through the library one afternoon, I stumbled across Kevin Henkes’s picture book, “Old Bear”. The adorable illustrations inspired me to create a combination bear painting and leaf print art lesson for my fourth graders.
We used one 50-minute period to draw and paint the bear and another period to print the leaves.
This lesson was a huge hit with the kids.
Supplies Part I
12″ x 18″ white paper
Brown and black tempera paint
Black oil pastel
Using a black oil pastel, the kids went at it, crossing out the lines they didn’t like and moving on with the ones they did. Most kids found it helpful to start with the nose, then put in the eyes and then draw the head around that.
12″ x 18″ Black paper
Fresh leaves snipped from trees
White, orange, gold and bronze tempera paint
Smooth, flat brushes
Using leaves found around the school yard, I place a variety on each table. Start by painting the underbelly (the vein side) of the leaf with white paint. Then, place the leaf, paint side down onto the sheet of black paper. Place a piece of scratch paper over the leaf and rub gently. Sometimes it’s helpful to press down as well. Carefully peel away the scratch paper and leaf to reveal the white painted leaf print.
It’s okay to use the same leaf more than once. Now that the leaf has a white base coat, paint some color on top of the white paint and press onto the black paper. The creaminess of the white combined with an orange works really well on the black paper. Just using orange for instance, doesn’t produce as pleasing of a result.Continue to make leaf prints on the entire paper especially around the edges.