Autumn Leaves with Crayon Resist

art by Kelsey

Autumn Leaves with Crayon Resist
inspired by Andy Goldsworthy

This is a fun project that I usu­ally do with my 1st graders in the fall, but all ages enjoy it….it’s easy to do, every­one can feel suc­cess­ful and the results are beau­ti­ful. Try one yourself!

• 12x18 white con­struc­tion paper
• black crayon, bro­ken in half with paper peeled off
• water­color set and brush
• water
• real leaves in a vari­ety of shapes and sizes (Leaves will stay “fresh” for sev­eral days after col­lect­ing if you put them in a plas­tic gro­cery bag in the refrig­er­a­tor and mist with water each day.)

Tex­ture - the actual way a piece of art­work feels when touched or the way it looks like it would feel.
Com­po­si­tion — the arrange­ment of the parts of a pic­ture.

Con­trast — the use of oppo­sites together, such as light and dark col­ors or rough and smooth tex­tures.
Pat­tern — a repeated design or sequence

Andy Goldswor­thy — (born 1956) a British sculp­tor, pho­tog­ra­pher and envi­ron­men­tal­ist (liv­ing in Scot­land) who cre­ates site-specific sculp­tures in both nat­ural and urban set­tings. His art involves the use of nat­ural and found objects to cre­ate both tem­po­rary and per­ma­nent sculp­tures that draw out the char­ac­ter of their environment.

1. Lay leaves one at a time under paper and rub with side of black crayon. Let some leaves over­lap. Don’t stop until the entire paper is cov­ered with leaf rub­bings! (Make sure to sign your name with crayon before start­ing to paint.)
2. Choose a color to paint the back­ground (blue or brown works well). Paint the entire back­ground with this one color before paint­ing any leaves.
3. Next, paint leaves using a vari­ety of col­ors, but do not use your back­ground color on any of the leaves, and do not use black!
4. You will know you are fin­ished when your entire paper is painted and there is no white paper left showing!

Through this project you can teach the con­cepts of fore­ground, back­ground and con­trast, as well as tech­niques for work­ing with water­col­ors. You may need to remind younger stu­dents that the rea­son they call it “water­color” is because you need to add water to the paint! Know­ing the right amount of water to pick up with your brush is a skill that is not nec­es­sar­ily intu­itive and usu­ally needs to be learned!

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3 Responses to Autumn Leaves with Crayon Resist

  1. Mrs. Mendence September 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    I love the idea — so much so..that I will par­tic­i­pate in the les­son myself! Fall is in the air!

    Thanks Cheryl for the heads up regard­ing how stu­dents are to use the water col­ors and brush.


  2. Anonymous September 27, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Leaves with Crayon Resist were a big hit in first grade! They are now proudly dis­played in the TLC office. Your blog made it all pos­si­ble and helped it go smoothly. Thanks to the best art teacher in the world!!!! xox­ox­oxo jb


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