Monday, October 17, 2011

Make Leaf Silhouette Artwork

Create a sort of reverse print by capturing the negative space, or the area around the leaf.

Even if you don’t live in area where you get to collect autumn-bright leaves, there are still plenty of art projects that feature leaves. Here’s one to get you started. You want to go out and gather leaves with a variety of shapes.

There are several ways to show off the silhouette, or outline, of a leaf. Set a leaf on a piece of paper and hold it in place with one hand. Then try one of these following techniques,

• Dip a paintbrush in watercolors, poster paints, or tempera paints. Starting on the leaf, paint over the edge of the leaf onto the paper, extending the brush strokes as far as desired.
• Dip a cut sponge in paint and dab the sponge along the outline of the leaf.
• Dip an old toothbrush in paint. Then run the handle of a paintbrush along the bristles of the toothbrush. The paint will spatter and fall around the outline of the brush. (You won’t hold the leaf in place with your hand for this variation.)
• Cover the leaf with a piece of cheesecloth or burlap that is larger than the leaf. With a sponge dipped in paint, dab the sponge over the fabric. Avoid using too much paint or rubbing the sponge over the fabric. With this technique, the textured pattern from the fabric will get added to the silhouette surrounding the leaf shape.
• Do several leaf silhouettes over a sheet of paper. Allow some of the paint surrounding the shapes to overlap, creating different colors.
• After the paint dries, go back and paint the white space with a brush in a complementary color.

After painting around the edge of the leaf, carefully remove the leaf. The shape of the leaf will be white, with paint surrounding where the leaf was held. Decorate around the silhouette as desired, including adding more silhouette images to the page.

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