Monday, November 18, 2013

Leaf Rubbings and Water Colors

Day 13: Leaf Rubbings and Water Colors

While doing leaf rubbings with crayons and paper can be pretty cool, we tried a different technique. We used leaves, paper, and white crayons to do our basic rubbings. I took the paper off the outside of the crayons--I think they work better that way. When I'm doing texture rubbings with groups, I leave a bunch of crayons peeled like this in a container just for this purpose. My kids love peeling paper off crayons (right!) and are willing to assist from time to time.

I place my leaves with the veins on the facing up under my piece of paper. I used the white crayon on the cylinder side rather than using the point to rub across the top of the paper. I held things in place with my other hand. I couldn't see all of the details since I was putting white crayon on top of white paper, yet I could almost see embossed sections and the shine from the wax crayon where it took the impression of the leaf. I made sure the leaves were peeking outside of the paper so it would have a more natural effect. 

Later, I broke out the classic water color set, a cup of water, and a paintbrush. I used orange, green, purple, and a little yellow, but didn't really wash the brush between colors, so we saw how many colors mix together for a brown. This could be done with all of one color for a stunning look, too. 

Fresher leaves are better for making leaf rubbings. Most leaves in our area are getting crispy, so when I saw freshly fallen green and yellow leaves at a friend's house, I asked to grab a few. She didn't mind a bit!

A few other options with this include:
  • Cut around the individual leaves and make a banner.
  • Frame it and use as part of the fall decor.
  • Try it with different colored crayons.
  • Cut up the finished paper for use in mixed media or nature collages. (Think Eric Carle)
  • Try different types of paper to see how they react to the crayon resist and water colors. Some papers are more absorbent than others.
  • Compare results using different types of watercolors.