Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nature Printing on Day Two: Nature Sketchbooks

We revisited our great big leaf print rubbings today to try out two more printmaking techniques. For the first round, students worked with a partner.  One student was the printer, and the other was the helper.  We tried using the leaf as a stencil.  The printer decided where to place the leaf print.  The printer placed the leaf vein side up on the paper.  The helper placed a finger in the center of the leaf to hold it still.  The printer painted off the edge of the leaf to make the print.  When the print was complete the partners switched roles.
After a few prints, when the leaf was almost completely covered with paint and there was barely enough room for that little finger, we noticed we could flip the leaf over, cover it with scrap paper, and press out a beautiful print.  We also noticed we could combine these two methods. 
When students return to the art room next week we'll be making rubber band sketchbooks.  Our leaf prints will make a beautiful cover.  Students are really excited about the books and so am I.
Our book covers are cut to size 12" X 6 1/2", which is then folded in half.  The pages shown are plain white copy paper, but you could use any kind of scrap for the pages.  The pages measure slightly smaller than the cover, are folded in half and bound with a rubber band.
I hope our sketchbooks inspire lots drawing from nature.  Maybe a homemade twig pencil would be a great accompaniment.  We'll keep you posted.


  1. Thanks Barb! I did this idea and it turned out fabulous!!! I didn't paint with the kindergarteners because our smocks have not come in yet and that could be very disasterous! Can't wait till the smocks come in so we can do a group painting:))))

  2. So funny you should say that. After painting I introduced the sink and ...hand washing, the art room way". I wish I had a video so you could see how badly this broke down. We definitely need practice:)

  3. Gorgeous! I love the discovery that is taking place in this lesson. And the beautiful result is a great bonus. I'm very impressed!

  4. I want to be in your art class as a kid! jan

  5. Thanks Jan...if you're ever in Vermont...drop in and see us.