Make some beautiful mirror leaf drawings as an Autumn art activity for kids (and adults) to enjoy! Great for practising observational drawing skills and learning first hand about nature, the structure of leaves and symmetry. This would work well for any season and could be done with flowers too!
Here is an idea for a classic nature art activity for kids that teaches some important drawing skills, focused on observation, shape and line. Making mirror leaf drawings is a fun art activity we often did as kids and while teaching, and now my children are finally becoming old enough to have a go it’s so much fun to be able to revisit them all over again. I think that’s one of my favourite things about being a parent, is the excuse to try things again, learn along with your child and make time to play too!
We collected as many different types of leaves as we could on a walk to the park, and made sure we had different colours, shapes and sizes in our pile.
When home we selected a few favourites each and carefully cut them in half along one side the stem, taking care to keep the stem intact. They then glued each of these to some drawing paper and spent some time looking closely at the half leaf that they could see in front of them.
These are some of our favourite art supplies: heavy weight cartridge paper and bendable colouring pencils with a triangular barrel for easier grip. [Amazon affiliate links.]
We talked about the shape of the edges, how many points or curves it had, what colours we could see within the leaf itself, what other details were there and was it always perfectly symmetrical or not?
They made some good observations and noticed interesting things about how the colours were split in some of the leaves. Then they started to draw, from the centre of the existing leaf and outwards.
Once they had worked on the outline shapes, they took a good look again at the colours and we talked again about how we wouldn’t be able to make these colours with just one coloured pencil. They suggested layering them and then set abut finding the closest 2 or 3 colours with which to do this.
The effect was really nice and we learned to try using the pencils on their side slightly, rather than applying heavy pressure straight down, as this tends to causes scratchy sharp lines instead of soft, bendable layers.
Over the top of the background they added details of veins and any little marks or tears. Miss 7 noticed that if she added the veins before the background, then these naturally stood out when she shaded over the top, and the effect was lovely.
We all did a few each as they were lovely to see appearing off the page as a finished whole, and the kids were very proud of the results! As we find more varieties while out and about, we shall come back to this activity and try more.
What they are learning as they play:
creativity: drawing skills, observation, line and shape, symmetry, shading
science: close observation of natural objects, understanding about the structure of a leaf, identifying leaf varieties
See all of our AUTUMN ART ACTIVITIES here
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