Sunday, November 22, 2020

Autumn Art Ideas for Big Kids

Autumn is such an inspiring time of the year for us artists! The amazingly beautiful colors of fall never cease to enthrall me and put new art-making ideas into my head!

This year we went camping at the Palisades in September. Now, we were aware that the Palisades is known for its brilliant fall colors, but oh my goodness!!! It was so gorgeous, we could not take enough pictures! 

I brought home a few colorful fallen leaves as well to use in some sort of art project, and lo and behold, I came up with this one:

Glowing Leaf Bookmarks. For 10 or 12 and up; adults will enjoy making these too. In fact, I made 20 or so and it was great fun! The leaves are laminated with a heat laminator or pressed between two laminating sheets (no heat). The sheet is then cut up into bookmarkers, and the edges are bound with washi tape. I think they look awesome with metallics, so that's what I used for mine. You can also punch a hole and add a bit of yarn at the top. Here are your printable (pdf) step-by-step instructions for this project. IDEA: Try changing the cutout shapes to make glowing suncatchers for your window!


Raccoons! Here's a cute little raccoon for animal lovers, ages 8 and up. This is a mixed media art project that begins with a sketch of the raccoon (we've included a drawing guide) on a large piece of heavy drawing paper. The artist will then fill in the furry texture and add the details with oil pastels. To complete the artwork, paper scraps for the tree and falling leaves will be needed, as well as a glue stick and a set of watercolors. 

Birch Tree Mini-Watercolor Paintings.  These half-sheet watercolors are so much fun! We have done them over and over again. The secret is "masking" the tree shapes (with masking tape) before you paint! Then paint the background, remove the tape, and complete your trees. Your young artist will feel like a pro after completing a few of these! For 2nd grade and up, adults too.


Autumn-Themed Still Life Art.  Autumn is a wonderful theme for still life artwork. In fact, half the fun is collecting autumn-themed objects for your still life and then arranging it just so. Still life objects might include various gourds, miniature pumpkins, aspen/birch tree twigs, colorful fallen leaves, sunflowers, apples, and pinecones.

Here are three different types of autumn still life paintings your young artist (ages 8 and up) can create at home.

Drawing Media with Watercolor Autumn Still Life.

Start with a pencil sketch of the arrangement. Next, fill in the colors and details with watercolor pencils and go over your work lightly with a wet paint brush. Then add shadows and a background. Another option is to finish the drawing in oil pastel, then paint over it in watercolor for a resist effect. Click on the link above for details.  


Oil Pastel Autumn Still Life.

First create a pencil sketch of your arrangement on black construction paper.  Then fill in the colors and highlights with oil pastels. Notice how the colors 'pop' off the black paper! Now add details, outlines, and shadows in black oil pastel. Use the link above for detailed steps-by-steps. 


Tempera Painting Autumn Still Life.

On a large piece of watercolor paper or heavy drawing paper (at least 15 x 18 inches), begin with a pencil sketch of your arrangement. Paint the objects, then add details and highlights. Add the background, foreground and a few shadows. Remember to use large brushes for larger areas like the background, and use detail brushes for smaller areas and details. Use the above link for more examples and directions.


Next: Zendoodle Art for Kids!

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