Nature Printing

Kingsley has a love for the outdoors, putting things in his mouth, painting and drawing. When I have art lessons at home, he always gets VERY excited when he sees the paint. When he sees my sketchbook, even when it’s closed and sitting on the piano, he starts squealing and throwing his arms around. He wants to create.

I’ve seen lots online lately around “print making” – dipping objects into paint to create patterns, designs and images by pressing the objects onto a canvas or page. I wanted to do this with Kingsley, and with autumn front-and-centre, it seemed like a great time to bring together his love for nature and art, in a kinesthetic way.

Throughout the activity, he: engaged with the process; got dirty; tried to eat paint; practiced and built fine motor skills; explored; learned by example that art is fun and doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s; tried different ways of applying paint; watched paint change colours; laughed; squealed; felt great.

Here is our journey in photos:

I got home from work, and took a trip the art supply store ... also known as the back yard.

I got home from work, and took a trip the art supply store … also known as the back yard.

My assistant.

(My assistant.)

Free art supplies.

Free art supplies.

Ready to work.

Ready to work.

At first, he wasn't sure about it, so I took the lead and guided him by modelling how to dip and press a leaf.

At first, he wasn’t sure about it, so I took the lead and guided him by modelling how to dip and press a leaf.

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Notice that I only had 4 colours out: turquoise, red, yellow and white. This limits the amount of “brown” that happens.

We dipped sunflowers, leaves, pinecones and sticks.

We dipped sunflowers, leaves, pinecones and sticks.

He really enjoyed the fat pinecone – it fit well into his hand and was easy to grip. He also enjoyed the paintbrush, probably because he could work it like a pencil, which he does regularly when he sketches.

I allowed him to self-select tools, but also showed him how different ones would work, in order to balance his own interest and what was grabbing his attention, with the possibilities of the other items.

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The aftermath:

The aftermath.

The finished piece is gorgeous. It screams fun, love, laughter, life!

The finished piece! It is GORGEOUS! Notice that I selected only a few colours, in order to limit the "brown" mixing.

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