Paper choice is very important for this project- we used Molly's Midnight Black paper from Molly Hawkins' House. If you haven't heard of this art supply company, visit their site and request a catalog! Their prices are hard to beat. Molly's Midnight paper is very smooth and has the deepest black color. It is gorgeous!
I handed out packets with examples of leaves for the students to use for reference, but we have also worked while viewing actual leaves, which is ideal. They were instructed to draw as large as they possible could on the paper, even allowing some of the leaf to go off the edge.
Glue is applied to the pencil lines and allowed to dry until the following class.
~ Close the glue bottles slightly to achieve a smaller flow of glue. Too much glue and the lines tend to blob together.
~ Remind students to keep the glue bottle close to/right on their paper as they follow the lines. Believe it or not, there will be students who want to hold the bottle about 6 inches above their drawing and squeeze the bottle. Not a pretty outcome!
~ Also tell students that if they make a mistake with the glue, to leave it there. If they wipe the glue off, the chalk pastel will not adhere where the glue has been. It is better to have a few "holes" in the leaf than to wipe off a drip or two.
When the glue has dried, metallic marker is applied to the lines. We used Prang Metallic Art Markers, but silver Sharpie or other metallic markers would work well also.
Finally, chalk is added to the leaf, using either a cool or warm color scheme. I had the students choose 3 colors of chalk to use and demonstrated blending them. I had them begin with one color and add from the midrib (central line) out, following the shape of the leaf. One section is done at a time. Then, they added a second color, starting from the outside edge of the leaf going in toward the midrib. Finally, the third color of chalk is added, "bridging" the other two colors together. I reminded them to keep their hands out of their work, as they wanted to blend the chalk with their fingers. Some may find this acceptable, but to me, it makes the work look "dirty". Instead, they used cotton swabs.
The finished work looked fabulous hanging in the hallway and we got several compliments.
These gorgeous drawings were created by 5th grade students. To see the entire gallery, visit our Artsonia page.