Monthly Archives: October 2020

Make a Colorful Painting of Fall Leaves to Hang on Your Fridge

Winter may be coming, but your children can make a colorful fall painting to hang on your fridge to brighten wintry days ahead.

In this project children will:

  • Learn how to draw a tree
  • Have fun mixing yellows and reds to make orange; reds and blues to make burgundy. They can discover that adding a little brown to yellow gives them a golden color.
  • Choose and experiment with different tools that are easy for little hands to use.

And this art activity can help your children in other areas of learning, because:

  • Opportunities to make choices with color and tools, as in this activity, enhances problem-solving skills.
  • Discussing their choices as they work aids in vocabulary and conversational skills.

Supplies

  • Red, yellow, blue, brown, and green tempera paint and containers for mixing paint
  • blue and green construction paper (for the variation explained below, you’ll need purple and a darker blue)
  • markers or crayons
  • pencils
  • scissors
  • glue stick or white glue
  • round brushes, clothespins to hold cotton balls, Q-tips held together with a rubber band, and small pieces of damp sponge

Directions

  1. For the background cut a wavy piece of green paper and glue it to the bottom of the blue paper. This is the foreground on which the tree stands.
  2. For the tree use a pencil to draw a simple Y tree. You can see this in the photo. On the left is a tree of single lines, each branch formed by the letter Y. In the tree on the left you can see how those lines are thickened to form the tree.
  3. Color the tree with crayons or markers using different browns, grays, and even a little black. Add some greens below to suggest grass.
  4. Mix the paint in shallow containers.  
  5. Let your children try different tools on scrap paper first to discover the different effects they will get. Sometimes the marks will look better after dabbing on scrap paper first.
  6. After they have experimented, they can paint colorful fall leaves all over the branches of the trees and falling onto the ground below.

Helpful Hints: If possible, before starting this project, go outside and look closely at some trees to observe the following:

  • All the colors and textures in the bark
  • How the branches get thinner as they get farther from the trunk
  • How leaves may have mixtures of greens and yellows or reds, as the chlorophyll is no longer being produced.
  • It might also help to stand in front of a tree and look into the distance while you explain that the tree next to them and the one they’ll do in their painting are large as we would expect. But things farther away look smaller in real life and will in their painting, too.

Help your children experiment with mixing and creating new colors from the ones they have. Show them that when you make a color like orange, mix just a little bit of the darker color (in this case, red) into the lighter color, yellow. The other way around, and you’ll find yourself having to use way more of the lighter color and may never get the light mix you want.

Hints for Clean Up:

Have a large plastic container to put the tools in when finished so you can easily throw away used Q-tips and cotton balls and wash the rest in the sink.

Variations:

If you and your children wish, you may add the other two landscape distances to the green foreground of their picture. Add blue water for the middleground and purple or gray mountains for the background. You can also use one of the tools and white paint to add some clouds.

Molly hopes you enjoy Making a Colorful Painting of Fall Leaves to Hang on Your Fridge, We’d love to hear what your favorite part of this project was!

Molly and I hope to see you right back here soon for a Fall Art Project for Older Children!

Devotion based on the painting, Autumn on the Hudson River, by Jasper Cropsey

Hudson River school artists wanted their light-filled landscapes to teach lessons about God. The beauty of the landscapes, and the realistic details of foliage, skies, and clouds weren’t just to celebrate nature, but to show God’s glory and power in creation, and His continuing care of it all.

Autumn on the Hudson, Jasper Cropsey, public domain

Supplies

Gather your children in a room you an darken and discuss how hard it is to see details of the leaves and other objects you collected. Depending on how dark the room is, it’s also hard to see much color.

Now open the curtains or turn on the lights and look at all the details and colors of the objects, especially the veins in the leaves.  

Now look at the painting by Jasper Cropsey. He has illuminated his whole scene with that light. We can see every detail!

He’s painted sunbeams coming through the clouds in the afternoon when the sun’s rays are longer and warmer, making his landscape look warm and peaceful to remind us of God’s loving care of every detail of His creation. Read together, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:2-3 NIV)

God created each of His creatures, and He continues to care for them!

Look at the pictures that you gathered of animals and plants and ask what are some of the ways God cares for each one. For example, how the bright colors of flowers attract bees and other insects to cross pollinate them. Ask how a rabbit can blend in with grass and bushes. How does a woodpecker’s bill differs from a duck’s, and why. How does each bird get its food? Read together, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” (Matthew 6:26 NIV)  

The Hare by Albrecht Durer, public domain

God created each one of us, and He continues to care for us!

Ask children what are some of the ways God has cared for them. For example, discuss how their eyes can see colors and can see into the distance or close-up. Ask what are some of the many ways they can use their hands and fingers. Read together “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

God created everything that exists and He continues to care for All of His creation!

We can also look into the distance to see some of the biggest things – the mountains, the sky, and the river. Cropsey wrote that the sky was a beautiful gift of the Creator and encircled the earth “like a halo.  Read together, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2 NIV) 

Prayer:  Dear God you created everything from the smallest leaf to the tallest mountains, and all the bright stars above us. You have wonderfully made each of us, too! We praise You for creation’s beauty and the careful care You give to every part of it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Molly and I hope you enjoyed looking at how Autumn on the Hudson River can help us understand some Spiritual truths!

Be sure and come back for our next post. It’ll be an art project for younger children, based on Cropsey’s painting.