Autumn Colours

This is a beautiful time of year. The trees are a kaleidoscope of colours, with seeds, berries and fruits in abundance. Sometimes this time of year gives us lovely weather too. For this lesson it would be a good idea to collect a variety of leaves and berries, seeds etc . Can you get materials while out on a walk or from your garden?

  • Mixture of papers – watercolour, coloured, photocopy
  • Newspaper to work on
  • Paints – watercolour / acrylic
  • Colouring pencils (watercolour pencils if you have them)
  • Wax crayons
  • Oil pastels
  • Graphite stick
  • Scraps of material
  • PVA glue
  • Pencils

1. Fast challenge
We are going to start with a fast exercise – no sketching in pencil first. This activity could be done outside, looking from a window or working from photos/pictures.
Cover the paper with blocks of autumnal colours and textures. Work quickly – focus on colour not detail.

2. Detailed image
Now for a more detailed exercise from your collection of berries, leaves, or flowers. Take your time and paint a detailed picture or two.

You could begin this work with the wet on wet method .Wet your whole sheet of paper with clean water, then paint strong colours all over letting them bleed and spread. When quite dry add in the details and bring the work to life.

You could also do a more abstract piece of work such as a whole sheet with one shaped leaf.

3. There is also a plentiful amount of fungi around at this time of year. Don’t touch them – Try and sketch shapes or take photos of them.
Paint them on coloured paper using your brush to paint with. Try not to draw using pencils first.

Or you could take this further as textile art

4. Graphite work
Cut an A4 piece of paper into small pieces. Use watercolour paper with the textured side up.
Colour the whole piece with bright colours (yellows, orange, reds) with either wax crayons or oil pastels. Now go over the top of your whole sheet with either a graphite stick or a grey oil pastel.
Finally, with a fine black pen or a biro draw a clear autumn image. I have used some Honesty and Sunflowers.

5. Printing Work
You can have fun printing with real leaves .Try to choose leaves which have a good shape and clear veins. This task works best with acrylic paint.
Have ready two lots of newspaper or scrap paper – one to work on and one to press on top.
Paint the back of the leaf using one colour or several . Put your backing paper (white or coloured) on top of the newspaper. Put your leaf on top painted side down. Put the other sheet of newspaper on top. Press down on top of the leaf and then remove it carefully. You will probably get two prints out of each leaf.

You can decide whether to overlap your prints or not.
You could also print directly onto material. When the material has dried you could add embroidered details or add beads as berries.
All of these pieces of work would make lovely cards – I hope you enjoy these seasonal ideas.

Have fun.

Julie x