DESIGNER LEAF – Pattern, Line, Contrast

Students create a design of various patterns and colours by painting on a leaf that has been preserved with glycerin. An idea submitted by Chandni Ganesh who did this activity with her class at MacLeod's Landing Public School in York Region, Ontario.

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DESIGNER LEAF – Pattern, Line, Contrast


  • Crayola Acrylic Paint
  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Construction Paper - Black
  • Crayola Sketchbooks
  • Paper Towels
  • Water Containers
  • Plastic Container Lids for Palettes


Step 1


  1. One week before you begin paint both sides of the leaf with a thin coat of glycerin. (Glycerin can be purchased in a pharmacy or the food section of many grocery stores.)
  2. Let the leaf dry for a week.
  3. Pat the leaf with paper towel before you start to paint it.
Step 2
  1. Trace your leaf onto a page of your sketchbook.
  2. Make a plan drawing of your design.
  3. Make sure to include lots of different patterns.

Step 3
  1. Paint directly on the leaf.
  2. Allow the paint to dry between coats.
Step 4
  1. Place a few drops of glue on the back of the leaf.
  2. Glue it to a piece of black construction paper.
  3. Do not glue the edges of the leaf down flat.
  4. Notice the shadows cast by the leaf.
Illustrated Crayon Character