Fall Leaves painting idea. Use a black watercolor resist medium to paint gorgeous fall leaves art! Fall art projects with autumn leaves are fun for kids, teens, and adults at home or in the classroom.
Paint a maple, oak, or beech fall leaf with black pastel, crayon or black glue as a watercolor resist medium to create gorgeous fall leaves art!
Trace real autumn leaves, or use our FREE printable fall leaf art templates to begin this easy fall painting idea for kids from toddlers to teens at home or in the classroom.
Art projects with autumn leaves, like this fall leaves watercolor resist art project, makes it possible to create autumn art that can be framed and hung on the wall to add to your DIY home decor.
Try painting fall leaves with watercolors and a black watercolor resist medium today!
Related: The Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
Related: Watercolor and Fall Leaf Art
How to Paint Fall Leaves with a Resist Medium
Enjoy painting fall leaves watercolor art with children for a fun weekend project or homeschool art lesson. Painting fall leaves is also a wonderful art lesson in watercolor resist techniques for use in the classroom.
This fall leaves art project is best completed in two parts or stages:
- First, invite children preschool age and up to draw and/or trace autumn leaves with a black resist medium–black pastel, black crayon, or black glue.
- Next, use watercolors to paint the fall leaves outlined with the black watercolor resist medium. The step by step tutorial for this fall leaf art project can be found in the next section, while directions to make your own black glue can be found below.
How to Make Black Glue
- Add a squirt of black acrylic paint to a small bottle of white glue and shake well.
- Make sure the bottle is not full so there is plenty of room for the ingredients to mix and blend.
- Remember that glue dries clear. Black glue does not have to look completely black when it is wet. A greyish color is great. The black glue will dry black with a little bit of black acrylic paint.
We have a small bottle of glue dedicated to continually mixing white glue and black acrylic paint into to make a never-ending supply of black glue. We never measure, and it always turns out fine.
More Watercolor Resist Art Projects for Kids
- The Science of Watercolor Resist Art
- Rose Watercolor Resist Art
- Watercolor Surprise Heart Art
- Winter Tree Watercolor Resist Art
- Snowy Alpine Tree Watercolor Art
- Ocean-Themed Under the Sea Watercolor Resist Art Projects
- Starfish Black Glue Resist Art Project
- Watercolor Surprise Easter Egg Art
Fall Leaves Resist Art Materials
- White glue & black acrylic paint, OR, black oil pastel, OR, black crayon
- Heavy cardstock or 140 lb watercolor paper
- Liquid, tube, pallet or Stockmar watercolor paint
- Paintbrushes or water brushes
- Construction paper
- FREE Leaf Art Printable Templates (optional)
Fall Leaves Watercolor Resist Art Project Step by Step Tutorial
Step 1 – Chose a black watercolor resist medium to create fall leaves art
Step 2 – Invite your child to draw or trace fall leaves, or, download and print our FREE fall leaf printables
As mentioned above, we recommend completing this fall art project for kids in two parts or stages. Draw and/or trace autumn leaves the first day, and use watercolors to paint them the next.
Step 3 – Trace the outline of fall leaves with black watercolor resist medium.
The preschooler pictured below chose to trace her fall leaves watercolor art with black glue as the watercolor resist medium.
Step 4 – Use watercolors to paint fall leaves art
If you choose to use black glue as the watercolor resist medium, make sure that the black glue is completely dry (overnight is best) before you invite children to use watercolors to paint fall leaves art.
We invited our preschooler to use Stockmar watercolor paints in order to experiment with color mixing with watercolors. She used red and yellow for the maple leaf, yellow and blue for the beech leaf, and all three colors for the oak leaf.
She painted green by layering blue and yellow and mixing them on a separate tray. Since she has created many Waldorf-inspired wet-on-wet watercolor paintings she was ready for the challenge of painting fall leaf art with only the primary colors.
Invite your children to give color mixing fall leaf art a try!
Step 6 – Cut out your fall leaf art and glue the autumn leaves onto pieces of construction paper. (optional)
Fall Leaf Art Project: Watercolor Resist Process Art Tips
- Print out and trace as many leaves as you’d like to use with black glue the night before you plan to paint. Be careful, black glue has the tendency to pool and spread when used in large amounts. Use it sparingly to keep nice lines.
- Before painting, place newspaper or paper towels underneath the watercolor autumn leaf art in order to help soak up any excess water.
- If your child has never worked with watercolors, I recommend preparing at least one extra fall leaf so you can demonstrate how to paint with watercolors first. Show more than tell, young children learn best by watching others.
- Watercolor painting is a perfectly imperfect art form. The key to working with watercolors is to literally go with, as opposed to against, the way they naturally flow. Use water to help them flow mix and blend even more.
- Adding water can also dilute the vibrancy of the colors.
- Black glue will resist watercolor paint but will begin to pull the color black into the painting if you mix too much black acrylic paint into the white glue, or if it gets too wet. Have a look at our black glue rose, black glue starfish, or winter tree art for more tips!
More Fall Arts & Crafts for Kids
- Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
- Leaf Baby
- Watercolor and Fall Leaves Art
- Fall Leaf Lacing
- Turkey Leaf Lantern
- Fall Nature Craft Ideas
- Marbled Clay Gratitude Leaves
- Acorn Marble Necklaces
More Art Projects and Painting Ideas for Kids
- Halloween Art Children Will LOVE!
- Best Winter Art Projects for Kids
- Christmas Art Projects for Kids
- Heart Art for Kids
- Valentines Day Art Projects
- Easter Art Ideas for Kids
- Flower Art Projects for Kids
- Best Fingerprint Art Ideas for Kids
Fall leaf Art Project for Kids at Home or in the Classroom
Outlining fall leaves with black glue and painting them with watercolors is a fun and easy art project for kids and adults.
You may also like this Fall bucket list of fun fall activities!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If you like Painting Fall Leaves, You May Also Like
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- Fall Bucket List of Fun Fall Activities
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…