Positive and Negative Leaf Art


Positive/Negative Leaf Art



It occurred to me that my son has yet to do a LEAF RUBBING!  WOW. He is 6 years old. How did we miss that?  Now that he has learned about Leaves and Why Leaves Change Color he was ready to move on to something else to discover.  That something else happened to be a battery powered plastic bottle car ( coming soon!).  While searching for What’s Inside A Battery we both learned a little about positive and negative charges.  Every parent knows when you type in a search phrase ANYTHING remotely related to whatever you are searching for can pop up!  Positive/Negative Art for kids was one of the hits that took us to this activity…

We began with simply sorting our leaf colors according to matching colored construction paper. 

Leaf color sorting.
Leaf color sorting.

Folded each piece of paper in half and cut them where the fold was.


He then chose a leaf for each half piece of paper to make a rubbing of and used his crayons to rub over the leaves..

It was his first leaf rubbing so he had to learn to use the crayon another way.
It was his first leaf rubbing so he had to learn to use the crayon another way.
Easy peasy!
Easy peasy!

So now that he was familiar with leaf rubbings I brought out 2 black pieces of construction paper and a white crayon for him to try the process again.  I taped these two pieces together on the back side and helped him hold the whole thing in place.



In his words “Wow!” The finished art work is hanging on my living room wall.  It is a beautiful piece!!



During this activity, I talked to him telling him just like there is a positive and negative charge for a battery there is also positive/negative art work technique.  We took a picture of his rubbing and used an app to turn it into a negative photograph.

He and I searched a few web sites afterwards about Japanese art.  Here are some we shared reading.

  • Art is Basic has a wonderful example of NOTAN art.
  • Art For Small Hands showed us both how to use Layered scissor pattern for a different type positive/negative art.

He learned through reading with me that different artists became famous using positive/negative art techniques.  

    I plan to sneak in some First Grade writing with these inspirational activities from Buggy and Buddy.

Confessions Of A Homeschooler has made a good lap book if you are interested in learning about Matisse.

Hodge Podge has a FREE printable to use for her activity using pastels, too.  Did you know that the FedEx logo is also an example of Positive/Negative art?? Just look for the arrow! 


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Hi! My name is Crystal. I am a mom of two. My daughter is 18. My son ,who attends public school, also needs a little extra help afterschool. This blog is all about how we keep learning fun at home as an extension of his school day and during school breaks.

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