A few saturdays ago I helped to teach a class as part of a free series of artist led workshops for kids at an outdoor sculpture park here in New York. It was a great project, greatly indebted to Laura's story on leaf printing from several year's back...We collected leaves from around the park and showed the kids this basic technique - brushing acrylic paint onto one side of a leaf, placing it facedown onto a paper surface, covering it with a blotting paper, and rolling over it with a clean brayer to make an even print. Its so simple that even the youngest kids were able to experiment with it. Its a very exciting moment when the leaf is peeled back to reveal a finished print. There's such a range of possibility with color, and it isn't difficult to get amazingly fine detail. I really loved seeing all ages of kids, parents and even grandparents getting excited by the same process.
These brayers aren't expensive and are sold by Speedball Art, who generously donated a box of them to the program. In the picture above you can see how one little girl adapted the blotting paper/brayer technique for a handprint. Very innovative! Laura's Leaf Print projects also appear in our craft book, a reminder that the technique works beautifully on fabric too.