Get Inspired By Plant Colors!

Maple Leaves. Micha L. Rieser / Wikimedia Commons

If you find yourself inspired by the colors and shapes of nature, this activity is the perfect way to spend time observing and celebrating that beauty! With our free printable Leaf-Pounding Journal, learners of any age will enjoy gathering plant specimens, experimenting with “plants as paints,” and getting kinesthetic to leave their artistic mark.

Jump right into the activity or keep reading this roundup of resources including a short science video on leaf color, a mini-documentary on an indigenous artist in Australia who dyes with natural colors, and an online exhibit featuring a rainbow of plants from the mountains of India.

Did you know plants can be paints?

We'll just leaf this here ...

The Leaf-Pounding Journal has some great vocabulary and introductions to plant pigments (what makes them the color they appear to be), and this 3-minute video shows the chemistry:

Walk, Gather, Art!

Throughout history (and even prehistory!) humans have used plants and other natural fibers for their pigments, to make arts and crafts. In this 8-minute video, a Yindjibarndi artist takes a walk with us and shares her process for gathering native plant material to dye fabric.

Colors of the Earth

Click through this virtual exhibit, “Colors of the Earth,” to see a rainbow of vibrant natural dyes and the plants they come from, presented by Avani Society on Google Arts & Culture.

Flowers By the Pound

Lastly, see flower-and-leaf-pounding art in action here from Naples Botanic Garden in Florida. Then, it’s time to print your Leaf-Pounding Journal and set out on your own artistic adventure!

With our free printable Leaf-Pounding Journal, learners of any age will enjoy gathering plant specimens, experimenting with “plants as paints,” and getting kinesthetic to leave their artistic mark.

Written by: Angel Horne

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