Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Autumn Art: Apple, Leaf & Fir Cone Printing

One of the fabulous things about autumn from a little person's perspective is the number of things there are to pick up and collect at this time of year.  The bounty of autumn - of leaves, acorns, seed pods, sticks, twigs, conkers, apples and fir cones.  Whether it's a trip to the park or the allotment we never seem to fail to come back with a little bag stuffed with various finds.  It's such a beautiful time of year to get out and about, to look at the trees, the changing colours, the seed pods, fruits and to feel the change in the weather is great.  So after harvesting our own apples and trips to a commercial apple orchard and some beautiful woodland, we had a go at making some autumn art using printing techniques with some of our finds and to remind us of our beautiful time outdoors earlier in the week.


Last year we planted an apple tree in the children's own plot in our back garden.  This year the girls picked the first harvest of 5 apples from the tree (needless to say we didn't use these for painting - these were eaten long before the paints were even got out of the cupboard!) 

Exploring trees at one of our local national trust woodlands where we collected our fir cones, leaves, pieces of bark, acorns and sticks.  And our littlest one is now walking and enjoying a stomp through the fallen autumn leaves.

As well as leaves, fir cones and pieces of bark, we also had some apples left over after a mammoth processing of several bucket loads of apples given to us by some kind friends.  (By the time we had made apple and beetroot chutney, blackberry and apple jam,  apple and blackberry leather, apple crumble, apple strudel and juiced some with carrots and beetroot, I thought we could probably spare a few small ones for painting!)  I also put out some brushes and sponges too.


The apples made great prints. 


The fir cones printed really well too, both the girls had a go at dabbing with them and then rolling them around to see the different prints that were made. We'd talked about how not to get the item too clogged with paint otherwise the print wouldn't come out, so some of the time the girls painted onto the items to get the paint on and sometime they dipped the items in the paint on their palatte.  We used the supermarket pizza tray packaging as palettes as they are a good size and the paint come be spread out thinly bu also allow mixing of colours if desired.


And of course leaves make the most beautiful prints of all in my opinion.

I couldn't resist doing some leaf printing alongside them.  I love the effects you can create with mixing the colours and that no two prints are identical.

Before we started we talked about what colours we'd seen in the woodland and looked at the bark and apples and we chose the paint colours.  We talked about what textures things were and how they might look printed and what effect they might create. 

Chick wanted to create a tree and set about using all the different materials to create her picture.

Shoeshine loved making prints all over her paper, we turned it round a few times so she could reach it all and she also enjoyed making lots of brown paint mixing all the colours.

I love the way Chick had used some of the prints, like the apples, to represent themselves, but sometimes in alternative colours and then also used things not as themselves, like the fir cone printing for creating a stippled effect for the sky and clouds.

A good morning's work and lots of painting!


  1. Wonderful pictures. I have just bought some paints and hope my kids might do something similar. Total masterpieces you have created here! Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

  2. Gorgeous! Love the colours- very appropriate!


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