This crayon and marker project is so pretty and covers several big art concepts- like primary color mixing and positive and negative shapes.

Supplies for color mixing with crayons…

Part of the beauty of this project is the teeny tiny supply list!  All you need is card stock or paper, permanent black marker, scissors, and crayons- only three colors.

You’ll need crayons in the primary colors.  These colors are generally simplified as red, yellow, and blue.  But for the purposes of color mixing you’re students will get better results if you start with the colors cyan, magenta, and yellow.  Cyan is close to blue but closer to a turquoise. Magenta is close to red but with more of a purple-ish tint.

Try color mixing with crayons in this leaf drawing.

Create a leaf stencil….

This projects begins with one simple shape.  We chose a simple leaf shape but it could be any shape. The important thing is to draw a simple shape and cut it out. Anything too complex or tiny is guaranteed to give you a headache.  Take a walk outside or browse some images online to get ideas for leaf outlines.

Use a black permanent marker to trace the shape onto the larger paper- what you see here is standard 8.5 x 11 paper. A good rule of thumb is that every time the shape is traced it should either go off the page or overlap another leaf.  This method prevents any lonely “floating leaves on the paper.

Identifying positive and negative spaces…

This is a great time to sneak in another art concept- positive and negative space.  The leaves, the subject is the positive space. The negative space is what’s left over, or the background. Color the background black with a permanent marker. This creates a nice sense of balance of light and dark.

This can be a bit tricky because of the unique shapes of the leaves as well as the overlapping lines.  But, guess what? If a space gets colored in that shouldn’t- life goes on.  Keep coloring, and don’t sweat it.

Try color mixing with crayons in this leaf drawing.

Color mixing with crayons…

The idea here is that students will choose a single color for each leaf.  The spaces in which leaves overlap will feature overlapping layers of crayons too.  Layer two primary colors on top of one another and you’ve got- voila- secondary colors!

Encourage your students to start by coloring all the leaves they’d like to be yellow. Spaces that are colored heavily red or blue will be hard to layer in red or blue to get those secondary colors. Starting with yellow allows the blue and the red to be layered in with the yellow in a slower, more gradual way. After beginning with yellow ad a light layer of blue or red.  Adding more yellow on top of those two layers will blend crayon marks and create a more solid looking, saturated color.

Just keep layering on color until the colors look bight and saturated. Since this project takes such a simple supply list it’s no big deal to put this away and get it out for another sitting later.  Don’t color till your hands hurt. This project is a great one to work on two to three times.

Try color mixing with crayons in this leaf drawing.

More color mixing opportunities for kids…

Mixing two colors together to create a new one is such a fun activity.  It never gets old. Give your kids experiences with different types of pigments and on unique surfaces to make it a new activity every time.

Here are some additional resources that make it easy!

Try these six printable pages of color mixing challenges- perfect for tempera, acrylic, or colored pencil blending.

This color mixing experience is process oriented fun.  Bonus- super simple supplies come from the bathroom and kitchen!

Check out this color mixing exercise- on coffee filters.  It’s a bit less formulaic and a lot more spontaneous!

Pick two primary colors for this easy painting idea -acrylic or tempera!

Learn to layer watercolor paints to create new colors!

Try color mixing with crayons in this leaf drawing.

If you enjoyed this primary color mixing exercise I hope you’ll share it with a friend!

Those social media shares are a huge help to me!