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The Arts Unit @home Art Bites – Operation Art – Rainbow leaves

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HEIDI WINDEISEN: Hi, everyone. My name's Heidi Windeisen, and I'm the Operation Art Project Officer here at The Arts Unit. Today I'm going to take you through an art lesson focusing on artworks by Louise Numina Napananka and Christian Bonett. The title of our work today is 'Rainbow Leaves.' First, I'd like you to take a look at these images by Louise Numina Napananka.

She's an indigenous artist who lives in Darwin. And, as you can see, she uses the leaf shape in her artwork. We're going to focus today on the way she uses colour. I'm going to show you how to make a tint scale, and a shade scale, actually painting on to leaves. The second lot of images I'd like you to have a look at are these ones by Christian Bonett.

These were created as part of a series called 'Land Art for Kids.' And, as you can see, Christian actually is using the leaves to create the artwork. So, there are some similarities between his and Louise's work, and then some differences as well. We're going to be combining both methods to create our artwork today.

The first thing I'm going to ask you to do is to go outside and collect a whole stack of leaves for me. Now, there's a couple of rules you'll have to think about for this. The first thing I want you to make sure is that all of the leaves you collect are from the same tree. It could be a gum tree, but it doesn't have to be.

I've collected a whole stack of leaves from a gum tree. And, I've made sure that they're all around the same colour. Now, this will be really important as we're mixing our colours to make sure that we get that consistency with the colour of the leaves, otherwise it will affect the colour of our tint and shade scale.

Have you collected your leaves? Excellent. Now I can tell you what you need. You're going to need to choose one colour of paint - entirely up to you what colour it is, as long as it's not white or black. The next thing you need is some white paint. We're going to create our tint scale first.

And, the way we create a tint scale is by adding pieces of white in to our coloured paint, mixing it up, and then applying it to the leaves. So, let me show you how to get started. First of all, we're going to start with our base colour. And I've chosen this beautiful turquoise colour, and I'm going to paint it directly on to my leaf, just like this.

OK? Next, I'm going to add some white into my turquoise. Now, it's really important to remember that when you add the white, you need to mix that amount of white with all of your paint. You can't leave any paint unmixed, otherwise it will affect the next series in your scale. Now, I can see that it's noticeably lighter than my original colour.

I'm going to paint it on to my next leaf. So, you can see my original leaf, and then the next one in my tint scale. The next thing I'm going to do is add some more white. So, grab another chunk of that white paint and pop it in. OK? And then on to the next leaf, and there you go, the next one in the series.

And, today, we're just going to do 4 in this tint scale. So, my last chunk of paint goes in. You're going to have lots of paint left over with this one. So, you can go into a nice painting with it as well afterwards. And, pop that on there. And, there we go. I hope that you can see all of those leaves on the front there.

I might just move these things out of the way. And, you can see that we've gone from the original colour, adding white, and getting lighter. And that is our tint scale. OK? Now you've completed your tint scale, we're going to move into the shade scale. I want you to stay with the same base colour.

Make sure you've got something underneath your leaves to protect the table. And, the first thing you're going to do is paint that first leaf in your base colour. Now, when you think of the shade, you think of the space being darker. And that's exactly what happens when we create a shade scale.

We're going to make it darker. And, to do that, we need to add black. And, once again, as you add the colour in, you need to make sure you mix all of the paint. With the black, you need much less than you need of the white in creating a tint scale. So, have a look when I create my shade scale.

I just start with a tiny bit of black and add that to my base colour and watch it darken up that paint. And, I'm going to use that now to paint my next leaf. Can you see the difference there? And, moving on to the next leaf, we grab some more black, mix it in.

I know you can still see that base colour. I haven't turned it completely black. And, then I pop that one on to the next leaf. So, I now have 3 in my scale. And, the last one, so more black. And, there you have your shade scale. You're back. How did you go? Did you get a few colours done?

I've got 3 different tint shade scales here. I've done some with yellow, some with the turquoise, and some with magenta. Now, I want you to have another quick look at those Christian Bonett images. What we're going to do is use our piles of leaves to assemble some creatures on the page here, using those different tint and shades scales.

Once you've done that, you can take some photographs as well, and they can be the artwork that actually is what you keep, the photograph rather than the assemblage. OK? Once you've made your assemblages, and you've taken the photos, we can make another piece of artwork with our leaves here. So, what we're going to do is make a mobile.

And, I've got a paper plate here, which you might have hanging around at home. Otherwise, you could just use some cardboard and cut yourself a ring. I'm going to carefully stick my scissors through here and cut around the outside. Now, the next thing I'm going to use to assemble my mobile is some wire, but if you don't have wire, you can easily use some string, or some wool, for the next part as well.

The wire's just going to make my mobile a little bit more rigid. So, there's my ring that I've made there with my paper plate, and here's my wire. If Dad pops down to Bunnings, you can ask him to grab you some of this, or Mum. So, I'm going to start here on the end and just hook it over, and then cut some off.

Because it's nice and soft, this wire, the scissors will work just fine. And, I'm going to keep twisting this through my plate, and around the ring like this. OK? So, now I've given it some form and some structure, so that when I add on my extra pieces of wire, I've got something to hold on to.

So, if you have a look, I've got this piece sticking up here. And, I need 2 more pieces close to the same length, cut a bit like that. And, pop that through here, twist it around, then 1 more piece through here. Twist it around. And, now, I can join my 3 pieces at the top.

From here, we're going to hang our threads of leaves as well. So, taking my wire again, we'll cut a piece off, and I'm going to start with my pink leaves. And, I'm going to start with the darkest one in my shade scale. And, I'm going to wrap it around like this.

And, then the next one, I've got one on as well. Our lightest ones at the top. And, there is the first part to hang down. I'll pop that one there. And, I'm going to do the same for the yellow and the green. I want you to pause the video now and go and do the same with your leaves.

OK? So, now I've attached all my leaves to a piece of wire, in order, from the darkest in my shade scale at the bottom, up to the lightest in my tint scale at the top. And, I've done that with all 3 colours, as you can see here. So, the next step is to attach them to my frame.

So, I'll turn my frame upside down. And then, using my wire, I can thread it through those pieces that I've already wrapped around my frame. Now, I've got all 3 hanging from the top. And, there is my mobile. Go and have a turn at that step, and we would love to see them when you're finished.

Once you've assembled your mobile, find somewhere to hang it. And, please take a picture and send it to the email address below. We'd love to see what you've come up with. Have a great day.

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