I adore nature craft. That might be searching for rainbow leaves, painting sticks, making a daisy crown, building rock towers or even simply arranging posies in juice bottles. I see a lot of value in this type of activity: it helps to connect to the beauty in nature; it encourages the use of what is already there to create something; it’s about small joys.
I recently came across these incredible foliage face portraits by Justina Blakeney (check out more on her Instagram account). I asked her if I could share them here because, although the portraits are intricate and amazing, the concept is simple enough to be enjoyed by kids of all ages (and adults too).
The kids and I have used leaves in collage and crafts before, but not quite like this! So one afternoon, I enjoyed lovely time with my daughter collecting nature items to create our own Foliage Faces.
What you need
Paper/plastic plate, empty shoe box, cardboard or a piece of paper (to arrange the face)
Basket or bag (for collecting nature materials)
The great thing about this activity is it’s easy (and free)! It also made me look at things differently in the backyard; I hadn’t noticed all the texture, colours and shapes.
This is what my daughter created with her collections from around the house.
Basic Face Symmetry
I’m no artist by any stretch, however I saw an opportunity here to look at very basic face structure. As a general rule, break the face into thirds from the hair line to the chin. It’s interesting to get the child to look in the mirror and have a look at their own face in thirds and to see where the ear starts and that sort of thing.
1st third line – eyebrow
2nd third line – tip nose
3rd third line – chin
Eyes, Mouth & Ears
Break the thirds into thirds again to find a general place to put the eyes, mouth and ears:
Eye: 1st third of the 2nd third – base of eye (space the eyes approximately 1 eye width apart)
Mouth: 1st third of the 3rd third – middle of lips
Ear: Eye brow line – top of the ear Faces come in all shapes and sizes and I don’t see this activity as being confined by rules. However, as my kids get older, it’s interesting to explore deeper and then use knowledge as a tool to recreate.
The beauty about this activity is it can be as simple and quick or as detailed and intricate as the child is engaged. Great fun for out fun in the park or the backyard.