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Camouflage Critters

Camouflage stencilling

 Here is a fun rainy day activity using easy watercolour paints and a DIY stencil. This activity looks at camouflage – the way that bugs, reptiles, and animals can blend into their surroundings. It is always nice to get kids looking closer at nature, and this artwork highlights the wonderful imitation that can be discovered between flora and fauna. 

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You will need one large and one small white card, plus scissors, watercolours, and a black marker. 

Start by filling in your big card with natural colours – browns, creams, greens, yellows – the kind of colours you would find in leaf litter on the ground. Use big sweeping brushstrokes, but also some more careful shapes and lines to mimic leaves and sticks. Just make sure it is full. Leave to dry completely.

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Meanwhile, make a stencil. I chose a lizard, one of my favourite animals, and a master of camouflage! But you could also do beetles, snakes, or almost any native animal. When making a stencil it is important to keep your shape simple, bold shapes and no fine details. I sketch mine on first as a stick and circle animal, then I join it together and bulk it out. Make sure it is big, but not touching the sides of the card. Trace around your final shape with the black pen then cut it out. Younger kids may need help with this.

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Now you want to apply some watercolour techniques to your stencils. Hold the stencil still over the painted paper, and splatter some paint over the top. You can also do a bit of a dry-brushing over the stencil. The goal is not to fill the stencil in, but to give an impression or hint of the shape when it is lifted off. 

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Once this stencilling is dry use your fine marker to add some details into the lizard, and a bit into the background. Remember you don’t need to add all the details, let your lizard blend a bit, but some googly eyes and claws will look great.

 

I love how this project combines science and art - exploring nature, camouflage and our living world through some fun simple creative art techniques.

 

Until next week!

Tracy

 

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