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'Drawing From Nature'

Jonathan and Chloe learn about flowers and create a work of art with tissue paper and popcorn.

May 02, 2004|By Carol Felixson | Special to The Times

POP! POP! POPCORN! Bet you can't wait to eat some. Sorry! If you're talking about small wildflowers commonly found in the Santa Monica Mountains, you can't eat them, but you can let Chloe Chais, 10, and brother Jonathan, 7, of Beverly Hills, show you how to do an art project. They first did research on popcorn flowers, then made this illustration using tissue paper and real popcorn.

Jonathan and Chloe learned there are several species of popcorn flowers. They are members of what is commonly known as the fiddleneck family of plants.

"They are called this," Chloe explains, "because the flower buds are held in a tight coil at the top of the plant and look like a violin neck."

"Once they open and bloom, they look like popped corn," Jonathan adds. "The flowers have white petals with yellow 'kernels' in the center."

Chloe and Jonathan chose blue tissue paper for the sky and green paper for the ground. They cut it into strips and other shapes. With their parents' help, they popped the popcorn. Next they mixed water and white glue until it had the same consistency as paint. Working on one small section at a time, they painted the mixture onto poster board with a brush. Taking turns, they placed a piece of tissue paper on top of each glued area. Then they "painted" over the top of the tissue, let it dry, and brushed on a second coat of the glue and water.

To finish up, Jonathan and Chloe used full-strength glue to paste popcorn on top of the tissue paper. Once everything dried, they outlined the flowers with a marker. (What do you think they did with the leftover popcorn?)

Good job Chloe and Jonathan!

About the series: Each month, Carol Felixson introduces children to a subject from nature and an art technique. The children then apply what they have learned in an illustration. She is director of education and community outreach for UCLA's Stunt Ranch Reserve and Mathias Botanical Garden. June 6 lesson: coyotes and masks.

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