Rolly Scrolly Japanese Calligraphy Art

Feature-Image-rollscrollprintPractice painting in Japanese calligraphy style while stamping with special leaf shapes! Use different colors, techniques and styles to create your own unique painting. In early April, a special event in Japan called the Cherry Blossom Festival occurs. This is when the flowers of the cherry blossom trees begin to fall, making it look as if snow is falling! Use the style of Japanese calligraphy painting to make your own tribute to the arrival of spring. Use our special R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper to paint wistful branches. Later, go over top of the painting by stamping with R55004 Super Value Leaves for a beautiful effect!

Duration: 1 hour (including prep time)

Age range: 4-8

You’ll need:

• R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper

• R55004 Super Value Leaves

• R5519 Classroom Bowls

• Paint

• Paintbrushes


Squirt blobs of paint into the R5519 Classroom Bowls and lay out the R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper onto a flat surface. The very first step will be to learn how to create the branches of the spring tree using the paintbrush.

I’ve made two different kinds of projects. The first project is for children in younger grades. Students will be introduced to a basic stroke technique in painting. They will be making one branch and stamp multiple leaves on this branch. The second project is for students in older grades. This project will allow students to make multiple branches and stamp many more leaves onto the branches, using the same techniques as in the first activity (I provide step-by-step instructions for both).

Let’s begin!

Tip: The following project is easiest for children in younger grades who may still be developing their skills with using a paintbrush or working with paint. Scroll further down if you wish to go to the project for older students.



For this project, we will make branches with easy brushstrokes. What are brushstrokes? To make a brushstroke, dip your paintbrush into the brown paint. Gently press and hold the paintbrush at the edge of the R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper. Drag the tip of the paintbrush from the edge across the paper at an angle. In the picture, I’ve placed an arrow beside each brushstroke to show you which direction I made the paintbrush go. You will always want to start your brush from somewhere then drag it outwards to get that wistful, branch-like effect.


Next, dip the oak leaf sponge into the paint. Make sure the underside is fully covered with green. Stamp the oak leaf sponge onto the R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper. Make sure the point at the end of the leaf touches the branch as you stamp. Tip: Stamp outwards from the branch to get a realistic effect.


The beautiful aged print on the R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper will enhance the brightness of the paint colors and make them look vivid. Makes a great wall scroll to send home!


We will make three simple branches to start. Tip: If your students are in older grades, they can practice painting the basic branches onto scrap paper then add more details or arrange their branches differently as they paint onto the R15406 Rolly Scrolly Paper. Use brown paint for the branches and red, green or yellow paint for the leaves.

_1090228Draw three to four large diagonal lines across the length of the paper. Start from the top and paint the first line in one direction from an edge of the paper. Use the brushstroke technique. This means that you will start your brush at a certain point (at the edge of the page) and then drag it steadily across the paper to make one continuous line. Switch the direction for the second line and so on. This will make the painting look like a snapshot was taken in between two different trees. Once you have your basic lines, start from the center of each line and paint a few smaller lines. Direct them out at different angles from the main line. Students can continue adding smaller branches if they wish.

_1090230Next choose one sponge type of the R55004 Super Value Leaves. Dip the sponge into the paint. Make sure the underside is completely covered with paint before stamping. Turn the direction of the leaf so that the point at the bottom of each shape touches the branch. You can explain to students that leaves are connected to branches by the point at the ends of the leaves so they can keep this in mind while stamping. Tip: Place newspaper or paper towel around the edges of the scroll so students can stamp their leaves slightly off the page. This will also add to the ‘snapshot’ look.

_1090231Add in a few more leaves to fill in the spaces between the branches. This will make them look thicker.

_1090233Students can research the different types of leaves included in the R55004 Super Value Leaves pack. Find out what kinds of branch shapes match the different leaf types.



Show us your students’ leaf scroll creations by sending photos to us! Contact us through the contact form. We’d love to hear from you!

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