Sunday, November 3, 2013

Painting Leaves

I've been painting leaves this past week.  The inspiration was from a post by Vickie Henderson on the blog Sketching in Nature.  You really should check out the post as her leaves are gorgeous and far more detailed than mine.  

I loved painting the leaves as it was a satisfying, yet fairly simple processI thought I would share with you how I painted the leaves in case this gorgeous time of year has you ready to channel your inner artist and you want to give it a try.

First, you need to collect some leaves - the best ones are leaves that have a variety of colours on them or have little holes or imperfections so there is something interesting to paint.  

Then trace them on to your paper.

And then begin painting the leaves starting at the tips.  It works best if you do a combination of painting as well as wetting an area of the leaf and then dropping paint into the water to let the colour flow along the wet area and blend with colours that have already been painted.  

Remember to leave little holes (white areas) even if there aren't any on your actual leaf as it makes the leaves seem more realistic.  You might also want to use tiny amounts of blue to blend with your yellow, orange, and red as it gives a good effect for the edges and the dried up damaged parts of leaves, like in the edges of the yellow maple in the photo below.

How are the colours where you live?  Ours are past their prime, but there are still some trees with leaves which makes me happy. 

I came across this photo I took of some red maple leaves from last year at the cottage and just had to re-post it.  Aren't they magnificent?

Linked to Fall into Fall Party at DIY by Design


  1. You did a great job with the watercolor autumn leaves Grace!

  2. Wow, I continue to be impressed with your artistic talents...really lovely! Our leaves are just coming into their full color, but strong winds have knocked off lots of leaves today, so we may not have as colorful a show as in years past.

    xo Kat

  3. I really like the way you have captured the changing colours of the leaves, they are very pretty paintings. The red maple leaves really are stunning

  4. Autumn is such a lovely time of the year with all it's lovely colours and like you if you like to paint what a lovely subject to choose. You have captured the colours so well. I too love to sketch & paint using watercolour and I'm also enjoying the leaf painting As you've suggested I'm just going to pop over to take a peep at Vickie Henderson on her blog Sketching in Nature..keep showing what your painting.

  5. Beautiful leaves, Grace... makes me want to dig out my watercolours and give it a try! I'm in Northern ON, and our leaves are always just stunning. Pretty much all of them have fallen by now.

  6. The leaves are very pretty, Grace. We have been working with watercolours at work and it is fun seeing what the young people create (and so tempting to jump in instead of just guiding and encouraging.)

  7. Gorgeous. I would love to try something like this

  8. I love that you traced the leaves and then did the watercolours -- you did a super job with the colours and the blending!