Have you wondered how to watercolor a pile of fall leaves in this lovely season?
I’ve been wanting to get out to paint some fall trees — it’s been so pretty where I live! But every time I have time on my hands, it’s pouring rain. And when it’s sunny, I’m swamped and unable to go. So I’m satisfying my itch for fall color by painting some leaves in my sketchbook. Layer by layer!
This is how far I’ve gotten in my Sketchaday Sketchbook….Can I finish it in 2023!?!?!?!
Tutorial: How to watercolor a pile of leaves
The video is in realtime but with so many repetitive steps, a bunch were cut so you can go spend your day painting and not watching more leaves. 🙂
Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!
Wet in wet first layer
I dropped color across my sketch in pretty much random order. I only barely targeted leaves, just a few here and there.
Carving with washes
Light washes allow for a slow buildup of layers. But don’t go too light; if you need to “match” a layer below, you’ll just have more and more layers to try to paint right up to an edge. But don’t go super thick either. Practicing in a sketchbook helps figure out how much paint will work, and how much will lead to mud.
Darker colors — mixed from the very same colors in that first layer (New Gamboge, Anthraquinoid Scarlet, Lunar Blue). Each successive layer covers, typically, less than the layer above, so that smaller and smaller areas get richer and darker.
I’ve chosen a few leaves to add a vein, a shadow, or a small detail to—and knocked some more leaves back into the depths with a wash atop them.
- Sketch a day by Lake Michigan Book Press
- House of Hoffman Palette
- Daniel Smith Watercolors:
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