Recently I painted a pile of leaves in watercolor. It was an easy relaxing process:
Collect a few leaves
Trace the leaves
Mix fall colors from yellow, red and blue
Work wet and encourage the colors to bleed and blend.
Believe it or not, I’m often more interested in how it feels to sit and paint than what the final results are. Sure, there is satisfaction in how a painting comes out and sometimes frustration when I can’t achieve my vision. But the process of sitting and painting is…the best.
I shared a video on how I created the watercolor pile of leaves painting. Grab your paints and give it a try!
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Want a comprehensive guide to getting started in watercolor? Check out “Beginner Watercolor Exploration.”Learn the fundamentals. Practice with exercises and projects. Discover a love of watercolor!
Here in New York the leaves are beginning to change. Only a few have fallen. I am so looking forward to the bright colors and to walking through the leaves – that “swish swish” and the beautiful reds, purples, and yellows everywhere. Cleaning up the leaves I am not looking forward to!
In years past, the leaves have been a huge inspiration to me.
This is one of my favorite Fall projects! Give it a try and share your results, either in the comments below or on Instagram – tag me: @eileenmckenna.
For convenient printable instructions – visit my Etsy shop.Supplies:
Leaf or photo of a leaf (for shape and inspiration)
Trace or draw leaf onto the watercolor paper
Cut out the leaf shape
Erase remaining pencil lines.
Wet one side of the leaf shape using a paintbrush and water.
Using a brush wet with yellow paint, paint the entire leaf yellow (or a light color of your choice).
With a brush, wet with orange paint, paint the edges of your leaf. The orange will bleed into the yellow – this is a good thing!
Use a thinner (and not as wet) brush and paint thin brown lines onto the leaf. (Copy the veins from your real leaf or photo.) If your leaf is still wet, the lines will bleed which creates a cool texture to the leaf.
Allow the leaf to dry, then add more thin brown lines. (The dryer the paper, the less the paint will bleed.)
When I first showed my kids my painted leaf, they thought it was a real leaf! Have fun! Can’t wait to see what you make. 🙂
Ready to get started in watercolor? Check out my new guide“Beginner Watercolor Exploration”
Learn the fundamentals.
Practice with exercises & projects.
Discover a love of watercolor!
Start your watercolor journey today! Learn more here.
Would you like to: Be creative on a regular basis and experience the joy that creativity brings? Explore mediums and subjects, in search of your thing? Learn about my new book Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life by clicking here.
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Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love those sunny, crisp, blue sky days. Unfortunately they lead to damp, grey, cold days! Today is the perfect Fall day. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂
This painting was part of my painting party. I worked very wet, letting the colors bleed together, only hinting at each leaf. I added several layers of paint. After I was done, I added some details with ink.