Hey everyone, Darra here! With Thanksgiving approaching tomorrow everyone is in a festive mood and nothing screams Thanksgiving to me more than fall leaves. All of the colors and textures are so beautiful, which is why they are one of my favorite natural things to paint with the Kassa watercolor set.
When painting anything, I like to have a reference to look at so I can try to make the piece look as realistic as I can. This time of year you can go outside and find fallen leaves everywhere. So take a short walk and get some inspiration! Find some beautiful leaves and bring them home with you. If you don’t have colored leaves in your area, you can use faux leaves from any craft store (like I did here) or google pictures of fall leaves and look at the photos while you work!
Trace the Leaves
Having physical leaves comes in handy because you can trace the shapes right onto your paper. Just place the leaf on your page and use any pencil to outline the shape. This makes the final product look more realistic and helps the process run a lot smoother.
Light Watercolor Wash
The first layer is a light watercolor wash! Look at your leaf and see what colors it’s made up of. Now take the lightest color, so light that it just barely darkens your paper, and do a wash over the entire leaf shape.
Building Up the Color
Look at your leaf again and see what areas are just a little darker than that base color. Take the same exact color you used for your base and do a second layer on top, only in those areas. Keep adding more of that color to areas that are slightly darker.
Adding More Colors
Now take a new color, only a shade or two darker than your original color, and paint in areas that are even darker than the last. Look at the veins in your leaf and start adding the lightest ones in. Are there any shadows under the veins? Pay close attention to the areas that are this medium tone.
Adding in Bright Tones
Look at your leaf again, are there any bright yellows or oranges? You can add those in now. This helps the leaf really pop off the page!
Adding in Veins and Impurities
Now it’s time to add in the veins and those little brown speckles or holes in your leaf. Use a dark or medium tone brown and go over those spots. This adds contrast to your leaf and finishes off the realistic effect.
If you’d like you can even cut your leaves out and scatter them around your thanksgiving table! In the video below you can watch my paint a leaf, step by step, to better understand the layers! If you try it out share your creations on Instagram with the hashtag #kassamoment.