How to Paint Leaves

Leaves can make or break your botanical paintings.

When you’ve gone to all that trouble with getting your flower to look beautiful, you don’t want to let it down with lame looking leaves.

A lot of artists find painting with the color green to be difficult.  I personally have always embraced it and had fun with it.  It you really look at a leaf, you'll usually see many other colors besides green.  Anyway, have fun and experiment with the color and don't leave out those blues and copper colors. 

Leaves can be so detailed, they can seem impossible to paint realistically in watercolor.

Anna Mason has a video where she demonstrates the glazing method for creating luscious leaves.  This is a method that I use often and hope it works for you as well.

Sometimes you want bright shine, vibrant greens, with a smoother looking leaf.  Painting the Basil Leaf is a good example of this. With lots of washes and glazes, you can get a complex, natural look.  In this video by Jarnie Goodwin, we find another example of painting leaves by applying one layer over another, over another.
Until next time ...