How to paint beautiful & easy watercolor leaves: 12 best art tutorials & videos on painting simple leaves, branches, tropical foliage, etc!
We just shared with you how to paint beautiful watercolor flowers here, now it’s time to learn to paint some watercolor leaves.
When you are painting watercolor flowers, it is easy to feel lost about what to do with the leaves. Or you may just want to paint some leaves with interesting shapes and colors, which make wonderful art on their own.
We will look at how to practice brush strokes and color mixing, and paint simple leaves, groups or leaves, and dramatic tropical leaves.
Materials and tools to paint watercolor leaves
- watercolor paper : Strathmore watercolor papers are my favorite to use. I like the cold press 300 or 400 series.
- brushes: I like using soft watercolor brushes with a nice pointed tip like these , and this set. They are great for watercolor washes, and f
- or finer details.
- watercolor paints: this is a good basic set, and this is a fabulous artist grade set which I LOVE, and a palette that can be used to mix colors. This palette with lid is a great choice too.
If you want to get over the fear of painting, one of the best ways is to have some fun making some leaf prints first! Tutorial here. You will get your creative juice flowing without the pressure of being perfect!
Painting watercolor leaves with simple brush strokes
Practice different ways to use pressures when you put down and lift your brush. This will give you the important foundation to paint watercolor leaves of many shapes and sizes.
Just by using different brush strokes, you can paint very different watercolor leaf shapes.
It’s a good idea to have a few different size brushes, so you can paint leaves of different sizes, such as these simple leaves and rosemary leaves.
You may also love: 20+ best watercolor flowers tutorials and videos!
How to paint watercolor leaves from photos or real leaf
Nature offers endless inspirations for our watercolor art. Gather leaves from nature, or use photos to study different leaf shapes and patterns.
This tutorial shows you how to paint watercolor leaves from photos.
Painting watercolor leaf clusters
Once you feel comfortable painting a single leaf, you can practice painting a cluster of leaves.
Like mentioned earlier, it’s always a great idea to study how leaves grow in nature, and different shades of greens you can create.
Make watercolor swatches like in this tutorial, or take photos. so you can refer to them when you paint.
Watercolor leaf shapes and colors
Watercolor leaves don’t have to be photo realistic in style. We can get lots of inspirations from folk art, decorative art, pattern design, etc.
These leaves with abstract shapes and colors are very beautiful and artistic.
How to paint tropical palm leaf in watercolor
Some of my favorite wall art and home decor are watercolor tropical leaves.
Watercolor Monstera leaf painting
Monstera is a dramatic tropical plant often seen in boho style homes. The large unique shaped leaves have inspired many artists.
Modern boho watercolor tropical leaves art
There are many ways to paint tropical leaves in watercolor. Many artists prefer to start with a light pencil sketch, then fill in the colors.
When painting more layers of details, keep the brush relatively dry, and build up the colors gradually.
Painting watercolor leaf borders and patterns
You can also paint watercolor leaves in decorative styles with a mix of beautiful shapes, colors, and lines. This is a great way to make watercolor greeting cards, wall art, or borders.
Helpful tip: for this style, wait for the watercolor paint to dry completely before adding the next layer.
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