Saturday, October 27, 2012

Leaf Study - Finishing Touches

Adding the veins and imperfections in the leaf will finish our leaf study. The photo above shows both of the leaves completed. I'll also show a close up photo of each leaf to provide additional detail.

All detail work will be done using wet on dry so that the lines will remain distinct. Prepare the paint using a darker shade of the predominate leaf color with just a small amount of burnt umber to deepen.

I like to lightly sketch in the veins, small holes and imperfections with a pencil first so that I can decide if I need more or less detail. If less, it is easy to erase the pencil marks...once you have painted you are basically stuck with it. Watercolors can not be covered up like acrylics can.

The photo below shows a leaf with the veins penciled in.

Once the desired amount of detail has been penciled in, use a liner brush and a light touch to paint in the veins. The imperfections, spots and holes can be added with a number 6 brush. Again, use the predominate color of the leaf and deepen the shade by adding burnt umber and sepia. The stem is not a solid color, but shades of burnt umber and sepia.

The photos below are closer shots of the finished paintings. A leaf study is quick and easy to paint and make excellent cards or place cards for a Thanksgiving table.

Grab that brush and get busy.....fall will soon give way to winter!

Happy Painting!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Leaf Study

It's fall here in the favorite time of year! And, a perfect time to do a leaf study. On a recent trip to the mountains, I collected a few leaves with interesting colors. Painting a single leaf (a leaf study) is a good way to practice blending colors.

The first step in a leaf study is to lightly sketch the shape of the leaf, leaving out the veins of the leaf until the color wash is applied.

Wet the entire surface of the leaf and apply (wet on wet) a light yellow base color. while the surface is still wet, drop in various colors to allow blending.

Don't forget to add the little imperfections in the leaf by dropping in browns. This adds character and makes the leaf interesting.

The photos above show this step. The photo below was taken while hiking in the Smoky Mountains.....which explains why my blog has been delayed recently. I have been hiking and enjoying the fall weather....and, of course, gathering inspiration for my upcoming paintings.

So, "take a hike" and gather some leaves......grab that paint brush and get started! My next blog will show how to finish the veins in the leaves.

Happy Painting!