Archive for October 21st, 2009

Project #261 – Fall Leaf Paintings

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I fully recognize that I’m not talented when it comes to drawing and painting. I spend a lot of time doing both because I enjoy them, but I usually end up drawing cartoons because I’m terrible at drawing things from real life.

Still, I’ve learned some shortcuts so that I can make nice things without getting mad at myself for my inability to translate real things to paper. My favorite technique for making me look like I have more talent than I actually do is to make watercolor leaf paintings.

The sneaky trick is to find a bunch of really pretty fall leaves and then trace them. Once that’s done it’s really easy to draw in the network of veins and suddenly I have a decent drawing from nature.

I usually draw on in plain white index cards. They’re the perfect size to give away as thank you cards and the limited size keeps this project short and sweet.

Next I put down an initial wash of color. It’s okay to color outside of the lines because it’s nature and nature is messy. For real, yo!

Next, but on a second coat of contrasting fall color. It will look weird at first, but through the magic of watercolors the washes will blend and dry in a way similar to leaf coloring.

Put on subsequent washes of color over smaller and smaller areas to give the leaf depth. With practice it’s easy to do a bunch at a time and spend less than ten minutes on each.