Watercolor Painting Leaves: how to easily paint multiple styles, create depth and movement | Nicki Traikos | Skillshare

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Watercolor Painting Leaves: how to easily paint multiple styles, create depth and movement

teacher avatar Nicki Traikos, Letterer, Watercolorist & Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h 12m)
    • 1. Watercolor leaves: how to easily paint leaves with style and depth

    • 2. Supplies for painting leaves

    • 3. How to mix watercolor paint

    • 4. How to use a round brush

    • 5. Painting leaves for reference

    • 6. Painting depth & flow

    • 7. Thank you & class project!

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About This Class

Watercolor Leaves: how to easily paint multiple styles & learn to layer leaves creating depth for an interesting piece of art that you can frame, digitize to use in your design work and enjoy painting over and over again!


In this class I will be teaching you;

  • my top tips for¬†how to mix your watercolor paint to get the best flow while you paint your leaves,
  • how to best use a round brush for painting thin strokes, broad strokes and everything in between,
  • how to use a limited palette and mix variations of shades for painting depth and layers of watercolor leaves,
  • how to paint a¬†page of leaves and stems that you will use to refer to over and over again,
  • finally, how to paint a full page of leaves that have movement, depth and interest!

This class is perfect for beginners to intermediate watercolor enthusiasts! If you've had a little bit of watercolor instruction and have some experience with watercolor, this class is a great class to help get your confidence up and get painting right away!


I'll share with you my essential watercolor tips as we begin to paint together!

My goal for you with this class is not only for you to grow your watercolor practice and skill, but by the end of this class, I want you to have painted a few sheets of leaves and stems that you can enjoy trying your hand at again and again.  Once you start, it becomes such an enjoyable and meditative practice!

Click enrol and let's start painting together!!

To check-out my other classes here on Skillshare, check out the links below;

Intro to modern calligraphy using a dip pen


Advance dip pen modern calligraphy


Learn Brush Lettering Using a Waterbrush / Paint Brush for Beginners


Brush Pen Lettering: Learn fresh, modern calligraphy & lettering styles that stand out!


How to easily digitize your Calligraphy & Lettering using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop


Common Words to Master when lettering


My Top 5 Ways to make money with calligraphy


Click enrol and let's start painting together!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nicki Traikos

Letterer, Watercolorist & Instructor


First of all, welcome to Skillshare! I've been a student of this amazing platform for years and have learned valuable, new skills, and techniques that I use in my current creative business to this day!!

I love all things watercolor & modern calligraphy lettering related.  I work in a variety of mediums such as; watercolor, guache and acrylics, to designing patterns, working on commissions & even create tattoo designs! 

A little fun fact?!

I started my creative home based business,  life i design when I was 40 and haven't looked back!  This creative business of mine, has allowed me to stay at home to raise my kids into the independent teenagers that they are today!!  It's never too late to try, to do, and to... See full profile

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1. Watercolor leaves: how to easily paint leaves with style and depth: Hey there, Nikki. Trickles of life I design Welcome to my new watercolor class. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to paint a variety of styles of leaves and stems and build death and layers that you can paint a really interesting watercolor piece. I've designed this class with a beginner water color in mind. Maybe you've had a little bit of instruction. You've played with some of your water colors, and you're looking for a project that you can paint easily with a little bit of guidance and have a lot of fun with. Perhaps you have a little bit more experience and consider yourself to be more intermediate . This class is great for you. Tuks will review some of my tips for how to create that perfect watercolor puddle to begin with. Also, how to use a round brush to create just a variety of brushstrokes and leaves and stems. You'll even work on fund projects where we create death and layer within our peace. This class is really great. If you're looking for a meditative practice to grow and expand your watercolor skills and to have some fun painting with me, all you need for this class are two colors. I'm using pains great and sap green around brush and your favorite watercolor paper. I'll take you through the rest. By the end of this class, you'll have painted a really great reference sheet of leaves and stems that you'll use for future projects. You also have painted a full sheet of variety of leaves, creating depth and movement in interest, as we paid in this class together. So grab your painting supplies, set some time aside, click and roll and let's get started painting together. 2. Supplies for painting leaves: Let's look at some of our supplies that will be using for this class. So here I have a pad of cancer on watercolor paper. It's cold pressed. It is £140 so it can accept a lot of water, which is great if you're doing, um, loose, more wet leaves. And what I'd like to do is actually take it off the board, and I like to cut them down into smaller sheet, so I'll just use my paper cutter and cut them in half. So if I'm working on smaller pieces like this one, I'll be able to fill the entire page without being overwhelmed by how large thing actual sheet is. What I also recommend you do is tape down the, um, your watercolor paper onto your desk so that it doesn't buckle. Or you could even use a clipboard that you can turn because as we start to paint, we want to make sure that we can turn our page as we're building the leaves, especially if we're working on something like this where you constantly want to be turning your page. I'll actually show you these these a really great I inherited this. I don't know who or wedding, but it does feel like it's been around for a while. But it's just a pad, and what's great about it is they're all stuck together, so you don't have to worry about taping anything down and, um, again, portable smaller surfaces sometimes can be a little less intimidating. To paint on this, you don't have to feel like you have to cover an entire sheet versus working on a smaller sheet and pay. So I'll be using cancer. And just be aware that there are two sides to the back of this. Cancer in paper is very smooth. It doesn't accept water color as well. Abs. You want to make sure that you're on this, the surface where there is a bit more texture. Okay, so that's a paper I'll be using for this class. I will be focusing on two colors. So what? I like to use our these tubes of paint sew their common watercolor, Windsor Newton, and they are a professional level, and I believe that if you're just purchasing a few of these tubes, it's inexpensive. The color payoff is really good, so they're worth the investment there they're not that bad up with that link on the class, um, outline so that you can have a link to these. But these are the two colors I'll be using. I have my footrest in here where I have the pains great already and the sap green as well. And I'll use this but your palate to mix my water and mix my colors in so you can use a dish. You can use a smaller palette if you're using a dry palate, that's fine, too. But these the two colors will be demonstrating this class with because it offers on the ability to create some really nice dramatic differences between our layered lease, which is our goal for this class. Okay, so those are the two colors I'll be using. I have two jars of water in front of me so that I have the ability to mix a lighter shade of the green and even the Paynes grey as it gets money and the two brushes that will be using. So I love round brushes. I tend to use them in all of my art mediums, whether it's water color or my acrylic painting that I do thes two are Princeton heritage. I have a variety of thes round brushes by different brands, and as long as you find one that you enjoy painting with any, any round brush will work for this class. I'll just show you the techniques on how to use them. But these the two that I'll be using for this class paper towel handy. And I also recommend that you have some scrap bits of water colors so that you can test your stroke before you start going on working on your finished pieces. I test color, and I'll show you how to use that. As we continue case with, that's all you need for this class would be working with two colors, mixing a variety so that we can create some really interesting pieces like this by creating a blend of color. Okay, so let's see you in the next life 3. How to mix watercolor paint: I want to start by showing you how much water you need to mix in your puddle. So I'm reactivating some dried water color here in my palette by making sure that I have a generous amount of water on my brush and releasing that water into the palate here. Okay, so you can see that the palate is really shiny. The water color looks a little bit thicker than water, so it does have some movement to it, and it is closer to a cream verses of water. So to start with, that's the texture and the consistency I want to see. And then what I'm doing is I'm loading up the brush with as much pigment as possible, and then we'll take it to the paper and see what that looks like So you can see here. My brush wasn't wet enough. I didn't have as much water as I needed because it skipped a little bit there. What I'll do is go ahead and reload my brush with water, and we can go over top of that stroke quite easily and create the desired water color consistency that we really are looking for. So I'll go ahead and load my brush again. Mix that into my palate. Maybe do it one more. So now I have a really nice amount of water in the color, and I'll go ahead and Adam using the side of my brush to Dad and I'll go ahead and do that again. Okay, so that was better. It's a big stroke that I'm showing you with a small brush, but I want you to see how much water you really need on that brush. I can go ahead and read IP if I want and go back over that stroke. The great thing about water color is the water will only travel where there is a wet on the paper beforehand so it doesn't bleed anywhere. As you can see, I'm pushing that water around, and it won't bleed out of that outer line that we created with their breast stroke. Even here, I can go back and move the water color around, so that's a lot of water for your stroke. What you want to do is practice how much water you need on your brush, how much you're releasing onto the paper to make sure that it's just a really nice wet sheen versus having too much water pooling. I do that sometimes I rush and all have too much water in my pedal. It happens. And as we begin to explore what we like to see underwater color pieces, then we can decide how much or how little water we really want on our brush and on our page . Okay, so I'm just moving that water around so that we have a nice, even washing color. Okay, Still, your water color should look nice and shiny. It should have some movement to it and nice opacity to the paint. As you lay it on the page, I'll go ahead and wash my brush off, making sure it's nice and clean. Let's reactivate that green. So go ahead and start to wake up this green water color that I have. It's the sap green out of my tube. It's a color use often, so it's always on my palette here, and I'm just making sure have a nice, saturated puddle so n shiny. There's a bit of movement, and then I'll bring it over to my watercolor page here, and that's really nice. So I actually this is the consistency that I like to see and my watercolor. I want there to be variation between opaque pedals off paint versus this nice, transparent puddle here or stroke rather than a puddle. And then again having a nice, opaque puddle over here, because what's going to happen? It is when this starts to dry, you'll see a variation in the stroke my example over here for you to see. But you can see that there's a darker patch here versus a lighter patch. I love that about water color because it's the only medium that dries that way where there's interesting texture and finish. So if you want to exaggerate that, you could even push that puddle of water color so that is more concentrated in one section . You can wipe off your brush and even pull away a little bit more paint where you want the transparency to shine through, so that that it's exaggerated. So again, a really great aspect of water color that this medium offers that I really enjoy. So if I wanted to create a more opaque transfer off color, then what I'll do is just go ahead and focus on that a bit of water color that hasn't dissolved yet. Make sure my brush is nice and loaded. You can see it's quite saturated and I'm maybe I'll go over here and continue that stroke. And then you can pull that water color across so that it has more even distribution of color here. Okay, that's just bringing my water coat color puddle across the entire breast stroke. And again, it won't go beyond the outer limits here of the breaststroke because that's just how water colored behaves. It only flows where there is wet. Okay, so that's how you're going to use a dry palate. You want to make sure that you have nice, shiny pedals and that you can play around with that consistency. More water, you add. I'm not even going to read if it into the green. The more water you add, the more transparent your water color will be. In case you can see how transparent that is. I can even remove some of that wet paint off my brush and play around with picking up that puddle. So we're going toe layer these leaves, so we want to make sure we have a nice blend of opaque leaves as well as transparent lease . So more water means more transparent. Less water means more opaque to start with. You want really nice shiny puddles of water. 4. How to use a round brush: So as I demonstrated these puddles, you saw me using my round brush to create some interesting strokes that already look like leaves. I want to talk to a little bit about how to control your brush so that you can create some nice thin minds as well a. Some nice thick ones. I will show you both brushes that you can see the difference in consistency. But when we're painting leaves, we want to make sure that we can paint the stem of a leaf as well as a broad open leaf. This is what I call a single stroke, and the way that we do that is just as I showed, you used the tip of our brush for nice fine lines, trying to create really super fine line. So the very tip of the brush I'm holding my brush at a 90 degree angle to the paper, so it's up and down and just very lightly. It's almost just kissing the paper and creating some really nice, um, fine, beautiful lions. If I change the pressure as I pushed down on the brush, you can see that the barrel is opening up or the belly of the brush, and as I move my hand, I'm slowly lifting the brush off the page to create a thin line guy so you will control your brush and the stroke pressure. And that's how you will create some really nice thin strokes as well as thick strokes. So I've just loaded my brush up with more paint. It has quite a bit. I can just wipe off the excess because I don't want it to be too saturated with colors. At this point, I'm just showing you strokes. But again, if I pull the brush and then start to apply pressure, I can really begin to open up that brush, even create a little curve here as I released the pressure and bringing that brush back up , and I have a really nice fine point. So what I want you to do is work on applying pressure on your brush and releasing the pressure. So if I apply pressure on the brush and then release it, I can apply pressure again and release it. What you want to do is just let that brush flow, observed what kind of shapes your achieving as you're moving the brush and get familiar with what you can achieve with that round brush right and give you some more tips here. But I also want you to think about as you can see, that my non dominant hand. So my left hand is supporting my upper body so that my right hand can flow freely across the page without having to worry about it being stuck or creating resistance along my paper tight. So support your body with your non dominant hand and using pressure and releasing that pressure. Learn how to control your watercolor brush. OK, you can even go sideways and just play around with what kind of flow what kind of stroke you can create with that brush. OK, this takes time and it takes practice and confidence. But any time you start to paint, this is really how you should warm up your hand. I talk about muscle memory when I teach lettering and calligraphy. It's the same thing with painting. OK, so I'm picking up my second brush. This isn't a before it's the exact same as that first broke first brush that had demonstrated with it just has a smaller tip so I can create some nice fine thin lines again . You can hold it at a 90 degree angle That was holding it at maybe about a 70 degree angle to create these fine lines, loading my brush again. I apply that pressure. It opens up very nicely as well. So even with a thinner brush, you can still create some really nice, beautiful, thick lines. Okay, so I'm just working on increasing pressure on my brush and releasing that pressure. So I go over here, I'll show you how. Go ahead and make sure I load up. Enough life lost. The excess can show you how it compares to our stroke that we created earlier. Hey, so I still can open up quite nicely. It doesn't open up as large. So when we're working on smaller pieces So this one, for instance, I painted the entire thing with this number four brush. Okay, if you're working on larger pieces, which I'll do for demonstrative purposes here for this class, you'll see that you'll need a bigger brush so that you can fill up your page more easily. Okay, so for this section, I really just want you to focus on creating somethin. Strokes, thick strokes and even strokes in between. I want you to observe how the water color behaves. So how the paint behaves after you've laid down that stroke and even go back and play around with pushing that puddle. Because that's how we control our wet puddle. And again you can see here it's starting to dry already. How that looks and work on creating something and fix trucks. Kyle, it's do Cem curved ones here. Sometimes we want the leaves to curb and defend. Okay, so releasing that pressure and applying pressure. If I start with pressure and then release a little bit again, you can see how it they start to mimic leaves already. So these round brushes are really the key to creating some beautiful line work. Our leaf work. When we're actually painting a leaf, you can even start to build a shape, but adding strokes together has your practice and warm up. So take the next few minutes to warm up, get to know your brushes and your paint a little bit, observe how they start to dry, so see how beautiful that texture is as thes strokes begin to dry and I'll see you in the next video 5. Painting leaves for reference: So in this section, let's start drawing some of our leaves. What I want you to do is have a page of leaves that you painted for reference that when you're working on projects, you can look to for ideas As you begin to paint. I'm going to use this Payne's gray because I actually really love it. One of my favorite colors to paint in. I feel like the texture of it when it dries is beautiful and just going to make sure that my puddle has enough water and is quite wet. I'll start with a small brush, and then we can kind of move on from there. So what we're going to paint first is what I call our single stroke stems. So to begin, I always like to paint stems that have a bit of a curve to it. When we start working on pieces that comes in really handy because that actually starts to at interest or pieces and makes her I follow those bends and curves. So what you want to do is always start from the stem and paint outwards. I'm going to apply pressure on that brush, release that pressure and create a single leaf with a single stroke of my brush. OK, I'll do that again. I want to reload and add a little bit of water and what I'm going to do A show you what that looks like with more water on her brush versus paint. So starting from the stem, you go outward a little bit to create that little stem a bit that touches and then apply pressure to my brush and release that pressure so you can notice that I've actually made the leaf look a little different in terms of how it flows from this leaf. And that's on purpose because you don't want them to be really, um, stiff and look almost perfect life, because in nature, that's just not what leaves look like. So I'm reloading my brush again, applying a little bit of pressure to create that stem and then pulling the leaf. And maybe I'll have it turned up slightly, and I will be at a little bit shorter than the other leaks. Okay, Can't even draw that out a little bit. If I want the next one again, I won't reload my brush. Maybe we'll come down 2/3 and I'll have it go in a different direction of flow, and maybe it'll drip down a little bit. So as they get to the bottom, I wanted to fade out a little. So I'm going to reload my brush. I will wipe off the excess and I'll create just a shorter brush. And I wanted to actually cross over that leaf. Okay, so again I would do a whole page of this style of leaf to practice it. I'm going to show you different styles on one sheet so that you can see that, and you can always go back and re watch parts of this video. But I want you to practice this style over and over again until you really get it. Now. I think that leaves a really beautiful when you just have this one direction. What you can even do is water down your brush completely, and you can almost have a leaf come out this way. So it looks like it's bench and in the background, just it can't so it's very slate. You almost can't see it, probably on bits, very fine in style. But that's a really nice, beautiful leaf that you can incorporate when you're working on bigger pieces and again adding some interest. OK, so that's our first. What we'll do is we'll switch to our bigger one. So a similar style Go ahead and reload this brush of mine. Make sure that it's nice and saturated. You can see that color is really saturated in the brush. Go ahead and do the same thing. But what I'll do is all work upwards and have bitch sort of bend this way. Okay, so what we're gonna do and a single stroke, we're gonna open and create a little bit wider leaf and make sure that we close that leaf shape. Okay. I like to always add a little tiff. Just my thing. And so I'm gonna show you a technique called wet on wet. So this puddle of water is quite heavy and thick. I'll go ahead and leave it there for a sec. But I'm just gonna dab here in the beginning of my stem and right beside that leaf that it just painted in a single stroke. I'll go ahead and paint another. I even see that I didn't have enough water on my brush, but I knew that this puddle was a little too thick for me, so I'll go ahead and just pass over again. Hey, and just redefine that leaf. And using a little bit of this puddle, go ahead and bring it back down here to add again some interest. Okay, let's go ahead and reload or brush. Probably could use a little bit more water in my puddle here. But that's OK for now. So continue back on this side, creating a nice single stroke leave. But I'm going to shape it a little bit and make sure that this leaf is nice and full. So I'm creating some interest with how the leaves air drying already by where I'm placing, um, the water and how I'm moving that water puddle. I'll go ahead and make sure I have more water on my brush. I'm going to turn the page because I want to work in the same direction. So here we worked. Stump outwards will turn the page so we can do that here, and I'll even connect them right there and then work outwards. Okay, so there's our again single stroke. You go ahead and play around with the shape of it if it's not perfect and really pull out that puddle, go ahead and reload, cause I want a later leave here. And I think I'll just do one more and a smaller one for interest. Okay, so just pulling it out here again, sort of changing that same shape I'm doing that they're now I feel like it's a little bit chew. Um, there's too much paint. So it just wiped my brush off on my paper travel, and I'll pull up some of the excess water color. Maybe we'll take a little bit of that puddle and we'll add it here. Okay, so we need one more leaf in this section here. Make sure my brushes What? I don't want to too much paint because I wanted to be very similar. Maybe this one will come out a slight bit. So I'm adding some personality, making sure that my outline of that leaf just looks good to my okay. You liked you maybe like to shape your life a little differently. And that's OK. And I believe that little bit of water color there. Okay, so that's a second style. So very similar. And how we use a single stroke for each. But look at how different they look next to one another. Okay, The next leave, I'm gonna show you are Stem is a eucalyptus TEM. And again, you don't have to worry about mimicking plants specifically or realistically, I want you to make up your own or have have the plant look or the stem look like Justin Impression of the plant that you're intending. So maybe this time we'll start up here and let's work to the right. And so my eucalyptus stem. So I have a little bit of a curve. Maybe that's too much of a curve, but that's OK. So for my eucalyptus, I'm just going to use the side of my brush and go back and forth and create thes wide, more oval looking leaves. Okay, so just follow me along. I'm going to do this intuitively at first to lay down some strokes and then what we'll do is go ahead and move that puddle around and make them look more oval and rounded. Here kind of got a bit wide, and I like to do a few smaller ones. So just dabbing, making sure you have lots of paint on that brush. And you want some oval Strokes, You can have some smaller ones in between and maybe even have it extend out. I'll go ahead and clean off my brush, make sure it's dry, and I want there to be some interest. So I'm gonna go ahead and pull a little bit of that puddle. Maybe I'll bring that puddle elsewhere on my stem here. But as it dries, I want there to be variation. I really want you to be able to see some texture. Some really pretty finishes on this eucalyptus. See how easy that was. It's all about how to use your brush and how to pull and push the water. Okay, so there are three different styles of leaves that you can refer to. I'm gonna give you a couple of more, and we'll use these as filler. So if you're looking for just creating some long, maybe stems that have reliefs that are up are a couple. I put that to Leeds together. What you want to do is used your single stroke again, creating a really nice longleaf. But then we're gonna double up on that. So I wanted to create a nice thick leaf there. So what I did was use our single stroke when pushing down and releasing. Don't have enough watercolor on it. So pushing down and releasing and then I'll do the same things that push down release to join those together. So sometimes you'll need a stem or filler leaves, and that's a really great way to achieve nice, full, thick one. So you can see in this piece here. We've got some thin stroke, some thicker strokes, okay? And what I'll do is I'll actually just load up with water and you can even do that again. We'll just pointed in a different direction. So it's creating a thick pressured stroke on that brush and then doing that twice. Okay, just got a little bit. I don't believe. Let's go ahead and pull that up. Okay, So again, that's just a nice longer leaf. That sort of turning over and what you can even do is, if you wanted to create a highlight here, you can again remove that paint just by using a dry brush just like that. Okay, there's another great example. So what if we wanted some fatter leaves? What should we do there load up my brush again. Little bit more water. So as you start to work at the water color, the water will start to a factory and also starts to get thick because it's really just absorbing the pigment of the water colors. You want to make sure that you're always working with a nice wet puddle. Okay, so for this leaf, what I'm going to do is change. I'm using my brush, So I want to lay down a stem. Really nice and fine. I like nice. Find step. Go ahead and bring up a second stone and even a Chinese stem here. So to create some variation and interest, what you want to do is just push down on your, um, brush just very casually. You almost want this to be intuitive so that you can create an interesting style off leaf. So again, we're not making anything specifically in nature. I just need a little bit of a filler for when I am working on, um, a bigger piece. Okay, So again, just play around. You can, even if you wanted to, is just change the shape of that leaf Sleeps tend to get a little bit higher, sort of in the center. So I'm just moving the puddle around and getting rid of those sharp edges there. Okay, so that could be a really nice filler leaf that you use within your pieces as well. Load up my brush with some more water. Maybe you want a leaf that has a little bit of white space. So there it looks like there's a vein in the center, so this can tend to be a little bit more illustrative in style. But what I would you again, I like to always work from the stem out. So that's one stroke where you apply pressure. Release that pressure. But I'm actually going to leave that negative space there, which mimics the look of a stem. So again, little bit of pressure to create that stuff. Open up that brush by applying pressure. I like to pull the pedal at the American. See, I'm running out of paint, but I don't want there to be a lot. So go ahead and follow that stroke and maybe even kiss them together at the top like that almost looks like a heart. When you're kind of bringing them together, I'll show you that again, loading up my brush. Maybe all work down here and will make this hot in number. But I have a little bit too much paint there on my pressure. OK, it's a pressure pulling it away, release pressure, making sure to leave a little bit of space release. And because I didn't turn my page totally, it doesn't look as good as the others. But that's okay. What you can even do is just bring that water over a slight bit if you want to close that gap. But still, that's kind of cool. So this, I find, can look a little bit more illustrative versus realistic. Go ahead and clean this up a slight bit here and play around with that. Okay, so we looked at some wet on wet by moving these puddles around. As we begin to paint or pieces, I'll show you some more techniques, but if you like to add a little bit of interest to your leave once it's completed, so go ahead and let's do a nice long one similar to this one. Go ahead and draw that out. I wanted to be very, um, transparent and finish because I want to be able to draw some veins on it, So go ahead and release that. So again, it's just the single stroke. But we did earlier, and then I just attached it with another single stroke and making sure I go over it creates a nice, even glaze of water color. And then, if I want, I can even pull up this puddle if I wanted to be more even and finish okay, so we'll go ahead and do that as this drives a little bit will go back to it. I want to show you one more small, um, branch that we can add. I don't like to add too many jagged stems to my pieces, but let's go ahead and finish it. Maybe we'll put it up here, and this one reminds me of more of a fern. I did go a little heavy on that. That's OK, but what you can even do is just go down one side and changing. I'm kind of changing the angle of my brush, making it smaller as I go to the top. How Go ahead and turn my page being mindful of all of the wet leaves that are still in that side and just doing the same thing, trying to change the direction of my brush as I bring it upward and you can even add a few that floated talk there. Okay, so it's done like that Reminds me of fern stems that you can use for a filler can just for a little bit of interest. You can see that they all offer their own personality in terms of size and shape, and I'll go ahead and show you how you can use oh, fairly dry brush. So I took off the excess water, making sure that it's very saturated here, and I can go through and very lightly just drop in a stem, Okay? And if you want it even more personality, you can draw in some veins here to look more realistic. Even a touch does a little bit again. It's not my style, but I want you to see what that looks like. So this is wet on dry. This is fairly dry to the touch, and you can see how nice and opaque that line is. Can we can add a few more on this side. So if you're looking to do pieces that are a bit more detailed and more realistic and look and feel. Then this is how you can add some detail to your leaves. So you've got that for reference. Okay, So what I'd like for you to do is practice each leaf on your own or each stem a few times over and over, and then paint yourself a reference like this so that you have it to look at as we begin should you are finished pieces. And again, any time you're painting a bunch of leaves, you have some ideas to refer to that or your own that you've painted for reference. I'll see you in the next video. 6. Painting depth & flow: Okay, let's paint together. What I would like to see us paint together is a nice full sheet of leaves, that air layer that have interest and movement. And I'm gonna show you that's something. So these air Great. If you wanted to even layer some lettering on top, you could paint them on a different sheet. Or you can even block that off. You want you want to frame it and sort of have it on its own? Sure, you again? My other examples I painted for this class. You could have it even just falling down one side and have a little saying sort of popped in there. I like to put my lettering on a separate sheet so I can play around with what I wanted to look like. How big it needs to be here. Working on some, um, maybe some stationery for weddings set. That's a great thing to do. I even couldn't even paint something like that. So just layered, beautiful, lush looking sheet of leaves. Case, make sure you have your reference. Go ahead and have this handy so I can show that to go ahead. Have your reference handy. I'm gonna put mine off to the side, even try to pop it in over here. So I've got that visually to look at, and what we want to do is we want to start with the leaves that are behind. So our first layer of leaves should be very, very transparent. Or use the green, actually, So lots of water for this one. I want big early, so I'm using my larger brush. It's a size eight, making sure I have a lot of water to paint ratios. You can see my puddle is very transparent and loose. That's a more water. Go ahead and make that really transparence. You can see my palate underneath. I don't want there to be a lot of pigment. Go ahead and test it here. Just a really nice wash of color. So because it's the background, I want it to be full. So the leaves are gonna be nice and thick, so we'll start again, always working from the center out for this piece. But go ahead and draw on my step. Very light pressure on the top of my brush and we'll do some double strokes. So really nice full on, say, little fat little leaves there, so really transparent will do one side and then turn. You want some movement with the leaves Could even overlap them a slight bit drying out the shape that you want. Maybe this one's going outwards. And I don't mind that my brush is a little bit dry and that there is white space again. This is going to be a nice transparent, um, under layer that we're painting. Go ahead and pictures a nice amount of water on my brush here and we'll do the other side. So I had quite a big puddle at the tip of my brush. I don't want to Thick stem, So I just went ahead and wiped it off. So nice, then stroke. Pull it. So just double stroke. And I'm shaping that leaf again, moving that puddle because I want the, um, heavier part of that opaque sort of Hugh at the end of my leave. There could always have it at the start of the leaf, but I like the tips defined. You can even dab while it sweats. That's called wet on wet. Just stopping in that start of the leaf here to fighting that and you can even pull it, pull it a little bit. He wanted to define the bottom patch, so we're just gonna do a few more of these. So I may even change the shape a little bit. Maybe this one starting too much water. I'll just give it a little Stephen starting that way, and we'll just juice of Nice working intuitively and quickly. I am during pressure on that brush, releasing pressure. Maybe this one and this way a little bit, and I want to continue that flow. So again, that's a little bit too much paint on the tip. And maybe this one's going this way to start changing the directions, like turning my look. That means little sinner, and this one can even cross up again, creating some interest. So don't be afraid to have the move and slow and dance on your page. So let's do maybe we'll do a single stroke similar to this one, where it's a little bit more full starting from the bottom. Let's go ahead and add a bit more water, even wipe it off so we'll go over here and we'll have it do this way. So I sort of want the leaves to be a little bit closer together, and I won't even have them start off of a thin stem. I'll just have, um, going off of a thicker one. Hey, so together and go ahead and add a bit more water. I wanted to be really light and transparent, and if that feels a bit heavy to it's okay, the more texture and interest these lower leaves have this one maybe go off to the side. More texture interest. These lower leaves have the more interest it'll brings your piece in general. So we just did a single color there. Let's go ahead and mix up some of this, um, Payne's gray with the green so we can create a different shade or different hue. So I'm gonna grab my test sheet here. Compare. That still looks a little greenie. I want to add a little bit more blue. So I'm just pushing that blew into my green puddle and see what kind of make sure you get their ego so you can see that it has a little bit more of the Paynes grey. Go ahead and just a slight bit more. Do you want to change the hue of it. Now I want to make sure that color stays light. So I've just added some water to my brush, and there we go. So that's the intensity that we want the shade to be it. So make sure you have a very, very wet brush, and here I'll just work upward and I'll just do a few single stroke will do a double in this case and just changing the direction. So getting dragging the brush, creating pressure, allowing them to over that maybe we'll even leave that white space there for interest. I don't want to much more pigment. I'll grab more water on my brush. We've even Staker. The leaves where they start on the stem. Could have a different to match, maybe only three on this side. We can even chuck one in back in here. It's a really nice, thick and full go ahead and grabs more that paint. Make sure that I have more water than paint and let's work here and let's put in a few of thes thes double leaves here. Okay, so we'll do that to this section here. I'm just drawing that blew out and then creating a little bit of a stem and that's crossed over here. Okay, so we're starting now to build a little bit of depth at a little bit of color. What? You can even do top that off? We don't want it to be too heavy, even. Just start to put in some filler leaves here. Okay? So again, looking at these single leaves here for a little bit of movement, I really like that, actually. Know what? Bring one in. Let's bring one in over here and have it coming off the page. Okay? We can even do you one coming in this direction and have come out. And there's a lot of pigment on this brush. So go ahead and dab that away and even create a smaller one at the bottom here. So what we're doing is we're just filling in the under bit of our painting. Let's do one more here, crosses over onto this one intensities, changing a little bit. So just with the single strokes may well, go ahead and change the shape of that one. Drawing it out. I'm sure we keep a little white space there. Let's do one more in cross it up and over starting tracing. Nice step. Okay, so you're filling in some of the white space and adding a little bit of interest with some different intensity. So go ahead and grab this smaller brush here, and what I want to do is sort of get a mid tone between that green and blue. We don't add any white. We're just adding more of each color. So the green and the blue, and then to lighten it, we just add more water. Okay, so that's the same version of this. I must want there to be more blue. So that is our dense version. There's are lighter version Hi e my time at a little bit, just on its own here. I just wanted to see it on its own to check the intensity there if I want to go back to it . Okay. So let's use our smaller brush here and start adding a few more stems again. Starting from the center, you want to begin to overlap at this point. So let's do some ferns. She would. You know, we'll do the front at the end, actually, so we can add some smaller branches to our peace So here these air coming closer to the front. So I want to make sure that I'm actually spending time making a interesting looking leaf. So go ahead and add a little bit more pigment. This is called wet on wet, while my leaf is still wet so I can add some interest causes leave is going to start coming to the forefront. Okay, So do the same thing. Working for the stem outwards. Go ahead and build up the shape of my leaf. And maybe this one. I wanted to look a little different from that first leaf that I painted, so we'll just at a little bit of shape and interest went on. What we're gonna happen? Some more of this opaque paint here do the same thing here. Maybe this one will start. You hang over to a double stroke and may they won't even attach it at the top. There, let's see what that looks like. Dry and again adding interest in texture. So you want the I travel across this piece being careful, still wet. That will happen. You want the I to travel across the peace and have their beaks spots of interest. So go ahead and dab where it's wet and then bring in this second layer. I'm not going to join them again. I think it's really interesting. Remember, we don't want this to these leaves to look realistic or like a specific leaf. Um, we just want there to be interest in our layered piece. So again, drawing it out, bring it the second stroke and maybe having it turned down a little bit, bringing in our pedal and just encouraging that puddle to flow, where we wanted to look at how that jumps out at you. It's 21 more on this and here flow, and this one will be a smaller one. As we get down to the bottom, you can have smaller ones at the top in larger at the bottom. I like stems that are really fall at the chop personally, but we can paint stems with smaller leaves at the top, for sure and larger at the bottom. Just a personal preference again, just while it's wet and pushing that paint around. Okay, so then what we'll do is we'll pull up some more of this deeper blue color, and with my smaller brush, we'll go ahead and we're working up this way. But I will add, It's maybe go. That's a branch this way. Remember that fuller leaf that I showed you where I just kind of dubbed? Let's introduce a few of these and see what that starts to look like. So it's almost just filler, and you've been dropped out a stem and just stabbing the brush. These can be make a point here can be fillers and I don't want you to overthink it. So don't worry too much about, um, again looking realistic. Use your intuition. If you don't like it, don't paint that style again. Okay, just go ahead and add a little bit of interest here, and I'm changing the flow of the stems. Chew again just to create some movement in my piece here. So this I'm feeling is a little bit start, which is fine. I can go ahead and add some green to it as we go. Maybe what will even do with the small brush is created some nice, interesting. Just some strokes. You can even bring that across here just loose flowy. That's sad. A little bit more here to create some interest as we start to fill in the page. Let's do some darker bits up here and we'll just do a Jew. Oh, so we'll start with our little stem. Let's make the paint sort of flow where the leaf flow in this direction have a little stem . And maybe this one's going out in this direction. So we're working a little bit more quickly. I'm gonna take some darker pigment to brush in. So we want there to be a little bit of interest with the jerk. I mean, we won't Durkin. This leap will just dark in this one there to be a little bit of interest with the jerk coming up this way so that your eye again begins to jets and move across your page there. You can do that again. Here. We'll go ahead to our and just let it move and flow interesting shape here. Maybe that will be a federally let's keep it up that I like that. And then it's having crossed over. Okay, so that again is an interesting style. Maybe we can bring it in down here and just have it flow and move. Really? Open up that brush and see what that begins to look like Don't worry if there's white space . My brush is a little bit try right now, but that's OK. I wanted to be really just fine. At least maybe I'll even just do one. That's sort of off to the side here. Okay. Making sure I have lots of water on my brush. Turn my page around. I want to work in this section, but I don't want to hit anything, so don't be afraid. Turn your page. Let the movement of the brush really just float in different directions. Go ahead and fill this in a little bit, so we wanted to be a different shade than what's below. So when I load my brush the next time, I'll make sure I have a good amount of paint. I'm working opposite from the stem. That's OK, This little bit more blue join. I don't recommend you start painting that words towards the stem because sometimes you'll miss this done. But I am just working intuitively at this point and really want a nice opaque stem here, so this takes practice when you're starting toe layer. That's why I like to work on smaller pieces so that you don't feel intimidated when you are working on a larger piece like this one. So again, looking at the smaller reference that you have, start small. Don't put the pressure on yourself. Look at how nice and full that's starting to look right now. Gonna start to bring in some interesting shapes to that son. Bring another short one here and again with our single Let's leave white space again creating some interest So it's pressure, but it flow Released the pressure suburbanized tip pressure and leave that white space So just let it kiss and you can even drop in But on wet there it's a little bit of pressure. Open it up, Let it flow Move your hand to create some interest Always reloading. Just let it kiss. Maybe it's just a mine underneath there. Okay, Look how nice and interesting that this one more time. Let's slow release the pressure. Get that negative space right there. Beautiful. Okay, So what I want you to do is take a step back and evaluate what color you need. Um, maybe What shape do you need? Let's go ahead and mix a more intense green now because I feel like we need a little bit of green. We can bring in some eucalyptus. Maybe so I might need a little bit more. Stop green in my pan. Go. Okay, you can see it's really thick. So it just want to dissolve that paint and make it more flowy. Not as creamy. And then we can engage. Yeah, so that's a really nice deep green. I'm going to add some water to my brushes. I don't want it to be too intense on let's paint some eucalyptus and some firm. Okay, so we'll start here exactly like we need to add a little interest here. Go ahead and add my stem Jeb off the excess and the Remember, we're just using the side of our brush and you can even change sort of the direction of that, making sure that they're not completely symmetrical or in line with the stem. You want to move them out a little bit, I'll go ahead and at some smaller pieces here to sew. We wanted to kind of just look like a eucalyptus style leave. And that's it. One here, that's maybe draw it across this way. Do it. I can't really quickly Just using the site of the brush. You can pull the puddle around a little bit, making sure that you vary the size up that it's done. You take a step back and I feel like up here, we kind of need maybe a smaller one at a bit more water so we can change how that looks and Berries from stem to stem. And maybe we want one that goes coach this way. And then if you feel like there, they all look the same. What you can do is I've washed my brush off, dried it, and I'm just gonna pull away some of that paint. So it starts to look a little different so you can control that puddle place that were just pulling away. So with a dry brush, the brushes absorbing and pulling that paint that's starting to look great. So I feel like the eucalyptus has brought us in this way. I would just start moving out a little bit more, um, again, each peaceful change, depending on your mood. And, um, what your goal is to do with this just really quickly, just go with it. So that's pretty much just intuitively painting. We're not looking at any photos for reference. We're just playing around with composition and how we want to look and feel. OK, let's paint a few ferns as well. Maybe we want one coming out of here. Too much water from my tip of my brush. Just really quickly bring in some fern like stems here, turn of cage around because in this case I want Chip. Always work. Stem ouch and very the size. And then what I like to do. It's just add a few, almost like it's trickling down. Let's not made system fair. There we go. See how that looks good. I want a lighter version of that. So go ahead and at a little bit more water to my puddle. Bring in some of that red. That's bad. Another firm here. Maybe it's good. So just really quickly that even really thinking about it. Just gonna use the side of your brush. Make sure you don't get anything else. That's what set of your brush just hitting it. Like I said, just at a few. So it looks like it's trickling. There's flowing movement, so that's maybe bring that out this way. Let's cross over. Here's a good spot. Okay? And layer on top of the darker leaves Just bring a little bit of interest. Maybe the leaves down here are a bit larger send, and the larger as we get to the bottom can I don't want the system to be to empty their and then let it trickle. Okay, so I'm gonna leave that for now with our smaller brush again, I want to add just a little bit of filler so you can even just add single just strokes wherever you feel like it has to be filled. I need some green and some bowls. You could even push using the side of your brush. Let me show you that. Just using the side of your brush. If you want some fatter leaves, just again for filler. Just don't even the most not even thinking about it. Just adding some spots so that there's interest and different spots of your piece. Okay, so you can see how that slowly coming together. I need a little bit of very, very fine green here. Let's see. What else have we We used everything you some long stroked. Please are eucalyptus are ferns for Fuller. Maybe we need a fuller stem right here. So with our light, that's nice. And light their light green here, trot in little stem. And again using this one here for reference. Ultra out another stem in that Chinese little one here. Sure enough, paint. I'm just using my brush. Create. Almost come. Even like a clover kind of effect where it's a fuller branch. So it tends to have a little bit too much paint or water for me. So we'll go ahead and pull away that water. It is just pulling away that water going to be a little bit pigment it. Okay, let's do another one of those right here. Stem. Epsom bits up this way. Just joined leaves here it almost evenly butts. I'm crazy about this guy. Go ahead and make him. Do you even do that full of leave here on a full relief there? Not how I loved it to look in the center, but that's okay. We're going to have so much more interest around for coming. Put a fuller lead. Let's do one going this way. You can Just moving my brush an interesting direction to create just a fuller step there. Take away some of that page in that section there, so I kind of feel like maybe these bits need a little bit something. So let's again mix up the blue and the green together and our little pedal here tested the color. See what that begins to look likes. You can see with just two colors. You get so much variation of paint. So let's put in a few more bits of full filler and just very carefully you can even add interests that's gonna be in a stark bitch. Animals feel like here to cross over, maybe bring her by out. So just putting pressure, releasing that pressure on the brush again as we practiced in the warm up and through here . Let's bring it up. Maybe even put a little stem and see what that looks like just playing around. But leaves dance and and there's some that you'll live in, some that you won't. That one's kind of interesting. It's kind of little bit more person, so you can see just playing around with the shape of it. That kind of helps turn my focus away from that, And let's add an interesting here words and carrying it. That's still wet. So I don't want to touch it too much, and I can see in here is a little bit and t Let's go ahead and put Case Tim center coach to a stroke center out. Let's go over that. You just using the tip even drop in. Still work. Century out, down, release. Push down these. I just put my knuckle in that wet. So see how it's starting to fill up. I kind of feel like even in here, what you want to do is just sort of step away. Come back to it, step away. You can see here. Really. It's just a little bit layering and adding some boulder bits on top. Let's go ahead and do double strokes here. You can even just again just ab to make it look like leaves are floating, please and release. Okay, may we can even get some darker blue. Bring it here. Construct to really play with that last layer of intense, darker stem. That's what's coming up here with your brush playing and create some bold strokes. Okay, so these darker bits that we bring up to the top they're just going to help to bring the piece together. Too much paint on the tip. Okay. And maybe what we'll do is full do one of these that we started with. So again, for sure in these that pressure start from stem this time got a little heavy, but that's OK. Release that pressure. I don't even see here. What blood with the green. That's really pretty good. And touch that release that pressure and then terrible just took in. Maybe we'll let them together. Let's do the other side and the pressure. You can go into the eucalyptus there. It's pressure. And then here maybe I won't even at paint. Just read up my fresh see that starts to fill it up. So again, just play around with it. Play around with how much you want to layer. You'll know when it's time to stop. It just really was personal preference and your personal taste. I kind of love. So this is now all coming together, adding some of these just very simple strokes for interest. So again, just bringing the piece together, adding these final little bits blend a bit more color together, having a little bit of interest there dating yet so that there's interested movement. So you're I kind of has places to rest and focus on and enjoy. So without taking a step back and having a look at it properly, um, I think that this is pretty much done so compositionally you can see that this is our focal point in the center. And then as you start to look at that central, leave your your eyes being brought around the page and looking at some of the more outer boulder leaves, even this stem as it begins to dry, play around with it. They all are so much different. Here is my first practice piece, so it literally went from the center and brought it outward, which I thought I was gonna do with this one. So again, even though you plan it to be a certain way, you're never 100% going to follow that exactly. It just let it flow and let it be and observe how all of the different washes dry and what the intensity of them look like. Okay, here even added a little bit of yellow poker for interest. You could add whatever colors you like. We even stick with a very simple palette. I hope you enjoyed that 7. Thank you & class project!: Hey there, you made it. We painted together. We learned so many tips and techniques. I hope you enjoy now how to mix that driwater color palette so that there's movement and gloss in that paint before you begin painting. And I hope you've fallen in love with that round brush like I have. I use that brush for everything from lettering to painting florals to leaves to just about anything. So really get to know that tool and explore how well you can use it. Build your muscle memory and build that technique and skill, and I hope you continue to practice your leaves. Practice painting, building layers, changing the style and the shapes, and even start to bring in more colors. Use your wet on wet tech technique so you can add more interest to the texture and the finish of the lease. Once they're dry, what I paint leaves, I get into almost a meditative mode. I really just let my hand sort of move and explore different shapes and styles of leaves, and I even use that as a warm up. So this is why I thought this class would be a great one for us to start with building our watercolor confidence and also building our techniques and skills. Make sure you stay in touch with me as I am building and developing more watercolor classes for you to help you work through florals and more botanicals and even explore different motifs and just have some fun with color. So thank you again for taking this cost with me. And I hope to see you again in the next cost.