Painting Loose Watercolor Leaves | Petals by Priya Watercolor | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.

      Introduction & Welcome


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Color Mixing


    • 4.

      Basic Leaf Strokes


    • 5.

      Double Stroke Leaves


    • 6.

      Two-Tone Leaves


    • 7.

      Layered Leaves


    • 8.

      Adding Depth & Highlights to Leaves


    • 9.

      Class Project: Leafy Wreath


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Welcome to my new Skillshare class: Painting Loose Watercolor Leaves! Inside this class, you will learn my beginner, step-by-step process for painting beautiful loose watercolor leaves using several different methods. 

The skills you will learn include:

  • What supplies you will need to paint beautiful leaves in watercolor
  • Color-mixing tips for creating earthy and moody leaf tones
  • How to create basic watercolor leaf shapes using varying pressure
  • How to paint thicker, fuller leaves with two brush strokes instead of one
  • How to create two-toned watercolor leaves
  • How to create layered leaf stems
  • And how to add depth, dimension, and highlights to your leaves

We will finish the class by creating a beautiful leafy watercolor wreath using your favorite techniques from the class! 

About the Artist

Hello and welcome! My name is Priya and I’m the owner of Petals by Priya Watercolor Designs. I’m an artist, art teacher, surface designer, and paper goods shop owner based in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. I’m passionate about teaching art in an approachable manner and helping artists at any level feel excited and empowered to create beautiful artwork that embraces their own unique style.

One of my absolute favorite parts about being an artist is connecting with other creatives and sharing our love for art, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Let’s connect!

Next Steps

Please don’t forget to upload your projects to the “Projects & Resources” section here on Skillshare. It’s a great way to receive feedback on your artwork and connect with fellow students and creatives. If you also share your project on social media, please tag me on Instagram so I can like and comment on your work and share it with my audience! 

Thanks again for joining this class. I can’t wait to see what you create! Have a question? Feel free to send me an email or DM me on Instagram!


Meet Your Teacher

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Petals by Priya Watercolor

Watercolor Artist & Teacher

Top Teacher

My name is Priya Hazari and I'm a watercolor artist and owner of Petals by Priya Watercolor Designs. I specialize in painting loose watercolor florals and botanicals and am deeply inspired by the vibrant colors and beautiful nature surrounding me in Honolulu, Hawaii!

My journey with watercolors started as a hobby in 2018 and is now my full-time career. Over the years, I've had the pleasure of teaching in-depth painting and creative business classes to 5,000 students online and in person. I've also been able to see my designs come to life on products through licensing projects, and have transformed my artwork into prints and stationery items that are sold in retail stores around the United States. It's been a dream come true!

Though there are many aspects to my crea... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction & Welcome: Hello, and welcome to my very first Skillshare class; painting loose watercolor leaves. My name is Priya, and I'm a watercolor artist based in Honolulu, Hawaii. I'm also the creative owner behind petals by Priya watercolor designs. You can find me online at or check out some of my latest start work on Instagram at One of my absolute favorite things to paint with watercolor. What actually got me started painting in the first place was loose watercolor leaves. That's what you'll be learning in this class today. The skills that I'm teaching are suitable for beginner and intermediate artists. Please remember, you can always watch the videos at your own pace. Pause, rewind, slow it down, whatever works best for you. In this class, we'll be covering the entire process of painting leaves in a loose style, which will include color mixing, and how to create those perfect earthy tones, the basic leaf strokes, thicker fuller leaves using double strokes, two-toned leaves, how to create beautiful layered stems like this, adding depth and dimension using the wet on wet and lifting techniques. Finally, we'll create a leafy wreath for our class project. Now that we've gone over the basics of the class, let's grab our supplies, and get started. I'll see you in the first lesson. 2. Supplies: The nice thing about painting basic leaves is you don't need a ton of fancy supplies. Here's what you will need for this class. The first thing you will of course need is watercolor paint. For our color mixing lesson, I'm going to be using Hooker's green as my base for all of the mixtures. I love Hooker's green. It's a great neutral green that mixes well with other colors. I'll also be using this dark brown for my Woodlands Art Philosophy palette. If you don't have this palette, it's completely fine. I'll show you what the brown looks like. It's just a nice dark brown. I'll also be using indigo blue, Payne's gray. I love mixing Payne's gray into my colors. Indian red will help us create a nice kind of muddy earthy green for the leaves. And then finally I'll be using this color also from my Woodlands palette. It's called Sand Ridge. It's a nice beigey, light, light brown. You will also need a round watercolor brush. This is the one that I'll be using specifically for this class. It is my all-time favorite brush, size six round brush from Silver Brushes in their Black Velvet series. You don't have to use size six specifically. I also have the size four that I like using for some smaller leaves. I just would recommend not using anything smaller than size four. It can just be a little tricky to create those nice, full, thick leaves with anything smaller. You will also need watercolor paper. For this class, I'll be using one of my favorites, Legion Stonehenge Aqua Coldpress 100% cotton paper. If you're a beginner or want to practice, any watercolor paper will work fine, but I would recommend looking into Canson XL student-grade watercolor paper. You will also need a jar or bowl of clean water to rinse your brush, a pallet or dish to mix up all of your colors, and a clean paper towel to dab excess water from your brush. Finally, for your class project, it'll be helpful to have something round to trace for your wreath. I'm going to be using this simple bowl here and a pencil to trace the circle of your wreath. In the next lesson, we'll go over color mixing and how to create those perfect natural earthy shades of green. I'll see you there. 3. Color Mixing: We're going to start by mixing five different shades of green. These are some of the color combinations that I use most frequently when I'm painting leaves and florals and I think you'll like them too. As I said before, I'm going to be using this hookers green as the base for all of my mixtures. I'm going to go ahead, and add a little of this green to my palette. Then for this first green brown mixture, I will be using the color called bare from my Woodlands palette. It's just this nice dark brown. If you don't have this specific one, any dark brown, is fine. I'm going to get my brush wet, grab some of that bear, and add it to the hookers green. I added a lot of green, I'm going to have to add quite a lot of the brown to get to the shade that I'm looking to get. I'm going to grab some more brown, I will probably do one more round. That's looking really nice, I'm going to just do a little test swatch here on the paper to see how that turned out. I'm really liking that, I'm going to do a lighter wash to see what that will look like too. Love it, for our second color again, we'll be using hookers, green as the base, but instead of brown, I'll be adding in a touch of Indigo red. Again, I'll go ahead, and put some green into my palate, then touch of the pad. Now, I'll get my brush wet again, and start mixing it up. I love how this color turns out, let me show you on paper, and again, I'll do a lighter wash. I love that shade, I absolutely love it. That's one of the things I also wanted to share is some of you mentioned that one of the struggles you have, when you're painting leaves is that, they don't look very realistic they look a little fake. Color mixing is actually one of the biggest things that can help make your leaves look natural. If you have just a bright green, or something that you wouldn't normally find if you're out in nature, that doesn't look very realistic. But when you make these earthy tones, just gives your whole painting a more organic, natural look. Because these are all colors that you would actually go see in nature if you're on a hike, or something like that. Our third color, we're going to be mixing is a really nice, deep, moody green. I love using this color combination if I have a moody vibe from a floral composition, or if I'm using some more vintage colors. This is going to be hookers green once again, and then Indigo. The thing to know about Indigo is just use a very small amount. It's easier to use a tiny amount, and then add more, but if you add too much upfront, it's really hard to take a step back. Then the Indigo just overwhelms the whole mixture. Here comes the green again, a little more, then just a tiny dot will be Indigo. Let's see what this looks like, I actually want to add a little bit more Indigo than that. But because I started off with such a little amount, it's very easy to just add some more. Like I said, if I started off with too much Indigo, there's no going back. Here we go again, that is perfect, let me show you what this looks like. The lighter wash, love that, the next shape will be similar to the one we just did, creating that moody shade again. But instead of Indigo blue, we're going to be using a touch of Payne's gray. I love adding Payne's gray, really any of my color mixtures. There's the green, and the gray, I'm going to add a little more gray. Like I said, it's very similar to the one we just did, love that hint of gray in it. I'm going to do even one more of a lighter wash, beautiful. Finally, if you're the last color, we will be using hookers green, surprise. This color called the Sand Ridge. This nice beige, light brown, I'll add the green. The beige color is very light, so it might take me a couple of rounds to get it to the shade of green that I'm hoping for. I'll rinse my brush, and do it another round. Loving that already, and I'll probably just do one more to get it a bit lighter love it. There you go, these are my five most frequently used color combinations for earthy green leaves. Now that we have our palette all set up, and different color options to choose from. We'll actually get started with painting leaves in the next section. 4. Basic Leaf Strokes: This first lesson is all about how to create the basic leaf shape by simply using varying amounts of pressure on your round brush, which is a technique that can be used for painting all different types of leaves. Before we start, it's important to identify which parts of the round brush we'll be utilizing for each leaf. The very tippy top of your brush is what we're going to be using to start the leaf stem and to finish up the pointy end of each leaf. The head of the brush is the area that will be pressed onto the paper in the middle of the leaf to create the thickest part. Let's get started with some practice strokes. First, I'm going to load my brush with one of the shades we mixed up in the last lesson. Make sure you don't have too much water on your brush, otherwise it might pool up at the end. But you also don't want too little. The basic steps for creating a leaf is to go light pressure, heavy pressure, and light pressure again. That's the routine that we'll be following. I'll do that again slowly. First, put the very tip of your brush onto the paper to create a light dainty stem. Then as you create the thicker part, you'll just lay your brush down with more pressure and then end with light pressure again to create that very pointy edge. I'll show you again with a little closer up angle. The very tip of my brush, creating a thin little dainty stem. Then applying more pressure as you create the thick part, and then lighten up again to create the very tip at the end. Let's do it a few more times. Light pressure, heavy pressure, and light again. One of the problems you might run into when you're first starting is you won't get that pointy end. You might end up with something like that, which is fine. If you do want the pointy end, you can just drag it out a little further to get that point that you're looking for. Let's do some more. You can also vary the shape of your leaf. If you want something a little more round, don't drag it out as far, just push your paintbrush down and then bring it up. If you want a longer, pointier leaf, then drag it out longer. Create the stem, push down, drag it out, and pull it back up. Just go ahead and keep practicing this. Play around with different lengths of your leaf. Also, if you want to, again, give it a more natural look, you can give it a little bit of character, a little bit of swing at the end. One of my favorite ways to add leaves to usually my rose compositions is to have it just draping down. Don't feel like you have to have perfectly round or oval-shaped leaves. You don't have to have perfectly straight edges. Some of my favorite leaves end up with a little bit of texture like that on the side. One other problem that you might run into when you're practicing these leaves is you might get some pooling at the end if you have too much water on your brush. That's what it looks like when it pools. One way you can fix that, if it's not too much pooling, you can just drag your brush around and even it out. If it is too much, then rinse off your brush completely, dry it completely, and then tap it back in there to help soak up some of that excess water. I'm going to do that again. Drying my brush, soaking up some of that excess. That's an easy way to get rid of the pooling. Feel free to keep practicing these or meet me in the next lesson to learn how to create thicker, fuller leaves using two brush strokes instead of one. This is personally one of my favorite ways and my go-to way to paint leaves. See you soon. 5. Double Stroke Leaves: Now we're ready to create thicker, fuller looking leaves with two brush strokes instead of one. This technique is very similar to the one we just learned so you'll be a pro in no time. The basic idea of the two stroke leaf is to create a leaf just like we did in the first lesson. I'll go ahead and do that. But then starting at the base of the leaf, not the stem, we'll be creating an identical one right next to it, and then connecting it at the top. I just love that big, full, thick look of that leaf. One thing to keep in mind when creating this is to leave a little bit of whitespace there in-between them. You don't have to do that. I'll show you what it looks like if you don't, it'll just be a thicker leaf, which is totally fine. But I do love that look of having a little bit of whitespace in there. Let's review that. We'll create a basic leaf just like you did. Then right next to it, starting at the base, we'll create another one, leaving a little bit of white space there in the middle and connecting again at the top. Let me show you at a closer angle. Create that first leaf, put your tip of your brush right here at the base. Leave a little bit of white space and connect at the top. Look how beautiful that leaf is. This is the one technique that I use most frequently when I'm painting leaves. I tend to go for a little bit of a fuller looking leaf. Let's practice that some more. Again, you can apply this technique to as many different shapes of leaves that you want. First I'll do a fat, more round shape leaf. Using a lot of pressure on my brush and not really dragging it out too far and then connect it or you can also use it for longer skinnier leaves. I'm going to drag this out really far before I lighten up on the pressure and make another one right next to it and connect at the top. Like I said in that first one, if you want to add more texture, give the leaf a little more character, you can make it droopy. Maybe have it pointing down a little bit and then you'll just start right here at the base and connect it like that. Let's practice a few more times. You can also make little dainty small leaves using the same technique. I'll do that up here. We can also try making a two leaf stem here. I'll make a longer stem, paint the leaf, and then I'm going to make one coming off of here too that's hanging down a little bit. Again, for this method too, you're going to be using the same exact routine of light pressure, heavy pressure, and light, and again, light, heavy, and light. Feel free to keep practicing this. Muscle memory is a big thing in watercolors so the more times you do it, the better you're going to get, the more easy it will come to you. Keep practicing and I'll see you in the next lesson. Next up, I'll show you just how easy it is to create stunning two toned leaf petals using a simple dipping method. 6. Two-Tone Leaves: Now that you know how to create two different shapes of leaves, let's spice it up a bit with one of my favorites, two toned leaves. Here's a little sneak peek at what those look like. For this demonstration, you're going to want to have contrast in the shades or the colors that you're using. I'm going to be using a really, really light wash of that beige green that we used. Then I'm also going to use a really dark, the indigo green that we used. Here's how you do it. Load up the entire brush with your lighter color. Make sure it's not too wet, but just make sure enough for your brush has the color on it. Then dip just the very tip of your brush into the darker color. I'm dipping it into this indigo. Next we'll paint the leaf the same way we did. I'm going to use the two stroke leaf. Then that darker color will show up in the stem, and throughout the leaf and just give it a nice contrasting look. You can see in that the stem is the darker indigo green. Then you can also see that lined throughout the leaf. Let's do that again. This time I'm going to use different colors just to mix it up. But you always want the first color that you load your brush up with to be lighter. Then the darker one on the tip. Let's try it again. Love that. I'll load my brush up again. It just gives your leaves a little bit more dimension. This is what our first ones looked like, which are awesome, but they're all just the one color that we use. When you use this dipping method, just gives them a little more interest. Let's practice some more. Let's keep practicing. I have my brush all loaded up with a light green in the head of the brush, and then the darker indigo on the tip. Going to go light pressure stem, heavy pressure leaf and light again. Same thing here on the bottom. See how that just adds some interest to the leaf. I really love how that looks. If you want to, you can even try this method with colors that you normally would not use for your leafs. Just for fun, I'm going to try this with my tropical palette from Art Philosophy. I'm going to load my brush with the yellow, bright tropical yellow. Then I'm going to do this pink on the tip. Let's see how this one looks. So cool. Sometimes it's easier to see with totally different colors like these than it is just using a lighter color and a darker color. I encourage you to just play around with other colors that you have. Just experiment a little more with this style. Look how awesome that looks. Nice little fiery leaves. Want to do one more round because I just really love this color combo. Beautiful. I love using this method when I want to add a little dimension and interest to my leaves, feel free to keep practicing, try out with different color combinations. I will see you in the next lesson. 7. Layered Leaves: Painting layered leaf stems are great for creating wreaths or using them as fillers and larger floral compositions. You'd be surprised just how easy they are to paint. The important thing to know when you're painting layered leaves like these is to always start with the lighter wash or lighter color on the bottom and then add darker layers on top. You'll find when painting with watercolors, you can always layer darker on top of light, but unfortunately, it just does not work the other way around. Let's start with painting a single leaf stem. Those are the same green that we mixed up earlier, I just added some more into this little palette. To create the stem, I'm going to use just the tip of my brush, create a long stem, and then a leaf on top, and I'm just going to use the single stroke leaf for this. Now that you know how to paint the waves, the rest of the stem is going to be really easy, so you'll just work your way down painting dainty little alternating stems. One thing to keep in mind is to just leave enough space in between each leaf, so don't make them too close together because when we add our second layer, it'll be going in between. Add another little stem and another leaf and just work your way down. There you go. I'm going to wait for this first layer to dry and then we'll add the second layer on top of it. Now that this first layer is dry, I'm going to add the second layer and remember you always want your second layer to be darker, so in this case, I'm going to be using the deep moody green that we mixed with Payne's gray. Basically what you're going to do is you're going to create another one of these on top of it and just put each leaf in between the first ones. You do want some whitespace, that's why you left this whitespace here. But actually, when they overlap slightly on top of each other, it just makes it look a lot more fuller, and that's when the beauty and the depth really shows up. I'm just going to gently trace over the stem again with the darker color, and then I'm just going to branch off here for your leaf and do the same exact thing all the way down. Again, see how that overlaps there, that's completely fine. I actually prefer it to overlap a bit. Can have the darker ones coming up a little bit. Let's give it some varied direction. There you have it. I love the look of these layered leaves, as I said before, they're nice and thick. I use them as fillers a lot. I'm probably going to use this technique in a class project at the end as well. I'm going to do one more practice 1, but I'm going to give the stem a little more character by adding a bit of a curve to it, so I'm just mixing up this lighter green. This is the beigey one. Want to do it right next to the first one, but I'm just going to have it loop down a bit. I'm going to do the same exact thing and making the leaves a little fuller giving them this droopy quality that I really like. Feel free to play around with different color combinations. You could even just use the same exact color and make one a little lighter than the other, or like we did in the last one, you can use totally different colors than you normally would, you can use triples, yellows, just have fun with it. Now I'm going to go back in to do the second layer once it's dry, I'm going to actually try using this darker brown one that we created in the color mixing lesson. [NOISE] Let's see how this one looks. Trace over the stem, a nice and do the same all the way down. There you have it. I love using this technique. Like I said, it just makes it look a lot thicker and fuller, and I just love it. It's one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy it. That technique, it is one of my personal favorites, I use it all the time. In the next lesson, I'll be showing you how to add depth and dimension, and highlights to your leaves by using the wet-on-wet and lifting techniques. 8. Adding Depth & Highlights to Leaves: You made it to the final lesson. We're going to be going over how to add depth and dimension to each of your leaf petals using techniques like wet on wet and lifting. These are a little trickier than the other methods that we've learned in the class. But with a little practice, you'll be all good to go. First, let's talk about what the wet-on-wet method really looks like. Wet on wet basically means you're layering paint on top of another layer that hasn't dried yet. It's still wet. You're putting wet paint on another layer of wet paint. Using this technique creates beautiful organic blooms allows you to practice blending colors, and is truly the most magical part of painting with watercolors. Remember this is different from the wet-on-dry method that we just used in the previous lesson to create the layered leaves. In that lesson, we waited for the first layer to dry and then we put the second layer on top. In this method, we'll just be putting the second layer directly on the wet. Let's practice the wet-on-wet technique by creating some basic blooms. First I'm going to take a really light wash of the screen, rinse it off a little bit. I'm going to paint a basic circle. Now before it dries, quickly load up your brush with a darker color or a darker wash of that color. Simply drop some of that onto the circle that you painted and watch the paint bloom. You can add as many dots as you'd like until you get the hang of it. I'm going to paint one more circle and try again. There's my circle. Loading in some darker green. Watching it bloom. Putting a wet layer of paint on the layer that is still wet. Now let's try that again. But instead of blooms will try actually blending the colors along the edge of the circle. We have a very light wash. Again. I'm going to paint another circle. Does not have to be perfect. I'm going to load my brush with the darker green. I'm just going to gently wine the edge of the circle to create a nice little shadow blended effect. If it's not blending as well as you'd like, this one's not too bad. But you can always clean off your brush, dab off the extra water, and then just softly feather that out to help it blend a little better. I'm just taking a clean, damp brush, hoping smooth out the edges a little bit. You don't have to do this part. If you want it to look more organic, you can leave it. But I'm just showing you in case you want to blend it out of it. I'm going to do that process one more time. Getting the very light wash of green. I want to make it a little darker , painting my circle. Now getting the darker. I'm going to try blending that out just like I did the other one. Clean my brush, drying it. I'm just feathering that out to help blend it a bit better. Now let's talk about the lifting technique. Lifting is what happens when you have a wet layer paint and you use a clean dry brush to lift up some of the remaining color to create a nice highlighted effect. Let's practice this method. When I start by painting another circle. Just like we did. But before it dries, take a clean dry brush, just dabbing off excess water here on my paper towel, and lift up some of that color to create a nice little highlight. Remember, you can use the same trick to help with pooling of water as well. Doesn't matter what your painting, you can always use the lifting method to create highlights. I'm going to practice that one more time. Load up my brush, create a circle, clean my brush, dab the excess water, and soak up some of that extra paint. That's what the lifting method is and we'll be using that when we get started painting leaves up next. Now let's get started painting the actual leaf and using the techniques that we just practiced. I'm going to start by lightly outlining the shape of the leaf with this pencil. You certainly don't have to sketch it out first. But if you do, just make sure it's light enough that it won't show up after you lay your paint down on the paper. Once you paint over your pencil marks, you won't be able to erase any of it. I'm just going to sketch out just a loose shape. It doesn't have to be perfect. I'm just going to go over that, gently dabbing with my eraser so that it's light enough that you won't see it. Now I'm going to start with a really light wash of the earthy green-brown that we mixed up. I'm going to fill in the leaf but not the stem. Next, before that layer dries, I'm loading my brush with a darker wash of the same earthy green. I'm going to gently tap in this darker color along the left side and the bottom of the leaf. I'm also going to go in with a darker color and create that stem. Once it connects with the leaf, you see that it blooms right there at the bottom. Does adding in that darker color, just like we did over here with the circle. Maybe add a little bit on this side. Now that we have the darker shadow of the leaf will add a little highlight by lifting some of the original color towards the right side of the leaf. I have a clean, damp brush and I'm just lifting some of that color to create a nice little highlight. If you do, again, find that you have any harsh edges after it dries, you can always use a clean, damp brush to gently feather it out and help blend it a little bit. I'm going to do it again, but just at a slightly closer view so that you can see it a bit better. This time my leaf is going to be skinnier. You can choose whatever shape you want to do. The methods that you learn is the most important part. You can apply it to any shape. It also doesn't have to be leaves. Whatever you're painting, you can use wet on wet and lifting. Again, going in here with a light wash and I'm just filling in the leaf, not the stem. You can do the stem, but we're going over it anyways with the dark wash so you don't have to fill in the leaf making sure I don't have too much pooling going on. Then I'm loading my brush with a darker wash. I'm just going to tap it in gently to create a little shadow. I'll also add the stem here. You can see when it connects with the leaf that blooms and creates a nice little effect there. I'm going to do the same thing we did with the other leaf. Cleaning off my brush, drying it, and taking a little highlight here using the lifting method. I also am not crazy about this harsh line. It didn't blend as well as the other ones. I have a damp brush and I'm just going to feather it out here and help it blend a bit better. Still not crazy about that. I'm going to wet the leaf again and add in some more color. Just got that wet out, the darker color on my brush. I'm adding a bit more. There we go. I'm liking that better. Again, this isn't a perfectly clean edge, but personally, I like that better. It just helps the leaves look more natural, like something you'd see out in nature. That's the technique for creating depth and dimension in your leaves. I love doing that. It just adds a whole other layer to your floral compositions. Or if you're just doing leaves on their own, I just love it. As I mentioned before, these techniques can be a little trickier and they definitely require more water control and your brushes. Feel free to keep practicing until you feel comfortable. I'll see you in the next video to start our final class project, the leafy wreath. 9. Class Project: Leafy Wreath: Now we can finally get started on our class project. We'll be creating a leafy wreath. We'll be using either one or several of the techniques that you learned in the class. Choose your favorite or a combination of favorites and we'll get started. We'll start by tracing a circle for our wreath. You can use whatever you'd like to trace the circle. I'm personally just going to use one of our cereal bowls from the cupboard. I'm going to place it face down on the paper. Then just using a pencil to gently outline it. There's my circle. Once you've outlined yours, you'd like to choose which colors you're going to use. For this one, I'm going to be using some of the darker, moodier ones that we mixed up with Payne's gray and indigo. I know it's running a little short on the colors we originally mixed. I just went ahead and made some more. As far as deciding which leaves you want to use in your wreath, it's really up to you. You can choose one of your favorites from the class. You can use a combination. I personally will probably just use a combination and just wing it as I go. Those are the wreaths that I tend to lean more towards, are the ones that aren't too planned out that just look natural and full. That's why I'm just going to do small sections at a time and just create the leaves as I go. A couple of other notes before we begin, while it might be tempting to trace the entire circle outline with your paint first. I don't necessarily recommend it because it's likely to get smudged with your hand before it dries. I've noticed that the leaves in the wreath tend to look more natural and organic without a perfectly lined circle, but instead by painting small chunks at a time. Finally, don't feel like you have to keep your leafy stems directly on the circle that you outlined. You definitely don't want them to get too wild and start going off the page. But your wreath will look fuller if your leaves move freely to the side and even if they overlap slightly as you go. Here we go. I'm going to get started again. Feel free to use whichever techniques you like or if you want to follow along with me. As I said before, I'm just winging it and seeing what feels natural to me as I go. But I'm going to just start in small little sections and I'm going to be turning my paper as I work my way clockwise. I'll probably start by adding a little stem here and see how I went a little bit to the left of the circle there. That's what I was talking about, how it looked more organic if it's not directly on the circle. Don't be too rigid. I'm just adding some leaves here. I'll probably make this one into a layered stem. If you remember from that lesson, I will end up going in the second layer after this one dries and add some more leaves and a darker shade of this. I'm going to grab darker shade. I'm going to go back over top. This is already dried. I'm going to go back over the top and add some darker leaves here. Again, totally fine if it overlaps. Don't be afraid to change up the shape of the leaves too. You can see this one's a little bit slanted to the right. Just adds a little more character and interest to your leaf stem. There's the first one. I'm pretty happy with that and now I'm going to continue on at the top here with another stem. I'm getting some paint on my brush. Instead I'm just going to do some curvy stems. I'm just going to add the two stroke leaves that we learned in the second lesson, but I'm going to make them really small and dainty. I'm going to add one more stem here. To make them small like this, I'm just using the very tip of my brush. I'm still doing that same pressure pattern where you do light, heavy and light. But I'm just not putting the entire brush down on the paper because that would make it a little too big for what I'm going for. Don't forget to vary the direction too. Like you can see, I just made this one go slanting down a bit. Don't want it to be too uniform. Don't be afraid of them overlapping. You can see I just overlapped those two. I'm just continuing to add leaves as I go. I'm going to overlap this one here. You can see this little bunched up here. They all are overlapping. It looks more natural. I know I've used the word natural a lot, but that helps a lot when you're painting leaves because you don't want them to look fake. Again, if you're having trouble creating these, we're doing light pressure for little tiny stem, heavier pressure, but not too much as you go down and then lighten up again at the top. If you are struggling, I really recommend just filling up a whole page with practice strokes. That's the only way you're going to get better. Practice. Each time you do, the next time you bring out your paints, it's going to come back to you a lot faster. Another trick you can use is make little stems off of each other. Like this wasn't its own original stem. I created one here and then just added a little mini sprig right off of it. Whatever feels right to you as you're creating these leaf stems. Just go with your gut. I'm really liking how this one is looking. Now I'll move on to another one. Now I think I'm going to create two more layered stems like this one. One bearing off to the right and one a little bit longer into the left. I want to try using the dip method. That's what we use to create those beautiful two-toned leaves. I'm going to start, I'm not using the dip method yet because I'm going to draw my stems first. Like I said, one coming off to the right, one coming off a little longer and to the left. I'll probably add one more here. You want to make sure it still follows the curve of the circle. That's why I added this one here so that it continues what we've already started. Other reminder to do the two-toned ones, you fill your brush with a lighter color, dip the tip into the darker. Then create your leaf just as you do with other ones. With a little hard to see what this lighting, but you can just add a lot of depth and interest by having those two different shades within one leaf petal. It takes a little longer to create the two-toned petals just because you have to read the bit more frequently. But that's okay. [BACKGROUND] You can see on that one a little better. The darker color here for the stem and then just spread throughout. But you also have the nice light areas here from that first color that you loaded onto your brush. I'm just going to keep doing that same thing all the way down. Again, make sure you're varying the direction. I'm going to have this one going rogue a little bit and facing backwards. Don't be afraid to do things like that. We're almost done here. That one's overlapping below that. I'm really liking how this is looking so far. One thing you can notice is this is going a little rogue and so when I start my next section, I'm just going to really want to bring it back in and maybe add some more leaves coming inward because we don't want all of them going outside of the circle. I'll show you what that looks like next. In my next section, I noticed that I have nice dark contrast here in this first layered one that they're next to you. They are flat, they have the same colors, so I'm going to bring back some of that dark color. I'm just loading up my brush here. I think for this one, I'm going to use the single-stroke leaves that we learned in the very first lesson. Now we're drawing some stems. Like I said, I want to bring some direction back into the circle since this one's going a little rogue outside. Just curving it back. Now, let's do the single-stroke leaves that we practiced in the very first lesson. Light pressure, heavy, drag it out and light again. I'm making these a little longer and slimmer. Light, heavy, and light. Light, heavy, light. Also, make sure that your previous layers have already dried so that your arm doesn't smudge it. Light, heavy pressure, and light. Loading up my brush again. Light, heavy, light. Again, if you end up with some leaves like this that don't have the pointy tip that you're looking for, you can just go back in and add it. That's one of the things that I just love about watercolor is that it's very forgiving, you can always go back and fix up your mistakes. Again, I'm going to add some different direction here and just bring that one backwards. That they can overlap with the other leaf. I really love how that one looks. I'm going to back this up and take a look at it, a little hole, see what's missing. I think these leaves are fuller than any other ones we've created over here. I'm going to try to add some more fuller leaves here. I might just do a few two-leaf stems here to add some thicker parts. This part is still a little wet, so I'm just going to be very careful not to lay my arm down in it. That would be a major bummer. I'm just going to do a few stems here and just map out where I want these leaves to go. I think that looks good for now. Like I said, I really like these thick leaves over here at the top so I'm going to try to make these ones thick as well. Just pushing down. I'm doing the two-stroke leaf and just filling in where those stems are. You definitely don't have to copy this exact method that I'm doing. If you had other flowers that you liked better during the class, you can use those. This is looking a little too bare for me, so I'm going to go back in and add some more. Again, just going with my intuition. Seeing where it looks too bare and adding in some fillers. You can see I also I'm making these extra leaves a little bit darker than the first layer. Another trick I like to do when I'm working on leaf stems like this is to add some thin strokes like this. I don't have to add actual leaf petals at the end of them. It's almost like some blades of grass. Just be loose with it. I really like that. Let's move on to the next section. For this one, I'm going to go back and do some smaller leaves like I did here. I'm actually going to move from a size 6 brush to my size 4. [NOISE] Again, I'm still using this dark indigo green and the Payne's gray. [NOISE] If you liked other colors that we mixed up or colors of your own, as always, feel free to use those. Let's see. I'm going to create a stem along the circle that we outlined, and then again, just do some branches off. I'm actually going to take it all the way to the end and connect to where we started. Now, I'm just going to add little tiny leaves. Do you remember how to add these little leaves? If you don't, I'll give you a quick refresher. I'm just using the very tip of the brush, not really weighing down the entire brush. Otherwise, that would pick leaves that are thicker than what I'm actually going for here. Still using the same routine of light pressure, heavy and light, so just in a smaller leaf. Again, I'm going to add some little sprigs here and just work my way down. I sped up that last section, but here's what the final product looks like. I'm not totally done yet. I like to look at it from a further perspective at the end just to see what's missing. You see there's a little bit of a gap here. I think I'm going to add some more of these petals first because there's only this one section. I want to make it a little more common and also to help fill that gap a little bit. Feel free to do that with yours as well. Just look at it a bit further away and see if you can spot any areas that need some more attention. Let's see. I don't want it overlapping too much, but I'm going to create one here. There's my first layer, and then I'm going to go back in with my darker there, and I make that actually a little bit darker. Remember to leave enough white space between the first layer and second, but not too much because you do want some overlap. Then I'm going to have this one pointing backwards a little bit. I also see a bit of a gap here, so I'm going to add one more leaf there. Actually, another one in-between that. It's looking good. I just see a little gap here. Also down here, usually it's in-between the different sections that you start might look a little bit jerky, so just go in and add some more. I'll probably add some of these little wispy strokes here. Maybe another leaf. Just whatever feels the best to you. I'm going to add some more darker ones here. That's looking pretty good. This was the other section I wanted to clean up. I'm really liking this. Actually, I see one more white space here. Just go with your gut. If you have any areas that look a little bit jerky to you, just add some more fillers. There we go. I hope you're happy with yours too. If you don't like it right off the bat, you can either start over. Or what I usually end up doing is just adding onto it, and then you'll end up with something you like. If you don't, at least it's good practice. 10. Final Thoughts: I want to sincerely thank you again for joining my first ever Skillshare class, painting loose watercolor leaves. I had a great time, and I hope you did too. Don't forget to upload your final project to the class project board. And also, If you do decide to share your artwork on Instagram, feel free to tag me Thank you again so much. It means a lot to me that you took the time to watch the class. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of your projects, and happy painting from me to you.