Watercolor Painting: Easy Autumn Scenes for Beginners | Nicki Traikos | Skillshare

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Watercolor Painting: Easy Autumn Scenes for Beginners

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Watercolor Techniques


    • 4.

      Sketching Leaves


    • 5.

      Painting the Background


    • 6.

      Painting Leaves


    • 7.

      Final Touches


    • 8.

      Class Project


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About This Class

Painting leaves has to be one of my most favorite things to do especially in the fall when trees begin to change color.  I often take photos of my walks in nature, and of the forest floor observing all the color, pattern, and textures of fallen leaves from the surrounding trees. 

In this beginner watercolor class, I teach you fundamental watercolor techniques as we paint our own modern interpretation of the forest floor filled with fallen leaves.

My goal is help boost your watercolor knowledge and confidence as you learn how to paint depth in your fall watercolor piece while we explore key watercolor techniques.  You will practice painting wet-on-wet, light to dark, and lifting, to create highlights in ways that are easy, modern and addicting!

I'm a firm believer that the best way to learn new techniques is to do so by painting something fun, that allows for repetition and practice as you master your new techniques!  I've designed this class in a way that gets you learning as you paint while we work on a finished piece together in under an hour!

I hope you click enrol and join me in class as we learn how to paint depth to create some modern and interesting leaves for our fall scene.

See you in class! 

Before you go, check out my other watercolor classes here on Skillshare

Watercolor Leaves: Painting Depth and Movement

How to Paint a Watercolor Wreath in 15 Minutes or less

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

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Taking a walk in the fall has to be one of my favorite activities to do. During my walks, I'm always inspired by the layers of color and the depth that I've observed when I'm looking at the forest floor or during the walk in my trails. I often take photos for the walks in nature and observing all the color, pattern and texture of the fallen leaves and the surrounding trees. In this beginner watercolor class, I teach fundamental watercolor techniques as we paint our own modern interpretation of the forest floor, filled with fallen leaves, depth layer and beautiful colors. My name is Nicki Traikos of Life I Design, and in this watercolor class, I'm going to teach you fundamental watercolor techniques that you can apply easily and right away to paint your own interpretation of a forest floor. My goal with this class is to help you build your confidence and knowledge when it comes to watercolor painting and using techniques like wet and wet, working light to dark, and even lifting to create highlights, building depth and layers as you paint your own modern interpretation of a fall floor. I'm a firm believer that the best way to learn techniques is to be able to apply them right away, so painting something fun that allows for that repetition and practice is exactly what you'll be doing in this class with me today. I've designed this class in a way to get you painting right away as we work on our finished piece together in under an hour or so. I hope you click "Enroll" and join me in this class as we learn how to paint depth to create some modern and interesting scenes for our fall scene. See you in class. 2. Supplies: Let's start with supplies. What I have in front of me is a pad of watercolor paper. It's by Fluid, it's cold-pressed, acid-free, 140 pounds. I would use minimum 140 pound watercolor paper, so that we can get a nice amount of wet watercolor on our page and not worry too much about it buckling. Next step, I have some artist tape. What I'm going to do is tape out a border, so that I can create a nice clean frame around our finished piece. This is just a practice piece. I don't have an end goal in mind for this specific one, although what we'll be painting will be beautiful in a frame to have a really nice fall decor handy. I'm just taking some of this artist tape. It's not very sticky, which means you can remove it from the paper really easily. I'm not worried too much about whether or not my frame is perfectly straight. Again, this is our practice. But what I will do is block off a nice amount of paper here. Just go ahead and add that. I have a nice big border in a frame, and I'll be able to use the sides of our watercolor page to see what my watercolor starts to look like. I like to be able to lay down a bit of color first to make sure it's the right tone. That is our paper and artist tape. I'm using tubes of watercolor paint. You can use whatever you have on hand. I just have some Cotman watercolor. It's not the professional line of Winsor and Newton watercolor paint, but it is some of the best colors that I use. I tend to pick up sap green, yellow ocher, and Payne's gray quite often. I've added in a burnt umber. This is the professional watercolor line. The pigment quality is a little bit better, but I've added a bit of burnt umber here so that I can play around with some warm tones. Use whatever colors you're wanting to use for your fall theme. I tend to love picking up these three specifically, when I'm working on anything that's very naturey, especially fall. You can look towards the images that I provided you with. I even pick up sticks and leaves often when I'm out for a walk. Although I love the rust of these leaves, I'm using it more for a visual in terms of how the branch looks when it's dried and it's fallen. But you can use oranges, you can use just about any colors. I'll show you again our references here. This is what I am aiming to paint with you next. But if you wanted to add some warmer reds and oranges, feel free. Play around with whatever pallet speaks to you. I always say when you paint in colors that you love, you will love the experience of painting even more so, so paint what you love and use what you love. Next up, I just have a little mini palette here, it's one that you can see I've used the colors already. I used this for our practice. I have some paper towel handy so that I can wipe off my brush because we will be working with a dry brush to lift our paint, a pencil and eraser so we can lay down some of our more bold leaves. Of course, a water jar or two to have handy, to make sure you're able to wipe off your brushes. I should also mention I'm using a round brush. This is a Princeton Heritage number 4. I can create some really nice thin strokes as well as thick strokes with this brush. Then I have the Filbert, this is just, again, Princeton. They're a Snap brand. I really like it because it does have great give and when I'm painting with it, I can create some nice larger washes of color if I need to. But again, use what you have on hand. I'll show you some tips as we begin. We'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Watercolor Techniques: Before we start painting, I actually just grabbed another sheet of watercolor here. I want to show you how to mix your watercolor on your palette as well as creating some of the wet on wet and the lifting. Some of the techniques that we'll be doing as we're painting. I do have some dry watercolor pigment here on my palette. But I want you to see what it's like to actually get the watercolor flow happening, and how I prepped my palette before I get started. What I like to do is lay down just a little squeeze, probably a pea size amount on the palette, and make sure I have enough for mixing. Give myself a bit of room on the palette here. It's not a big one. But again, I love when I can work on a small palette because it makes things less complicated. Just a little bit for me, easier to work with. I do have large palettes that I tend to use over and over again, but sometimes working on a small palette is very enjoyable. Let's get our water close here. What I'm doing is just making sure my brush is really wet and shiny. There's a good amount of water on it, and we'll use the yellow ocher as our example. I'm just breaking up the pigment. I don't want it to be creamy and I don't want it to be too watery. We can always add more water to the brush if we choose. You can see there's a bit of shine and gloss in that puddle. I can't see the bottom of the palette as I'm moving the paint around. Means that that's a nice creamy consistency. I'm going to add just a bit more water so I can get some movement within the puddle. That looks really good. Truly the only way you can test to see how much pigment you have is by laying down your brush. That feels like it's a bit too opaque, go ahead and just take off the excess off my brush, and then see what that begins to look like. You can see that I've got a nice puddle that I can push around, building some opacity in that block here. That's a really nice amount of watercolor to water ratio. You can see that's a little bit too opaque, we can always water it down a little bit more if we choose, and that's a really nice light amount. Let's go ahead and mix up. For contrast, I'm going to mix up this Payne's gray. Yellow ocher, Payne's gray, sap green, they're all colors that I love and use again and again. They're colors that speak to me. I know how they behave, I know what they look like if I have a nice opaque version, so there you go. That's Payne's gray, really opaque. Adding a bit more water to my brush to break down that puddle. I can see there's much more movement, I can even see the bottom of my palette. Go ahead and lay that down, and there's that inky, lovely blue. There you go. What I'm going to do is show you a few techniques that we'll be using as we start to paint our leaves. Always work light to dark. So that's our first step. You're using your lightest color first, so here is the yellow ocher. I'm just using the two for now to make it simple, but I'm laying down a nice amount of pigment here. Working light to dark, and while that paint is still wet, I'm going to go ahead and let the Payne's gray just work itself into that wet stroke. Pick up a little bit more pigment and just push that Payne's gray into the yellow ocher, so that it can lead and move. Just pushing nice amount of puddle so it can bleed. That is wet on wet. What you could even do is you can grab your pencil, I like to start making charts. This is yellow ocher so that you remember. This is Payne's gray. Here we did wet on wet. Then remember to always work light to dark when using watercolor. Because the pigment is transparent, you won't be able to see the yellow, if we were to lay down the yellow first. Something else I want to show you. Picking up again a little bit of water first on my brush, dipping it into the Payne's gray. Going to go ahead and create a really nice wash of this Payne's gray. I want it to be opaque so that you can see this next effect that we'll be working on. I have a really nice opaque amount on. I'm cleaning off my brush with my paper towel Handee. I'm wiping off the excess. Making sure my brush is nice and dry. With a dry brush, I can go back over this wet stroke and pull away at beautiful highlight by removing that excess paint. Go ahead and wipe away your brush. But you can control how much of that pigment you want to soak up to create a beautiful highlight. That's called lifting. We're going to be doing this to create some dimension and depth within our leaves. This we'll label it as lifting. We've worked wet on wet. That's technique number 1. Remember to work light to dark. That's so funny, I even spelled light wrong. Why did I add two ts? That happens when you are talking and teaching. That's two, light to dark, and then three is lifting. We'll be going over these techniques again and again so that you can really enjoy the process of painting this way, so we can create some beautiful depth in our leaves. Practice that a little bit, and I'll see you in the next video. 4. Sketching Leaves: In this lesson, I want to show you how to easily use a pencil to start breaking down our more bold and the leaves that we want to create some depth with. Just to remind you, here are the examples that I have to work from. What we want to do is draw out these stems so that we know those are the ones that we want to create that depth with. Again, what I like to do is make sure that I have references handy. If you are able to pick up some leaves and just observe what they look like, we're creating more of an impression of the floor on a trail, or in a forest when all of the leaves have started to pile up. What you want to do is just interpret that scene on your own. Perspective is going to be important. We don't have a lot of space that we're working with so we want to make sure that we keep our leaves a little bit on the smaller side and make sure that our stems aren't too overpowering. Again, if I were to look at this leaf, I know that there's a bit of a branch that has fallen with it and created a little bit of a loop there, that's okay. Then just making sure that we have a branch that goes off to this size, so proportionately. We don't want them to be too much longer. Then we'll have a branch that comes out at this angle here. Just really loosely, I'm holding the pencil halfway. I don't want the lines to be perfect. I really just want there to be a nice guide, and again, my own interpretation of what I like the leaf shapes to look like. If you think of maybe an oval, and have them be a little bit jagged. Don't worry about, again, the leaves being perfect. What we want to do is balance that branch. I'm going to create another branch that has fallen, that comes this way. Here's a longer branch we can create, a leaf that goes off to the side. Again, I want the lines to be a little bit wobbly. I want them to look like they're dry. This is my interpretation of what I see color-wise as well as the shapes of leaves. Those branches are really nice. I feel like it'll be a nice flow for the eye so that they compliment each other. Then we want to fill up the floor of our scene with a few more leaves. Again, just going to work in size. Don't be afraid to even change the direction. Maybe there's a leaf that's fallen this way, but then maybe there's one that's fallen opposite too, and even change the shape of your leaf. Maybe you want a leaf that's fallen on its side. We can even play around with it. Having folded over, just have fun with it. Play, be free. This is really an interesting exercise to have a finished watercolor piece. Maybe we'll even put a smaller one here. Again, vary your size. It's just an interesting practice so that you can practice some essential watercolor techniques but while you're painting a scene, why not? That feels really good to me. I don't want it to be too busy or too heavy. I really like the amount of leaves that we have. Then when we start to work on our under painting, you'll be able to see if you wanted to add a few more leaves or not. But I'm quite happy with that, especially for the first go. I feel like that's a really nice amount there. Go ahead and lay down your leaves and I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Painting the Background: Let's start working on our background. I'm going to grab my Philbrick brush here and make sure that I have really nice, loose, watery petals that I can start working with. So I'm going to mix in some of this green and don't be afraid to mix your colors. Let them work together. I'd like to again work light to dark so I'll make sure that my yellow ocher is ready to go. I'll be adding in a little bit of this brown and work in very light amounts of it. But again, just creating some depth and movement for the under painting. So the base of our forest floor, just adding a little bit more water here. Make sure I've got a nice amount of water on my brush. Picking up a little bit of this yellow ocher, you can see my brush isn't completely saturated with the color. What I want to do is start mimicking the shape of a leaf, maybe even a cluster of leaves. I want it to be very light and go ahead and just put down brushstrokes. My brush is quite wet. Make sure that you have a nice watery amount here going back and just making sure we're breaking up any hard edges. But any idea of a leaf, and it can just be shapes. Just put down ovals, circles. You can even put in some long stems. Make sure you vary them. So add in some short ones here, too, little short strokes to create a little bit of variation and interest. Once it starts to dry, it will fade a little bit, it will be a little bit more watery, so make sure that your watercolor puddle is quite loose, nice and wet. I don't want you to think about this too much. It should be haphazard. It should be really playful and flowy. What I'd like to do is stay away from adding too much color within the leaves themselves, but go ahead and go over the stems. We're going to add a darker stem. So I know if I'm working like to dark, I have no worries about covering that up. So I've added green because green is still around. Some of the leaves didn't change. Green is still in the grass. So that feels like it might be a little bit dark, so I'll make sure to go over it. So I'm using a Philbrick because it has a little bit more of a wider stroke to it. Make sure to wash it off and use my round brush. This one's a quite thin round brush, but I could use my round brush to add in some nice big strokes here. So what you want to do is I like negative space, so I won't fill it up completely. What I'm going to do is even grab another brush. This is a Princeton Neptune. So if you have a mop brush, even that would work, but it just has a wider brush so that I can create a little bit more. You can mix this yellow and brown together. I can create some larger wet strokes here. Going over top of here. So I like negative space as I was saying. So feel free to let the space breathe. You can even make some of our paints gray with the green so we can change that tone a little bit and that way we don't have a limited palette. We can mix color and create some nice unique. I feel like I need some shorter strokes there and if areas feel too heavy, go ahead and wipe off your brush and just lift and move that pigment around. So remember our lifting technique. Clean brush, it's not dry. I'm going to let mine be nice and wet. I'm just going to move strokes that feel like maybe they'll dry a little heavy and work that in. Maybe what won't even do is let's mix a bit of this brown with this paints gray and see what we get. So remember these leaves are old, they've changed color, the tree is ready to bear down for winter. Some of the scenes are really bold with reds and orange. But again, this is a color palette that I tend to gravitate towards, so I'll add in some of those interesting strokes there. So changing up your brush will allow you to change up the type of shapes that you're working with, you can add in some smaller and you can even paint in if you choose to some leaf shapes. So just creating two strokes to mimic that oval leaf shape. Going over top, so layering over that blue, which I really love. I'm actually going to bring in a little bit more. As it starts to dry, you get a really nice indication of what the color will look like dried. But again, you're just filling in that negative space, so that whitespace of your paper and making sure you use that edge. We've taped it off so we can get a really nice bold edge. So make sure that you go over top of that edge, use that nice taped order that we've created. That's starting to look really good. Mine is layering a little bit, going in a little deeper. So when you add color that it's a little bit darker or more bold, you begin to create really nice depth and movements. I'm going across the whole page making sure that I'm changing the angle of how I'm holding my brush, working in just short strokes and I want your eye to move around to see where there are areas that you feel you need to add a little bit more color to. Add just a bit of this, yellow ocher, a bit more brown. So again, just mix the yellow ocher with the Payne's gray and I'm quite liking that tone. It feels very fall like and I haven't had to introduce another color to my palette. So when you leave your colors to mix on their own and to blend together, you create really nice harmony within your piece. I feel like we're in a good spot. This feels a bit heavy. It might be distracting once we start painting. So again, if there are areas that feel like you need to break them up a little bit, go for it. Then we can always take a step back at the very end and add in a few more strokes as we need. I'm going to change brushes one more time. I feel like I'm almost there. I'm going to take a bit of this Payne's gray, make sure I've got a nice amount of water on my brush and I'm just going to dab a bit more of this blue. So there isn't a lot of blue in my photo references, but I almost imagine it as a shadow. So these gray blue tones are like shadows in between the layers of leaves. That feels good. Maybe even a tiny bit more brown, making sure I've got lots of water on my brush, going over any spots and even if it's just a hint of color, the great thing with watercolor is it dries beautifully. Here we go. Those spots feel a bit heavy to me, so just taking a bit of water and I'm going to tone them down slightly even with just what's on my brush. That feels really good again. Just play around with it and you have to decide yourself when you have enough of your background done. I again like a little bit of white space. I can see through there is a really nice amount of color. I feel like there's flow and movement. It reminds me of looking down where there's a bunch of fallen leaves on my path. So what you want to do at this point is let everything dry completely before you move on to the next step. I'll see you in the next video. 6. Painting Leaves: Now that my piece is fairly dry, it looks like there may be a few spots that are wet, but I'm going to start in this corner here, just start laying in some of our nice depth and create some bold stem that standout. What I'll do is I'll use my round brush to get started and remember we're working light to dark. We'll be using some wet on wet techniques as we go, every leaf we'll pretty much approach in the same manner. Starting with the other ocher, my palette here is a little bit uneven. Maybe what I'll do is move it down this way and see that my colors have started to mix together and that's fine because we'll be mixing them together on our paper here. I'm going to grab a little bit of this yellow ocher to begin with, and I want to make sure I have a nice light, watery amount on my brush and on my palette. I'm going to follow the shape that I drew out. It maybe a little bit harder for you to see the pencil right now that we've filled in our sheet, but you can see I have a nice light and watery amount of color. What I want to do is move some of that color over so I'm lifting a bit of the pigment. When I'm painting leaves like this and creating depth, I like to make the edges of the leaves stand out more and create a bit of a highlight through the stem. I'll talk a little bit about technique as we go with each individual leaf. But I want it to become a little bit more of an intuitive process for you, so that you can just enjoy watching the colors mix together and how you can build up that depth really nicely. I'm wiping off the excess paint off of my brush and I'll go over because my brush is dry, it is picking up all of that water and pigment. See how easily I've created that nice highlight. What I'll do, I can wipe off the excess, but I'll pick up a little bit more of this yellow ocher and I'll just create a bit of depth. It's the yellow ocher has mixed with my Payne's gray and again, that's okay because it will start to mix together as we create some depth here in our leaf. I'm just dabbing what's already wet because I'm working wet on wet to create a little bit more dimension in the leaf. So what we're doing essentially, is every leaf we're treating it as a mini painting. I'm adding a little bit of the Payne's gray along the edge and I'm just watching that paint behave and how it's moving across that leaf. Just with the very tip of my brush, I'll go ahead and create some definition around the leaf here. So I've got some really nice blooms happening, I'll wipe off my brush. I'm removing an excess paint or excess water off my brush and I'm just going to move those blooms around. I actually love when blooms happen naturally, but what I'm going to do is just move them around so that they start to blend together a little bit. So right now, I like what's happening with this leaf, I'm going to let it sit for a bit as it starts to dry. Grabbing again light to dark, lets go ahead and use some of this yellow ocher here that hasn't been touched. This is a larger leaf, so I need to make sure I have lots of water on my brush. I'm going to just follow my outline and bringing that watercolor paint, moving that petal down to fill in my shape. I don't have a lot of water on the stroke and that's okay, we're going to create some variation. Wiping off my brush, making sure it's dry, and with a dry brush, again, I'm going to pull out a highlight, and this time the highlight will be closer to the top and center of my leaf. Wiping off the excess page off my brush, pulling away a little bit more of a highlight. Again, I don't have a lot of water on this leaf, that's okay. I'm going to go ahead and grab some of that Payne's gray. So Payne's gray is a lot darker and a lot deeper than that yellow ocher, and I like that, I love that contrast. Again, it's just my style of painting. Yours might be a little bit different. I'm going to go ahead and add a little bit more yellow ocher here. I always say paint what you love. The motifs that I love to paint are leaves, and then use colors that you love because you'll really enjoy your piece once it's complete. I like that it's a little bit more, they've mixed together the yellow ocher and the Payne's gray, and it has a little bit more of a green undertone. Let me go ahead and just bring in a little bit more pigment there. Again. I'm going to let that dry a bit, and I think what I'll do is even start to add a bit more of our sap green. Working light to dark, once again, grab some of this yellow ocher and we're going to move into this leaf here. You can see hopefully that the leaves have started to pop off the page because we're creating depth. We want that to be the focal point, when someone is observing our piece. I'm just dabbing a little bit of water off the top of that brush, I'll wipe off the excess, and I really like how this looks like a bit of a highlight right here, and remove that there. Let's grab some of this sap green instead of dropping down the Payne's gray right away. Again, I love defining the edges, creates really nice depth, and I love that that looks very open. Let's go ahead and leave it and see what that starts to dry like. Grabbing some more of this Payne's gray, and just with the tip of my brush, I'm going to drop in again, just another layer of depth. Coming back to this brush here, I can move that watercolor petal around, and in the corners create that depth. You can even go back to that first leaf and see where you can add a little bit more interest. Again, just really creating that definition, defining that outer and inner corner there. Now, let us paint our stem in. I'll grab some of this brown, so it's burnt umber, and I think that it's a little bit too warm to go with my palette. So I'm going to mix in a bit of the Payne's gray. I didn't show you how I swatch normally. That brown for me is definitely a lot darker, and is a lot cooler than just the burnt umber on its own, I'll show you what the burnt umber on its own looks like here. As you can see it is more of the warm tone. But when I mix a bit of Payne's gray, sure, I have a nice watery amount. Too much paint on the tip of my brush, that's okay, go ahead and draw it down. When I mix the burnt umber with the Payne's gray, it gives me a nice cool brown, which is what I want. The stem has dried, it's fallen off the tree. Even though we have that reference, again, I don't want you to worry too much about painting something that's hyper-realistic or that looks like a specific leaf. This is our impression of looking down on a walk in the fall. What you can even do is bring in some of that Payne's gray, if you want to deepen the areas where your stem or your leaf attaches. It can be a really nice, pretty effect. There we go, that's our first branch done. Coming along, so you can see how that depth that we created in the leaves is really starting to bring that stem forward, and the background is just a beautiful support to what we're painting over top. Let's work on a few of these leaves here. Again, making sure that our brush is wet, we're going to grab some of this yellow ocher, and define our leaf here. Working light to dark. We can even draw the stem a slight bit. So maybe what I'll do for this one, go ahead and wipe it off, is I will remove just at the very top here for our highlight. Ooh, I had excess water on my brush. That's okay. Just wipe off the excess and make sure that our color is defined here in the corner. Again, the yellow ocher on its own, here it's mixed in with a little bit of the Payne's gray, tends to give it a little bit of a greeny undertone, but that's the yellow ocher on its own, so it's quite warm. But again, if you wanted to tone it down, you can add a little bit of green to it. You can see there creates a really nice bright green. But for our purposes we want it to be a little bit darker. It's fall. Things are starting to die off. Create some interest. I'll even add a little bit of the green here too and have that all blend together. Working wet on wet, you can observe how the paint starts to interact with each other. The pigments, you can manipulate where they begin to dry. Here you can see we manipulated our lightest to darkest. We want to control where we see our depth begin to take life. Again, I want to create a little bit more depth here. Can even add a bit of brown in the next one, a little bit of interest. When your eye has somewhere to move to in your piece, creating that depth will mean that your observer will really enjoy looking around your piece. So because we've added leaves throughout, when we look around the page, there'll be lots for us to focus in on, whether it's the light spots or dark spots. Think what I'll do for this leaf, because I've made it look like it's turned over a little bit, we'll create a little bit of a dark spot here at the bottom. In order to do this, I need to make sure my leaf is a little bit more on the dry side so it doesn't move around too too much. Which means I made even go back to this one. I'm going to add a little bit of depth here and then pull away some of that Payne's gray. This leaf, I just drew it a little bit differently. I want it to look like it's turning over. I want the bottom here to be a little bit on the darker side so I'm going to go back to this one a little bit. In here I think I'll add a little bit more of the green. I really like how that's looking. Again, while it's still wet, you can even go back to leaves that you painted a few minutes ago. Even as it starts to dry, you can drop in a little bit more depth here. I really love creating a nice amount of depth to the edges. That's the beauty of working on multiple leaves at a time. You can always go back and add a bit of interest to them. We pull out a little stem here. Just play and have fun. What I'll do is I'll start to work on the bottom area of our leaves and I'll fast-forward the instruction a little bit so that you can continue to watch the process as we get to this last bottom one here. What I want to show you here is if you're starting to get some hard edges that are drying that maybe you don't want to happen, that's okay, I just with a wet brush start to add a little bit of water and just breaking up that line. I just felt it was a little bit harsh so I wanted to break that up a bit and even adding in another depth of color. Just adding a little bit of green to break that up. Don't be afraid to add some spots and dots because that is another element to add a little bit of depth and interest to your piece. I can even add a little bit of green here. There is a hard line where the dark color meets the light. It's okay to break it up a slight bit. Just with a damp brush, even if your watercolor is dry, you can add in a few spots to create some interest here, to break up any bits of lightness that are happening. Here I am just, again, drawing in our stem, so this is our second stem that we drew in. I don't mind that. Again, you want it to be shaky. You want it to look like it's uneven. Here I'm going to draw in a little stem, here as well, maybe even one here to add some interest. There we go. You can see those are all of the leaves that I drew in. I feel like it's a good amount. I like the interest that it creates, makes my eye want to follow around the page and have a look at all the color and, again, the depth that I've created, going to add a little bit more definition here. So just with a wet brush, I'm encouraging all that nice, beautiful color to flow. At this point what I would do is I would let your piece dry quite a bit. I'm quite happy with how it's starting to look and dry on its own. Then we're going to go into the background again to add a little bit more areas that need a little bit more color and depth. We're going to go ahead and add in a few more brushstrokes. Let your piece dry, get it to this point, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Final Touches: I've had a chance to look back at my piece and I really like the balance of it. I love that we've got some nice strong stems here. I do feel like the center maybe can use a leaf. I would normally be okay with that, but I want to show you how easy it is to bring in an additional element if you're feeling like your piece could use one more leaf. What I'm going to do is I think I'll just add one right in the center here, and I don't want it to be dead center. That's why I'm a little bit worried, I normally would leave it, but I want you to see what that looks like. I don't want it to be dead center necessarily. I don't want it to be up and down. I want there to be movement. If I look at the piece, I have one hanging down here, one hanging down here, leaves going in this direction. I almost feel like if I were to maybe off-center maybe I'm going to bring it maybe up this way, and just lightly draw in the leaf. Have a little bit of curve and movement. I'm going to show you how easily you can add in another leaf element, again, if you feel like your piece is missing it. Because we're working light to dark, it'll be really easy to achieve that. Yeah. I feel like this is going to make it look just a little bit better. The rest of my leaves are pretty much dry. Since I'm working on this one here, what I'll do is I'll start to add in a few more elements to my background. I'm really quickly going to draw in an additional leaf for our interest here, same techniques wet on wet, working light to dark, making sure to lift away a bit of color to add that highlight. There we go. That's starting to feel really good. A little bit of a twitch there. It's okay. Go ahead and pull up that yellow ocher. Maybe add a little bit more of that yellow ocher here, and I'm just going to leave it alone. While this one is drying, what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab my larger brush again. Say, want to bring in a few more. I think I might even grab this brown and add it to the yellow ocher, just a few more background strokes. Looking at my piece, I feel like we can add one here. Just going to go over any areas that I feel need a little bit of something. Let your eye follows the piece. Try not to go over your leaves that we spent all of that time and effort on, but work in the background a little bit. Any pieces that feel a bit heavy, like there, can bring in an additional stroke, maybe a cross here if it feels very one directional. Go ahead and add in a little bit of depth. I'm going to use a bit of this Payne's gray, making sure I have lots of water on my brush. Again, just adding a bit of depth, filling in any areas that feel like they're stuck or need a bit of interest. Just again, intuitively move your brush around. Use whatever brush you have. If you have a round brush, a mop brush, whatever brush you have, I even like the shape that this brush is creating. I feel like that's good. Again, if I want in a day or two, I can always add a little bit more to it. I'm really liking how that feels right now. I think I'm ready to pull off the tape. There are spots there, little bit wet specially this new guy that we just painted. But that's okay. Still able to pull up the tape. No problem. Let's pull away the tape and see what our final piece looks like. I love taping borders just again because it creates a really nice, beautiful composition here. There we have it. There is our beautifully simply painted but with very important techniques, forest floor when we've gone for a walk in nature. One less thing, just going to pull a little bit of a highlight again away from it there. Perfect. Hope you enjoyed that. I'll see you in our next lesson. 8. Class Project: I hope you enjoyed painting your fall scene along with me and you've really learned how to use wet techniques, the lifting that we did, as well as working light to dark. Painting leaves, again, can be a really meditative and fun process, especially if you're able to walk in nature and observe what the scene looks like from season to season, you'll find lots of inspiration out in nature as you go on your walks. For your class project, I would love if you shared with me the color palette that you chose to work with, any fall inspiration images that you used, and also your finished fall piece. Looking at the process of your color palette, as well as the depth that you create is something that can be really inspiring and interesting to others. Please do make sure that you share along with me and find other ways that you can practice the techniques that we learned so that you can develop your watercolor skills. Thank you again, for taking this class with me. I hope you've enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing you in my next class. Stay creative.