Sketch and Paint Watercolor Leaves

jenna rainey

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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and multi-faceted creative entrepreneur who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to find their inner creative voice.

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It’s like Netflix-binging Bob Ross videos, but with a dose of dry + quirky humor and fewer happy little tree references. 

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Sketch and Paint Watercolor Leaves

How To


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They may look easy, but I will admit—it takes lots of practice and muscle memory to master watercolor leaves.

In this double part tutorial, we start by sketching leaves and understanding the basic shapes. It’s all about the c-curves and s-curves! And I’ll even show you how to take your leaves to the next level with folds.

Then, once we learn the shapes and curves, we’re ready to paint! I get very specific with holds, angles, pressure, and more.

This video is a segment from my Complete Floral Watercolor Guide for Beginners. For the full video and all the chapters, check out this playlist.


How to Sketch Basic Leaves

00:00 – Intro.
00:39 – Getting started with “C” curves and “S” curves.
05:34 – Combo leaf.
07:02 – Cluster of leaves.
09:09 – Folded figure 8 leaf.
12:15 – Don’t miss out!!


How to Paint Simple Leaves

00:00 – Intro
00:40 – Brush direction and pressure/release technique.
03:45 – Beginner mistakes when painting leaves…
05:45 – Painting leaves on a stem.
10:32 – Longer leaves (like iris or tulip).
11:30 – Longer leaf that is folded.
12:26 – Jagged edge leaf (like for a rose).
13:07 – Peony leaf example.
14:00 – Don’t miss out!!!


Links & Freebies

Free Color Wheel Guide
Get access to my list of favorite art supplies and business tools here.
My Spotify painting playlist
My Floral Watercolor E-book 


Related videos

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Watercolor
5 Principles of Watercolor Flowers
How to Set Up a Watercolor Palette
Watercolor Techniques: Wet-on-Wet
10 Tips to Improve Your Watercolor

… and for even more tutorials, subscribe to my YouTube channel!


Patreon Community

Join my Patreon community! You have a variety of fun options to choose from like:

  • Watch my YouTube tutorials ad-free
  • Get early access to the tutorials before they’re released on YouTube
  • Patreon-exclusive tutorials

Head on over to Patreon to get all the juicy details.

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  1. Gwen says:

    Hi Jenna,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful videos and blogs. I’m a new watercolorist and have found your tutorials to be extremely helpful! You’ve covered puddling and other troubling issues, but what about paint consistency? In your video above your brush appears to have varying levels (thickness/quantity) of paint on the brush. Can you please speak more about this and how it affects the coloration of the painting?

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