Saturday, November 23, 2013

Autumn Leaves Watercolor Painting Process

I guess that I just couldn't get enough of the leaves! As you can see, there were lots of leaves to choose from. I took a number of photos, two of which I included here.

From the photos, I sketched in the leaves and then added my watercolors, making sure to vary the tones within each. This is just the first “layer” of color. Since this is a painting, I am not necessarily tied to the actual colors or positions of the leaves in the photos. For this particular painting, I decided that the composition looked better turned upside-down! The large yellow shape at top felt “heavy.”
Once that decision was made, I added other leaves where they were needed.

A second major change was to “delete” the green leaf in the center. It was way too distracting, so I lightened as much color as I could by “lifting” it with a brush, water, and blotter. Then I added another leaf over part of the former green blob. I have to constantly keep in mind the shapes of the “negative spaces” between the leaves for when I add the background.
Next, I decided to feature the leaves on still-green grass. I intended to show bits of twigs as I had in my previous smaller painting. But for this one, I felt that they were too distracting with so many more leaves in this painting.

Finally, I completed the background by adding a few layers of greens and blues to give it depth. You can see by comparing these last two photos that I’ve painted over many of the distracting twigs. Now your eyes can focus on the beauty, textures, and colors of Autumn Leaves! Enjoy!

“Autumn Leaves II”
© 2013 Barbara Rosenzweig, Watercolor Painting
11x14 matted to 16x20 $52
8x10 matted to 11x14 $37
sold matted for standard size frames


  1. Barbara, that is a beautiful painting, I was amazed reading the steps in its creation. Lovely!

  2. What a wonderful project, so pretty with the matching autumn colors! Well done!

  3. The energy you must apply to create such beauty! Thanks Barbara for sharing!


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