Beginners Leaves

There is no doubt that leaves are one of the most challenging subjects for the botanical artists. the come in a wide variety of colours, shapes, textures and sizes. 

Measure and Draw

The first part of this section of the course tests your observational abilities and you will draw 3 - 4 different leaf portraits by measuring the leaves and carefully observing all of their important features.

Lighting and Tone

Once you have completed the line drawings, you will add tone using graphite. This is an important exercise because it involves understanding how the surface interacts with the light.


Before you begin to paint, you will learn to mix some of the common colours found in leaves by producing a green and brown colour chart using only primary colours.


Once you have a good understanding of the structure of the leaf, understand how it interacts with light and have practiced some colour mixes you can begin to paint leaves. In this part of the course you will paint 4 very different leaves of your choice, with examples to guide you. you may paint the same leaves as those in the videos or try your own. 

Video Support

Below are a number of videos to help you with painting and drawing leaves

along with a tutorial for and Ivy leaf

Further videos tutorials will be added shortly.

NOTE: Remember to set video playback quality to the highest setting in Youtube by clicking on the small cog icon on the bottom right of the screen.

This website and all of its content, unless otherwise specified, is copyright of Dianne Sutherland (2012)

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