Leafy Watercolor Wreath Tutorial. Learn two ways to paint leafy watercolor wreaths with this step-by-step lesson from Zakkiya of Inkstruck Studio. You’ll learn the techniques of layering, blending, and transparency.
Leafy Watercolor Wreath Tutorial
Hey everyone! It’s Zakkiya of Inkstruck Studio, and I’m back with another fun watercolor tutorial for you to learn. I’m going to teach you two different ways to create a watercolor leaf wreath in this post. Both super simple with tips along the way for you to further improve your skill in creating more watercolor wreaths.
A little disclaimer before I start; there are plenty of ways you can create a watercolor leaf wreath, and these are only two styles in the “n” number of methods out there. So, use this as a guideline and build your wreath making skills from up here.
STYLE 1 – ONE COLOR WATERCOLOR LEAF WREATH
In this style, you’ll learn layering and transparency. Both correlated and creates beautiful results. Here, I’ve just used one color to explain the beauty of monochrome in watercolor.
- Vandyke green – Mijello Mission watercolors
- Princeton brush round size 8
- Winsor and Newton watercolor paper
Outline a circle using pencil lightly. The circle will be your guideline for the wreath. The color I’ve used here is Vandyke green by Mijello Mission watercolors. In the image below, the four swatches you see are the same color that’s lightened using water only. The swatch on the left represents the exact hue or the color with the least amount of water. The next few swatches are formed by rinsing out color from the brush as you go.
The leaf shape is simple, and you can learn to create a basic leaf shape from this tutorial. Paint a branch with leaves emerging from it. As you go further, develop leaves that are of different values by merely lightening it with water.
See how different the same color of varying value looks next to each other. And all of this by using just water. The way watercolor reacts with water and effect it creates accounts for its transparency. When a leaf that is of light hue is painted over a slightly darker shade and if you can see the color beneath, here’s where transparency comes into play. And this subsequently leads to layering.
In the image below, the leaves overlapping on the middle right show how layering. The two leaves are on top of each other, both almost the same value, but creates a sense of depth. Notice how all the leaves have different values as it progresses? In layering, the only thing to keep in mind is that layer below should be dry before you paint over it.
Complete the watercolor leaf wreath joining at the starting point. Go over areas where you think require more leaves. Use the techniques of transparency and layering to fill in the gaps and to create a composed illustration.
STYLE 2 – TWO ELEMENTS WATERCOLOR LEAF WREATH
In this type, I took the liberty of using three colors to create the watercolor leaf wreath. Here, you’ll learn some aspects of blending and how to use two different leaf elements to create a composition.
- Turquoise blue light, Winsor blue(green shade) and Quinacridone gold – Winsor and Newton professional watercolors
- Princeton brush round 8 and Silver black velvet liner brush
- Winsor and Newton watercolor paper
Outline a circle with a pencil to act as a guideline. For the long leaf, I use a mix of Turquoise blue light and quin gold. Both of these react to form a very pretty green as shown in the top swatch. The smaller leaflet has the Winsor blue(green shade) color.
Paint the leaves following the circle. Blending is the method of dropping one color over the previous one while the paint is still wet allowing the water to create magic. Here, the mix of TB and QG creates an almost bright green that is quite unlike any other. Try using different colors to see how beautiful two paints blend.
Between the larger leaves, paint the smaller leaflets as you progress.
This step is optional. Using a liner brush, use Winsor blue (green shade) to create veins on the larger leaves. I did this to create a slightly different style from the usual loose style I always paint in. The color used also helps create a better composition as the leaflet uses the same shade.
Step 3 and Step 4
Continue painting both the leaf elements following the circle. Complete the watercolor leaf wreath and observe from a distance. If it requires a tighter composition, add a few more elements, and you’re done!
I hope this watercolor leaf wreath tutorial was super informative. I also hope you’ll be able to take away a few techniques of watercolor and the way it can be used in a finished illustration. If you love these, make sure you check out my other watercolor posts!
As always, thank you so much for stopping by! x
ZAKKIYA @ INKSTRUCK STUDIO