Learn how to paint watercolor tropical leaves with this beginner watercolor tutorial. This post has a full step-by-step tutorial, free templates, plus a video to get you painting and help you create your own tropical watercolor art!
If you are looking for a fun and simple watercolor art project, then you are in the right place! I am so excited to share this little art project today, and I hope that you will grab your watercolors and give it a try.
I am so happy with how these little paintings turned out, and even if this is your first time working with watercolors, I know you will love to create your own!
Tropical leaves watercolor tutorial supplies:
- Studio 71 Watercolor Paper
- Studio 71 Watercolor Pan Set
- Watercolor Brushes
- Paper Towels
- Darice Light Box
- Masking Tape
- Tropical Leaf Templates (Click the link to download the free printable templates)
Step One. Print and Trace Templates.
Start off by printing the tropical leaf templates from the supply list above out on regular paper. The download includes three different tropical leaf designs so you have a few options to choose from.
Next, take a sheet of your watercolor paper, and place it on top of your chosen printed template. Then, using a light box (or you can use a sunny window too) lightly trace the design onto your watercolor paper using a pencil.
Step Tw0. Water Wash.
The next step is to lay down a water wash within the leaf shape on your watercolor paper. First, you may want to tape your paper down to your work surface to keep it from warping as you paint.
Use your brush to paint clean water onto the paper within your leaf shape. You want the paper to be wet but try to avoid pools of water on the surface of your paper.
Step Three. Add Color.
Next, use a wet brush to pick up color from your watercolor pan and gently brush it onto the wet leaf shape. Because the paper is wet, your color should spread and give you that beautiful watercolor look.
Try adding different colors to see how they blend and mix together. Don’t forget to add more water as needed to keep the leaf shape wet as you paint.
Step Four. Keep Experimenting.
You can try different techniques as you create your paintings. For one piece, I painted half of the leaf one color and painted the other half a different color and then let the two blend and mix together.
I love how the yellow and blue mixed to lovely green tones.
Another option is to paint the background of your paper first and let that completely dry before painting in your leaf shapes.
Step Five. Finish.
When you are done painting, set your paper aside to dry. Once the painting has completely dried, you can use an eraser to carefully erase the pencil lines from around your leaves.
Erase carefully because some of your watercolor may come off as well.
And that’s it!
What do you think? Are you ready to give this watercolor project a try?
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Alexis Middleton is a lifelong crafter/DIYer and blogger at Persia Lou. She started crafting at a young age. As a girl, she spent summers with her grandmother crocheting baby doll afghans, making coasters out of plastic canvas and yarn, and canning apricot jam. Today, Alexis spends a lot of time dreaming up and working on projects for her family’s home. She loves mixing traditional crafting techniques with a more modern aesthetic.