UnbeLEAFable- Leaf Paintings With Different Techniques

By: Courtney McCreary

Hello friends~

For the past week or two, my painting class has been working on 5×7 leaf studies using a different painting approach for each one. Mine aren’t quite complete yet, so I figured it would be interesting to show you what they look mid-process.

leaf 1

This first one was painted using the direct method, in which the local color and value are matched and then applied right away. The first layer of paint is applied thinly so that I can go back and adjust the color matching if need be. I’m currently on the third layer, adding little details here and there, fixing mistakes and whatnot.

leaf 2

This one is an example of painting with the indirect method. An achromatic under-painting is applied first, where the painter only focuses on matching the values.  Once it dries, a glaze is applied over top which will give it color.

leaf 3

This last one I’m actually considering to be finished, because the paint is applied so thickly. Our goal for this final one was to be expressive, contrasting from the previous two leaves. I had fun painting this one, and the paint reminded me of cake frosting (because I’m a cretin who’s always thinking about food!). There are painters who will actually use those huge icing decorating bags to apply paint extremely thick, and it’s amazing! The only issue is that these kinds of paintings take FOREVER to dry, so expect to keep them in a safe place where they won’t be disturbed for a while. However, they do end up with really cool textures once they’re completely dry.

Have an awesome week, everyone!

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