This is my tried and true way of sketching beautiful simple Autumn/Fall leaves. I use this method for creating motifs for surface pattern design but you can use them for anything! It’s a fun, stress-free way of drawing for any level, including beginners. Get outside and collect your leaves!

We had a lovely trip to the Queenswood Arboretum in Herefordshire last month, just as the leaves were turning to beautiful Autumnal colours. I have recently had a leg injury and was still using an iWalk leg crutch to get around, as you can see by the photograph on the right.

We are lucky to have a few arboretums within an hour’s drive of where we live and Queenswood is one of my favourites. It has a beautiful collection of trees and a specific ‘Autumn Garden’, where you can see some of the most stunning autumnal colours gathered in one spot (this was perfect for me with limited mobility and meant I didn’t need to walk far).

It is also free to enter (there is a small charge for parking) and there is a lovely cafe and shop.

How to

1 – Get outside and Collect leaves

Try to collect as many interesting shapes as you can, picking up the leaves that aren’t damp. Remember to also make sure you have a good selection of sizes of the same type.

2 – Press your leaves

It helps when tracing around the object if it is as flat as possible. Use a flower press, paperweight or something heavy like a book to press your leaves flat until you are ready to draw. (I have left them for a couple of days before and they were fine.)

3 – Draw the outer shape with a pencil.

Draw around the leaf with a pencil, not forgetting the stem. You don’t need to be too precise with this, the general shape is fine.

4 – Details!

Draw in as much detail as you would like, veins, etc. I didn’t put much detail into mine, just the main veins and a few off to the sides. I used a my fine liner pen for this but you could keep using your pencil, if you’re not sure how much detail you want to add in.

TIP: If you turn over the leaf you can see the veins more clearly from the back.


Materials list

I used the following materials. Please note some of these are affiliate links, so if you use the link I receive a small commission (this will not affect the price you will pay):
Helix Oxford eraser
Pentel Fiesta 0.5 mechanical pencil
Faber Castell PITT artist pen – Medium…
Pigma Micron 03…
Jackson’s Lay-flat hardcover sketchbook with 100gsm paper…

Please comment below with any other videos you would like to see from me!

Ukulele music by Kate Lennon

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