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.
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.
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Ukulele music by Kate Lennon