Friday, 20 June 2014

Autumnal (Fall) Leaves Tutorial - Step by Step (Embellishments)

I may be a bit far ahead of myself but we all know how the seasons seem to race in once summer is here! One thing I miss from the UK, is the lovely colour of autumn leaves and walking through them when they are on the ground.  OK, sometimes they were a soggy mess but if you were lucky you got to walk through dry, crackly leaves and children ran through them, kicking them up.

Anyhow, I thought it would be nice to do a tutorial on making fake ones. They make great embellishments for cards or even an autumn wedding table.  If you don't have Inktense, just use normal water colours (or acrylic paints watered down). Make the leaf damp and drop colour in and allow it to spread. I could spend hours doing these, it's very relaxing!

For these, I am using a sheet of embroidery stabiliser available here
It is cheap, tough, cuts well and takes colour easily. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a load of maple leaves - I think the shape was a freebie from  somewhere. If you haven't got it, a quick search on the internet should find something you can use. It was only an outline, no detail.  If you want, find a photo to use as a guide for colours too.
In this instance I am going to use  water colour pencils read about them here, a water brush, some water in a spray bottle, a cosmetic sponge, some pens and a cheap art brush.

The first step is to put your leaf on a plastic mat or other surface that you can wipe down. Choose your colours and randomly pencil over your leaf, mixing areas of light with dark.
Using the water brush lightly go over the leaf to make it damp. Use the artist brush to move the colours a bit more.
If your colours still need more mixing, spray lightly with water and use the cosmetic sponge to get the desired effect.

Allow to dry, or blast with a hairdryer (I keep a small travel one for art purposes!)  Make sure it is really dry before using a brown pen to add veins. I highlighted mine with a gold pen too.
OK, now take a deep breath and take the leaf in your hand and crush it. Open your hand and unfold the leaf. It should now look much better!
The veins have come out much stronger in the photo than they really are. If you want to, you can spray with gold flecked hair spray to add a little sparkle.
So go on, cut out a few leaves and have some fun. Practice with different colours and shapes, different paints. You'll soon have a large stash of leaves to use on your projects, be it for cards or your scrapbook!

View video tutorial here

EDIT 5th Oct 2014

Here is a card I made using them

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