Watercolor Leaves – Observation, Line Drawing and Color Mixing


Fall is the perfect time to make watercolor leaves using liquid watercolors, droppers, and color diffusing paper.  This project combines nature observation, line drawing, color mixing and paper cutting skills.  For younger children, trace leaves and allow the little artist to experiment with color mixing.

Maple Study




  • Gather leaves in various shapes and sizes.
  • Draw or trace a leaf on the color diffusing paper.  Draw main veins and lines paying careful attention to where lines connect and branch.  (This is an excellent exercise for drawing from observation for young children!)
  • Place paper in a tray with a raised edge.
  • Using droppers, carefully drop water color pigment onto paper allowing colors to spread and mix on the paper.  Attempt to match the coloring of a real leaf or experiment with mixing different colors and creating patterns.  Let watercolor spread through paper beyond the outer edges of the leaf drawing.
  • Let leaf dry completely.
  • Cut out leaf.  Completed leaves can be left as is or mounted to paper to make a composition.
  • Optional: Create a watercolor leaf vase or candle holder.  Coat clear glass vase or large glass jar with mod podge, arrange leaves pressing into adhesive.  Completely coat leaves to create a smooth finish.


Looking for more nature-inspired activities?   Use the texture of fall foliage to make a stunning Metallic Leaf Relief or use a few simple tricks to create fun Fall Faces.

For more color-mixing art using all of these same supplies and learn how to use Snow Crystal Geometry to create beautiful, snowy symmetry.


3 thoughts on “Watercolor Leaves – Observation, Line Drawing and Color Mixing

  1. Pingback: Color Mixing and Marbled Eggs | Design in Play

  2. Pingback: Fall Faces | Design in Play

  3. Pingback: Zentangle Turkeys | Design in Play

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