Shiny Leaf Step-by-Step

30th April 2014

I have just spent a delightful weekend teaching some very enthusiastic students at the glorious RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr. A truly magical venue made all the better by the addition of the famous ‘Betty’s Teashop.
The weekend was marred only by the rain, which made a visit to the excellent Harrogate Spring Flower Show a very muddy experience; the traffic made worse by the addition of the BBC Food Fair and the road works for the impending Tour de France visit, so parking a nightmare and finally a nasty bug which necessitated a long wait at Harrogate Hospital on Saturday evening for some antibiotics. But throughout everyone was so helpful and friendly, the town is beautiful and I now have a large goody bag from Betty’s to enjoy at home now I am recovered.
The following is a step by step of a shiny camellia leaf which I demonstrated to the class over the weekend of the ‘Leaves and All Things Leafy’ workshop.

Outline drawing in pencil which will eventually be absorbed by the dark greens.
Heavily applied Faber Castell Ivory 103 for a resist effect to create the veins and a small amount of mid green applied over the veins so they can be easily seen.

Shading applied using FC Paynes Grey as this is a very blue green leaf.

Starting with my three main greens for my colour mix which are FC 278, 174 and 168. Applying the colour using small ellipses and varying the pressure, more weight in the darker shaded areas and less as I move towards the highlights. I preserve the highlights by working round them and keeping more white paper than their eventual size so I can gradually work into them without losing them completely.



Having layered my three greens I now go over some of the softer highlights lightly with a FC Cold Grey I.

Now back in again with the shade colour and the darkest green FC278 to emphasise the contrasts and smooth over the green areas.

More FC Cold Grey I and more dark green before my final burnish with the Lyra Splender.

Finish the stem and a final neat ending of edges.


Ann and Ollie in the greenhouse
Me and Ollie in the greenhouse

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