Leaf Collection Saves the Day

leaf collection

6th grade leaf collection

Last year my Mom was cleaning out her garage and handed me a box of my stuff to sort through. In that box was a leaf collection I made in the 6th grade! I remember taking the still green leaves and encasing them in waxed paper. I also remember the smell of that slightly burning paper and leaves together as if it was yesterday. I’m happy to have such a huge catalog of these beautiful east coast leaves with me today. Thanks Mom!

leaf allover

leaf collection painted

The materials:


This medium is awesome! When you paint with watercolor it dries slowly so you can really move the color around. And after it’s dry, you can add water and make changes, sort of erase with water.



sable brushes

Good sable brushes are a must for watercolor!

leaf on lightboxI used the actual leaves as a guide for the shapes by putting everything on the light box and painting the leaf shapes.


leaf painting

Here are the leaves before I went in with a wet brush and sort of erased the veins (by using a wet brush to lift pigment off the page) and added type.


final leaves with type

After “erasing” the veins into each. And adding labels (which I painted separately and placed on top in photoshop.




2 thoughts on “Leaf Collection Saves the Day

  1. Edith

    I forgot ALL about preserving leaves by ironing them into waxed paper!! I did that as a kid, too! We also ironed crayon shavings (not wight he leaves, but as a separate project). Your paintings are so lovely and inspiring!! I especially like the one with the leaves overlapping and at angles to each other!



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