Colour Pencils | How to draw a Leaf | Step by step for beginners. Part 1


Hello I’m Kate Twohig welcome to Mudbrick
Cottage. Have you always wanted to draw but feel it’s
a lost cause? I can help you get started with this basic
lesson. It only takes a little knowledge, patience
and practice. In today’s class you’ll learn some techniques
for drawing with colour pencils. This is a colour pencil drawing and I know
what you’re thinking. It took a lot of patience and a lot of time. It’s colour pencil and photographic transfer
technique and I’ve got to tell you it was the most fun you can ever have sitting down. Here are some leaves that I did earlier, different
sizes, different colours, some ideas. Following on from this class will be looking
at putting several leaves on a branch and discuss proportion and composition. Now I’ll just show you the rest of these,
lots and lots of green. Here’s one from another class, ‘How to
Achieve Realistic Highlights on a Chili Pepper’. You’ll need a couple of things to get started
either a yellow block eraser that looks like soap or cheese it may be called Art Gum or
Soap Eraser, or a white rectangular eraser called a polymer eraser, plus a kneadable
eraser, this is a small grey square that can be shaped into a ball. So all up you’ll need 2 erasers. A 2 holed pencil sharpener or a X-acto knife
with snap off blades, that’s my preference, a 2B pencil and as many colour pencils if
you can afford, 24, 36 or more. I love using Prismacolor pencils they have
a soft consistency that allows several layers of colour to be applied. Faber Castell and Derwents are good, Caran
D’Ache are to die for. I have lots of other brands all useful for
their various qualities. You can use watercolour pencils or Aquarelles
if you like just without adding water and you need a soft brush to keep your work clean. I’m working on paper roughly 5 by 8 in. or A5 which is a sheet of A4 folded in half. My favourite paper is Fabriano Artistico 200
GSM which means grams per square metre. It has a yummy smooth surface and just the
right amount of tooth for pencils. You can buy a single sheet from the art shop
and cut it up as you need it so it doesn’t cost you too much. I find the hot pressed papers work better
for pencils than the cold pressed watercolour papers which can introduce a texture into
your work but if that’s all you have by all means use it you can only get to know it’s
characteristics by drawing on it. In a future video I’ll demonstrate various
papers and their characteristics. You’ll also need a small piece of paper to
try out the strokes and note down the colours you’re using, you’ll keep this as a reference
and I find this strip on the edge of the paper with the Watermark is really useful for this
purpose. Don’t use computer paper or pages from your
visual diary. I had a wander in the garden and I picked
a handful of leaves to choose from and I’m going with this one it has it interesting
edge, some variation in the colour and texture and some personality. Plus it fits nicely on my paper. Now which greens will I use? Just a second, I’ll just grab my pencil
case. When you’ve decided on your greens, write
their names down on your scrap of paper. You’ll need the main colour green you will
need the lighter green and a dark green, make sure they’re in the same family that is
either bluish or yellowish don’t mix that up. Usually the central vein is a different colour
like a pale yellow or pale green so add one of those to the pics I’m using this Ochre
colour. You’ll also need the complementary colours
of green and yellow which are red and purple for making shaded areas so choose one of each
of those. You’ll also need a white, a soft white you
may need to do some little bits of blending here. You’ll also need a 2B pencil nicely sharpened
that’s going to be for the outline. Now let’s get to the fun part. Position your leaf on the paper and we’re
going to make some little marks about half an inch from the edges so that you don’t go
too far out and when you frame it you’ll have some space around your leaf. Take the 2B pencil make sure it’s very sharp
and gently trace around the leaf, yes it’s alright to trace, there is nothing wrong with
tracing it’s a valid means of learning the shapes and proportions of what you’re working
on when you’re a beginner, later on you can wing it. Draw around the leaf hold it down in the centre
to keep it nice and steady. Follow exactly what the leaf is showing you
don’t make anything up here. Don’t straighten out any edges just keep
on following the curves all around your leaf. If the leaf folds over which they often do,
draw both parts, the straight and the curly edge. When you get down to the stem of the leaf
you’ll find some leaves have a cylindrical shape some are flat so take your leaf off
the paper and draw the stem. Also finish the point at the top. Now this is the part where you can clean up
any edges you don’t like and brush your work off to make sure there’s no debris from
the leaf and will we’ll look at doing the veins. The central vein is important because it’s
going to show the shape of the leaf whether it’s bent or straight. Take your lightest colour and give yourself
the barest outline of the vein. The veins that are coming off the centre can
be side by side or stepped observe them as you go, draw whatever’s there. On this leaf for example some of them went
right to the edge of the leaf some stopped halfway. I often find when people are learning to draw
and they have to draw a straight line like this they’re hesitant and draw little strokes
rather than a clean line so practice on you scrap of paper until you can do confident
trong strokes. It’s important to the drawing that the central
spine of the leaf is a nice strong confident line. You don’t have to measure them just so that
you’ve got the feel of where those veins are. I’m outlining that light pencil with my Ochre
colour sort of an olive ochre colour and again only where it shows on the veins. Don’t go too far up if your veins change colour
toward the top then stop and use a different colour. This would be an ideal time to take a breather
before we move on to layering the colours in part 2, so let’s recap what we’ve done
so far in part 1. You’ve had a glimpse of my colour pencil
obsession, you’ve chosen your subject and assembled your bits and bobs and you now should
have a beautiful clean outline of your leaf to work with. Now in Part 2 you’ll be learning to crosshatch,
layer colours add highlights and shading, to blend colours and we’ll finish with your
leaf by drawing a shadow. I’ll pop my drawing in a frame and you’ll
be amazed how good it looks. I’ll now give you 3 tips to remember :1
Tracing is good. 2 Take your time have fun. 3 If you don’t like what you’ve done just
throw it away and start again. The sun will come up tomorrow. Please click Like if you’ve enjoyed this
video and don’t forget to subscribe so you can check out Part 2 and be notified of all
upcoming lessons. I’m Kate Twohig. Thank you for spending time with me, at Mudbrick
Cottage. I look forward to seeing you again in Part
2.

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