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Autumn Watercolour Lettering Leaf Tutorial

June 6, 2016

I know that it’s not autumn where I live, but I keep seeing all these gorgeous autumn colours all over my social media. Stepping on crunchy leaves is one of my favourite things to do! I decided that I would show you how to create this cute watercolour lettering leaf using autumn colours. Of course, you can replicate this using the colours of spring if you prefer. Mints and corals with yellows and other pastel colours would work for a spring themed leaf.

Sketch out your leaf shape with a dark pencil onto your watercolour paper. Typically, you’d see maple leaves, but it’s very hard to fit words into maple leaf shape, so I stuck with a generic, rather round and wide leaf shape.

Pick out a quote or phrase that encompasses autumn. I chose to do a shortened version of the quote “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons” from Jim Bishop to this

“Autumn carries gold in its pockets”

Using the outline as your guide, you’ll want to letter in your words. Keep in mind that the leaf is probably rounded, so I change the slant of my words as I reach each end of my leaf. I change the shade of orange watercolour I use for each word so you can see a gradient effect. You can use different colours for the same word like I did for the word “pockets”.

Wait for your watercolours to dry before you begin outlining it with black. This is crucial, or your black ink will merge in with your watercolour lettering and ruin it! If you prefer, a dark green or a very dark black-red would work as well. So long as it contrasts against the colours you picked for your letters.

Now you can sketch in some leaf veins. I just did simple ones with no branching, or it might make the watercolour lettering a little messy and muddled. I didn’t connect the veins to my letter and left a bit of a white space.

If you like, you can cut out the leaf and use it as a card/postcard and write a letter on the back, or even use it as a name tag or gift tag and letter in a name on the other side! It’s up to you to decide how you want to present this simple but awesome watercolour leaf.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you created this, share your photos on Instagram so I can see your awesome creations!

Have fun!

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