Fun Colour Study of a Houseplant – Adding Detail Leaf by Leaf

This series will show you how to create fun studies of plants in acrylics using a simple bold palette.

In this lesson we will be adding much more detail to individual leaves in the central focal point of the painting. I will be working slowly to show how you can gradually build up complex transitions when working in acrylics.

You can download the reference image here:

Materials: –

  • Acrylic paints: White, Bright Yellow, Bright Blue and Earth Red
  • Water cups and water
  • Palette – Paper towel
  • Medium sized flat acrylic brush
  • Small pointed brush
  • Using a small, round brush – begin by neatening the edges of the first leaf.
  • It may be easier to do this with more diluted paint, as that will fill the tooth or texture of the surface better.

Then start laying in gradual washes of light colours that get gradually darker. You will need to mix a lot of the transitional tones as the paint will dry quickly as you work (this differs greatly from working in oils).

Look for specific details like the illuminated edges of leaves and light glowing through the surfaces.

It may take some time to build up very bright highlights as the paint will tend to be quite transparent as it dries.