Skip to main content

LINDA'S TECHNIQUES White Oak Leaf Project Using a Divider

White Oak
 I love working with fall leaves that have spent a few days between the pages! This post shows the steps that I took to create a pattern using a divider.  This is the perfect project for beginners.  If you do not have one, you may want to add it to your holiday wish list!  
Feel free to copy and paste this image to get started. 

 Drawing Materials
Tools:  Mechanical pencil, divider, kneaded eraser, and a fine tip black marker.
Paper:  One piece of tracing paper and one piece of watercolor paper.

I always draw on tracing paper.  It is easy to erase and saves a step.  If I drew on sketch paper, I would need to draw it again on tracing paper to create my pattern.

Even though the leaf is pressed, I found that it was raised up a bit.  So I took a piece of cardboard and placed the edge on the mid-vein and traced the outline with my mechanical pencil.  Note that I made small marks where the veins ended, as you will see in the next photo. 

Then I outlined the leaf with a Micron fine tip marker to see the outline better. 

Next take the divider and measure the distance from the top of the leaf to where the first secondary vein starts and place a dot.  Then study that vein line and draw it in.  If you are seeking a perfect representation, note that veins are not perfect straight lines, but a series of short connected lines. You may wish to measure and draw these segments as well.

Then continue onto the next vein.

As you move down the leaf, add additional vein lines noting that most veins DO NOT reach the very edge of the leaf.

If you do not have a divider, you may use a small ruler.

After you critique your drawing, re-draw your lines with a black fine tip marker.  Whi is this important? So you can see your lines later, as you transfer your drawing to the watercolor paper.

This photo shows my drawing taped to the watercolor paper.  Notice that I sign my name and I write "right side" on the right side too.  

This photo shows my handmade graphite transfer paper (no. 2 pencil rubbing on tracing paper) placed between my drawing and the watercolor paper.  Notice again that I have written "right side" on the graphite transfer paper.  There is nothing worse than spending several minutes thinking your transferring your drawing, lift the pattern and see no result.

I now use an embossing stylus to transfer my drawings.  You may also use a mechanical pencil (5 or 3 mm).  I started using the stylus earlier this year because I became very frustrated with the lead breaking.  Just be sure that the you purchase a stylus with a small tip.

Wella!  My project transferred to my watercolor paper (140lb Hot Press Fabriano Artistica).  I also took a few moments to create a color guide.

Happy Painting, Linda
Linda C. Miller Artist Naturalist Instructor
Copyright Linda C. Miller 2020

To receive my new posts - please SCROLL UP to the top and SIGN UP!  Thank you for visiting,  Linda