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Level: Beginner
Medium: Cobra Water Mixable Oil


  • Description
  • Supplies
  • Instructions

Painting blended leaves is a tutorial which explains the techniques for softly merging values.   Water mixable oil a a great medium for all painting skill levels.

  • Basic brushes for blending
  • How to pat blend
  • how to chisel blend
Callia Artist Brushes
  • 10/0 Liner
  • #4 Chisel Blender
  • #6 Chisel Blender
Cobra Water Mixable Oil
  • Ivory Black
  • Yellow Light
  • Titanium White
  • Sap Greren
Other Supplies
  • Paper Towel
  • Container for water
  • Palette or palette paper
Key tips for blending in oil
  • Apply a Sparse Amount of Paint.
  • An excess of paint will become sloppy and move around too much, Causing the colors to become muddy.
  • Blend Where Two Values Meet.
  • Use a very light touch.
  • Dry-wipe the Brush frequently or too much of one value will be pulled into the other.
  • Softening – Once the initial blending is complete, you may want to whisper over the blended colors to further soften with a mop brush.
  • Each layer of highlight/shadow should cover a smaller area than the layer before it.
Pat-blending (featured on the top half of the worksheet)
  • Apply a sparse amount of paint to surface.  An excess amount will become sloppy and move around too much, causing the colors to become muddy.
  • Gently touch and pull where two values meet using a very soft touch in a pitty pat motion.  Dry-wipe the brush frequently to avoid muddying the color too much.
  • Once initial blending is complete, you may wish to whisper over the blended colors to further soften with a mop.
Chisel-Blending (featured on the bottom half of the worksheeT)
  • Use this technique to create the appearance of choppy and fluffy feathers on birds.
  • Apply a sparse amount of paint and gently wiggle/blend with the chisel of the brush where the two values meet.
  • Follow the growth direction of the subject you are painting and frequently wipe the brush on soft paper towels to remove excess paint.
How to Paint Leaves

Leaves are painted by applying the dark, medium and light values. Once those values are applied they may either be pat blended or chisel blended depending on the desired effect.

  1. Dark…Brush mix equal parts Sap Green + Ivory Black. The dark color is placed at the base of the leaf and down the center vein line. The dark should be placed above the curve of the vein line. Be sure that the dark is widest toward the base of the leaf and tapers as it moves towards the tip.
  2. Medium…Equal parts Sap Green + Yellow Light.  It is placed next to the dark color.
  3. Light…Equal Parts medium value + Titanium white. Block in the remainder of the leaf with the light value. Usually the light is found on the opposite side of the vein line as the dark.

Note:  This is where you choose which style of blending you prefer. Chisel blend or pat blend.

  1. Blend…When blending ½ of the brush is placed on one value and the other half on the value beside it. Blend where the values meet.
  2. Highlight…White. Once the values are blended additional tints and strengthening of values can be added. The highlight is placed on a small area of the light value and is pressured onto the value beneath it. Line some leaves in White for added contrast.




Willow Wolfe

Willow Wolfe is widely recognized for challenging and modernizing today’s world of art supplies and education. An award-winning art teacher and the author of a library of internationally available learn to paint books and articles, her approachable style and step-by-step painting methods have taken her to events, seminars and engagements across the globe.

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