Make This: Abstract Watercolor Art with Maple Leaf Silhouette via

Abstract Watercolor and Leaf Art

Make This: Abstract Watercolor Art with Maple Leaf Silhouette via

Well folks, September is here. And with it, the beginning of Fall. I know, I know, some of you are fighting the onset of Fall with all your might, and some are welcoming it with pumpkin-spiced open arms. I’m somewhere in between. But while I was playing with my watercolors over the weekend, I was struck with the urge to paint something that would incorporate a leaf motif. After a few tries and some thinking, I landed on this abstract watercolor art layered with the silhouette of a maple leaf. Because nothing says “the beginning of Fall” quite like a maple leaf!

To be fair, I originally sat down with visions to paint a purple-and-blue watercolor maple leaf. I dove right in and because I’m all about keeping things real around here, here’s a look at where that attempt wound up:

watercolor maple leaf

Now, I know this isn’t totally terrible looking, but it’s not what I had in mind. I kind of overshot the size of my leaf compared to the paper. Ooops! But instead of re-painting this version, I switched gears a bit and decided on a simpler and layered look that would include an abstract  watercolor background and a leaf shape on top.

In my humble and very novice watercolor-er opinion, this abstract ombre wash effect is a pretty easy (and quick!) look to create. If I’d made this art without running 5 hours’ worth of errands in between steps, I’d have spent more time waiting for the paint to dry than I would creating the background and leaf silhouette pieces combined. Seriously, folks, it’s *that* simple.

If you’d like a little how-to, grab your notepad and pencil and here we go…

How To Paint an Ombre Abstract Background:

First, select 3 colors you’d like to use. You could do more if you like. I, of course, wanted a gradient of purple-y colors. Surprise, surprise!

Start at the top of the watercolor paper (I am using the same Canson 140lb cold-pressed paper I mentioned in this post) with the lightest color and paint about 1/3 of the page, like so:

Watercolor Ombre Effect: Step One

Then pick up the second, slightly darker color and go about another third of the way down the page, blending where the first color stops.

Watercolor Ombre Effect: Step Two


Then pick up the third and even darker color and paint to the bottom of the page. I should have mentioned earlier that it’s a good idea to set your paper atop a piece of scrap paper or even a plastic placemat so you don’t end up painting your kitchen table.

Watercolor Ombre Effect: Step Three

 Now set the painting aside to dry for at least 30 minutes. Or call your mom and head to lunch and the fabric store for a few hours to make sure it’s reaaallllyyy dry.

Meanwhile, select a shape for the leaf. I found this maple leaf shape in my Silhouette Studio Library and cut it out of a piece of silver metallic scrapbook paper with my Cameo. It’s hard to see in this picture, but the leaf dimensions are about 4.5″ x 4.25″. The dimensions of my watercolor background are 6″ x 9″.


If you don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut or similar machine, you could find and print a shape online.

Once the leaf was cut and the paint was dry, I used photo squares to adhere the leaf shape to the background. Then I popped it into a frame and called it a day!

This looks easy enough for me to make! -- Abstract Watercolor Art with Fall Leaf Silhouette via

Oh, and when the hubs got home from work, he asked where I bought this print! So, not only is this project simple and quick to create, but you might fool someone into thinking you bought it! That’s a win-win-win in my book (wink).

Love this? Then you may also like…

Pretty trio of pressed leaves art. via #Fall #art #homedecor #diyart #FallDecor

This other simple pressed leaves art I made using real leaves from my backyard! Or, if you’re looking for other abstract ombre paintings, check out some canvas acrylic paintings I’ve done here and here.

Sharing with: Awesome Things Tuesday / Merry Monday

2 thoughts on “Abstract Watercolor and Leaf Art

    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Aww, thank you so much Christine! I am really loving purples for the Fall this year! You should definitely give watercoloring a try! It’s so fun and calming, even if you’re just covering a page with some color!

Comments are closed.