The ink has dried, the leaf is ready for some colour.
Using a very soft brush (synthetic squirrel is a good option) and working wet-in-wet, I am using Yellow Ochre as a base, with some Hansa Yellow Light and Burnt Sienna. I had originally planned to use Quinacridone Gold but decided later it wasn’t needed. I always try to have a meticulous plan, but I also make sure I stay flexible, so that I give room for the watercolours to do what they want. They have a strong mind of their own and it is better to adapt to their choices than to try bossing them around. The results are more natural and harmonious that way. I am also using Burnt Umber for the warmer brown and Raw Umber for the shadowy, cooler brown.
As I work wet-in-wet, I cover the whole leaf in water and then drop the paints in. I am mixing the paints on the paper rather than on the palette: a base of Ochre, some Hansa Yellow Light to the right side and some Burnt Umber and a bit of Burnt Sienna on the left. They all merge nicely while the water is drying, giving lots of variations. I am painting three wet-in-wet washes with the same colours. The wet washes have diluted the ink just a little bit, blending the veins into the texture without erasing them.
It is then time for a bit of dry brush work, adding Raw Umber inside the fold at the top of the stem and dragging some of the colour along the veins. Then with a damp brush on dry paper, I paint the stem, with a bit less yellow and a bit more of the Earth colours (Umbers and Siennas). A touch of Raw Umber to the large blemish around the torn edge and that’s enough paint. Let the ink do most of the work…
I have done a video tutorial as well, which you can find on my YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/H_CQghqZRQY