Don’t you just love that spotty texture around my leaf? I used a quick spray of yellow Brusho followed by a second spray of red. Brusho is a powder paint that you mix with water to make an ink like medium. You can also buy it ready mixed in spray bottles for convenience. If you have paint or ink in spray bottles or aerosols they should work in much the same way. Always wear a mask when using them though as the particles travel in the air and it’s not healthy to breathe them in. For that reason it’s also important to protect the work table area.
In this photo you can just see a little of the leaf I used as a mask on the page. I plucked two different sized leaves from the lily of the valley plants outside my back door. I simply lay the leaves on the page and gently sprayed over them trying not to allow too much of the spray to get under the sides of the leaves. I didn’t secure the leaves in place but I think you could use a temporary adhesive if you were concerned the leaves would move. That would be particularly necessary if you used aerosol paint as the blast of air would almost certainly scoot the leaves of the page! Once the sprayed colour was dry I drew detail into the leaves and added a couple of stalks of the flowers. I used a permanent pen for this so that I could add a wash of green watercolour within the voided shapes of the leaves without lifting the pen lines. Inevitably, some of the spray colour was where the flowers had to be so I painted over the petals with white acrylic.
Here are two of the spray bottles I used.
It’s hard to stop once you start so I didn’t even try! A second page featured these leaves from an honesty plant. You can still see lots of wet Brusho sitting on the leaves – I wipe it off with a paper towel so I can use the leaves several times without transferring unwanted colour to a new page.
As you can see, the edges of the leaf shapes are not well defined if the edges of the leaves are quite crinkly and lift away from the page. By the way, I used a spray of yellow followed by a second spray of turquoise here. I love that the colours are transparent and can be layered although it is easy to overdo the amount of paint so that it runs together rather than staying in spots. A way to overcome this is to let the first layer of colour dry before spraying the second over the top. If you can be patient that is!
The lack of definition doesn’t bother me at all because I have enough of a shape to follow with a permanent pen. Looking at the leaves closely meant I could replicate the crinkly edges. I love the visual texture this technique creates and it seems entirely suitable for a natural subjects like flowers and foliage although I guess you could use it for many different subjects. If you have a go I hope you’ll enjoy the results as much as me!