I was reading a watercolor book called Watercolor without boundaries by Karlyn Holman. There was an article in there about an artist called Cindy Markowski and she shared one of her techniques using real leaves. She puts leaves onto wet watercolor paper and then drizzles on food colors and places a piece of plexiglass on top. After letting it sit overnight she removes the leaves and uses negative painting of the background to make the leaves stand out.
I decided to try the technique with some inks that I had picked up at my
local art store. I probably would dilute the inks a bit if I do it
again because the leaves came out quite vivid and it meant I was limited
with my background color choice. I had to choose a dark color for the
leaves to stand out.
This first image is after I left the leaves on the paper overnight.I had trouble seeing the leaf shapes so I outlined them with a pastel pencil that could easily be rubbed off later. I then started to paint in the background making a few more leaf shapes as I went along. I have not done anything more to the leaves.
The finished journal page. I have added some veins to the leaves and shaded them with colored pencil. I tried to use the ink for shading but it wouldn't work so that is why I used the pencils. I have added shadows to create depth. If I did this again I would not do it in a journal because some of the ink went through to the other page. It is a fun thing to do and I will try it with food color sometime.