Green Leaves: Impressionist Watercolors

watercolor green leaves, mixing foliage greens, greens in watercolor,

Watercolors….Green. Fresh. Lively!   Very easy, very basic –  in a Debi Riley loose impressionist approach to painting.  Sheer Fun!

5 Stems

25 Leaves

Random Splatter…..  and that is it.

watercolor green leaves, mixing foliage greens, greens in watercolor,
Green Leaves Watercolor


Impressionist Watercolor in Greens


The Watercolor painting, Green Leaves, does have a primary Intent.

Simply, the refreshing colors of green.


In this simple, basic exercise  I planned to convey watercolor’s superior translucency and vibrancy  – within every leaf.



Many Facets of the color green

  • I also wanted to create a rich diversity of green ranges, in all the various leaves.
  • An easy exercise that concentrates on creating a myriad of green versions and shades.
  • I wasn’t going to be happy with mixing up 2-3 greens and calling it good.
  • I needed many greens.  Diverse greens to make them come Alive!



Many Tonal Values within the color green

  • Very critical to success, was a big range of tonal values of the greens
  • I needed light, mids, and darks
  • All together  I can count 7 tonal values,  (9) would be better
  • A big range of tonal nuances to add depth and dimension
  • when objects look flat… its due to insufficient tonal values




Beginners in Watercolor

If you’re struggling a bit,  you might  find   these tips   really Useful.

  • counting your  brushstrokes;
  • limiting the palette;
  • painting on white background;
  • planning ahead;
  • reminding self of Light, Mid, Dark tones








4 Colors  Used


Prussian Blue pb27

Cobalt Teal Blue pg50

Winsor Lemon  py175

Burnt Sienna PBr7




Other Posts 

mixing foliage greens

watercolor greens 

impressionist painting 

color mixing  

no more fiddling 

watercolor no mud 




Green Leaves,  Impressionist Watercolor by Debi Riley(c)2016        


Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

49 thoughts on “Green Leaves: Impressionist Watercolors

  1. yep….I realize after the fact that my latest painting has a major lack of value range but then it was a pure exercise in looseness and freedom….values didn’t come to mind or into the mix…until later! Good post Debi 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. its really important to slot in days where the whole point, is Looseness and Free Liberation in order to shake loose the chains that bind.
      so if it didn’t have all the tones right…. Well, by golly, It sure had the Freedom!!! well done!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes!!!
        for each painting ‘exercise’ choose 1 aspect you want to WORK, 1 goal. not…. 100. LOL
        we, (Me) have to give the self credit for achieving what was Attempted.
        i.e. Be Nice To My Self.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. thats a Wowza compliment Sharon!!
      many, thanks. 🙂
      Once I get my software programs reinstalled and up and running…. then I’ll add this on to Society 6.
      That was a very nice comment which deserves a hug!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you!! practice helps, and a studying a couple of the masters of watercolor – Edward Seago, John Singer Sargent, JW Turner, Edward Wesson, Blamire Young have been GREAT helps to me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Simply beautiful and I agree with Sharon! This would look great on any number of items! Thanks for the lesson, Debi. One reason I stay away from WC is backgrounds. I hate doing backgrounds in watercolor. The last WC flower I posted last week was on a white background with splatter also but it was Boring. This is how I usually paint in WC. Boring and always with a capital B. Only rarely does the mistress not step on my toes. And then it’s loose but not too loose. I do not like sloppy. Loosely beautiful as your painting is here looks good. So it’s hard for me to find the balance. I tend to err on the side of being too tight because I really dislike sloppy. But maybe what that painting really needed was more tonal values? Maybe that’s what was making it look flat and dead? I’d left a lot of white space on purpose and then when I went to correct it (because it looked weirdly white, too many gaps) I wound up filling in too much of the white. Ok sorry for the long reply but I do love your paintings and I love that you put so many variations of green and even some brownish greens in there. Definitely makes the ordinary extraordinary, adding the interest and the zing to keep the eye in the frame. Thank you as always for sharing and inspiring us!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok thank you. I should probably try monochromatic WC if I ever leave the warm cozy acrylic pond again lol. That might help a lot. I am seriously considering continuing this May challenge through June, and incorporating more WC in. Trying to take Jodi into joining in too! Are you interested in going through June too? I think Margaret is definitely in.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m interested! I would broaden out to include more photos of my walks. as I’m missing not doing those! and this is the only time – in Perth that I can walk outside due to the heat issues. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, no doubt. Sounds wonderful – we would really love the photos! I’m so glad you’re interested! It seems to be working out really well! I still need to get into the alarm thing and wake up v early to paint first (in good light) and then go into the other office, instead of the other way around. Would be better in every way if I could just get myself to stop unplugging that clock at 3am lol!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Nia, thank you so much for a lovely comment! I’m really happy that you like the painting and appreciate your taking the time to say so!!
      I hope you have a wonderful, weekend Nia. cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thank goodness! I’m so pleased Amy you are enjoying this.
      You have the gardener’s touch and so love nature it is really great to hear/read your lovely comments Amy. My Appreciation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You for sharing that! That is a great comment and analogy. I do love it when my paintings can evoke these responses!! I agree, yesterday is just that. Its good to aim at greeting each new day, with a fresh and bright new view. As much as we possibly are able to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. wow, Vicki! …. thank you so much for sharing that one!!
      I have never heard it before! and, is so worth repeating…… 🙂
      What an awesome Quote.
      “VALUE does the WORK, Colour gets the Credit.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking… how can I do this with urban street sketching? Everything is nature… we too, we humans… and what we have made, no less that the weaver bird, or the coral makers… how to see THAT in an urban street scene?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure, we all ‘see’ our vision so distinctly. but, perhaps if I were to do a street scene…. I’d block out the ‘noise’ delete the clutter and chaos and simply put in only the bare bones of what called out to me to paint. I don’t do urban scenes, though as a rule. I hope, that might have helped?


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