How to paint watercolour eucalyptus

Eucalyptus branches are so elegant! And they’re super easy to paint in watercolour with this trick. They make a great addition to loose floral pieces and bouquets, or just fill up a page with them on their own.

This watercolour tutorial also contains my favourite colour mixing recipe for a smokey blue-green colour that’s perfect for eucalyptus.

watercolor eucalyptus leaves tutorial

What you will need

Colours

  • Turquoise
  • Olive Green
  • Indigo

You can create a range of colour variations with these three paints – any blue-green and yellow-green combination work well, with added grey, blue or black to darken it.

Video – Paint eucalyptus in watercolour

Paint a eucalyptus branch – step by step

  1. Sketch out a fine curved line. Mix up a watery mixture of your eucalyptus colour and paint oval blobs along the line. Create a small pair on the end of the line first, then a larger pair underneath. Add a larger leaf across the line to indicate foreshortening.
  2. While the paint is still wet, add a darker mix of your paint to the leaves and let it diffuse out. Try touching your brush to the bottom edge of the leaves, or the centre of a pair, as if you’re creating shadows. 
  3. Let the darker paint bleed into the leaves rather than trying to blend. Vary your paint colours by adding more indigo or olive green as you go.
  4. Carry on down the stem, creating more leaves. Make sure that you’re varying the shape, and keep creating a single leave across the stem every so often. Also mix up the direction of the leaves, so some are pointing up in a V-shape, and others are drooping down.
  5. Let some leaves touch each other so they bleed together and create blooms.
  6. Fill in the stem line with a deep hue to make it dark. Keep the line thin – use a small brush if that’s easier!
  7. You can add more eucalyptus branches by crossing the stems over. Or build them into a circle for a wreath, or around the edge of paper for a border. Make sure to curve the stems so the branches don’t feel static.
Happy painting!

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