Last year I started making cement leaf castings for the garden. When they are done and cured I paint them with acrylics, some in whimsical colors, some realistically. I finished painting this Alocasia portodora a few weeks ago to put in the garden for the Open Days tour in July. I had a great time painting this leaf but it took about forty hours of work so I'm not planning on going into production any time soon, lol.
Another leaf I painted last year was cast from my Hydrangea 'Little Honey'. To paint the butterfly, I filled in the grooves on the leaf with cement crack filler to smooth it out. I used a photograph I took last fall of a Painted Lady Butterfly for reference. The great thing about painting realistic leaves is the actual veining in the casting provides the patterning for the highlighting, shading and detailing. This was a fun one to do and easier to handle than the huge Portodora leaf.
My next project will be painting a good casting of a Hosta 'Sum and Substance' I did last fall. I want to paint it with the colors and patterning of Hosta 'Great Expectations'. That will be a fall project when the gardens have wound down for the season. My leaf casting buddy, Jodi and I also want to do some castings of caladium leaves and have those in the wings to paint over the winter. I'm having way too much fun!!!