Creative Leaf Canvases

By  Chris Thornton-Deason 

size: 16"x20"

  • Creative Leaf Canvases


  • Stretched canvases, 16”x20”, two
  • Mat boards: 6” square, two; 6-1/2” square, two
  • Cardstock: black, 11” square, two; white, 2-5/8”x5-1/4”
  • Cork tile, 12” square, two


  • Leaf rubber stamps: aspen, large maple
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Antique White, Autumn Brown, Black, Flesh Tan, Quaker Grey, White
  • Loew-Cornell La Corneille Golden Taklon Acrylic Handle Paintbrushes: Series 7300C Shader #4, #12, #14; Series 7050C Script Liner #1; Series 7550C Glaze/Wash 1”
  • Delta Exterior/Interior Varnish: Satin, Gloss
  • Pre-mixed vinyl spackling paste (available at home improvement store)
  • Heavy-duty craft glue

Basic Supplies

  • craft knife, palette knife, newspaper (to cover work surface), painter’s tape, cosmetic-wedge sponge, ruler

Pattern - Creative Leaf Canvases

  • 1. Mask off 1/2" border along outer edges of each canvas using painter's tape. Use palette knife to spread spackle on canvases, working over taped borders, continuing onto sides. Remove tape. Allow spackle to dry.
  • 2. Print out patterns. Transfer background leaf onto center of white cardstock. Apply three coats gloss varnish to each side of cardstock. Let dry. Use craft knife to cut out leaf creating stencil. Use painter's tape to secure stencil onto spackled canvas; use palette knife to spread spackle over stencil. Remove stencil and repeat procedure as desired. Allow spackle to dry.
  • 3. Use wash/glaze and White to basecoat canvases and each mat board. Use #14 shader and Black to basecoat borders on canvases.
  • 4. Transfer basic maple and aspen leaf patterns onto center of each 6" mat board.
  • 5. Pick up small amount of White on cosmetic sponge and pat off excess on palette; pat onto large maple leaf stamp. Press stamp firmly on one black cardstock square and lift straight up. Repeat as desired. Use aspen leaf stamp to repeat stamping process on remaining black cardstock square. Let dry. Center and adhere cardstock squares on cork tiles.
  • 6. For leaves, use #12 shader and Quaker Grey to lightly wash cast shadows behind leaves; use same brush to lightly float Autumn Brown along edges. Use #14 shader to basecoat leaves Antique White; shade Flesh Tan and highlight White. Deepen shading with Autumn Brown.
  • 7. Use #4 shader and Black to paint 1/4"-wide borders along outer edges of 6" leaf mat boards. Apply two to three satin varnish coats on canvases and 6" leaf mat boards.
  • 8. Center and adhere leaf mat boards onto 6-1/2" mat boards; center and adhere on cardstock squares. Center and adhere cork pieces on canvases.
  • Tip
  • 1. Lightly apply paint on stamp as filling too heavily will result in loss of fine details. Press stamp down firmly and lift straight up; rocking or sliding stamp will cause blurred images.