Drawing the central spine first, avoiding making the leaf's veins too straight, and taking the time to carefully notice the leaf's natural highlights are among the most important tips for painting leaves. Capturing a leaf's twisting or turning character is also a good way to accurately paint a life-like leaf.
Noticing key characteristics, such as thickness and which areas are darker or lighter than others, is crucial for accuracy. It is also important to determine whether the leaf has "puffs" or is relatively flat between its veins. Place the leaf behind other leaves in the painting to create a sense of depth. Creating shadows molds the painted leaf and suggests form to the viewer.