The leaves in the brooches below look deceptively real. For good reason. They are the result of direct impressions from real leaves. That and a little paint to bring out the veins. It doesn’t get much more real than that. Except for the real thing of course.
The clay used by artist Camille Young here is actually Lumina. It’s a translucent polymer resin clay that air dries. You color it with acrylic or oil based paints. But, this is just as easy to replicate in polymer and there’s no mixing in of paint into the clay. Choose a leaf color or skinner blend a few colors of clay together, then press in a real leaf, bake, apply acrylic paint to get it into the veins and then wipe off the paint on the raised surface.
Camille documents her creation of these leaves in Lumina on her blog here (scroll down when you get to the page … she has a large header). Just follow the steps except bake the polymer where she says “let it dry thoroughly”.