Everyday Matters Challenge #34: Fall Leaf

2.5"x3.5"  watercolor
2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these Everyday Matters challenges.  I really miss them.  I have been up to my ears in artist card trading (my own fault) and I haven’t had much time to draw for myself.  I had to ask myself, when was the last time I sat down with something and really connected to it through my drawing.  I realized it had been too long.  I grabbed my list and thought, hey, there are a few leaves out there, why not paint one.

It was time for something completely different, so I grabbed my watercolors.   I had some success with my crow done in ink and watercolor, so I wanted to try something splashy and colorful with no reliance on hard thin lines to make the image come together.  I wanted to stop coloring in the lines and get a little crazy.

Colors used:  Grumbacher Academy gamboge, raw sienna, scarlet lake, cadmium red medium, and ultramarine.  Cheap paints, but okay to practice with.  I’m going to get some Winsor & Newtons soon, when I find a good sale.

These were all applied in a haphazard fashion.  I did know enough to let my layers dry to avoid muddy color.  Being in a playful mood helped me to get over trying to control the outcome of the painting.  I think it’s pretty good for a start.  Please tell me what you think.  I sure could use some pointers.  What are your favorite instruction books or videos?  Are there any demos on Youtube you enjoy?

Published by Mellanie C

sketch artist, daydreamer Figurative artist specializing in small format art and portraits.

11 thoughts on “Everyday Matters Challenge #34: Fall Leaf

  1. Hi Melanie,
    I really like the vibrancy of your colors in this leaf, it is very nice. The shadow adds a great 3D feel also. I also enjoyed your crow..great work!


  2. Oooh… I love your leaf. That drying-so-things-don’t-get-muddy is a lesson hard to learn. (For me anyway… but it’s critical.)

    I too am always looking for “mentors” in painting. Two artists I enjoy “studying with” are John Lovett — his book Getting Started and also CD’s advertised in International Artist magazine. The other one is Richard Taylor. He has several books, and he breaks down the painting into its parts — trees, leaves, rocks, water, other parts of a landscape. Pots, stone posts. Etc. I don’t always use his colors, but I like his process.

    By the way, I love your graphite drawings… love faces, anyway. You mentioned in the one below that she looks more pensive, I think you said? I like how you accomplished that… and being able to do that is what makes the portraits so appealing. (Just my opinion.) 🙂



  3. Thanks for coming by everyone. I appreciate your comments. Thanks for the tips too.

    I feel like I’m off to a good start with watercolors.


  4. Love the leaf Mellanie. Beautifully bright and vibrant. I love doing watercolours but they don’t love me sadly, so no useful advice.

    I popped over to see the watercolour mango did for you. It is gorgeous. Hope it arrives safely.


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