Autumn leaves painting

Continuing from yesterday’s post (see below), I did a few quick studies of the Field Maple leaves, as promised.

First I added some water with a brush to the squeezed out paint on my plate and gently mingled the three primary colours so that you can see I have some oranges, greens and blues, purples and browns.  You will have made your own colour wheel!

colour mix
The yellow, red and blue mingled together give us orange, green and purple and brown

I then drew the leaves with pencil…I drew round them to save time.  Yes I give you permission!  Then I painted the whole leaf with a watery yellow as this is the background colour in all the leaves.

While this was still wet, I picked up reds, oranges and browns with my brush and dropped in the colours, observing how they worked on the actual leaves.  Then I picked up the paper and allowed the colours to spread in the wet first wash.

colour moving
Her I tip up the paper to allow the colour to spread down making its own colour mixes within the leaf

With the wrong end of my brush I drew in some veins, looking carefully to see how they worked on the actual leaf.  when you do this, the colour spreads into the marks you have made to create dark coloured veins.

leaves painting adj
My painted leaves

You can see how the paint has blended together to create a very realistic version of the leaves.

You could let this dry thoroughly and then go in again doing exactly the same thing with a second wash of colour to deepen the effects.

And there you have a wet in wet painting of the field maple leaves.  Lovely job!

Autumn-a brilliant time to get back to watercolour…

Walking back from the shops this morning through the scattered Autumn leaves in the park, it occurred to me that Autumn is the very best time to start on watercolour painting or to get back to it if you’ve not done any for a while.

Why?  It’s because the colours of Autumn are beautiful!  They are so vibrant and warm and lovely and watercolour is just the best medium for painting Autumn (I’m biased!)

Why is it the best?  Well look at these Autumn leaves…See how the colours blend into each other from yellow to orange to red.  You can paint this effect with watercolour because the pigment moves in the water (if you use plenty of water and plenty of colour).

Autumn leaves
Field Maple leaves have variegated colours in Autumn

September/October has always been a good time to start afresh on a hobby.  Summer holidays are over…Christmas is ages away…the kids are back at school, be they your children or grandchildren…and it’s time to make a fresh start.

Equipment?  Easy…

My advice- buy 3 tubes of watercolour, a red, a yellow and a blue.  Buy one paintbrush (made of a mix of man made and natural hairs), and a 7×9 inch (or similar) watercolour sketchbook (140not) get an ordinary white plate from the kitchen for a palette and you have everything you need.

Here it all is below…plus a pencil and some Autumn leaves.

I’m going to paint a leaf now using this basic kit.

And the great thing is that I will be using the “wet in wet” method.  Its huge fun…come back soon to see what I  did!

Basic equipment for a watercolour painting

My Garden Journal

In a few days time, the November issue of Leisure Painter will be in the shops.  I’m excited as there’s an article of mine in it about my new passion of journalling my garden.

With the huge pile of paintings in my studio getting taller by the day, I thought it would be a good idea, for a change, to put my paintings all together in a book, a journal with sketches, watercolours and words.

And as gardening becomes more and more important to me, I’ve chosen that as my subject.

helenium chair crop
A page from the journal with some live flowers 

It’s been fun so far.  I’m free to paint and write about whatever I want to.  It’s great!

I will have another three more articles appearing in Leisure Painter throughout the year, each one depicting a different season.  Can’t wait!