A New View of Autumn Leaves

leaf photo


I love the brilliance of Fall colors.  Since I live in a predominantly green part of the world, the introduction of red, orange and gold adds a much needed zing to the landscape.  Fall has always been a favorite time to whip out the paints and revel in all the lovely earth tones.  But just this week I discovered a new Autumn subject – something interesting to draw that I’ve never thought of before, thanks to one of my students.   She’d been drawing a tree for a homework assignment and brought in leaves from the tree that she was trying to draw. Because a couple days had passed, the leaves had dried to a crisp and were starting to curl.  How fascinating, I thought.  Here was nature’s art in a new form.  The next day on my walk I picked up several damp vine maple leaves.  Sure enough after a day in the house, they started curling.   Just right for drawing,


Using a 005 Micron pen, I started with an outline over a light pencil sketch that placed it on the page.  When the basic line drawing was compete I began to work my way around the leaf adding shadow area, often placing a tone with lines first, then adding more detail to each section.  Notice that I did not concern myself with the discolorations on the leaf, simple areas of light and dark.  Finally I added the shadow underneath using a more even application of vertical lines to indicate the flatness of the table it was resting on.

Who knows why we’re drawn to certain subjects?  For some reason right now I am intrigued by these crisp rolling leaves and curlicue shapes.   Perhaps it’s simply a new challenge.   What new thing will you try today?


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