Do you ever have those days when your head is buzzing with too much to think about? That's usually the case for me, and by lunchtime every day I'm ready to clear some space for my brains and refocus my thoughts. Enter: solo hikes. Don't get me wrong, I love hiking with buddies but sometimes there is nothing quite like a brisk walk up a rocky trail to add some clarity to my day.
I've often thought about why it is so refreshing. Certainly the exercise brings out all the good feels. The sense of adventure awakens the energy for life that can get buried under the daily stresses. (I'd refuse to believe you if you tell me you don't feel alive when you hear something rustling in the bushes and imagine it's a prowling cougar.) It's bigger than that for me, though. Mostly, I think when I am among other living things and am in a position to observe the circle of life firsthand, I develop a deeper appreciation for the life in me, for my position in relation to other elements of the world, and a renewed perspective of something that is much, much bigger than myself.
After my personal project series for November (a set of watercolor autumn leaves), I thought it might be fun to give a quick tutorial using one of the paintings from the series:
First step, sketch out the shape. I use a super light touch when drawing because pencil can been easily seen through watercolor paints but can be erased once the paint is dry. Sometimes I even go over my pencil lines with an eraser to make it as light as possible before painting. On this leaf, I didn't draw every single detail, it was just a quick contour drawing of the leaf outline.
Next, painting! I start with the lightest paint colors first:
On this leaf, I laid down a layer of light yellow with a medium round brush, and while it was still wet, I added touches of green using just the tip for smaller strokes. That way, the colors blended on their own to create a variety of shades. I went over this a couple more times, adding more pigment in a couple of places to make the color differences more vivid.
Lastly, the final touches:
While the painting was just slightly wet, I added a small touch of red for the veins, using a light touch with just the tip of my brush, knowing that the veins would bleed out wider because the paper was still wet.
Once the paint is totally dry, I do over the edges of the shape lightly with an eraser to pick up any pencil lines that haven't been covered by the paint. It cleans up the edges and makes the image look sharper. Then, I sign that sucker, and in this case labeled it on the back, and moved on to the next one.
Today is the last day to get the special introductory rate on the leaf bundles from this series. Tomorrow the price increases to $90, so be sure to stop by the shop and check out the other artwork up on in there too!
Here is the last grouping of leaves I created for the November leaf series on Instagram:
These limited sets are available in color bundles in my shop at an introductory price of only $75 for a set of 6 paintings. It makes me giddy to see the leaves in their color families:
There are only 4 sets of paintings available, so only the first 4 people will get this special rate for early purchasers. On December 21st, they go up to the full price of $90, so if you've been waiting for a good deal on nature artwork, this is it!
Thanks for your continual support by reading! I'm happy to know others are enjoying this space and sharing the wonders of nature too!
Here are the next 9 paintings from November's series:
I'm happy to say that some of these paintings are up for sale in my shop! I've bundled them in color groupings because each color exudes a certain feeling: a happy yellow, a peaceful golden brown, a shy green, or a flashy red!
Each bundle of 6 is on sale right now for $75 to early purchasers, but on December 21st they will all go up to the full price of $90. There is only one set of each color grouping, too, so now's the time to snag some original watercolor artwork for your home!
Which fall leaf colors are your favorite?