Thursday Jan 3, 2019… Draw Your Day

I have been saving these leaves and finally thought, it’s about time I clean off my work space. Very little effort applied. 😦 But at least I did journal.


I had planned to fill both pages with watercolor leaves, and frankly just wasn’t feeling it. So… Mira Byler suggested this in the youtube video I watched tonight. She tried it with ink first, which didn’t take to the leaves well, so I tried watercolor. Both had marginal success. She’s right, the gouache works better. Basically, a lazy artist’s page, but I’m sticking with the idea that I was EXPERIMENTING. Anyway, slapping gouache onto leaves is relaxing and fun.



Thurs Nov 1, Fri Nov 2 (and the friday before!)

Still drawing (and painting) my days! Yesterday Clara, my newfoundland, went in to be spayed. I was a little anxious for her, and picked up some leaves when I dropped her off, to take my mind off of it! I’m happy with the way the leaves came out.


I also got last Friday painted in… I’m quite behind on the painting, but the donut still looks yummy (it’s HUGE… I want one) It is actually that much bigger than the regular sized ones. Hooray for Sugarplum Bakery!


Watercolor Leaves (with Jay Lee)

During the Jay Lee Watercolor livestream on youtube this morning, first we painted a page full of random pretty leaves, without much detail. These are quite relaxing.


(A cute little keychain I bought from Jerrys Artarama this summer. KIND of a mini posable drawing figure. Not really very posable. But that’s not his fault, and he likes to watch me paint)


Then, I think to prove to us that he can, Jay Lee helped us paint a detailed, more realistic fall leaf.





There has always been something soothing about drawing or painting leaves.

Negative painting, leaves using EEM watercolors

Following more youtube tutorials tonight! This technique requires thinking backwards. First, tape off the edges of the paper. Paint a  light wash of blue and yellow for the background, then paint in a few leaves, but only paint AROUND them. Leave them the lightest color.. (those end up being the lightest leaves) After this dries, add a few more leaves, again painting AROUND them only, and around the first set of leaves, using a slightly darker color… do this until you are really out of room for leaves, finishing up with a very dark bit of in-between-leaves. Then add a touch more color to the lightest leaves, some little veins with colored pencils, remove the tape and you have a leafy masterpiece full of depth. 🙂


I used the EEM paints here… I really like them. They rewet very easily, and the M41 is a really beautiful yellow for mixing greens. (I almost didn’t order that one!)I especially enjoyed using Cote d’azure violet and caput mortuum for the little dark accent on the tips of the leaves.

This technique is a little bit of a brain teaser. But go try it!


Day 333 (Wed Nov 29) pen pal note/watercolor paper info

I’m sending a Christmas/birthday package to a friend and she likes interesting letters, and also trees, so I went with these two themes a little for my included note.  I cut strips of graph paper and folded accordion style, then adhered them to these two little atc sized pieces of watercolor paper, which I had painted on and allowed to (mostly) dry. Cheap watercolor paper, I might add. My paints did not react the same way on it. They didn’t flow much, and the paper dried super fast (which isn’t good if you want the paints to move) The paints didn’t move like I wanted, but did bleed where I DIDN’T want… unusual! I hadn’t realized how spoiled Arches had made me. Or what a difference 100% cotton makes. I think you can fudge with other supplies, but not with paper. But the paper was thick and didn’t curl much, so that’s good. My favorite is (so far) this Arches cold press 140 lb block,

and Amazon is offering a pretty good price on it… It is nearly $40 at my art supply store (although I get 10% off there, too) Still this at under $27 is better. I’ve tried some heavier paper, too, and loved it, but this block is great… it keeps the pages from curling as you work. It’s a nice stiff backing to work on. I love it, in all sizes. Plus, it is fun to slide the palette knife (or any flat object, or even my fingernail) into the little gap, and slide it all the way around the paper, releasing the top sheet. It’s kind of like peeling the plastic protective pieces off metal or glass… I don’t know why, but that’s what it reminds me of. Or… that feeling when you remove the protector from the peanut butter jar and you are the first person to use the peanut butter??

Are there better papers? Yes. But right now this suits me fine. Its only drawback is you must work on one thing at a time, completing it before moving on. A dagger in my heart, but probably very good for me.

(The crap paper is a “Master’s Touch” pad of 12 sheets of 140 lb 4×6″ watercolor paper… the same weight, nice and heavy for ATCs. It cost me less than $2 and is still usable (I really shouldnt call it crap!!) and I’ll still use it for ATCs and postcards.  Really for $2 it is fine, I just need to remember it isn’t Arches 🙂

Day 324 (Tuesday Nov 21) still not finished

Still not finished with yesterday’s piece… getting close, though. Leaves are so relaxing and pleasant to work on. I think I might like it better in black and white, but I’ve promised this person a PAINTED series, and I do like how it is turning out.

Day 323 ( Mon Nov 20) unfinished leaves

Unfinished, but still I LOVE them. I’m doing these FOR someone and really almost wish they were mine to keep 🙂 I hope she will love the finished product. I have to do a series for her. I think I will stick with this style.