Monday, October 7, 2013

"Leaf Duet"

($80.00.......8" x 8"......watercolor on Fabriano 300 lb. CP....mounted on a flat panel)

"Fall duets hang on with fierce determination." Fall is definitely here and so I have my North Carolina leaves from last year all mounted in a journal for easy reference. This is my favorite time of the year!

If you have ever been on a trip to the "Smokies" or the East Coast during the fall, you will undoubtedly love to bring some of those treasured leaves home with you. You might even find some in Central Texas worth preserving. I will share my way of preserving them just in case you're interested.

After gathering your leaves...tuck them between wax paper and place them in a book. (preferably with a rock on top to give them a good pressing) When you return home, take them outside and spray them with Spray Acrylic Coating and lay them out to dry. (both sides)

You are then ready to mount them in a journal with gel matte medium (undiluted). Glob a lot of medium over the stem area and then leave to dry overnite. It does take awhile since you must wait for the gel matte medium to completely dry before going to the next page.  The color will stay for a long several years or longer. They also look good just piled in a wooden bowl for a centerpiece. 

The leaves today were begun with a soft neutral tint in the background on very wet paper. I did a bit of writing in the wet pigment with a bamboo pen and then left it to dry.

The leaf color was not painted with one glaze. After drawing the leaf shapes on the paper very lightly with a pencil, I painted them with a dilute portion of raw sienna on dry paper...blotting every so often with a kleenex. This first glaze was dried with a hair dryer and then I began the second glaze with green and raw sienna fairly diluted and also blotting with a kleenex. This glaze was then dried.

The last glaze was sepia + the green color + a touch of alizarin crimson. This was applied and dried in the same fashion. The last bit was the leaf tips and a few spots of sepia with a bit of the last glaze. After painting in the leaf tip, I banged the brush in water and squeezed out the excess water and then softened the edge of the leaf tip and spread the brown out a bit. The spots where placed on with the tip of the brush and then some extra was splattered very finely into the background. I also did a very, very light glaze of the yellow green mixture from top to bottom...right over the leaves.

Lettering was done with a mechanical pencil sharpened on a sandpaper block and held completely vertical to get as fine a line as possible and to shade the down strokes. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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