Clicking on the painting below opens up a window to my leaf related stock images on Getty Images.
It was definitely enjoyable to capture so many colors. I filled my palette with eyedroppers of dye from at least 20 bottles in order to create my painting.
My painting of autumn leaves evoked a poignant memory that can be found at this link: “CAN I KEEP THEM FOREVER?”
Below is an image of my painting in progress:
Collecting leaves in Southern California is not comparable to other areas in the United States where autumn leaves are prized for their spectacle.
But I didn’t have to hunt too hard to find examples of the season. I ended up being very inspired by the bland ones, such as the oak leaves. Even though they weren’t initial standouts, their interesting bluish tones really enhanced my painting.
These are some examples of photos that I used as reference for my painting:
Painting autumn leaves was something I have done before. In the 1990’s I had several assignments painting romance covers for Avon Books. To create stock images, I excised individual leaves from the book cover below.
In the 1990’s, I painted another leaf themed romance cover named “See You In September.” Below is the layout for that cover. I photographed my reference and followed my job instructions closely. It was helpful that a friendly art director did me a favor and mailed me a box full of leaves from Upstate New York. I set up my layout and even found a plastic stand-in for the red heart.
And below is my finished book cover. I was supposed to get the original artwork back, but unfortunately that never happened. I was told that it had been lost and I was paid a small sum as compensation.
Touches of Prismacolor pencil worked really well on many of the autumn leaves. Lighter colored pencils inherently add coolness, which can be advantageous and interesting. It imparts a waxy sheen. For the speckled areas, colored pencil put down first added another dimension, and didn’t bleed when painted over.
I also especially savored painting crisp and subtle shadows with watercolor/dye.