Collecting Leaves

Day 2 - Collecting Leaves In Autumn Child Wagon Watercolor - Doodlewash

One of the best bits of fall is the remarkable number of colors that pop up in nature. Trees that had once been simply various shades of green suddenly show their true colors with pops of yellow and fiery orange. The transformation where I live is sometimes sudden and always amazing every time it happens. Soon these leaves fall to the ground, creating a blanket of magical color. As a little kid, it was quite literally like finding pure gold. I would go on a hunt to find the most beautiful specimens, collecting as many as I could. In full disclosure, this came back to me when I was wondering what to create for our “leaves” prompt and realized that I could combine it with the #Inktober2018 prompt of “tranquil” to get a clearer idea of what to make. In fact, this lovely mashup works much of the month, so I’ll definitely be trying it again! And this one is actually a bit more inky in that I basically scribbled the entire thing in a loose ink contour line drawing first. And, I’m rather pleased that even with my lack of any real practice in drawing humans, one actually managed to appear without looking more like an alpaca. Though now that I consider it, an alpaca searching for leaves would have been rather extraordinary.

This was painted in just three colors using my new Da Vinci “Vintage” Trio which I wrote about earlier today. I’m rather addicted to this trio, and it’s also perfectly suited for fall, but I’ll certainly be using the other colors in my palette as well again very shortly. My heart just really goes out to these colors as they were the first to inspire me to introduce glimpses of “Little Charlie” into these memories. I rarely draw faces, as those might distract you from your own memories, but I hope a small glimpse of a child still serves to simply evoke the idea without creating too much context. I can still smell those leaves and remember the crunch under my feet as they started to wither on the ground. The air was chilly, but the sun impossibly bright, shining through each little leaf to create an amazing glow. Having lived much of my adult life in a city home, I’ve never had to deal with actually raking leaves, so I still admire them like I did when I was a kid. Though I certainly miss the chance to jump in a pile of freshly raked leaves, and would do so in a heartbeat if the opportunity ever presented itself.

Philippe asked me what I wanted for dinner tonight and I requested mac and cheese. I, of course, got the highly elevated version with more pasta and bits of gourmet cheese, but it was still a wonderful trip home. I honestly don’t think I could possibly show up here each and every day if I didn’t bring my inner child along with me. My adult brain tells me I’m crazy and need to get other things done instead. Those pressing adult things that, while certainly important, get far more attention than they ultimately deserve. So, that little child inside helps remind me that it’s nothing more than homework. He tells me slyly, “just do that stuff as quickly as you can and then you get to go out and play!” I take note of this advice and burn through those adult tasks with glee. I know that after all of that boring stuff is completed, there will be a little precious window of time when I get to play a bit. A perfect moment, when I pause, grab for my little sketchbook, and join that child inside for another lovely journey. We’re an inseparable pair now, always seeing life in its most beautiful form and taking just a bit of time out of each and every day to enjoy to sheer pleasure of collecting leaves.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!).  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 2 - Collecting Leaves In Autumn Child Wagon Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

24 Comments
  1. Mireya 3 months ago

    oh my gosh you reminded me of jumping in the leaves. Yes I must paint this.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yay! I’m glad this brought back good memories, Mireya! That’s always my goal! And yes! You should paint this! 😉💕

  2. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    I kind of missed the whole jumping in leaves thing as we had firs around us- jumping into pinecones just isnt the same thing.. For me, the real challenge in Inktober is going to be kludging what I’ve drawn to fit the prompts. I just figured out how to make a painting of a muskrat fit both flowers and spell. It’s quite a story …

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      haha! Yeah, pinecones are not quite the same! Yikes! And I love it on the prompts! Yeah, I sort of love the mashup… keeps things more interesting! That said, my ink lines are never dark enough to really “count” for Inktober. hehe. So I just happily ink and splash whatever I want this monnth! 😉 💕

  3. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Love those leaves and, of course, Little Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Glad you liked this! I decided to always put Little Charlie in an orange t-shirt. hehe… I think I must have owned one!

  4. Lisa 3 months ago

    For the past dozen years or so I’ve had a teenage person work for me once a week doing house and yard chores that I can’t manage and that hubs hates to do. I had a big a few years back who went out to rake the gorgeous leaves from my giant sugar maple 🍁! When he was done, and had a huge pi!e, he took a running leap and buried himself in leaves. It was so charming!

    I still love the smell of burning leaves. So bad for the air quality I know, but I still savior it when I catch a whiff on the breeze. All of my leaves go on the gardens. No waste here.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      What a great story! I love that he took that leap in those leaves! I would have done the same! 😃💕And yes, I too remember that smell of burning leaves.

  5. Lisa 3 months ago

    That should say, I had a boy a few years back.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe… I figured that…. I always autocorrect in my head so don’t even realize it! 😉

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 3 months ago

    Its mindblouing kidlie. I will definitely paint this but not post . No word s to explain my feelings.lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one!

  7. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Nice post Charlie! Brings back lots of wonderful childhood Autumn memories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I’m full on kid again this time of year! hehe… Love it!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    This Doodlewash got right to me – little Charlie and his Red Ryder wagon, out collecting leaves. Reminds me of my sons doing the same, and jumping in the piles of them.

    As for your Da Vinci Vintage Trio – I’m binge blog reading, so will go back and take a look at your newest collection. Three colors to make this painting, hunh? You make me crazy, Charlie, just crazy. I’d need at least a dozen – some just to try.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! I’m thrilled I make you crazy my friend! 😃💕To me, that’s like the most awesome compliment ever! lol But you should definitely try this trio because it’s extra amazing… If I only had to paint everything in the world with this one, I actually could! 😉

  9. Anita Sinha 3 months ago

    Your human drawing and painting of “little Charlie” looks really good to me..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks, Anita! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this one! I’ve been sneaking Little Charlie into a few posts recently. hehe

  10. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    This is the cutest painting. And I especially like it when you add Little Charlie. I don’t paint faces well either so I resided to painting backs or sides of people. Better yet, shadows. I rake so many leaves in the fall putting out usually 8 to 10 bags for pickup each week. I still like the smell of stepped on leaves on a crispy fall day. The little red wagon reminds me of when my sister and I pulled up all the baby carrots from Dad’s garden in early fall when we were around 5. When he came home and we showed him our full little red wagon he wasnt as happy as we thought he would be. Our punishment was to have us spend the night with the baby sitter we didn’t like. I will never forget Ms. Schultz!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha! Love it! Great story, June! 😃💕 Aww… Ms Shultz sounds like a bit of terror. But yeah, produce and leaves are not the same thing… hehe… but I’m living vicariously and loving that you got to pull up all of those baby carrots! Fun! haha

  11. memadtwo 2 months ago

    I love this one Charlie. Jumping in the leaves…and then our fathers would burn them in the street, and the acorns would pop. Great autumn memories. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Glad this brought back good memories, Kerfe! 😃💕 And yeah, the smell of burning leaves is such a memorable thing. Love it!

  12. smzang 2 months ago

    Charlie says ” always seeing life in its most beautiful form and taking just a bit of time out of each and every day to enjoy to sheer pleasure of collecting leaves.”

    the loveliest of wisdoms!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you liked that bit! I think Little Charlie has the best wisdom to be had!

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