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.
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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!