Lovely Transitions

Autumn Fall Leaf Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Leaves” today, I opted for just a simple single autumn leaf. I adore this time of year with all of the changing colors and it’s always fascinating to me to see a once green leaf turn into a cacophony of color. And equally, I didn’t begin with much a story for this one. I just really wanted to try sketching a lovely leaf. With daylight savings time, my world has been plunged into darkness. There’s only an hour or so of light after I get home from work marking the official transition into the season. In some ways, I’m always a bit on the fence during this time. I adored my longer days of sunlight and the dark feels like it’s coming much too soon. But, in other ways, I’m rather happy for the change as it brings and that I’m in bed just a touch sooner and snuggling under blankets. For me, I would describe this time of year where I live as the cozy season. It’s the one where just a touch more time is spent cuddling. Which makes this quite a wonderful time of year indeed. The trees in our neighborhood are a riot of color and so incredibly gorgeous! Many times, we’ll get gusty winds that render all of the trees naked before the first real frost, but so far it’s been a lovely extended autumn season.

As many of who read my blog posts know, I’m all about this time of year. I love the candles and yes, the presents that arrive at the end of the year. It’s like the very definition of what being in love must mean. Every one of those emotions are present and each moment feels more enhanced and important somehow. At least, that’s how myself and my inner child tend to view things. And, even though I’m a nostalgic person on a regular basis, I manage to get even a bit more nostalgic this time of year. A single autumn leaf was hours of fun when I was a kid. We’d collect them and admire them and even trade them as we went along. They were like a special currency, possessing something amazing that almost felt like magic. As I grow older each and every year, I can’t help but stop and admire the magic of the natural world around me. I don’t get caught up in politics as that has proven to be a ridiculous and completely made up thing. What I really love is the real world. The world we actually inhabit and all of the wondrous things that it has to offer.

And, with each year’s changing of the seasons, I feel a bit of change inside myself. It’s not always something grand or significant, but a little signal of sorts. It’s a message that I wrote to myself years ago, telling me to just keep right on DOing what I love. I have to admit that I’ve been struggling a bit lately with where I should go next. I’m sort of dancing between a few different worlds without a clear path. Although this could be disconcerting, I’m just evermore inspired. I’ve always chosen the path my heart wants in the moment, and this really isn’t a very orderly way to approach life. But for me, it’s the very best way to approach life. I think our hearts are the smartest in the end. A heart doesn’t worry over what’s supposed to be and only dwells on what’s meant to be. So, even if I’m not entirely certain of where my own artistic path will take me next, I have the comfort of knowing it’s always leading me in the right direction. Life can be crazy, but what makes it all worthwhile are all of the lovely transitions.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Vermilion, Leaf Green, and Quinacridone Red.. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with black 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!
Autumn Fall Leaf Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Purnima Manjunath 3 years ago

    Gorgeous leaf,Charlie! Like to keep it inbetween pages of my favourite book

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Purnima! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this! I’m keeping this one between the pages of my favourite book! My sketchbooK! hehe

  2. Margaret Parker Brown 3 years ago

    I am entirely with you in regards to the season. I adore fall and I also become nostalgic during this time. Politics? What’s that? Lol

    Hang in there with your adventure of not knowing where your path is leading you. I have discovered that (in my old age!! haha) the best things of life are often not straight forward and has a touch (or a lot!) Of obscurity which requires digging and a whole lot of patience. Anyway I always seem to let quite a bit of time lapse between visiting and reading your posts, no idea why and don’t ever take it personally. Guess I drop in when I should and plus I get to always have a fresh eye; I suppose it is as though I rediscover you. Your posts are never a full moment. Cheers Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thank you so much, Margaret! 😃💕 I adore that we always show up and support each other when we need it! We’re linked in the most beautiful way! Yeah, the path isn’t always clear, but the adventure is always wonderful! Cheers back to you my friend!

  3. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Beautiful leaf, Charlie! Ours are mostly either rust or gone. We gave had a lot of wind. Even the large Japanese maple out front has very few leaves and some years that will make it all the way through winter with many of its red leaves still in tack. North of us they are calling for snow but we are to get just a cold rain.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah… that normally happens here… it’s like one large wind gust renders all the trees naked overnight! hehe… but thankfully hasn’t quite happened yet!

  4. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, “I don’t get caught up in politics as that has proven to be a ridiculous and completely made up thing. What I really love is the real world. The world we actually inhabit and all of the wondrous things that it has to offer.”

    a huge AMEN to that. There is a pine tree about 15 feet from the window I’m looking out of, and there is a doe with her neck stretched to reach a low hanging pine cone. How I wish I had the talent to put that on paper, but I don’t and the moment I move to reach for the camera, she will be gone like a flash. It is moments like this that store inside and bubble over. That is what your paintings are, they are the ‘bubble-over’ of all the stored joys in
    your heart.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Aww… I adore that moment you witnessed! Sometimes, I feel the same and even if I could stop and sketch it.. I don’t. Just experiencing life as it happens is like writing a story and drawing it at the same time!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    I definitely prefer Daylight time. The short days get me down, even in L.A. Love that leaf and shadow!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕yeah… I’m not sure who thought extra short days were a good idea, but it’s simply not! lol

  6. Lisa 3 years ago

    Must be nice to not get caught up in politics! I find myself yelling at the TV. My husband needs to watch the news. I try to stay away most of the time, but that’s not always possible.

    Our color is done. It was sped up by two snow storms that came way too early. All my lovely maple leaves weighed down by a blanket of snow. How dare mother nature play such a cruel joke. Lol! It was kind of pretty for a while though.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yeah, the news has ventured past ridiculous… it’s almost impossible to comment anymore. And ugh on the early storms! Yeah, winter seems like it’s taking over lately. I thought we were going to lose our autumn, but it’s still hanging on a bit here!

  7. Zertab Quaderi 3 years ago

    Love your leaf, Charlie! Also the post!

  8. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Gorgeous leaf!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Thanks for your words. Sometimes I wonder myself; now what… but yes the heart knows so follow it. I know we all have our talents and i feel just doing them and sharing them with one another is one of the best things we can do in life. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Yay to that! That’s exactly why I made Doodlewash! I can’t hep but that the mere act of coming together to create isn’t a sort of art form in itself. 😉

  9. Adnan Aslam Dar 3 years ago

    Awesome leaf Charlie thanks

  10. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Lovely autumn leaf. I’m a bit behind this week but I have a picture in mind for my leaf painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Gary! 😃💕This week has been nutty for me… I’m continually running behind. hehe… yay to the picture in your mind!

  11. Pic Happy 3 years ago

    Thanks for this lovely post Charlie! I love your approach to life (follow the heart). This post resonates with me somehow because that’s not something that comes naturally to me and I’m on a journey to listen to my heart more now, whatever that’s going to be like. Love that idea of trading leaves 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕I’m so thrilled this post spoke to you. Yeah, it always seems like following our heart should be the easiest and most natural thing in the world. But, it’s often not. Always good to be remind ourselves where our true intent lies!

      • Pic Happy 3 years ago

        Absolutely Charlie!

  12. marshathepainter 3 years ago

    Wonderful drawing, Charlie! Did you ever dip a leaf in melted paraffin. They are lovely when pinned to a curtain! Guess what! I am 79 years old and still stop to pick up a colorful fall leaf. How many colors they can become! Simply wondrous!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Marsha! 😃💕 I’ve never dipped a leaf in paraffin but know you have me wanting to try! And yay to being 79 years young and still young at heart!

  13. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Beautiful leaf, Charlie!!! The color of Autumn leaves is one thing I do miss about the northeast.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕Yeah, there are so many wonderful places, but I would miss my seasons if I left home.

  14. napkinwriter 3 years ago

    Nice writing on the season. And a beauty of a leaf. I think each trip outdoors is a festival for the eyes. Last Saturday Tom and I took a 50 mile toad trip in the Kentucky countryside to visit Kentucky artist and homesteader Katherine O’Brien who does Atlas of the world yearly journal art and we took the trip to her Open House of her new studio and a mountain amount of her nature art of foliage and birds and critters. All of whom live and play on her farm. She and Greg watch the comings and goings of the birds and the seasons together in the sanctuary space of the land, neat Shaker Village and Harrodsburg KY. It is a life of high values, expressed through her precision drawings and watercolor paintings. I am sure it raises the vibrations of the earth for all to benefit.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this post. And your adventure sounds perfectly awesome! What a fun trip indeed!

  15. Loan Anh Pham 3 years ago

    Beautiful leaf and lovely story, Charlie ❤️. In this transition, I’ve sometimes felt a little sad without any reason, my soul seem like wandering somewhere
    unknown. I love your story, it made me feeling be shared.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕Yeah, it’s a bit of a melancholy time, but there’s always a warmth and joy to be found there!

  16. Jacob 3 years ago

    Pretty leaf! It was so fun wading through the crunchy fallen leaves – still is! There wasn’t much of a transition here this year; September and then October were almost exclusively grey and gloomy, which was something of a downer. But I do enjoy the cosy season, especially once December arrives and we can get away with the extra indulgence.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕Yeah, things have stayed more fall-ish here, but I have a feeling it’s going to end soon. Yay for the cozy season and extra indulgences, though. Nothing bad to say about that! lol

  17. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Driving to the Oregon Coast, I had the chance to admire all the gold and green along highway 101. And I have to tell you about the breakfast I just had, Crepes with Oregon pear and whole hazelnuts topped with clotted cream and raspberry compote. All the sweetness came from the fruit, so all the flavors were fully tasted. Perfection along with some Pacific Northwest coffee. I’m ready for a day of Celtic jigs and reels!

    • Sandra Strait 3 years ago

      P.S. I’ve missed reading your daily rambles but look forward to catching up on them soon!

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

        My friend, no worries! 😃💕 I adore seeing your comments whenever they appear!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Oh wow!! That breakfast sounds perfectly awesome! YUM!! I’m a bit jealous now! 😃💕

  18. Laura Hale 3 years ago

    Beautiful leaf and what a wonderful way to celebrate!

  19. Atique Ahmed 3 years ago


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