Leaf Challenge (Day 1 of 30)

BB of BB’s Art & Design had a great challenge idea to paint 30 leaves in 30 days. I am a big fall / leaf / tree lover, so I jumped right on it, collected a few leaves from a walk, and got started.


The cool thing I’m finding about art is it makes the mundane interesting. When I picked up this leaf, it didn’t thrill me in color, shape or texture.    Our leaves haven’t changed color much at all yet here.   But after really looking at it….wow! So much to see and to (try and) create on the page. The first was a quick 10-min. sketch in Neocolor II crayons, trying to look straight on to the leaf (and limited to the colors in my set.   I plan to add to this collection!) The second took about twice that, because I tried to really capture some dimension on the page with my Cotman travel palette.     I had sooo much fun drawing and painting this leaf!   Way more than I expected.    Really looking forward to the maple leaves and some amazing colors in the coming month!

Happy midweek to you and yours, and go hug a tree today!   Peace.

66 thoughts on “Leaf Challenge (Day 1 of 30)

  1. Wow, Laura, this looks amazing!!! I´m completely amazed because first I thought this was a photo of 3 leaves. Only after a longer look I realized that this is only one “real” leaf and 2 of them are painted. They´re wonderful!!! You completely captured their texture, and I love their little shadows! Great work!!! Waiting for more!!! 🍂🍁🍃🌰🍄

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  2. wow! wow! wow! you sure did make the mundane something amazing! I thought you forgot to include your drawing, so I had to enlarge the photo to see if was one real leaf and two painting! I thought they were all real! AWESOME JOB Laura!!! can’t wait to see the next 29! 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Jodi! Last night’s (day 2) was tougher, not sure if I’ll post that painting or something else totally hehe. I think BB was thinking of posting weekly all seven paintings done that week, so I may save it for that, or I may….who knows. Go where the wind blows is usually how I wind up. 🙂 I’m glad you like this one!

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    1. Thanks so much, Charlie! Day two (last night’s) proved to be a bit more challenging, and I’m sure the maple leaves will be tough, but I’m looking forward to the watercolor effects. I think WC and leaves are a perfect marriage of subject and medium. So glad you like this one!

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    1. Thank you so much, Carmel! I really appreciate that. I never have collected and saved leaves, but I’ve been wondering if that would work. Have you tried it? Like, if I save a beautiful red maple leaf…..will it keep its color, or will it turn brittle and fade? I’d love the opportunity to draw the same leaf again and again, or even a few months later to see if I’ve improved!


      1. Laura, 2 years ago I saved a variety of leaves, type and color, by placing them inside a thick book 2 years ago. They are still good. The red ones retained their color. You may want to put some other books on top of the book with the leaves. Check back on them in a few days and continue to keep them in the book.

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            1. Thanks for the tips!! I’m really excited about the leaf studies – I’m saving all my leaves in a baggie right now, as they’re already crispy….but as I find flexible ones, they’ll go in a book I bought to use for collage. Get this – it’s called “House of Leaves”! LOL


    1. Aw, thanks C, that means a lot. I never know when I sit down to paint whether it’ll fly or flop. Part of the adventure, I guess! It’s so amazing what you see when you look out with artist eyes. It’s like needing glasses for years, and finally getting a pair! Whole new experience. You’ve probably always seen with artist eyes, having been raised by one. Very lucky lady! 💛

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    1. Aww thanks, Jill! I learned that from your amazing leaf painting you posted awhile back. I studied it to see how you were able to get such a gorgeous result and noticed your shadow. Very beautiful! I think leaves and WC are the perfect marriage of medium and subject. Really fun, you are so right. A year ago, a project like this would have totally overwhelmed me!

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        1. Thank you, Jill! It’s been just over a year now since I became entranced by art, and I have learned so much. I can easily see spending a lifetime being enthralled by all the different mediums and subjects. I’m so glad you see improvement in my work! That’s really gratifying. Thanks for all of your encouragement, Jill – it means a lot!

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  3. Oh my. I LOVE! You captured these leaves so beautifully and they look so highly realistic! Aren’t the leaves so intriguing? I never really saw “boring” leaves until I challenged myself to draw them last Fall. Beautiful work, Laura!

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for your challenge suggestion!! I’ve always loved fall, but now I love it even more. I thought this would be much much harder than it is – but then I’m trying to keep my paintings loose. If I worried about every vein, it wouldn’t be good for me. Looking forward to seeing yours too!

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