The first signs of Autumn have appeared here in Munich the last couple of weeks and it’s got me excited about the upcoming season of the nights drawing in, wrapping up warm and making stews. But my absolute favourite thing about autumn is kicking through crunchy leaves. So the other day, as I noticed that leaves were starting to fall on the ground, I picked up a few and thought they could make a good subject for some drawing and painting exercises.
I didn’t have any particular end goal in mind, I just laid out all my various materials on the table and had a go at drawing and painting my 3 subject leaves using different media: graphite pencil, charcoal pencils (softened with a paper blender), coloured pencils; gouache paint and combinations of all of the above. I drew about 16 leaves in total. Then I cut them out using a scalpel and cutting mat. When I did so, I noticed that the cut-out holes made good stencils, so I then filled a page with stencilled leaves.
I originally thought that a whole page full of leaves would be my final piece, but when I assembled it, it looked a bit too busy.
So I played around with different compositions and finally decided my favourites were the simple ones with just a few leaves on the page.
I’m not sure I have decided what the final piece will look like. Maybe I will incorporate the leaves in a future work. But it was a great exercise in trying out some different techniques and seeing what my favourite materials were. Although I love the colour of the paint ones, I particularly liked the graphic look of the leaves drawn with charcoal and then softened with a paper blender.
Sometimes it’s the journey, rather than the destination. And sometimes less is more.