Let the Challenge Begin! 30 leaves 30 days

by Mindy on October 1, 2011

in Botanical Art, Butterfly Art, Drawing Tips, Gouache, Graphite, Paintings, Uncategorized, Watercolor Tips

Today is October 1, 2011 and to my amazement here in Florida I woke up to 58 degrees! Since I moved from New Jersey in May we have hardly had a night under 72  or a day under 90 degrees. In New Jersey fall begins in September and the weather changes just around Labor Day. 2 years ago I did this challenge and here I am again doing it all over again. Why? Botanical artists can never get enough practice painting and drawing leaves. This year the Botanical Artists Forum on Facebook have decided to join me in this challenge and I know of several other artists on the web who are joining me also. I invite everyone to try it too! I encourage you to set goals for yourself on what you want to accomplish in the next 30 days…… you get one day off since October has 31 days. Here are my goals:

1. To spend everyday painting a different leaf.

2. Get to know my native plants here in Florida. Since I am new to Florida this is a great opportunity to get out and hike!

3. Experiment with techniques.  I will work in a variety of mediums and combine some to see what I can come up with.

4. Experiment with mixing greens. I have a standard recipe for green that I use all the time. I feel like my greens look like a Betty Crocker cake mix….. formulated and predictable. I want to see what I can come up with that might add more variety to my greens.

5. Try to find out the scientific names for the leaf shapes. When I took Morphology at NYBG I had a hard time remembering the names for the parts of plants and it would be a good idea to learn some new words instead of just the thingy sticking out of the stem….. I will be using Plant Identification Terminology by Harris/Harris as my reference.

6. I am going to post them each day with comments so I can share with my readers. This makes me accountable to follow through!

If you have a list of goals that you would like to share please feel free to leave a post.

 

Leaf #1

Grapefruit Leaf

I have an acre of property and when we moved in there were hardly any trees or plants. One of the first trees we put in was a grapefruit tree, Citrus paradisi When I started "leaf hunting" I noticed that these leaves have an extra leaf on the leaf base. I learned that the shape of the leaf lanceolate; much longer than wide with the widest point closer to where the leaf was attached at the branch. The extra leaf is not an extra leaf but a petiole set of wings!

In painting this leaf I strayed in my normal watercolor technique and did a layer of aureolin yellow as my first layer. The leaf had a lot of yellow coming from underneath so I thought this would be a better way to start. After it dried I went in with my wet in wet technique with my standard green.

 

If you are interested in purchasing this leaf it is available in my Etsy Store.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

renata barilli October 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

Ciao Mindy,
congratulation for your starting. Thanks for this beatifull idea!!!
I'm going to do this challange too and posted on my blog. 
the grapefruit leaf is  different here. I'll go to find one and do it .
I do agree with your suggestion to add the botanical identification and colours, to get it more scienfical .
Brava Mindy as usual. ciao 

Mindy October 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Hi Renata,
Can’t wait to see your grapefruit leaf and others too! Please leave your blog address on this blog so that my readers can follow you too!

Jackie Jacobson October 2, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Mindy
This is a great project that I will really enjoy watching. I'm not joining in, but am here as an observer and appreciator. Great idea, and wonderful work.
About green, I did an entire project on green when I was painting in watercolor. From Jeanne Dobie  book titled "Making Colors Sing" page 24 project 4, Greens, Greens and more Greens. Great project. Can't wait to see what you discover through your exploration.

renatabarilli October 3, 2011 at 2:51 am

Hi Mindy,
thanks my blog is: http://aperta-mentebotanicalart.blogspot.com.
see your tomorrow leaf ciao renata

Jarnie G October 3, 2011 at 4:52 am

Hi Mindy
I started my blog 'Sketchbook Squirrel' earlier in September and was looking for something to get my teeth into. As I am also working towards the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma I could do with all the practice I can get. Looked at some of your work for the challenge, including the youtube vid on painting leaves. Thanks Mindy, this challenge is perfect for me and I have got the first two done. Hooray! I am looking to include as many different shapes as I can and, as the Autumn gets going, some lovely russeted leaves too. 

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