Daily Leaf: 100 (and something) day update and FAQ

Daily Leaf: 100 (and something) day update and FAQ

On January 1st, I embarked on a year-long daily art project, The Daily Leaf.  Every day in 2018, I am collecting a leaf outdoors and illustrating it.  I am now just over 100 days into this 365 day long project.  I'm nearly a third of the way through!  This post is a quick update on how the project is going so far.  I am also answering some frequently asked questions I've gotten about the project over the past months.

So far, I've been delighted with the project.  The daily leaf has given me an outlet to explore new techniques and develop skills in regular, small steps. I am learning about plant identification and biodiversity in my local area.

As the project goes on, I find myself gravitating towards signature techniques and "looks" I have discovered through this project, developing more of signature artistic style. I look forward to seeing how this will develop over time.

Onto the FAQs:

When are the spring leaves coming?

Soon, I promise.  I live in Canada.  We are currently experiencing an ice storm where I live.  However, spring weather (and green leaves) really are just around the corner - within a couple of weeks my world (and leafy paintings) will be very green.

Are you bored of painting brown leaves yet?

[ Daily Leaf 050 : Dutchmans Pipe Vine leaf in Watercolour and Graphite. Daily Leaf 060: Horse Chestnut - A challenging shape to paint

I thought I would get bored of brown leaves pretty quickly.  I love bright colours and green is my favourite.  However, I'm really loving the increasingly bizarre and complex shapes of beaten up leaves as the season wears on.  One of my favourite leaves to paint was a twisted up horse chestnut leaf skeleton on day 60.

I've also been impressed by the variety of colours and textures I find in dry leaves, and have had a great time exploring textures using granulating paints and other techniques.

I am looking forward to spring because I am a wimp who doesn't like the cold.  I am looking forward to long walks and all the pretty vegetation in my garden.  However, I will find it bittersweet when the fresh green leaves overtake the crazy leftover winter leaves.  Dry leaves are underrated.











Are you keeping up? Can't you just skip a day?


Daily Leaf 062: Watercolour illustration of intricate red oak leaf skeleton

My project rules state that I must collect a leaf every day, but in exceptional circumstances I can delay the illustration portion to a future day.  However, I am attempting to finish an illustration each day before midnight.

I have been very diligent about keeping up with my daily art commitment.  So far, I have not missed a single day of illustrating a daily leaf.  Each day I have collected and illustrated a leaf before midnight.  On two occasions, I have been late in posting to social media.  On day 62, I selected a very complex leaf skeleton, which I took over 7 hrs to paint, completing just before midnight.  It took me a few minutes to scan and post to social media at around 12:05.

On day 95, I had a misadventure and locked myself out of a building I was teaching a class in (and locked my completed illustration inside.  I posted an apology that evening, and posted my finished work the next day.

Are your Daily Leaf images for sale?

They will be!  I'm saving them for now, and hoping to compile a book or exhibition of the whole project.  Stay tuned...

Have you run into any unexpected challenges?

Overall, I have found the daily leaf much easier to keep up with than I expected.  I did a couple of month-long daily art challenges in past years that were excellent preparation.

I have encountered a few minor extra challenges, such as planning for creating and posting daily leaf art around travel.

Do you have time for anything else? How do you sleep?

My  house has gotten a bit messier.  However, I still make time for lots of other projects.  Since January, I have taken private and commercial commissions, created artwork for solo and juried art shows and taught watercolour workshops.  When I have other deadlines, I paint sketchier/simpler leaves, simple as that ;)

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