Square-Foot Art: Leaves
The inspiration for this piece was the definition of “leaf” that I came across when I pulled the full page for use in a journal page. It talks about leaves as parts of plants as well as leaves as pages in a book. So I knew I wanted to combine the three: leaf definition, leaves, and book pages, in the piece.
The plywood was first coated with a plain white gesso. The background is sponged-on acrylic in leaf green, yellow, cadmium red, and pine green over wildly dry-brushed diazin violet. I aimed to capture the colours of a deciduous forest as falls begin (and leaves start to turn colour).
The next layer are the Gideon bible pages with their red edging intact. Since the text wasn’t important to the piece, I glued them down upside down with matte gel medium after antiquing them a bit with diluted walnut ink.
I edged the dictionary definition with gold ink, but it didn’t “pop” enough from the bible text pages. So I cut a square of red handmade paper to back it. I glued the definition to the red backing, let it dry, then glued it down over the bible pages.
The leaves are a bit abstract, with their darker veins in navy blue, olive green and brown on cut-outs from hand-made yellowy leaf green paper. I used Inktense pencils for the veins, then brought out the colour by brushing with water. Doing so also gave them some dimension as colour bled a little bit from the drawn line into the leaf paper. After the leaves were glued down, I drew in the stem with Inktense pencil and brushed it with water to intensify the colour.
The entire piece was finally coated with Diamond acrylic wood sealer.