Make + Listen: Watercolor Painting

I’m joining up with Dawn one day late for her weekly Make and Listen Along posts, but I can be excused for tardiness because we’re on Day 7 of a 9-day business trip over here! Yesterday (Day 6), we set up for a watercolor painting session.

painting session at

Tuesday morning, the playground at the park was littered with gorgeous, vibrantly colored maple leaves, and we took some home. My 4yo and I went downstairs to try and capture the colors with paint. By the time I snapped the photo above, she had moved on to painting a still life, a collection of objects she gathered from upstairs. You can see she’s working on the rainbow.

When we sat down with our leaves, paper, and pencils to make a sketch before painting, she had the idea to trace the leave’s outline. I thought that was an excellent idea, and I did the same, loosely, and then added in some more detail freehand. We were mostly concentrating, after all, on trying to capture the colors. Here is her finished leaf, with a mix of reds and orange.

4yo's fall leaf watercolor painting

And here is mine. This was built up with many layers of paint, as we’re learning to do in the watercolor class I’ve been taking on Saturday afternoons.

autumn maple leaf, watercolor painting

While we painted, I simply had Pandora playing through the nifty wireless speaker I received for Mother’s Day this year. I’ve been playing it in the morning, too, because I find having some music on helps keep me moving forward with all the morning tasks when there’s not another adult here to interact with. This morning the first song it played for me was Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World.” This song was on a mix CD my husband gave me for my first Mother’s Day, when I was pregnant with our first child but not quite pregnant enough to announce it yet, and the song can still tear me up.

I love the Louie Armstrong version of “What a Wonderful World” as well, and used to sing it to my first baby as a lullaby, all those many nights when we paced the dark living room because he had colic. Now that baby is almost twelve years old, old enough to help his mama get out for a run when his dad’s away on another business trip (something for which I’m extremely grateful). Twelve years in an eyeblink, I tell you.

3 thoughts on “Make + Listen: Watercolor Painting

  1. carolyn

    Amy, your leaf is beautiful. I especially love the stem…you captured the color perfectly. Did you get responses on how to mark dark fabric or backgrounds? Let me know if you need another option…I use transfer paper and a light box to mark dark backgrounds for applique.

  2. Cameron

    Blink of an eye *sigh* I wish it wasn’t so 🙁

    How great you are still running and keeping your body and mind on track…I’ve been in a slump…but have finally coaxed myself back here to visit with my beloved Blog friends.

    Your 2 leaves are beautiful, Amy…and the time you spend doing these kinds of things with your children is, too 🙂

    Big Hugs,

  3. donna lee

    Maybe it’s time for another set of note cards using fall leaf designs? I use the goat ones all the time and make sure to tell the recipient where they came from since I think they’re special.

    I have to start collecting the leaves and get out some waxed paper for making window decorations.

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