Sketchbook Saturday Week #6: Leafing Out

Before we jump into this week’s sketching prompt, I just want to give a hearty THANKS to everyone who has participated so far in Sketchbook Saturday. I love seeing what clever and lovely images you come up with. And just remember, there’s no “due date” on any of the prompts, so you can jump in and participate whenever and wherever you like.


As you may have noticed from my most recent piece of artwork and from a few of my sketches, I love drawing leaves. So, with the trees and plants in my garden starting to put on their spring finery, Leaves seemed a natural prompt for this week.

What is it that makes leaves such an attractive choice for a prompt? Because leaves can suit the level of almost any artist, from beginner to advanced. Think about it; foliage shapes and forms can range from super simple like a rhododendron leaf to the complexity of a fern frond. You can draw a single leaf, a clump of leaves, or a tree full full of leaves. Leaves also come in a variety of states…from spring bud to a healthy summer leaf to fall’s withering leaves.


And, of course, my favorite: color! Although “green” may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “leaf,” leaves (such as those of maple, coleus, or coral bells) come in amazing colors like chartreuse, purple, and maroon. If you’re more of a fall leaf person, then get out your oranges and yellows.

So, go ahead, find a leaf you like and sketch it. You don’t have to be botanically exact, just loosen up and have fun with your sketch.

One hint: You can also do a rubbing of leaf or two (put leaf under paper, then lightly rub a pencil over the paper), then play around with the shape by adding details to your rubbing.

MY WEEK #6 RESULT – Fern Mayhem

As I’m always telling you to do, I had fun with this week’s prompt. Rather than focus on making perfect leaves, I focused more on shapes and the flow of the leaves on my paper.


The white fern-like “leaves” were created with a stencil and a splash Derwent Inktense. I plopped these onto the paper and then let the Inktense (which is similar to using watercolor) dry. Then, I filled in the space with some fern-like fronds that I let swish around the stencil work. These were done in Derwent Graphitint which are interesting lightly colored graphite pencils that are water soluble.



Time for you to get out your sketch books and start leafing out. As always, I’d love to see what you come up with so be sure to share (see how in the details below).

How Do I Participate?

The easiest way is to follow this blog so you get each week’s prompt right in your email Inbox (see sign-up thingie at the right side of this page). After each week’s prompt, have fun with it. These are sketches and are meant to be enjoyable, not something you try to make perfect. Then, please share what you came up with (go on, be brave, if I can do it, so can you!).

You can share your creation by blog or by Facebook (for those of you who don’t want to clutter up your blog with sketches).

Participating By Blog

  1. Post your sketch on your own blog (even better…write a post to go along with it to describe how you came up with your sketch).
  2. Include a link somewhere within your post to the week’s prompt on my blog that inspired you.
  3. Leave a comment on the Sketchbook Saturday post with the prompt you used. In the comment, add a link to your blog post.

Participating By Facebook

  1. Go to my Facebook page once you’ve completed your sketch.
  2. Scroll a bit to find the post for the prompt you used (Week 6, in this case).
  3. Leave a comment with a snapshot of your sketch.
  4. Share the Sketchbook Saturday post with your friends and followers (this is optional, but it’s a great way to get others to play along).

What If I Don’t Draw?

Don’t judge yourself too harshly. You can’t get better at drawing if you don’t do it. Plus, this is meant to be fun and simply to get your creative juices flowing, so give sketching a shot.

If you find your creative juices flow in other ways, such as writing or crafts or collage, I’d love to see those works as well. Simply create something based on the prompt and share following the guide above.

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