Autumnal Bookmarks

So this is great. My surface pen got out of battery, and I don’t have any AAAA batteries so I can’t use it. Therefore I can’t do a what I was planning for today. And this, kids, is why you shouldn’t procrastinate because one day you will be on top of the deadline and something isn’t going to work and time is ticking, so you have to improvise. And that’s what today’s post is going to be. IMPROVE!

My point was to do a cute autumnal bookmark. I thought of using a leaf to mark your book is something I wish to do.But instead of going outside and pick up some leaves why not making them. I love making stuff and if they don’t take much time or don’t challenge too much my drawing ability – heads up not the best drawer over here – I can enjoy myself and have some unique bookmarks.

Painting is not my forte being with watercolour, markers or pencil (or any other) I never explored too much that side so my skills are still too basic and that’s when SketchBook and Photoshop come into play. With any of this tools you can mix colours and create overlaps in a way, I can’t do by myself. Plus you can always use Ctrl+Z and do it again without having to draw over and over again. Although, everyone that experience drawing on a computer with a pen or table & pen product knows that you kind need to learn a new skill. It’s similar to drawing with pencil and paper but for sure not the same. And either we like, or not our brains are used to have a piece of paper and to rotate around, place your hand where ever it feels like. But drawing on a touch screen you start warring your hand will touch on anything that it shouldn’t and you lose the relaxation on your hand and that spontaneity for drawing.

But to be honest, the kind of bookmark I’m visualizing in my mind is easier to do by hand. Although, I just wanted to give you guys something you could just print off, cut and use right away, without having to draw a single line. Because I’ve spent my high school in a Arts course, and I like to draw, but that doesn’t mean you, reading this, like as well, maybe you are here just to get a new bookmark, or you don’t think you have the skill necessary to put this off.

Either way, as I said, I need to improve, and so I’m going to do a watercoloured bookmark – or try to – and we see out it goes from there. I’m going to take you step by step if you want to try it yourself or this is going to be a complete fail, and I end up giving you tips on what not to do when watercolour painting. *small voice* Yeahhh… I’m so excited *small voice*

When I was looking for my watercolour paper block, what was my surprise to only find one sheet? ONE SHEET! For real this day was going all wrong. Which in the end created, even more, pressure on myself. So I couldn’t do anything wrong, or else I would have no paper left. So before jumping to the actual deal, I did a few tests on normal paper – which is the same or do nothing at all. Obviously, the paper absorbed all the water instantaneously without mixing the colours (no surprise here). And also to kill some time since my camera had no batteries – and I own two batteries, TWO!! ( today was one of those days, you know). No need to tell that my confidence was nowhere to be found.

The first leave I draw was the one that felt easier to do. I just searched on Pinterest for real photos of the leaves I tried to mimic the colour scheme. I wanted to do a red one since it’s the most unusual colour to see on leaves – at least where I live – and it seemed simple and uniform. Turns out I had no clue what I was doing and this turn out to be my “real” first test. I haven’t touched my watercolour pallet in 4 or 5 years, so I don’t remember how the water and the colours behaved on the paper. As I was painting, I was discovering what to do and what not to do.

I started by drawing seven pointed ellipses with one point base. Then I just erased the inside lines living only the outline. Then I just started messing around, not knowing what the hell I was doing. As it was my first leaf, I messed up on the centre. I added some green and yellow for the contrast but forgot that all that should come from the same point on the base of the leaf. Only realized that when I was drawing the veins and suddenly it wouldn’t match up.


For the second leaf, I was already more confidente I wanted to keep it simple again but explore more the mix and degradΓ© of the colours. So I went for the honeylocust leaf. I went a lot with my feelings, and in the end, it turned out well. But the transaction from the yellow to the green got a bit unnatural for my taste. But it turns out this was the easiest one to make. Although the size of the leaves was hard to get the way I wanted.

For the last one, I wanted to do an acorn and just painting the nuts wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, so why not pair it with a couple of leaves? By the time I was painting this one, my mind was already in heaven. I started remembering how good it felt drawing/painting and especially my confidence was back, and I stopped caring much if it was perfect. For a few moments, I thought this was a too big of a challenge for me. After all, I had to draw shadows and find a way to do the texture of the acorn.

To finish up, I used my Caran D’ache watercolour pencils to do the veins in white and some blue and black to the details in the shadows. I still don’t understand what I was doing, but by just simply watching youtube videos of people painting and with the inktober challenge throughout the entire month, I’ve always been receiving a fair dose of technics that unconsciously have stuck into my mind. Although, I would like to try and repeat the same drawings with the same colours to see if I really knew what I was doing or if it was just lucky.

In all of the leaves, I drew a margin since my purpose all along with this post was to create bookmarks out of the ordinary. So instead of the typical rectangular – which has nothing wrong – I wanted the motif to give me the shape. Also, I thought to outline the drawings with a pen but -I was scared to overwork the painting and end up destroying it. After all, we don’t have a Ctrl+Z button on real life.

In the end, I’m really satisfied how they turned out. I’m a perfectionist, and I was afraid to do something that I didn’t like and would end up with no blog post – I knew I wouldn’t dare to share such failure. On my mind, I was thinking of a more nit painting but that probably only with Photoshop. But since I still have to buy the batteries these will do for now.

I’m probably going to add Drawing to my habit tracker since I’m going to start it again, I want to improve and be able to do some fan art of my favourite books. Oh, I’m already imagining… see this is the problem! I think about it so much that when I try to do it, it doesn’t go as planned and I get frustrated and give up, but that’s another blog post.

Hope you have some really cosy readings!