52-Week Art Journal

Week 47: Last Leaves of Autumn Watercolor

I know I was supposed to move on… “supposed to”… move on from watercolors BUT I really wanted to try my version of an autumn branch I saw on Andrea Nelson’s Instagram. And I thought you’d enjoy it, too. And since it’s Thanksgiving week, I figured it would be time to move on from autumn.

Welcome to Week 47 of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey. I’m Melinda and I’m here to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and practice creative self-care with my simple form of art journaling, with one small-art and journaling prompt each week for one year.

If you’ve been around the 52-Week Art Journal Journey for a while you know that I’ve enjoyed watercolors far more this year than I expected. If you’re new and curious, click here for my YouTube video introduction. And don’t miss Week 1, where we made our journals, and this journey, our own… click hereIf you need an economical mixed media art journal to get started, scroll down to a link at the end. And speaking of scrolling down, if you’d like to watch before you read… I did leave out one important detail, though, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

This week’s project starts with an autumny watercolor wash. Remember that if you want to tone down your red, use green. To tone down your yellow, use purple. And for orange, blue. Complementary colors.

My first run at my autumn-leaf-colored background came out a little darker than I’d intended. But that’s okay. I’d also made everything too wet, so I used a paper towel to both deal with the excess and create some texture.

I made this week’s small art on a horizontal page. If it weren’t for some filming limitations I would have gone with vertical. But I ended up glad it was horizontal.

For the branch I used acrylic paint, so it wouldn’t be reactivated by the water. And, yes, that is the important detail I left out of the video.

I’ve been wanting to try painting and mark-making with a twig. It was fun. Though I used a small and more easily controllable one than I will for some upcoming collage paper experimentation. Such a fun and enjoyable process, and effect.

I didn’t look back at Andrea’s reel, but know that are layers of leaves, and it’s a lovely effect with pleasing depth. Working on a smaller surface, I started small, and rather got smaller. And when I went back after my theoretically first layer of leaves was dry… I really liked my little leaves each standing gracefully (yeah, no, I know they could have been more graceful) in its spot.

As I so often say, do what works for you.

As I even more often say, I’m glad you’re here. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and take some time for creative self-care. Grateful. Thankful. And here in the US it’s Thanksgiving, a time when we’re encouraged to think about all that we have to be thankful for. Regardless of where you are in the world, it’s never a bad time to reflect and be grateful. So our perfect theme is that.

What are you grateful for?

And if you want to take it a little further, don’t just right about what you’re thankful for, but also the practice of gratitude. How does choosing to practice and express gratitude impact you and your life?

I’ll be back next week with another small-art and journaling prompt! In the meantime, enjoy one last week of autumn art. Maybe your branch will be leafier. Maybe your leaves will be larger. Maybe you’ll give yours more depth like Andrea Nelson. Take some time to relax and practice creative self-care this week of Thanksgiving here in the US. Have some watercolor fun. Make an autumn (or otherwise) branch with your own spin.… and check out or click here to revisit past prompts for more inspiration.

If you decide to share your 52-Week Art Journal Journey small art on Instagram to encourage others to reclaim their creativity and practice creative self-care, tag me melindavanry or better.with.art. And if you’re not yet, give me a follow. My art inspiration and art for sale on melindavanry. Creative self-care art and content on better.with.art. Want a smaller safe place to share and be encouraged? Click here to sign up for a link to my private Facebook group and creative self-care encouragement emails… and be among the first to know what’s coming up next as the 52-Week Art Journal Journey winds down.

Make art, Friend! It’s not a waste of time. Your mental health is important.

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