Saturday, 12 November 2016

A time for gathering

Autumn is such a beautiful time isn't it? 

I really want to capture it; the astonishing changes in colour, the crisp chilled air. Artists have always tried to capture the colours and feelings of the season.

For me, I also want to capture the textures. Crunching through the leaves, the rustling of the trees...

When I was a little girl I used to try saving the beautifully colourful leaves or sticking them in a scrapbook but they always fell apart or continued drying till they became brown and brittle.

I know how to do it now!

You need to gather the leaves before they are brittle. At the beginning, when they have lots of colour and are still flexible is the perfect time to add them to our sketchbooks and preserve them for a long, long time. These are about 6 years old and they are in one of my sketchbooks that have been looked at by hundreds of people.

Here is how to do it. PVA glue! also known as White Glue.

This is an adhesive that is made acrylic. A kind of plastic and if we coat our leaves well enough it encases them and will stop them deteriorating. 

These pieces of Bracken Fern were picked while they were still flexible. On a piece of non stick paper I coated the back and front with the glue making sure I coated every little nook and cranny.

I painted my sketchbook page with a base colour and when it was dry, coated it with PVA glue and laid the fern onto it. I added more glue and pressed it into the fern so it becomes fully embedded.

When it is fully dry you can add colour by watering down paints and trickling them between the spaces in the leaves.

Now you can capture a little piece of Autumn colour for yourself. Go out for a lovely walk and see what beautifully shaped leaves you can find.


  1. You would love my garden Paula, loads of Japanese maple leaves in fabulous shapes and colours. I will try to get some preserved like you have described.
    Wendy xx

  2. It sounds so beautiful Wendy. Life has been so crazy that I haven't had time to visit but I hope that next year we will be able to squeeze in a couple of days. xx