Just Leaves

Sand Salt Moon.jpg

Watercolor and colored pencil ~ leaves painted with mixed greens (using shades of blue and yellow with a tiny bit of red, too). The jagged edge one is from some kind of vine that grows here in Central Florida. The smooth-edged one is from a Gardenia bush.



Variegated Ginger Plant

Ginger plant - watercolor and gesso by Cynthia ManigliaImpromptu variegated ginger plant painting tonight – unwinding from a long week and looking forward to a day off my favorite way … with art! I There are lots of ways to execute this plant’s uniquely marked leaves with paint and color, shape and forms. I’d like to return to this subject again. For now, here’s my stab at it.

Painting the ginger plant

Ginger plant - Florida

Banana Leaves – a Study

banana leaves by cynthia maniglia.jpg
Available on Society6
Banana Leaves study – pastel and gesso on gessoed sketchbook paper by Cynthia Maniglia

Banana leaves have caught my eye lately, as you can see. And there are plenty of them to study here in Florida. All I have to do is walk outside in the back, and peer over at my neighbor’s yard. Here, I used pastels on gessoed sketchbook paper to create the leaves. After drawing and blending the pastels with my fingers and a wet paintbrush, I painted some white gesso on top to create more definition between the leaves. I’d like to play around with these leaves and this technique some more and see what I can do with them.

One of the interesting things about this study is that I was able to use water to manipulate the pastels on the gessoed paper as if it were watercolor paint. Using this mixed media technique resulted in a good bit of texture, including a slight impasto effect, and I plan to use this method again. It was totally unplanned and experimental.

Detail of Banana Leaves study

Soft Autumnal Colors

Have you ever seen vintage textile pattern templates? They have a faded, beige-y look to them. Here, I tried to create a vintage look in soft autumnal colors using watercolor, along with copper and gold metallic markers. Hope you enjoy looking at this! Thanks for checking it out …

Vintage Textile Pattern - Cynthia Maniglia
Vintage Textile Pattern – Cynthia Maniglia

Fall Festival

From leaves I collected on my walk yesterday, I created this last night and finished it this morning. It’s chilly and brisk outside. Yesterday, the morning was misty with a light spray of rain here and there, but I went for my morning walk all bundled up with hat and gloves. It felt invigorating. All of the colorful leaves were on the ground. We have not had the gorgeous display on the trees that we’ve had in years past. The street known for its stunning awning of yellow leaves isn’t feeling it this fall; the ground is where you’ll find the yellow leaves now. I picked a few up and found some gorgeous red ones on another street. Bouncing off my “Imagined Garden,” I decided to do a fall version. My sweetie asked me to create a lighter colored (summer) version like the garden one, so that’ll be my next project. Unless I get sidetracked …

Fall Festival by Cynthia Maniglia, 2015 Watercolor, water soluble marker, and metallic gold ink on 140 lb. cold pressed paper.
Fall Festival by Cynthia Maniglia, 2015
Watercolor, water soluble marker, and metallic gold ink on 140 lb. cold pressed paper.

A Good Place To Rest My Brush

Leaves in watercolor journal - C. Maniglia, 2015
A bed of leaves ~ good to paint and a good place to rest my paint brush
Fallen Leaves in watercolor journal - C. Maniglia, 2015
Fallen Leaves in watercolor journal – C. Maniglia, 2015


The most colorful fall leaves, it seems, are not in the trees where I am in PA this time of year; they’re on the ground. I picked up the more colorful ones I came across on my morning walk and painted them up in my watercolor journal. Mine painted leaves are even more colorful; but they are inspired by nature. And so I rest my brush. Have a good day!