Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published:  January 2023   –   Revised:  February 2024

Gifts for You

As a strong creative and arty person, for many years, I have generated countless free resources on Alison Hazel Art. These guides, lists and templates are to help you get back to art, get to grips with being a hobby artist and build your art micro side business.

But these freebies are scattered all over my website and so, to help you out even more, I have put all my Alison Hazel Art Freebies in one place, right here. From now on you can easily look through all of them and get the ones you want and need right now.

Face of Jesus Guide

  • How to draw the Face of Jesus – This is a guide I made to help get the facial proportions correct and for a starting point to draw Christ. Use your intuition when using this guide.

Fibonacci Shell Template

  • Fibonacci Shell Template – This is a quick template to draw the dynamic natural Fibonacci shell which is, let’s face it, a tricky design to get your head around. 



Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel is a woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Autumn Leaf Colored Pencil Art

Autumn Leaf Colored Pencil Art


Seasonal Beginning, Middle and End

Each of the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, has a beginning, a middle and an end.

There is early Autumn when the Sun is in Virgo (September/October), middle Autumn when the Sun is in Libra (October/November) and late Autumn when the Sun is in Scorpio (November/December).

I live in Vancouver and, during November, the late Autumn leaves fall from the trees every day.

For this sketch I waited for the leaves to be variegated.

Multicolored leaves meant that one leaf has green, red and yellow in it.

I did not want to be too early in the season when the leaves and mainly green with a little red.

Additionally, I did not want to wait too late when the leaves get to be a washed-out yellow color which happens later in the season.

This is tricky and I had to be on the lookout every day to see which leaves meet my “color variety” mid-season criteria.

Get a Leaf

Well enough about that, just get a leaf to draw.

Hobby Artist

I am a hobby artist which means I’m sharing my journey to get better with art with you. I believe that in time to come I will get better at drawing as I hone my craft with more practice and some art classes.

I believe that Leonardo da Vinci took seventeen years before he was skilled enough to draw his masterpieces, so there is no rush for me or for you.

Perpetual Nature Journal

Perpetual Nature Journal

This time I am working on the November page of my Perpetual Nature Journal.

You can find out more about my Perpetual Nature Journal.

Pencil Sketch

I did a light pencil sketch picking up the main veins and outline of the leaf.

Colored Pencil

The colored pencils I’m using are Faber Castell polychromas.

I like to start with the lightest color first and build up to the darker colors in layers.


I used dusky yellow called dark Naples ochre and went over the middle parts near the veins.


Using cadmium orange, I laid down some color further from the veins towards the center of the leaf.


The red I chose is called middle cadmium red which is deep and ruby like to give the red color to the leaf. The leaf is red in blotches again between the veins.


Finally, the green I selected is named olive green yellowish which tells you it is a yellow green and not a blue green which is what you want for natural foliage, yellow green that is.

Art Supplies

The art supplies I used are listed here but I urge you to use what you have at hand.


  • Sketchbook
  • 2h Pencil
  • Eraser

Faber Castel Polychromas Colored Pencils



  • Yellow pencil
  • Orange pencil
  • Red pencil
  • Green pencil

Color Swatch

At the end I created a small color swatch on the side and wrote the specific colors that I used on the page in my journal.

Swatching is a great idea so you can reproduce the exact drawing again later.

Thank You

Thank you for sharing a part of your day with me.



Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Go here to read more about Alison’s story.

If you want to send Alison a quick message go here.

More Articles

If you enjoyed this post, check out some more of our art related articles below.

How One Artist Won Inktober for the First Time

How One Artist Won Inktober for the First Time


This year, 2022, I was delighted to discover the artist, Sandra Sobota @faerenn and she took up the challenge and completed all thirty days of Inktober using the AHAtober prompts for self-care.

I recently interviewed Sandra and I am thoroughly excited to share her thoughts on this art challenge with you.


About Sandra

Are you a full-time artist or do you have a day job?

In everyday life, I am an English teacher. After failing to get a well-paid job in a big city to continue living there after my graduation, I decided to return to my hometown, the furniture industry. I thought I’d end up as an office worker with English skills, but the local job market was in a dire need of good English teachers. I teach in high school, and in a private school, in which I conduct remedial classes for students that fall behind, extra classes for ambitious students, and courses for adult groups. My working hours are irregular but I generally work from 8 AM to 8 PM. I am often tired, but I love my job and the people I work with.

My students’ age varies from 11 to even 77 years!

What city/country do you live in?

I’m from Kępno, Poland. Kępno is a small town with about 15 thousand inhabitants. It’s situated 75 km from Wroclaw, and about 160 km from Poznań where I used to live for 6 years, during my university years. I also mentioned before that it’s the furniture industry, having about 800 furniture-making companies here!

Do you consider yourself as a hobby artist or a commercial artist or something else?

I’d say, I’m more of a hobby artist. Drawing helps me relax, and it gives me some joy, it defines me and reflects my feelings. Sometimes I decide to share my creations, and it makes me happy when people share their enthusiasm towards my works. But the number of followers I have is mostly people I know. I guess I don’t have it in me that would make people stay, or I can blame the algorithm for this. But I’d still want to remain myself, and create art out of joy.

However, I did sell some pieces. I had some paid commissions, once I drew a girl from a photo I liked, and her mother wrote to me that she wanted to purchase the drawing from me. And I drew for a charity auction, the drawing was sold for an amazing price, in USD currency it would be around US$75, in my country, that’s a lot of money.

Did you go to art school or design college?

Imagine that I wanted to go to art school, but I was rejected! They preferred students who mastered some well-known techniques, e.g. cubism, and realism. I found a lack of creativity and uniqueness in their works. It felt like those students weren’t people but machines programmed to produce some art. While creating something, I live by this quote found in The Cat Returns (2002) by Studio Ghibli  (Hayao Miyazaki):

“Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.”

And the creations I saw back then, had no soul. It opened my eyes and made me give up on the idea of going to any art school; I didn’t want to be abused by some strict art teachers, produce fine art masterpieces that no one would even hear of, and, most of all, be a nobody. I’ve never heard of any famous graduates from that art school I tried to apply to. I didn’t want to end up sitting on the street, begging for someone to buy my art.

Most artists I know and admire are self-taught and didn’t finish any art schools, I find it redundant.

Are you into self-care in general?

It’s hard to tell. I know self-care is important, but I’ve just only realized it not so long ago. It was the end of summer 2017, when I set myself free from a heavy burden that destroyed me mentally, I was a total wreck. I remember I was seeing a psychiatrist, I was on antidepressants, too. And while still recovering, I managed to get my master’s degree. It gave me a lot of power and feeling invincible. I alluded to those events in my other work, DAWN (no. 19)

However, I do struggle with body positivity. I do suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, which was triggered by the past trauma, including comparing to others, bullying and lowering my self-esteem by the third party. I’m still trying to find my way around self-care. I consider myself a student in this field, but a sloppy one (laugh). I tend to sacrifice my needs for the greater good.

What inspires you and to whom do you look up?

I enjoy works of Neimy Kanani especially her works from the prior years, when she used sketches, ink and watercolors. I like her style and way of coloring. Some works may be similar to hers, at some point. I love her lining.

However, my watercolor guru is none other than Gris Grimly. I love his watercolor coloring and the way he draws figures. I am into spooky stuff, and his characters. It’s way different from my doll-like characters, but this makes his figures interesting and original, he isn’t afraid of playing with geometry. When it comes to his coloring, I know he uses Holbein’s watercolors and masking fluid, something that I still have to get familiar with.

What is your favorite color and why?

I have 3 favorite colors, black, yellow and red (and I even mentioned them on no. 26, LIGHT! 😊.

I like black for its uniqueness. I don’t find it a solemn color, but rather elegant and intimidating. I feel good wearing black and this color attracts me.

Red, for its vividness and energy, and I love combination of black and red. My room in my family house is actually red, and I feel good in it!

Yellow is my favorite color from childhood, I consider it a happy color. All things I loved as a  child were yellow – chicks, the sun, daffodils and other yellow flowers. I like returning with my thoughts to those happy moments.


How many times have you done Inktober in the past or is this your first year?

This was my first year of doing Inktober. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never had time, or I thought so. Some events in my life allowed me to have extra time and made it possible for me to participate.

Why did you choose to do the AHAtober self-care prompts in 2022?

I was looking for something different from the original prompt list – Honestly, I didn’t like it. Not because there was something I couldn’t do, but I like themed lists. I read the entire prompt list and I was able to envision each one of them, so I decided to stick with it.

How did you manage to draw thirty images in October? Was it easy or a challenge to complete them on time?

I had to cheat a little, I admit. There were times which proved to be impossible to draw during that day. Some drawings, sketches or outlines were made way earlier before their time, for example LOVE (no. 29), which was made at the end of September!

Did you have a special time set aside in the day for making the artworks?

Continuing the answer to the previous questions, some sketches or outlines were made earlier, e.g., during the weekend. On Saturday I could create up to 4-5 sketches/outlines, which would leave me with the coloring part.

I tried to color them when there was natural light available, usually between 8AM to 10AM, and this is also the time when the drawings were posted online. Later on during the day, I’d have little time to draw or color. I sometimes started coloring late in the evening, to finish it in the morning.

Please can you share some of your process with us?

I don’t have much photos from the process but I could describe how the work process looked like. I started with some coffee, and scrolling through some of my daily pages. Then, I turned to Pinterest on which I watch some color aesthetics. This way I know how some colors work. I started imagining characters with the given colors, sometimes choosing the colors prior to the sketch. I have no problems with ideas or concepts, but sometimes I needed some guidance, I have two:

After envisioning things, I started drawing with my mechanical pencil – as a child I hated them, but with time, I started appreciating how thin they are, and my hand also became more gentle, so I had no issues while using it. When I considered my initial sketch done, I started the lines with Pigma MICRONs, then I could erase the pencil with a kneaded eraser – I like those erasers, because they don’t damage the paper, and don’t leave any flakes. I can tap them to easily remove the pencil.

After it was done, then I started coloring. I colored whatever I saw fit, but usually I started with the skin.

What was your favorite prompt from AHAtober this year?

It’s hard to choose my favorite.

However, I like what I did in SKY (no. 8). A girl and a dress made of clouds, semi-transparent. In here, I made quite realistic clouds, as I’ve tried a little bit of Bob Ross in my life. I’m glad I still remember how to do it 😊

I also love the smoothness of skin in JOURNAL (no.12), I think I did an amazing job with the blush, but it was a matter of the right timing.

And I like FRAGRANCE (no.17), I thought I’d ruin it while coloring but the robe turned out amazing. This is the drawing I loved from the very sketch, and I was struggling with the decision whether to color it or not.

What was your least favorite prompt from AHAtober this year?

I hated it when the prompts were similar, e.g. SUNRISE/DAWN, with little technical difference. But the piece I can say I hate the most is RELAX LOVE (no. 28).

Honestly, there was nothing wrong with it, I liked it as a sketch, but I felt I ruined it with the coloring. I thought the colors would work the way I thought, but I was so wrong. I insisted on adding purple and then green hues, and it made it a total mess. I think if I used just blue colors, it’d turn out better.

To win Inktober you must create thirty drawings during October, what advice can you give our readers who want to try Inktober or AHAtober in the future, so they can succeed?

If you know that you have little time in your pocket, start a little bit earlier. Some artists had half of the Inktober pieces ready before Inktober even started!

What is your favorite art medium markers, colored pencil, watercolor paint or other?

Actually, it’s watercolor markers, or, Aquamarkers by DecoTimeCrafts, that I found in Action store.

I love that they have a tray. So far, I’ve got a collection of 80 Aquamarkers (80 in a tray, and 10 in a minibox). Above the tray, there’s a framed sampler that I created, to learn how they behave raw, and if you add some water. This way I can easily navigate between the colors.

On rare occasions, I also like watercolor pencils by Koh-i-Noor.

I like to dilute the sketch with water, I also feel I have control over the drawing. It’s actually a great starter if someone wants to begin working with watercolors, especially if this is a shift from colored pencils to watercolors.

I am aware that there are better tools or paints, but I believe that you don’t need the most expensive ones in the world to create the best works, as long as you know the possibilities of the said tools.

Where can our readers see more of your work?

Only on Instagram, here @faerenn.

Honestly, I have two DeviantArt accounts, but I don’t remember the mail and password, it’s a shame. But I feel that DeviantArt is slowly dying – it’s not what it used to be when I was still using it.

How would you sum up your AHAtober experience this year?

It was a very nice experience. Tiring, required some sacrifices, but it allowed me for a moment of reflection. There was even a moment where I allowed myself for a little bit of anger, so the narrative changed from my original concept. I guess I needed this.

My mom told me that she liked it when I elaborated on something. She doesn’t understand English but she pressed “translate” option on Instagram. I know my other friend was also reading my monologues, as I had some discussions with her later on.

Pin this image to your Pinterest board.

What do you plan to do with the AHAtober images which you created?

In my area, there are many children in need, that are trying to get money for life-saving surgeries. For example, a boy with a heart disease which was getting money for a surgery in Boston, MA. Now, there’s a 3-year-old girl with a neuroma. I think I’ll set them up for an auction, where all the money would be donated to their cause.

But prior to that, I’d like to scan my pictures.

What activities will you do the same next year in your art practice to win Inktober?

Definitely making up the most on days off, this is what helped me in catching up (or rather, being ahead of the curve).

What will you change next year for Inktober?

I think I’ll start planning a bit earlier (laugh). I decided to do Inktober quite late.


Do you have any further comments that you would like to share?

It kinda felt lonely, as I thought many other people would join your challenge. But who am I to say, I’m not an influencer either, and when my drawings got 30+ likes, I was like, “wow”.

Do you have other hobbies and interests? 

Apart from traditional art, I’m also into digital drawing, sewing and flower embroidery.

Thank you.

You’re welcome 😊 I’m glad I could be a part of your Inktober/AHAtober challenge 😊


Alison Hazel

Artist Bio: Sandra Sobota


Sandra Sobota is a teacher and talented watercolor artist from Poland.

She is a mutable water Pisces and loves dogs, animals and nature. Apart from traditional art Sandra enjoys digital drawing, sewing and flower embroidery.

Go here to see more of Sandra’s work.

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Seasons of Art: Spring

Seasons of Art: Spring

Seasons of Art: Spring 2023 Group Meeting Learn more about the recent Seasons of Art group meeting. See more about the Seasons of Art group here.  Satvvir's Artwork Below is Satvvir's artwork (Instagram @theambivertsbb). She used watercolor and combined orabges...

Weird Gourds – Colored Ink Art

Weird Gourds – Colored Ink Art

Oh, My Gourd!

I was in my local grocery store yesterday and spotted these weird looking gourds in the pumpkin section.

This is not a vegetable I usually prepare, cook and eat, but I thought maybe this time, as I wanted to add a drawing to my Perpetual Nature Journal, I would see what I could do.


Hi, I’m Alison and I call myself a hobby artist.

I am on a journey to get better at art and I’m doing this for self-care.

In a digital world I find that slow-paced activities which are creative support my drive for a slower lifestyle.

You can read about my journey.

Art Supplies

Get Your Stuff

I urge you to use the paper, sketchbooks, pencil, inks and paints which you have at hand.

I believe that artists already have what they need and there is no requirement to let not having the exact equipment I used to stop you from creating art.

No excuses here.

Look around and gather your art tools.

Specific Art Supplies

These are the exact art supplies which I used for this artwork.

Part 1 – Drawing the Outside

Perpetual Nature Journal

I added this drawing to my Perpetual Nature Journal on the October page.

This is the first sketch I have for October as I only began this journal earlier in the year in May.

Pencil Sketch

Once I had handled the gourd and rolled it around to find a good side, I lightly sketched the gourd out.

I used my favorite pencil which has a 2H lead. The 2H describes light lines on the page which are easier to erase later.

I took care to get the knobby bits and the color changes as patches as well.

Colored Ink

When working with these inks you do need to shake the bottles beforehand, but you also must wipe off the screw tops before you close them otherwise the stick and you can’t get the lid off next time.

There is an art to looking after your Windsor and Newton inks pots as well.


I began with some Canary Yellow ink in my palette and thinned it down quite a bit with water.

I like to keep the paper quite dry and not add too much water, but it is a balancing act.

It seems I prefer to work with the wet on dry technique and not the wet on wet. One.

This opinion may change, but for now it is my selected method of working with colored ink.


Next, I added some Orange to the palette and dabbed it in where the gourd was much darker.


The green was the Emerald Green to which I added a little Canary Yellow to make it more like a sage or olive green.

I watered down the ink mix quite substantially and then slowly built up the color after each drying.


I let this artwork dry in between and then added more color with a light touch.


Finally, I went over the whole drawing with a 0.3mm black pen to define the main outlines.

With this pen I held it loosely and let it wobble a little.

The pen part does give this a flavor of an ink and wash piece.

Part 2 – Drawing the Sliced Half


After I’d completed the outside painting of the gourd it occurred to me to look inside.

I struggled considerably to cut this vegetable in half.

I tried my main straight-blade kitchen knife, but to no avail.

Then I got out my big South African cleaver forged from one piece of steel and heavy, oh so heavy, and I managed to push the blade into the gourd.


Next, I set about sketching and inking the sectional slice of this gourd.

To be honest there were some interesting seeds in the main cavity, but not much flesh on the gourd only about half an inch of orange pulp.


Cooking the Gourd

After finishing the painting, I tried to cook with the gourd.

I had so much trouble chopping this vegetable up that I gave up.

The skin is so tough.

In the end I had about six one-inch cubes of flesh which I added to the pan with my other roast red potatoes, onions and other vegetables which I was cooking that night.

A gourd is not a vegetable that I am likely to buy to consume again.

However, I am likely to buy them for still-life autumnal center pieces which I love to create and draw.

You can see this year’s Seasonal Art Group story here.

Aspiring Artist Activity


This is an activity which can be done by anyone who has vegetable, which I’m assuming is everyone.

Get the kids involved as well.

Find a knobby vegetable that is interesting, perhaps with multiple colors or is a weird shape, which you want to draw.

In your Perpetual Nature Journal and on the appropriate month’s page please do the following:


  • On the appropriate month’s section find a suitable page.
  • Draw a light pencil sketch and remember that we are not engraving.
  • Color in or wash with watercolor, colored ink or your favorite art medium.
  • Pen over to add definition to your artwork.
  • Write the name of the plant in pen below.
  • Sign and date somewhere near the bottom left.


Daily Life

This is not the most exciting painting you are likely to create.

Rather, it is a part of paying attention to the world around you and noting the details that go in to make up daily life.

Sketch Journal

This sort of activity can also be created in your sketch journal as a drawing about your day.

If you are the sort of artist who constantly draws your coffee cup in your sketch journal, then doing a gourd will spice things up a little.

Celebrate Seasonal Changes

Celebrate the changing seasons with this type of painting.

It could be a part of your Phenology Wheel as well where you observe nature around you and, during Autumn, the fruits and vegetables ripening into maturity.

Thank You

Thank you for spending part of your day with me.



Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel is a woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Seasons of Art – Vancouver Group

Seasons of Art – Vancouver Group



The “Seasons of Art” is a group that meets once each season with a focus on developing creativity and self-care through simple art and journaling.

The first meeting was on Saturday, October 15th, 2022.

There was a still-life in the colors of the current session on the middle of the table for everyone to draw if they liked.

They did not have to draw the seasonal still-life if they had other art or journaling projects which they were working on.


Hosted by Alison of Alison Hazel Art a hobby artist in Vancouver, Canada.

Alison is building a community of people who love to paint and draw and write in a safe and supporting atmosphere where everyone is valued.

You can find out more about Alison here.

Spring23 Group

Find out about our recent Seasons of Art group meeting for Spring 2023.

Autumn 2022 Seasons of Art Group

I was delighted to have two guests join me at the first session.

As an ice breaker, there was a white board where everyone was invited to draw their avatar and write their contact info if they wished.

See below.


Meet and Greet

We all met and got to know each other a little.

They are great gals whom I knew did painting who I reached out to with an invitation.

We fixed some nibbles and poured a glass of cheer.

Then all three of us settled in to sketch and paint the autumnal still-life I had composed earlier on the table.


Satvvir’s Artwork

Below is the art that Satvvir created.

Her focus was on the texture of the fruits, the gleam of the copper jugs and the mini cauldron.

She used wax and colored pencil for her delightful composition.


Arwynne’s Artwork

Below is the art that Arwynne created.

Her focus was initially on the greenery.

Then she honed in to make a well considered composition of the multiple elements in the still-life arrangement.


My Painting

Below is the watercolor artwork I created during the evening.

On my Strathmore watercolor paper I first did a pencil sketch with a 2H pencil then began painting with my Sakura Koi watercolor paints.

I used a fine size 2 paintbrush for all the details.


Thank You Keepsake

As a thank you, as the evening wound down, I gave my friends each one of my Winter Circles Neurographic Artist Trading Cards as a keepsake.

In the future, I plan to create other mini take home artpieces as momentoes of the event.

I may even encourage people to bring some to share too. Who knows?

Autumn Seasons of Art Meeting Roundup

I think our evening went well.

We enjoyed sparkling conversation in a safe and supportive environment and we created some original artworks together.

To open a space for creative growth is a wonderful thing.

A win for everyone.


Guest Feedback

“Thank you for hosting, it was a fun evening.”

“Thank you for inviting me over and being such a lovely host.”


More Details of the Seasons of Art Group

Weekend Evenings

We plan to meet one Saturday or Sunday evening from 6pm to 8pm each season, so we will get together four times a year.

The four seasons are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter so we plan one session every solar quarter which is three months.

Winter 2023 Date

The proposed date for the Winter Seasons of Art was for January, but it will have to be sometime in February.

I’ll post the exact date when I have it.

If you are interested reach out to me here.



Downtown Vancouver at Alison’s place and later, when we get bigger, in a booked venue somewhere in Downtown Vancouver.

The Summer meeting could perhaps be in a park or at the beach.


Hobby Artists and those who Journal

People who want to be creative.

The Vancouver chapter initially attracts people living in or near the downtown area.

What to Bring

Bring your pencil, pen and sketchpad.

You can bring your watercolors or other mediums.

Bring your open heart.

If you do forget your art gear I have some paper and pencils to share.


What Not to Bring

Please do not bring your dog.

What is Provided

A seasonal still-life arrangement to draw or paint.

Water pots for your paints and paper towels.

Background music.

Light snacks.

Tea, coffee, tap water or something else.



To help people tap into their natural creativity perhaps through:


  • Doodling
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sketching
  • Art challenges like Inktober, AHAtober and Nature Journaling Month (every June)


Final Thoughts

I’m doing this as I want to build community for hobby artists and journalers.

I initially invited five people I know who do art and dabble to the first event.

I was delighted that two lovely warm and compassionate friends could make it.

I believe there is a future for this group and time will tell.

Let me know if this is something that interests you.



Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make.

She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Go here to read more about Alison’s story.

If you want to send Alison a quick message go here.

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