Some years, the joy of painting autumn, like the season itself seems to creep in unnoticed.

We all wait for spring and summer for their vibrant, fresh colours. Flowers are brilliant sunshine hues. They grow and bloom at increasing pace, giving us changes in the scenery every week. We revel in magenta, lavender and deep purple blossoms. Soft blousy petals enticing us to bring out our brushes and our paints.

Without any warning, the burnt orange and yellow tones of the third season have dotted the landscape. At the first sightings, I feel the loss of another summer’s beauty.

Painting Autumn: the burnt orange and yellow tones of the third season dot the landscape.

The warmth of autumn colours belies the creeping chill in the air. I’m not ready for winter yet. Wait! I haven’t finished with summer yet! But then, as the rich, rusty colours creep across the treescapes, I begin to feel the quiet pleasure of painting autumn.

Winter has its own pleasures. Like the toastiness of an open fire and the crisp cold tones of snowscapes and winter light. But autumn sometimes feels like the poor relation; the distant cousin you don’t really want to get to know better because they seem, at first, quite uninteresting. Frankly, quite boring. But there’s a little voice in your heads that says maybe they’re not really dull at all.

Finding the joy in painting autumn.

I need to remind myself to take a closer look. To go out and find the glory of autumn. It’s in the trees and the light. The crunch of fallen leaves under foot. And the palette of quinacridone coral, cadmium yellow, transparent pyrrol orange, moving gradually into burnt sienna, russet, burnt umber and van dyk brown. This is a gloriously rich colour palette.

As we approach autumn (or rather, autumn arrives in our hills and valleys), remember to get out there and really look at the colours of nature.