Welcome! Hope you see some artwork that pleases you, if not now, maybe next time…

drawing

August sketching 18: Birthday sunflowers.

Is there any gift bigger for a birthday than a sunny day in august and a large bunch of bright yellow sunflowers? so was my birthday yesterday.

And as sketches…my sunflowers captured lazily today as I think I had too much birthday yesterday…

birthday sunflowers 1

watercolor and pen in Daler and rowney sketchbook

 

birthday sunflowers 1

birthday sunflowers 2

watercolor and pen in Daler and rowney sketchbook

birthday sunflowers 2

à demain

Ronelle


August sketching 15: Kitchen vignette

I did a lot of experimenting today..playing around with inks and rigger brushes, gouache paints and aquarelles. I finally played with  a kitchen vignette in aquarelle and Herbin inks. Not totally happy with the results, so a lot of work waiting  with the inks . the drawing was actually so much better before I added the aquarelle..should’ve stopped there.

vignette cuisine

 


August sketching 14: a red roof in Beaulieu

My august sketching have slipped a little from under me and I lost a few days. The constant rain we’ve been having added to the difficulty of getting out. today’s sketch is just a large simple house  with a impressive red tiled roof…I love these red roofs..

..a red roof in Beaulieu..

watercolor and Prera pilot fountain pen in S&B sketchbook

a red roof in Beaulieu

à demain

Ronelle


August sketching 10 : Fleuriste à Toulouse..

We were in Tolouse, visiting out children and I had unfortunately only time for one quick catch of a fleuriste when we sat down for a coffee. A figure was standing just in front of us and the fleuriste was across the street…don’t now if that depth and perspective come across on the sketch… and of course the beautiful red brick of Toulouse…la ville rose.

..fleuriste à toulouse, in Stillman & birn Alpha sketchbook, vellum, 22.9×15.2cm

fleuriste toulouse

à demain

Ronelle


August sketching 7: Just half of a porcherie(pighouse) and three cows.

The rain came down by the buckets today. Beautiful of course, the rain, but not when you are on a roll and want to be in plein air, sketching or painting. I drank a cafe at out local café, waited for the rain to stop. Went home, waited for the skies to clear; Had another coffee. Starred out my back door, my only door…and looked into the  old worn porcherie, or old pighouse if you will. It will be fixed up one day, but for the moment its dilapidated charm will be immortalized on paper. Not the best sketch ever, but the goal wasn’t a great sketch today, it was all about the paper..so there we have it. Just half of a  porcherie. And three cows.

..Stillman and Birn Alpha series, vellum surface, 22.9×15.2cm..

porcherie stillman & B- Alpha 5225x3533

..Close-up of the watercolor on the paper..

porcherie stillman & B- Alpha1 2679x2143

I went for the Alpha Stillman & birn sketchbook today, a real charmer! Much happier than yesterday with the Epsilon. It has a Vellum texture which is satiny an beautiful to work with in watercolors…like the HP of Arches and Fabriano. I like the color and yes…beautiful granulation…see the blue sky in the close-up above. (Even though it was a grey rainy day, I wanted to see what the paper does with cerulean blue which is known for having lovely granulation..on the right paper). The book opens nice and flat and I am surprised at how much water it can actually take, because I worked with even more water today than usual, really giving this little book a challenge. The buckling is present, but as already said, buckling in a sketchbook doesn’t bother me. All in all, a nice book for watercolor sketches and saying that only after one try, says a lot for me. I am an Arches and Fabriano HP fan and it takes a lot to convince me of something else better…or as good! Snob!!

Porcherie aquarelle in Stillman 4559x3161..à demain..

Ronelle


August sketching 5: more shutters and the barcounter.

Today was a tired day, even though the sky was blue and bright. Can’t explain it. It is just how it is some days.

..Typical houses around here…shops down below and the living is done upstairs, with volets(shutters), not my favorite thing to paint!

les volets 3396x4609

..done with rotring art pen in contour quick lines, while waiting for my lunch of  duck and salad to show up. Added a light wash over some of the  lines, and there you have it. a sketch..

comptoir 3452x4674


August sketching 4: Things I love.

I love old things. Things worn with time and loaded with stories. Old cups, old jugs, tins, doilies from Maman, teaspoons…And so today I sat by my table and sketched all these old things.

..Watercolor and pen in large Daler and Rowney sketchbook,  21x29cm..

Things I love aquarelle 2 4747x6469(Apologies for the bad scan…I can’t get those dark spots away without changing the colour of the aquarelle)

 While we are in the barn, I don’t have an art atelier, so in fact the whole barn is my atelier! I have a large table just behind our little sitting corner where I work  when doing watercolors or drawings etc. All the brushes and pencils and pens are at hand in copper containers. Behind me(not seen on photo)is the large easel for when I do painting and all the oil pants are stored on a trolley which I store under the table. So, in fact, it works! One doesn’t need a fancy art atelier to do art! A little corner will do. I hope you too have your little corner, even if it is a corner of the kitchen table!

..my art corner..

art table in the barn 3870x2680à demain

Ronelle


Sketching in august 3: Market scene.

Sundays we spend either at a brocante or at the market in St. Cér2..and coffee and croissant of course! Today was market day in St. Céré with coffee. It was a crazy rainy day with the sun coming out every hour for 10 minutes before it came pouring down again. We sat at the corner café and while I sketched, mon chéri worked(played chess, I think!!) on his computer. I was happy with the sketch I did in pencil. I should’ve only added pen and be done with it, but I couldn’t resist adding watercolour and it all changed…pity.

..pen and watercolor in Derwent artist’s sketchbook, 140x210cm..

St Céré aquarelle

 

The scene from our table over the heads of other coffee drinkers…

marché à St. Céré 4259x2790..and the sketch halfway done, after the watercolor wadded but before the pen lines were added.

marché St. Cére 2 3330x2660

à demain

Ronelle


August sketching 2

It is only day 2 but boy, I am having so much fun!  I feel inspired, enthusiastic creative and just in the zone…how many of you can say that this evening? I hope it will last the entire 31 day of August…and beyond. Of course it won’t, but even just a little bit of it will be good enough.

Starting off with my café, which helps get me in the “zone”, I sketches the géraniums just opposite. It was raining, the tourists took up all the other covered spots in our small village, so I didn’t have much choice of going out. In the end I am happy I stayed, it turned out not too bad, after initially starting off a bit slow…

 

géraniums à Beaulieu 3395x4817Once again, a lot of conversation around me, but it is good in teaching me to focus and listen at the same time.

  • I used yellow on the walls with touches of burnt sienna.
  • The roofs were done with ivory black and raw umber and blue.
  • The shadows on the canopies were done with a light wash of cerulean blue.
  • The geraniums done in cadmuim red and the greens in golden green, darkened with phtalo blue.
  • In the shade of the canopy in the background, behind the people dining in the foreground, a touch of light black ivory was applied for shadows.
  • In the foreground the people and tables  just behind the stone wall, closest to me were  done in bright burnt umber.
  • And lastly some yellow ochre touches here and there when the sun came out…

yelows, ocres.. 5494x3461.0001

It is a good idea to test the same colour of different brands, because they do sometimes differ. In the above sample at the bottom left I have compared the raw umber of W&N with that of Sennelier. I prefer the Sennelier raw umber which is cooler than that of the W&N.

From top left anticlockwise to bottom: warm grey, naples yellow, burnt umber, raw umber, burnt sienna, raw sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow deep, lemon yellow.

My little pocket brushes are one from Arches…le petit gris nr 6, which broke at some time and I fixed it with tape and now it still works perfectly. The other is a Kolinsky that I have no idea where it is from. all I know is that I have used it for years, so much so that I have lost its cover and now use a piece of plastic that I found which fits over the brush. (See photos down below). So you can see, I am a bit like the mechanic whose car is always in pieces…But look ate those lovely brush points…hold as much or as little water as I want them to!

A new sketchbook from Daler & Rowney which I just discovered and am quite impressed with. The paper is not that heavy, only 160g, but it takes watercolor quite well and I don’t mind a little buckling in a sketchbook. The pocket brushes from top my precious Kolinsky nr 8 with its “unbecoming” plastic cover and the “repaired”petit gris nr 6 below.

pocket brushes 2511x3239

..Kolinsky pocket brush 8..

pocket brushes 3235x2590

 

..”taped” petit gris pocket brush 6

  pocket brushes 3330x2715

à bientôt

Ronelle

 

 


August sketching 1

I am a lazy person. There you have it. My biggest secret revealed. If I don’t have deadlines and projects and goals, I fall in a slumber of doing less and less and less until I start enjoying doing less. In summer that can happen very easily with the holidays and lazy summer days, lingering by the pool…. So I decided to do some regular August sketching and get back to those sketches I haven’t done for months, years even.  No summer laziness for me then, but pens and inks and aquarelle en all these new sketchbooks I’ve ordered and papers waiting to be turned into sketchbooks.

I use the rotring art pen quite a bit, and the ink allows me to add a little water(not too much) to bleed the lines. See the little sketch of the ink bottle below which was done with a rotring artpen.

ink bottle artist pen

I also love drawing with inks and especially J. Herbin and Sennelier inks. They are good inks, easy to find and much cheaper than ordering inks from other countries, just for the sake of having inks.

…See, the pens are waiting!…pen and J .Herbin ink, “Café des isles”

copper pen holder

My palettes are organized and ready in waiting, mostly comprised of Sennelier and Winsor & Newton watercolor in tubes and pans. The palettes still need more cleaning, but you will never see perfectly clean around my art table..it confuses me completely and I can’t work…too afraid I’ll make mess!

bitg and small pallette 2315x1888

Color chart of all the colors in my palettes. Sometimes I get confused and start using one color thinking it is another, especially if they  are close in hue, so it is good to arrange and make sure the right colors are in their right places.

I use about 40 – 45 colors in the larger palette. .which stays at home. Not that I use all the colors every time of course. My tiny travel kit, which I have been using for years now, take about 16 colors which is just perfect.

paletete in aquarelle 1

Colors for my smaller palette…still deciding between some blues and yellows, but I’ll get there. I feel like change sometimes..

paletete in aquarelle 2

 

In a later post I will cover my use of color and palettes, the inks I love, the pens, pencils…all very simple. I am by far not so prolific and efficient as the urban sketchers or other daily sketchers out there. But more later in the month…this is just to get me started for the month of August.

So until tomorrow…sleep well!

Ronelle

 


Centre ville de Beaulieu s/D – sketch

I haven’t done urban sketching for quite some time. Since we have arrived here at our farm, Coin Perdu, I have mainly been doing plein air painting in the countryside or food sketches, which go with my foodblog, Myfrenchkitchen. I also mainly work on watercolor blocks, because I use a lot of water and pigment which mix directly on the paper and with a sketchbook, I have to wait quite a while before I can turn the page to do a new sketch. With the watercolor block I just ear off the paper, set it aside to dry and start a new sketch. Later I bind the sketches together. Funny thing is, people are more interested in buying the quick sketches than completed paintings, so in that sense a block works much better ( except for me, because being the total useless business person I am, I just give them away for free, thinking I can’t possibly charge money for a sketch? Well, as long as it brings that person joy, then it is OK. But…somewhere I have to draw the line though…)

So, I will get back to making my own proper sketchbooks with Arches HP paper. I have also ordered a few new sketchbooks.

The sketch below was done this morning (on Arches watercolor block, HP) in the company of friends at the market, which I found quite distracting, not being used to sketching with all that buzz around me anymore. The old buildings in France are wonky by default and below my faulty perspective makes it even worse…but for the most part, I am quite happy with this sketch after such a long dry spell.

..centre ville Beaulieu s/D..

aquarelle on Arches wartercolor block, HP, 18x26cm

aquarelle - centre ville beaulieu 6018x4216 6018x4216

..à bientôt

Ronelle


Six apples and a sucrine in aquarelle.

In summer we don’t eat apples. We munch on peaches and nectarines. Except the horses. They have their apples throughout the year. An apple is one of the most delicious subjects to draw and paint. For the experts it is a challenge to capture its real beauty and succulent appearance and for the beginner it is easy enough to start off with and be inspired to keep going.

…six apples…

pen and aquarelle on watercolor block

apples en aqua

..six apples close-up..

apples en aqua close up 3230x2669

Just for some lazy fun, I splashed some greens for a sucrine salad…using blues and yellows, purple and payes gray for darker shadows. Salad is always difficult to draw and paint, so many lines and squigles…definitely not a favorute subkect of mine. The greens are a great challenge though!

..sucrine salad..

pen and aquarelle on waterclor block

sucrine en aqua 3

..sucrine salad close-up..

sucrine en aqua 3 close-up 3452x3102


Espelette chillies in charcoal and sanguine.

Without planning it, these experiments have turned into a series. As it is raining constantly outside, I have to dine my subjects inside. I started off with clementines(see post here) and today I grabbed the bunch of dried Espelette chillies hanging next to the stove.

…Espelette chillies in charcoal and sanguine, 50x 65cm…

piment d'espelettes 2358x3075-001

I started off in light vine charcoal, rubbed over slightly  with my hand to erase most of the lines and then went in with the sanguine. piment d'espelettes 2917x3641

The completed drawing. Using white conté stick, I added the last highlights/ details.

piment d'espelettes 3097x4400

…Close- up 1…

piment d'espelettes 3219x3313

…close-up 2…piment d'espelettes 4164x2955


Radishes in charcoal and watercolor

Continuing my experimentation with large formats, different mediums and free strokes. Still sticking with charcoal, which is an unforgiving medium, but exactly that fact gives me the freedom to “play” freely. You can”t start over every time you make a mistake; so you  are forced  to work with the mistakes, which can either lead to great discoveries, or total mess ups  – not to be seen as a bad thing. I also prefer working with the dark charcoal, and one can see in the images below the really dark black it gives. I don’t use fixatives.. I have the impression it doesn’t work in any case..

…radishes in charcoal, watercolor and watercolor pencils, 42x60cm..

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3251x3976

I chose radishes, cut off most of the leaves  to expose mostly the stems, thew them out on the table and chose a composition with only a few radishes.

..the start – in charcoal lines and watercolor washes, using lot of water and allowing it to run…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3232x4683

After finishing, I stood back and the watercolor looked too washed out against the dark charcoal, so I added watercolor pencil, washed it to blend and give darker color, and here and there I left some pencil marks to echo the charcoal lines.

…radishes – close up 1..

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 4928x3264-001

Far from being a perfect piece and it won’t end up in an exhibition, this was another good exercise in getting rid of “fear”.

….radishes – close up 2…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 4928x3264

…radishes – close up 3…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3264x4928

Onto some some more work!!!

à bientôt

Ronelle


Clementines in charcoal.

Thankfully there is always an end to yesterday. And to whining. Once I got tired of my own whining about this not working and that not good enough(see the previous post), I had the clarity to see that the only way to change what I don’t like in my art, is to work at it.

..Clementines in charcoal on paper, 43X60cm..

Clementines in charcoal 3116x4317

So here is what I went for:

  1. I worked only charcoal and white conté sticks.
  2. Large format. I will go bigger still, bit for the time being 43x60cm is plenty.
  3. I put the drawing on my easel and work with the whole arm and not the wrist, standing back often to get distance.
  4. No details.
  5. Large and free strokes.
  6. No erasing.
  7. No planning ahead, trusting impulse.
  8. Still worked from life..whatever is around, but no photos.
  9. No direct copying, put marks and lines as I felt and wanted, whether it is correct or not.
  10. Stopped early enough, while I still had the urge to continue.

 I enjoyed this process todayeven though it still has my typical mark making, I feel happy about it. Will continue experimenting.

The paper is bending on the easel as I didn’t add a big enough support behind it, so the colour and focus are not perfect all over the paper.

Clementines in charcoal 2672x3629

Some close ups  below to see the marks and smudges.

Close up 1

Clementines in charcoal 4928x3264

Some of the close-ups actuall make for nice pieces on their own..so the piece of work can be torn or cut into sections and reworked..maybe collaged as part of another work…?

Close up 2

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928-002

Close up 3

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928-001

Close up 4

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928

Stay tuned for loads of work in the next few weeks..and if you feel like joining in..please do so.

à bientôt

Ronelle


Three feathers in pen and aquarelle.

With this first post on Africantapestry, I wish you all a great year!

Yesterday I gave my art students some feathers to draw. They are beginners in drawing and I was highly impressed by the result. This afternoon I thought I should do a sketch of the same feathers. My geese and chickens aren’t shedding feathers at the moment and I dug into the chicken coop to find some decent ones..well, with some imagination they could come close to decent…But it actually made for an interesting challenge. We always think of a feather being perfect and pretty and soft..these were torn and scruffy and quite dirty and they smelled like chicken..

Voilà!

..Three feathers…

Pen and aquarelle in watercolour sketchbook, HP, 18x26cm

feathers

OK. Now that the ice is broken for 2014..let’s get out and (do) and see art, like my friend Theresa Andreas O’leary at Andreas art studio likes to say!

à bientôt

Ronelle


September 20 & 21: Garden urns.

I believe in drawing as a basis for all mediums of art. Whether doing aquarelle or oil painting, statues of abstraction..it all comes down to understanding an object/subject and nothing else than good old drawing  can get one to that point. Not forgetting doing it on large format. Just my personal opinion. I don’t draw enough. There was a time when I was much better at drawing than I am now. Doing life model drawing saw to that. I have to get back to live drawing sessions with a model. Perfect for drawing skills.

..Garden urn..

rotring Tikky graphic pen on drawing paper, 21×29.7cm

garden urn

I actually enjoy doing urns, bowls, jugs…they are a good mixture of simple shapes put together in a complex way…ellipses, round shapes, triangles, rectangles, value shapes, light shapes, depth.. good practice for seeing shapes rather than lines, even though I do like line work.

Charcoal on drawing paper, 29.7×42 cm

 

 

medici 20-09-2013 14-36-12 2673x3706

Aargh…so many booboos in these 2 drawings, but it is OK. At least I didn’t ‘feather’ my drawings into correctness, like I see so often and I find it terrible. Rather a sure, continuously wrong line than a hesitantly feathered correct “line”. Once again, only my personal opinion.

à demain

Ronelle


September 19: Lipstick seduction.

I don’t wear make-up, except for the occasional mascara. But lipstick, now that I love, so much so that I have quite a few. Some shiny ones, some with real stay-power(so they say), some reds, corals and some neutrals, some fun ones..

lipstick

Seduction often begins with taste. There is no kiss like the first kiss with lipstick..” said John Baxter in his book, The most beautiful walk in the world. I can’t really say if this holds true, since I’m on the giving side of the lipstick kiss, but I can admit that I do feel quite a bit seductive when wearing a touch of lipstick. Unfortunately, it only lasts 10 minutes or so before I’ve licked every bit of seduction from my lips and I’m back to Cinderella form. I know women who daub their gloss in the morning and by lunchtime their lips are still a voluptuous  rosy invitation. Selfishly, they don’t reveal their secret.

Optimistically, I carry some lip color in my bag for those retouch moments, which never happen. My bag lipstick is still as new as the day I bought it, probably about 2 years ago. In addition, I even have an antique little purse mirror from my mother, which finally serves no other purpose than sentiment and adding weight to my bag.

In the end, all is OK actually, because 10 minutes a day is still more than nothing.

à demain

Ronelle


September 18: An apple a day.

An apple a day keeps the horses at bay…at least here at Coin Perdu. Our three adore their apples and know for sure that September means free apples picked from the apple tree.

..An apple a day..

Pen and watercolor on watercolor block, 23X31cm

an apple a day

With my apple-picking-excursion for this sketch, I once again realized the importance of having a sense of humor. I may have few outstanding qualities, but I have an extraordinary sense of humor and it is the one thing in which I have unshakable faith. It has saved me many a time. It has pulled me up when nothing else or no one else could. I know that however bad things may be today, tomorrow or the day after I will find the humor in it. So I always hang on, sometimes by a very thin thread, until that sense of humor kicks in.  Like this afternoon. In heavy pouring rain, I slipped on the slopes, got almost fried by the electric fence and couldn’t reach the apples, so I had to shake the branches, which brought down a shower of apples and extra rains, most of them finding my head. The horses got highly excited by this downpour of apples and pushed my tiny frame discourteously out of the way with their extra large behinds.  I grabbed my apples and scrambled out of their way, waving my arms and fingers at them, or maybe it was to keep my balance…who knows.

While trying to find the bumps on my head in front of the mirror and instead only finding apple drenched horse saliva, I wished I could be on the beach in the sun somewhere, elegantly sipping something colourful I don’t know the name of.

But here I am, at least with a sketch for this day.

Tomorrow I will laugh about it.

..à demain..

Ronelle


September 8: Selfportrait.

I had no idea what to draw or paint today. If I weren’t so committed to my September project, I would’ve been on the couch, watching a movie. It is raining, it is cold and it is Sunday. On the best of Sundays, I feel blue and foul mooded. Today was no exception. The drawing says it all.

..selfprotrait..

graphite on drawing paper (49,7x42cm)

selfportrait 2013 07-09-2013 19-09-17 2220x2773

à demain

Ronelle

 


September 7: Favorite Oxfords.

I tend to be very boring when it comes to choosing daily outfits. I have only a few favorite outfits in which I feel comfortable, so comfortable that I tend to wear only those. One such a comfy piece of clothing, is this pair of Oxfords, my favorite winter shoes. I wear them with long skirts, with rolled up pants, with jeans, with woolen slacks..they go with everything and they walk everywhere. But don’t make the mistake thinking that I don’t love shoes..oh, I do, I do! It is a bit like art supplies..I want to have it all, thinking I’ll do better art, but in the end, only the basics can do the job. With shoes the same. I want them all, thinking I’ll look prettier, but in the end, only a few succeed in not making me walk around with a tortured expression on my face..back to basics.

..favorite Oxfords..

Watercolor pencil and watercolor on watercolor block, 18x26cm

winter shoes

 

à demain

Ronelle


September 4: Spilled coffee

Some days are just stubborn. Such a day was today.  In spite of all my best intentions, no art attempts worked today. I did charcoal drawings, small and large. I painted in oil. I splashed in watercolor, ink, tried graphite..and they all turned out…well, terrible. If I had to do an exam today, I would probably have handed in a blank paper and walked out.

..Spilled coffee..

watercolor and pen in sketchbook, (15,5x25CM)

spilled coffee

Apart from all the failed art efforts, I opened the fridge in frustration this afternoon for something cool to drink and an enamel bowl fell out and hit me above the eye. I’ve been stung by a horsefly and the huge bulge on my arm burns like crazy! My coffee spilled all over my working table. That’s when I decided I’ve had it. The spilled coffee would be my sketch for 4 September, a perfect memory of how life sometimes refuses to work with you. Maybe I haven’t been listening all day and life was, or still is, trying to tell me something? Or maybe this is just very normal in ordinary daily life.

à demain

Ronelle


September 3: Une rose trémière(Hollyhocks)

Time for the hollyhocks to bloom. An olde world flower that reminds me of Maman and her friends. They all had hollyhocks in their gardens, growing through the cracks in old pavements, pushing through gravel, leaning against old walls. They still do push up through all the cracks and walls, all over the French countryside, turning their bright pink and soft white blooms to greet the warm September rays.

..une rose trémière..

Pen and watercolor on watercolor paper, HP,  23x30cm

une rose trémière

à demain

Ronelle


September art – 1(the last artichoke)

With all this beauty in September, shouldn’t I be out there..sketching and painting? Of course. And that is the plan.

Today delivered this artichoke. The last one which were left to flower. The others have already gone completely dry, but that reminds me too much of endings, which I don’t want yet, so let’s stick with the flowery one.

..The last artichoke..

Watercolour and pen on watercolor block, HP, 18X26 cm.

artichaut en aquarelle

If I can keep it up..my self discipline I mean, I’ll produce a painting and sketch every day for this September, starting today. Even though it is still summer, there are already trees in the forest which are turning slightly yellow and the all greens with the touches of yellow are quite spectacular. The ferns in the forest are also turning into magnificent yellows, while they are still beautiful strong plants, not wilted or dead. The fields have been cut for hay and are pushing the last stretch of greens,which turn them into patches of greens and beiges, with the cattle still grazing…beautiful views.

à demain(until tomorrow)

Ronelle

 


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