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

pencil

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

 


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 17: Corn on the cob.

I have lost a week’s posting of sketches which I’ll catch up on later. For now, I am back on track with today’s sketch of  corn on the cob from the potager, on which the horses feast every day. Up until a few days ago, they were still sweet and juicy and wonderful on the barbeque, but seeing them with dry husks, is a clear sign that summer is moving on.

..corn on the cob..

pen and watercolor on watercolor block, 31x23cmcorn on the cob 17-09-2013 18-28-40 6993x4938

..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


Sketching ellipses..bowls and jugs.

One of my demons in art, is the ellipse. I hate drawing ellipses. Maybe hate is a strong word..I really really dislike ellipses. So many objetcs have some sort of ellipse in it. And like with perspective, you can’t be an artist without coming across ellipses.

With a snowy and rainy weekend keeping us inside, I challenged  that ellipse fear and went back to my spiral exercises(see bottom of page).

..Bowls..

pen and watercolor in Arches aquarelle block, HP, 18x26cm

Bowl Ellipses 1

..Jugs..

pen and watercolor in Arches watercolor block, CP, 18x26cm

Bowl Ellipses 2

I  do these great spiral exercises to practice  ellipses from the book “Sketchbook for artists”. S

  1. Start with drawing a circle and loosely let your hand move downwards in a spiral. It it best to not do it slowly, but at a natural, continuous speed, without stopping.
  2. You can enlarge and diminish to your own liking, creating different shapes and volumes.
  3. Practice placing one spiral into another.
  4. Vary the thickness of the lines. Don’t worry if it is all askew in the beginning..your hand will get steadier as you keep on doing these spring-like spirals.

..Spiral exercises four ellipses..

Ellipses 0001

Bibliography: Sketchbook for the artist, Sarah Simblet..


Three pears in watercolor

I am preparing for some oil painting. But first; more loosening up with watercolor.

..Three pears in watercolor..

pencil, pen and watercolor on Arches watercolour block, CP, 18x26cm


Sweet chestnut sketch

Sketching a chestnut..not easy.

-pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15x25cm-

à bientôt

Ronelle


Sketching two geese in action.

My two geese Aglaé et Sidonie, provide me with hours of fun and pleasure..watching them is better than owning a home cinema! I sketched them this weekend, the first time since I got them earlier this year. I thought it was going to be easy..sketching them. I know them by heart, seeing them every day and watching them, feeding the, following them,  being followed by them. When I close my eyes, I can so clearly see them  and I can so easily tell them apart. But sitting with the pen in my hand, brought forward all kinds of problems. Even when after changing to a pencil, I couldn’t escape the problems.

..Two adorable geese, Aglaé et Sidonie..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm)

I jumped in and tried to capture them while they floated in their fountain(actually MY fountain they took over!). That’s when I realized how little I understood of  their morphology! I had trouble sketching their wings and the build of their lower bodies, the length of their necks in relation to their bodies, their typical thoraxes…they are so different from ducks and mine looked like some mongrels of geesed ducks.. so much for thinking I know my geese! So it was back to doing some real studying.

..Two geese in (my) fountain..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm)

From a distance, it was fairly easy  getting hold of just the shapes and suggesting their actions. They are ideal for studying, because they move slowly(and funny) and rhythmic, with an elegance that originate in their long necks and sideways glances.

..two geese from a distance..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm)

Their backsides are quite interesting with their wings crossing one over the other and lying on top of a cute, quirky fantail.

..Two geese’s cute swaying backsides..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm)

They have such beautiful character, aren’t mean at all. It seems they love company, so they love lying by my feet or anywhere close by our activities, and they love being by the horses. Only with the chickens do they have a love/hate relationship.

..Two geese watching me as intensely as I did them..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm)

The top sketches are the best of all those I did the weekend, trying to understand these two ladies. When I close my eyes now, I actually see them much better! so doing all of this work was really wroth it. Capturing animals is not only about the perfect technique, but also about their character, which to me is more important than the perfect rendition of their morphology. I a feel quite chuffed with the expression in Aglaé in the above sketch..the typical tilt of her head and watchful sideways glance she throws me. Man, I just adore these mesdemoiselles!

à bientôt

Ronelle


sketching at the bistro – 3 May

…at the bistro..

watercolor, pencil and pen in Daler & Rowney watercolor sketchbook, 25.4×17,8cm


Some lunch sketches.

I had some lunch at a small restaurant close by and sketched my lunch of a vegetable soup, coffee and the surrounding salt and pepper set.

…vegetable soup and bread

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook

The coffee sketch was my first and when I tell you that I had a very upsetting experience just before I arrived at the restaurant, you’ll understand why the lines are so dark and the whole sketch is sombre and almost violent. I’m always amazed by the strong influence emotion has on art.

The salt and pepper set was the last sketch and you can see that my emotion has settled a bit by that time. It did my a world of good to do these drawings…therapeutic.

…vegetable soup…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook

…coffee and water with cpeculoos biscuit…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook


Sketches of cute sheep.

A sheep and lamb or two from our neighbors camp. If all goes well and I can convince my husband with my sweet puppy eyes, I might just have my own cute lambs this spring!

…Sheep and lambs 1…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler  Rowney sketchbook CP, 254x178cm

…Sheep and lambs 2..

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler  Rowney sketchbook CP, 254x178cm


Still life with copper pots.

With this second attempt at an aquarelle still life, I didn’t  to set it up the still life. I only painted what was in front of me, which was my copper pots filled with brushes and other art stuff. I moved the objects a little to avoid “kissing” and to bring them a little closer. the apple that rolled to the side, was left as it found its place and I was very chuffed with it!It might be overcrowded for some, but I rather like the idea…in any case  more than a composed and deliberate still life. Maybe it is a mirror of my life…anything BUT composed and deliberate!

… stil life with copper pots…

..in watercolor and graphite on Fabriano paper  CP 30.5×45.5cm…

…and a close up of my strokes and layers. I still feel I overworked it and could’ve let go of the brush much sooner..


Still life with quince.

I have moved on from autumn colours to  still lifes, done in the atelier. Working in thin washes, laying wet washes over dry ones. not my usual way of working, but I am quite chuffed and will do a series of these watercolors.

I need to bring in a bit darker values and I want to have more informal compositions. I think my inspiration comes here from Cézanne, whose watercolours I love. There is currently an exhibit of Cézanne in the Musee de Luxembourg in Paris until 26 February 2012, for those who want to jump in their private jets for a visit…and a lunch afterwards, maybe at the Mini palais restaurant?

…Still life with quince…

watercolor and pencil on Fabriano artistico CP, 30,5×45,5cm

I’m posting a close up to show the layering of thin washes.

…close up…

Until the next post where I’ll be back with another still life…hopefully a better one with darker values, more expressive compositions…and one where my patience has reigned!


Paintings from Provence

My week in Provence ended far too soon and it went by far too quick. I managed to do a few, not nearly as much as I planned, because typically Ronell, I forgot half of my art stuff at home. I left my very important oil canvases, boards and large watercolor pads by the door to pack them last and that’s where they still were while I as in Provence. Finding an art store proved to be harder than imagined  and so I ended up borrowing two canvas papers from Katherine…can one borrow a paper/canvas…?

To start off with: all of the following are sketches done around Les Couguieux, where we stayed.

…the blue shutters of les couguieux…

watercolor and pen on watercolor paper

…hameau des couguieux

pen and wash on watercolor paper

…the terrace at les couguieux…

pen and wash on watercolor paper

…still life with cups and lemon…

pen and wash on watercolor paper

To follow: landscapes in watercolor and gouache

 


Sketching the one and only road through Puy d’Arnac

With only one narrow road passing through it, Puy d’Arnac is our tiny village where mostly old people still reside.  They themselves don’t think it is that pretty, but I suppose living in a place for years and years result in one not seeing the beauty any more. Then someone new comes along and through those new eyes they can recognize all that is beautiful again.

…the only road through Puy d’Arnac..

early afternoon

done in watercolor, pencil and pen on Arches watercolor pad HP, 18x26cm

When sitting here and sketching, a gentle old lady walked towards me with her walking cane.  She couldn’t imagine how I could find this little village quaint enough to paint and how I can find the old people living here beautiful. (A project I’ll share later). I showed her the second drawing, done the afternoon before…and she exclaimed how beautiful my painting was! I told her it is her “ugly” little village she sees on the paper. Then we started talking about beauty and age. My opinion had always been that age has a beauty far removed from the beauty of this world. To me it lies in the quietude of a life time’s experiences, a life lived by the forces of  nature. When we’re at the age this old lady is, we’re not of this world any more, but we enter that world of fragility and tenderness, knowledge, a world of acceptance and admission and smiling  wisdom. How can that not be beautiful? She smiled that fragile smile, which I hoped she would see that evening in her mirror, and when she finally walked away, I think I saw her walk just that little bit more up straight…

…the only road through Puy d’Arnac 2…

late afternoon

done in watercolor, pencil and pen on Arches watercolor pad HP, 18x26cm

…the only road through Puy d”Arnac 3…

midday

done in gouche, pen and pencil on brown paper, 26x26cm


March postcard to Katherine

Deciding what to do for my second postcard which was to be sent to Katherine, was relatively easy. She had already visited “la Touraine”, ate dinner here at my home and saw the Loire in all is glory. So it would be the Loire. Easier said than done. The Loire stretches wide and far.

I finally decided on the Montlouis sur Loire bridge which makes for an impressive scene , crossing the Loire.

…Montlouis bridge across the Loire..

Pencil and watercolor on watercolor paper.

*******************************************************************************

I wanted  to use a brown paper envelope for the postcard and wanted to draw an extract of the postcard on the envelope which brought me to this: Part of the same bridge of my postcard, with touches of white…too much.

..envelope 1: pen and gouche on brown paper envelope..

********************************************************************************

Not being satisfied with either the exaggerated slant, nor the drawing, I grabbed another envelope and kept things more simple…in gouche: a hint of the Loire wih the “muettes” hovering over their nests on the islands in the Loire. A typical spring scene. Happy with the result, off it went to the UK!

..envolope 2: pen and gouche on brown paper envelope..

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All our postcards are to be found on A postcard from my walk


Singapore sketches.

We were in Singapore for a few days recently and apart from devouring sushi, morning noon and night, I managed to pack in a few sketches. I found the climate very tiring for walking and sketching…heavy, hot and humid! But for the rest, I enjoyed every bit of the trip(except the flight there and back of course, but that is only becasue I hate flying by default).

Singapore is rich in culture and history, two things that I thoroughly enjoy. Discovering cultures different than mine and learning about their history truly enriches me. I feel fortunate to have been able to learn a bit more of Singapore…next on my list is Japan towards the end of the year, depending on the circumstances. We were in Singapore when Japan was hit recently and I sadly witnessed many people cry for family they’ve lost or haven’t heard of back in Japan.

Read more about the history of singapore here.

You can see  some photos of the trip here at Sushi..and Singapore.

Or here inTravels at Myfrenchkitchen.

Or on Facebook.

Masjid sultan

Pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5×35 cm

…on the esplanade…

pencil and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5×35 cm.

.. Lin bo Seng memorial and old supreme court…

pencil and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5x35cm

…Indian cricket club…

pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5×35 cm.

…scene in chinatown…

Pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5x35cm.

…people sketches…

Pen and watercolor in watecolors sketchbook, 19x20cm

…buddha tooth relic temple in chinatown…

pencil and watercolor in watercolor sketcjbook, 15.5x35cm.

…Science museum…

pen and watercolor in watecolor skechbook, 19x20cm


Koi studies and painting in oil.

I finally completed one koi painting in oil. But before that, I did some more studies in different mediums. I didn’t really enjoy these koi studies as I should have. I felt a bit like ” eating strawberries in the mid winter” and so I feel out of season with the koi paintings and it influenced the “taste”. But I’m happy that I stuck to it and completed at least one painting. I definitely plan to go to the koi farm in summer, where I can seat myself for a day and really get to work on some series.

..koi, oil on linen, 61x37cm

In  step 1, using terpentineI put down thin washes of burnt sienna for the fish shapes and a thin wash of paynes gray and french ultramarine for the background/water.

.…step 1…


In step 2 I added some colour to the fish, cadmium red and yellow to the fish in the foreground and prussian blue to the back fish, to form the shadows. I started using liquin as a medium to have the oi dry quicker, but still have  an oil shine.

…step 2…

In step 3 I darkened the water with a mixture of paynes gray and french ultramarine and softened the shadow marks I made on the yellow fish. this was my first mistake, because I made mud. I left it to dry completely, so I could rework it…the oil was still thin enough to redo without removing the paint.

…step 3…

the last stages was all about adding colour and depth to the fish bodies and depth to the water , while using the same colours I’ve used in the previous steps, with the addition of ochre, raw umber and white.

…koi completed…

When doing the studies for this koi project, I worked mostly from photographs, using about 20 different photos, building my own scenes. I really found it difficult to render the koi in an interesting way. I feel I can do better, which is why I will patiently wait for the koi season to open and I can go and study them in real life.

I also felt that they ask for something a little more abstract or expressive than mere realistic rendering. In the following studies I tried to present them on the page in a little more interesting way. I found it quite exciting and I think I can even push the envelope even further in the expressive domain, which makes me more excited about the series of koi than I was when I started out.

In the meantime, I have a lobster and crab and mussels and oysters and several other shellfish in my freezer, waiting to be sketched and painted and studied. Maybe a new series of sea creatures? So hang around if you’re interested in seeing what will surface – it will be a surprise for me too.

…koi study in charcoal on paper, 22x15cm…


…koi study in graphite on paper, 22x15cm…

…koi study in oil pastel on paper, 22x15cm…

Also posted on Watermarks.

..à bientôt…

Ronelle


Amaryllis in watercolor

Joyeux Noël 2010!

Watercolor and pencil on Fabriano watercolor paper, 31×23 cm.

 


Sketch of Beaulieu centre ville

I had a few things to do in Beaulieu centre ville and after walking up and down in the sun and heat, I sat down at Les Voyageurs for a coffee and cool glass of water and made a quick sketch of the center of town. I will probably sketch much better if I sketch slower and pay more attention, but I can’t sketch slow. I get bored too quick and want to move on.  So my sketches will always be quirky. But now I am off for my painting “sur le motif“, as plein air painting is called  here in France.

I used pencil, after fumbling through my whole bag for a pen and only found pencil after pencil. I prefer doing architectural sketches with pen.

…Beaulieu Centre ville…

Sketch done in pencil and wash in watercolor sketchbook, 25×15,3cm.


Tokala and Aiyani sketches

Taking over the Van Wyk bed..with some snacking in between.

…Tokala and Aiyani

Sketch done in pencil, then pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm (10,2″x 7,1″)

..until next time..

Ronelle


Sketching in Beaulieu.

Poor Africantapestry is in some abandonment. Not completely, but just enough to make her feel a bit lonely. I hope (how many times have I said this already??) to get back to frantic activity soon….one day….hopefully very soon…!! So, to all those who follow in such good spirit, thank you for your patience and loyalty and hang in there, I’ll be back with gusto soon…one day….hopefully very soon!

About two weeks ago, I went sketchersizing by the Loire at our Loire house and stopped only once for this pencil sketch, which I then added some ink lines to with an ever so slightly wash, because the pencil was too hard to get some feeling into the sketch.

…sketchersizing by the Loire…

sketch done in pencil pen and light wash in watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm

I went sketchersizing here in Beaulieu a few days ago and sat down just when the morning market started packing up  for the day. I enjoyed a deca allongé at Les voyageurs with a view on the place and the marché.

If interested in seeing some photos of the medieval town of Beaulieu, you can visit The Charming character of Beaulieu sur dordogne at Myfrenchkitchen.

…sketchersizing in Beaulieu sur dordogne…

sketch done in pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm..

à la prochaine!..

Ronelle



Wildflower sketches

In spring the wildflowers are just beautiful. At Coin Perdu, the hills are covered yellow Pissenlits,  ( dandelions). On my sketchercise walk, I normally only take a pen or pencil, but since this was a long but leisurely walk, I took my watercolour paints as well. Put on my straw hat, walking boots and wandered into the hills, losing myself in the sun and flora.

All sketches done in my Coin Perdu garden journal with pencil and watercolor.

…buttercup and dock…

…dandelions…

…our wine crate table top which greeted my on my return…

…the latest addition to our family…Petronella and Stephanie…


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