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

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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 6: Four wheels

Since we moved a two years or so ago, I got stuck quite a few times in the winter’s mud and snow and slid into ditches and depended on farmers and their trusting tractors. Given that I hate a telephone and rarely have one on me, it takes forever to get out of my predicaments. So we said goodbye to our trusted old friend last year (Goodbye to an old friend )and mon cheri got me new four wheels. I am since then a happy country woman! I already got out of ditches, I wheelie in the snow with flair, and I make small change of our slippery winter road uphill…all without the help of Mr Farmer and his tractor!

Mon cheri of course thinks it is his four wheels! Oh well, I kindly allow him to think so…after all, he is mon chéri!

four wheels

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


Artichokes ands olive trees.

My artichoke plants are reaching enormous dimensions and the artichokes are beautiful. Some land in the kitchen and some stay on the plant to seed into beautiful blue purple flowers.

…artichokes..

watercolor and pen in watercolor le coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

artisjokke Skets

Three small olive trees in terracotta pots on the table..Hopefully not too long before I’ll have a tiny olive grove…that will be something! But for the time being I’ll indulge in the terracotta pots.

…three olive trees…

watercolor and pen in watercolor le coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

oliviers sketse

The past two years have been difficult in terms of painting, sketching and it is clear..tight, tight, tight..is the work! I am leaving for a few days in Provence, very quick there and back. The sketchbooks are packed and I hope to squeeze in some sketches. No better place than Provence to stimulate the creativity again.

…à bientôt…

Ronelle!


A coffee break..

I cooked the whole day today, but I managed to pack in a doodle sketch during my coffee break. Using only contour lines, most of the objects done in one line, I could sketch quick and without restraint. Adding some watercolour splashes afterwards and voilà, a doodle sketch to show for the day!

I accidentally dipped my brush in my coffee (which happens every tile I paint with a coffee or glass or something by my side). This time I decided to keep it and even added some more coffee splashes. Coffee, wine and tea actually make for great mediums to paint with. Add some aquarelle varnish or finish off by sealing your sketch with aquarelle varnish and it will last as long as watercolour.

..A coffee break doodle..

pen and watercolour in l’atelier du papier aquarelle sketchbook

coffee sketch

I am driving up to Paris for the week next week..spending some Valentine time with mon chéri …will show him all my secret corners I love to visit, take him to my favorite Rodin museum and garden, have late afternoon tea at my favorite cafe, stop for our traditional romantic moment on Pont Neuf(he just adores crossing the Seine on Pont Neuf all day long..!!). I hope to come home with some great sketches and photos and …books of course!

I leave you with an old sketch of Paris, done a few years ago…

..Paris-les arbres de Jardin de Luxembourg..

paris-les arbres de jardin de luxembourg

à bientôt

Ronelle

 

 


Birds and chickens sketches.

With this very first post of 2013, I wish you all a very good new year..may it be all you wish it to be!

I have gotten myself back to the easel and sketchbook..a great achievement here in January. For myself, I hope that 2013 will be a better year than the previous, especially on the art front. But of course, that only depends on one person..me.

Of all the sketches I did today, the following ones are the most successful. The three chickens kept still long enough with their backsides to me, so I could practice my observation skills which got lost during the past year.

..three chickens in a row..

done in watercolor on Aquarelle block, HP, 18x26cm

poulets aquarelles

It is a different story with the birds. The mésanges(tits) are way too quick for me and I could only succeed in blobs of colour which looked more like flying saucers and even that would be an insult to the Martians. So I took closeups and put my own sketch together. According to my own rule, it is then not by definition a sketch, but more of a drawing, using sketching techniques. That is a mouthful! By my definition a sketch is only a sketch when done right in front of the live subject, “sur le motif”, we call it in French. when using the help of otter media..magazines, photos, it becomes drawing. The observation and rendering become totally different. By saying I used “some sketching technique”, I suggest that I used about 4 different photos, composed 2 birds on my paper, referred to the photo’s for colour and lastly added some branches and seeds from direct observation from the tree. So, finally, the whole sketch is my own composition with my branches and seed block being a true sketch with birds drawn onto it…

..Feeding two mésanges..

done in watercolor in Hahnemuhle watercolour sketchbook, 15.3x25cm.

mésanges aquarelle


Reds in autumn

Voilà all the reds from fall,  the last of my autumn colours.

..the palette for all the autumn reds..

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..line drawings in pen and aquarelle added last..

18×25.5cm aquarelle arches block, CP

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.. wetting the paper, dripped some aqaurelle pigment, leave to dry and finished with pen line drawing..

23×30.5cm aquarelle Fabriano  block, HP

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deraing in pan and dripping drops of colour..

18×25.5cm aquarelle arches block, CP

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..drawing in pen and aquarelle wash afterwards..

18×25.5cm aquarelle arches block, CP


Ochre fall leaves

This is my favorite time of sketching.. I love all the ochres and umbers. And on days when the weather is a bit chilly or wet, it is nice to bring in leaves and branches and whatever else I found on walk and fiddle in the studio. I don’t work in my atelier enough and I actually love my atelier! My table is in front of the fireplace, my coffee machine just a further to the left..in fact, the whole barn is my atelier and I am in it for another winter.

..fall leaves..

Both sketches done in pen and aquarelle in Hahnemule watercolor sketchbook, 19X20cm

 


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 a coffee in Toulouse and marigolds at Coin Perdu – 4 & 5 May.

..a coffee in Toulouse yesterday while waiting for my daughter to go fit her wedding dress. – 4 May.

pen and watercolor in Daler and Rowney sketchbook, 25,4×17,8cm

Doing this sketching every day in May is meant to get me back on track. I’ve lost some concentration, my ability to observe and interpret instantaneously. the last few months I’ve been distracted by so many things and art got put onto the back burner. My sketches in May is not supposed to be beautiful work, but a program of work and exercises. Flowers are always a good way to sharpen the saw and by looking at my wonky, askew marigolds…I need a lot of that!

..wonky marigolds – 5 May..


Terracotta potholder sketch – 2 May

..terracotta pots on garden pot holder..

watercolor and pen in Daler & Rowney aquarelle sketchbook, 254×178 cm.


Sketching everyday in May – 1 May 2012

Les muguets de 1er Mai..

..Lily of the valley..

watercolor and pen in Daler & rowney watercolor sketchbook, 254x178cm

 


Colors and foliage of November 3.

I found some beautiful grays…some more bluish, others more yellowish and greenish and some just simply…gray.

…grays..

watercolor and J Herbin inks on Hahnemuhle paper CP 15,5x25cm

Doing the above sketch  was very quick and dare I say easy, without sounding obnoxious? I’ll tell and you can decide…

  1. With a goose quill and nib and “gris nuage” ink from J Herbin, I drew the outline of the twig/branch with contour lines.
  2. I added a wet was over the areas that I wanted to highlight as the greyish moss, in the process flooding some the water soluble ink lines.
  3. I dabbed in some light dabs of indigo, prussian blue, paynes gray, ochre and raw umber on the wet areas. To finish off the background, I dropped some paint , using the same colours,  from a loaded brush to loosely suggest random patches of moss.
  4. Lastly I finished off with some dark paynes gray(little water, lots of pigment, to give very dark values, suggesting the small dark corners between the moss.

..J Herbin inks and goose quill…


Colors and foliage of November 2

More experimenting with fall colors…which are quickly changing to grays and blacks and umbers. some of these experiments and playing with line and color simply turn out a mess…as can clearly be seen in “ochres and siennas”, but somehow I actually like this mess, since it is much more loose and spontaneous than the others, which are strict and too precise and stiff. the goal of this experimenting is, after all, not to render, but to interpret. In that sense, “ochres and siennas” are my best effort so far, the one I’m the happiest with.

..ochres and siennas..

watercolor and pen in sketchbook, 15,5x25cm

I used the messy sketch above to do a painting 0n larger scale and extra white abriano artistico  paper. I shgould’ve gone for a more yellow tinted paper. Much lighter hand, lighter in color and more diverse in nuances…but still not what I’m after. A lot more work to do. But for this Sunday, it will do. I’m going for  a walk in the woods now to find some grays.

..ochre fall branch..

watercolor on extra white Fabriano artistico paper HP,41,5x30cm

..crimsons..

watercolor and pen in sketchbook, 15,5x25cm


Colors and foliage of November 1

I’ve been neglecting my sketching and I can feel it clearly in my wrist. Stiff and uncomfortable. Unsure. Hesitant.

…colors and foliage of November – yellow greens…

..watercolor and pen in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5x25cm..

I’m back at Coin Perdu for a painting sabbatical. Only me, my art and my soul. I’m staying in the barn, made many changes and it is now more of an atelier than anything else. We surely won’t receive any visitors during winter, so I’m set with my easels and paints around a huge fireplace which burns day and night to provide me with heat. It is actually good to be a little on the cold side. It keeps my brain from being too comfortable and become lazy and my body needs to move and work constantly to keep my metabolism up. It helps with my neglected sketching, because my doodles are starting to turn into sketches. I will bounce back. I always do.

There is no better way to get back into sketching than using what is in abundance around us. Nature. and if it is too cold outside, we can even bring nature inside. Which is what I’ve done with the following three sketches. Going for walks and picking up.

…foliage and colors of November – burgundies…

..watercolor and pen in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5x25cm..

…colors and foliage of November – umbers…

..watercolor and pen in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5x25cm..

This will be my excercise for some time…trying to capture nature in its colors of Autumn and winter..with additions of whatever is moving and living during these months around Coin Perdu.

Until next time…keep warm in the Northern hemisphere and enjoy the summers seasons elsewhere!

Ronelle


A handpainted aquarelle sketch and provencal pots.

When you forget a paintbrush at home, you use what you have available. In this case, it was my hands. And for this occasion it worked fine, although it will definitely not become my preferred way of working. I will in tie or glue my brush to my bag so I’ll never forget it again.

…interior of  “la panettiére” in Toulouse

pen and watercolorin watercolor sketchbook, 18x24cm..

The next  sketch was done in the barn one evening.. and I only noticed the slant during the daytime the next day..the light in the barn at night is just not good enough for any art making, but I quite like the quirky feel to these pots. They are two of my very old terracotta pots from Provence and I adore them! I’ve started doing an oil panting with these pots..a canvas that  has already been standing a few weeks  on the easel…and now I’m subjecting  my name to scandal by admitting it here..

…two provencal pots…

..pen and watercolour on Arches watercolor paper, CP, 18x26cm..


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

 


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


People sketches in ink in a bistro in Tours..and a postcard.

I’ve picked up my pen again. If one stays on a break for too long, you can lose the desire to return. It is like that with everything in life. At some stage you need to apply some discipline to get going again.

For the first time in along while, I have done some sketches while having coffee in a bistro in Tours. My favorite way of doing it, is with contour lines. If I don’t watch it, I’ll do everything in contour fashion. I love it.

Some of the sketches worked, others didn’t. But it is always like that. Not every sketch is a success. I’m happy with the sketch of the three men at the top and I’m happy with the two men to the left in the bottom sketch. Unfortunately the child and man to the right didn’t work out.

I have also received my first postcard from Albrecht in Germany. Please visit A postcard from albrecht in Germany to see the post on his postcard.


Sketches in January 2011-flora of the Loire

There is always something to pick up on a walk and take home to sketch, especially on a rainy day like we had today. I picked up a few twigs and leaves..which are always good to sketch. Leaves in winter have fascinating shapes which make up for their overall monotone brown color.

I also sketched some scampi and prawns, which are normally a translucent, greyish color, but turn red after cooking. Unfortunataly I couldn’t put these to mouth after sketching them..it felt a bit too “cannibalistic” to eat them after studying them so up and close…

..all sketches done in Fabriano artisico water color sketchbook, 18x26cm, with inks and watercolor..

…scampi and prawns..

..dry leaves of “Platanes” (Sycamore)tree and moss covered twig..

..a variety of seeds, leaves and twigs..

..bon week-end et à la prochaine fois..

Ronell


Sketching troglodytes along the Loire.

In winter the troglodytes all along the Loire are much more visible than in summer when they hide behind lush green vegetation.They are nestled in the cliffs high and low and some are still inhabited, although it is getting less frequent, as circumstances are changing and cliffs get unstable and dangerous.

I went down the road this morning and sketched two spots where the caves/troglodytes are still inhabited and a smoke trail is often seen escaping the hidden chimneys.

…troglodytes in Montlouis sur Loire…

..sketches done in sketchbook, 14 x19cm, pen and watercolor..

My contribution to Sketchercise, where sketching and exercising combine to keep us healthy and creative at the same time!

 


Drawing faces in contour.

I am itching to move outdoors and go paint, sketch, draw. Why? Simple. Because I feel inspired. I can only be on the couch in front of the fireplace for so long and then I tire of having it good. I need some difficulty, like going out and sticking it out in the cold, feeling my fingers go numb, but persevering in finishing a painting or sketch. When surroundings and circumstances are too easy, life becomes difficult too. Luxuries and comfort numbs us – we don’t feel the pulse of life and we don’t hear opportunities knock on our doors.

So. No, not any cold outdoor sketches yet, only some faces done in the comfort of a heated indoor living room! contour drawing is one of my favourite styles of drawing…there are artists out there doing amazing work in contour drawing. I cheated a bit on mine…I lifted my hand now and then and added some more lines, which I probably shouldn’t…the charm of a contour drawing is actually the scarcity in line work. I’m looking forward to so some life drawings in contour.

…drawing faces in contour..

..pen on Canson drawing paper, 13.5 x21 cm..



A few sketches in December

A few sketches of December…a leisurely walk by the Loire, some faces in a bar and a shed in a friends garden.

…a shed in a friend’s garden…

.. sketchbook 15,3×25 cm, watercolor and pen…

…bare tree at the loire…

..sketchbook 15,3×25 cm, watercolor and pen..

…faces in a bar…

..sketchbook 15.3 x25cm, watercolor and rotring pen..


Garden sketches in December 2010

I stuck my nose out in the cold today…just outside the atelier and sketched the Jack Frost plant, whitered from the frost and the dry iris sculptures and a tree and shrub, struggling to hold onto some last colour.

..whithering Jack Frost(Brunnera macrophylla)..

..Plum tree..

 

..Dry Siberian iris pods..

…à la prochaine…

Ronelle


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