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Posts tagged “animals

September 26: Three chickens.

It is very very hot and humid. Everybody is moving around like limp fish. The horses are in permanent rest under the apple tree, the cats don’t lift an eyebrow when I walk past the them and even the chickens lay motionless in the shade of the hibiscus bush. I was busy, or trying to be. I took down washing, hung the next basket full, every time walking past the chickens. When they didn’t move when by the third pass, I thought they might just keep that pose for another 30 minutes. Et voilà, indeed they did, or almost. This was fun.

..Three chickens..

oil on board, 30x30cm

three chickens 25-09-2013 17-06-57 2964x2979

.à demain..

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


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


Horse sketches

Our post card exchange has now come to an end, sadly, but maybe we have something new in the pipeline.

I sent Desiree horse sketches ..she and her family had horses at an earlier stage. Our two Comtois horses were my models  and the sketch on the envelope I did from one of those sketches.

Gubi(envelope)

gouache and pen on envelope

Gaitchi and Gubi

done with pitt artist pens in sketchbook


Garden sketches from February

February was a busy month and I didsn’t get around to doing much art. I did succeed on doing a garden sketch and a drawing of Tartelette ad Omelette,  on a reasonably nice February afternoon.

I feel happy with the drawing, which was first done as a sketch and then developed further into a drawing. The cloches were done afterwards, rather lazily and not much effort or desire went into this sketch.

…Tartelette et Omelette…

…sanguine and charcoal drawing on paper, 24×20 cm…

..Two garden cloches…

…charcoal sketch on paper, 24x20cm…


Koi studies in watercolor

When we went to Hawaii last year, I took hundreds of photos of the koi ponds. It is one of the MOST relaxing pastimes…just sitting and watching those koi’s play. I did only one sketch of them in the time we were there, but I took  hundreds of photos and for the rest of the time, I just stared at them.

I’m on the “search” lately, not knowing exactly where I should go art wise. There so many different directions that give me joy and I’d like to continue doing them all, but I would also like to accelerate in a specific field…not be so all over the place as I am currently. As the weather is a bit bad lately and it is raining a lot, chances to go and do plein air are scarce.  I was looking through my Hawaii albummorning and came across these koi photos and the joy of sitting there and watching them(in the SUN!!) had me take them all to the atelier. This is my latest. I want to do some koi paintings, eventually in oil, but first some studies in watercolor, which to me is a far more difficult medium than oil.

Also posted on Watermarks.

All these studies done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, CP, 18x26cm.

…koi study in watercolor 7…

A prerequisite for the koi paintings, is that I want movement in the paintings. So I tried in all of the watercolor studies to get movement. These studies are of course done from photographs, something I strurggle with doing, because I get caught up in a tight clenching mode and lose all spontaneity. So I decided to put my earphones on and I listened to Beethovens piano concerto nos 4 and 5 and Piano a la Roque d’Antheron with works by Lizt, Chopin Rachmaninoffto keep me “allegretto and crecsendo“. I think it did work, because looking at these studies, they almost come across as messy and I certainly hope not “tight”, except maybe for number three(koi watercolor 2) which was before I started listening to the music. You’ll clearly see that I still drew and painted “fishy by fishy”.  I did 7 studies, and like with everything else…I started getting better. but now I’m tired of watercolor and going to start doing the koi in oil…let’s say a little serie of koi in oils.

…koi study in watercolor 4…

…koi study in watercolor 2…

 

Now I also need to find a place where I can really study them…their movements( a year ago is too long to remember those kinds of details), their behavior, their mischief and play and capture that onto live sketches. then come back to the studio and NOT procrastinate again, like I’m SO famous for, but paint them immediately.

So, if you’re interested in seeing these koi develop..remember to stop by again!

..à bientôt..

Ronell


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


Summer guests

Every summer our Bed and Breakfast is fully booked. Mostly by regulars who visit year after year, finding our meals unsurpassed, our hospitality most gracious and our facilities nothing but quality; in short, five star accommodation at a reasonable price.
Mr Frog arrived later than usual this year and is still awaiting the lady of this affair to arrive. Every evening he protests his discontentment at her not being here yet, in his distinguished baritone voice. I hope she arrives soon, I don’t like seeing my guests unhappy.

_scan10053.jpg

Once again we had the honor of assisting in the arrival of Mr and Mr Swallow’s young ones. What a lovely couple they are, so caring and loving and protective of the live they have created. the happy event happened only 5 days ago and it was a grand event here. We opened up a bottle of bubbly and all the guests attended to celebrate the wonder of new life and admire the 5 adorable infants.

 _scan10059.jpg

 Miss White butterfly brought many more of her friends along this year and I really had to be inventive to accommodate all these teenagers. But I love every minute of their delightful company! We have come into the habit of sharing an hour or so together every afternoon, where I learn from them all about being a delicate and beautiful and delightful adolescent again. Along with the ever roaming dark and handsome bees, they enjoy energetic parties until late night, Fortunately the neighbors haven’t complained yet. I suspect they know and understand all about the habits of these young people.

 _scan10056.jpg

 We are also very honored to accommodate very well-known international models in our B&B every year, miss Dragonfly and company. They keep mostly to themselves, are very discreet and love their privacy. But when the moment shows itself, I’ll stare at them shamelessly, wishing I had their elegance and beauty Soon they will all be moving on to make room for the next half of the summer guests, leaving me just enough time to tidy up, restock the pantry and put out fresh flowers. The arrival of our summer guests, is a highlight in the season, something we look forward to year after year.
All these sketches were done in pen and WC in moleskine.

 _scan10055.jpg

 30 comments:

Tonniece said…
It sounds so super there, with all the guests, the night sounds, and the beginnings of new life.
Wonderful wc’s depicting all that activity.
June 13, 2007 11:17 PM  
Jenny said…
You have such beautiful, interesting guests! Seems they give you infinite pleasure in return for your excellent accommodations. You are wise to appreciate your exciting life.
June 13, 2007 11:30 PM  
Lin said…
RONELL!!THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL! HUMOROUS, FUN, INGENEOUS, ENTERTAINING, AND SO BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED!! WHAT A DELIGHT!MOVE OVER WEE GUESTS, I, TOO, WANT A ROOM!BRAVA, CARA .. THIS IS FANTASTIC!!
June 13, 2007 11:34 PM  
Andrew said…
too much fun…couldnt wait to see what you were terming your summer guests…lol
June 14, 2007 12:00 AM  
Anonymous said…
Love this B&B!hfm
http://tcores.blogspot.com
June 14, 2007 12:48 AM  
juj said…
Your sketches are – as always – simply wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the story. I have a much nicer perspective on the wildlife in my yard now. Thanks for the much needed break in my day.
June 14, 2007 12:54 AM  
Brenda Y said…
You had me going!! I was thinking, “hmm, I didn’t know Ronell ran a B & B,” only to discover very shortly the true identity of your “guests!” Outstanding story and FABULOUS sketches!! Loved every word and brush stroke.
June 14, 2007 1:21 AM  
bec said…
you had me going too! so cool, I thought….she runs a b&b! HA! You’ve brought your guests to life for me with your beautiful watercolors! Thank you!
June 14, 2007 2:22 AM  
mARTa said…
Well, it’s not going to take much more than this to convince me that I MUST come for a night and see what all this magic is about! I’ll have to email you soon so we can work out some dates! Will the dragonfly models be gone by October…so sad that I might miss them! What a midsummer night’s dream you live!
June 14, 2007 4:01 AM  
Nancy said…
I love it when I click on my digest e-mail and find that you have posted new sketches. It makes my day!
June 14, 2007 4:03 AM  
good with color said…
These are some of the nicet summer drawings/paintings I have seen in a long time. They will be great to look back to when cold weather returns with its different visitors. Your accompanying notes are a joy to read.
csqwbm
June 14, 2007 5:48 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a treat! These are just delightful, Ronell. It’s so much fun to see all your ‘guests’ close up. I feel honored to have heard Mr. Frog complaining in person. You’ve brightened up this grey day for me – thank you!
June 14, 2007 11:32 AM  
Ujwala said…
i love all of them! very very nice. i hope mr frog finds his companion soon.
June 14, 2007 1:18 PM  
Lindsay said…
Ronell! I did not know you ran a B and B for such elegant visitors. I’m very impressed. My compliments to the gardner!This post is the essance of summer!
June 14, 2007 3:17 PM  
Sandy said…
Love your B&B post with the description of its’ guests. This was so fun Ronell. Paintings are beautiful and delicate as usual. Don’t let those teenagers wear ya out okay…I’m having the same problem with mine…very energetic and raucous…I must subscribe to your emails..I always come late to the party.sandy
June 14, 2007 5:07 PM  
Christeen said…
What a charming narrative- I felt like I was there, marveling at your guests in person :)
Your paintings are beautiful!
June 14, 2007 5:14 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell, you are just a blast – Lovely work as always! What a treat to be your Guest!!
June 14, 2007 5:15 PM  
Diahn said…
How lovely! If you ever start accepting human guests, I believe I’ll have to make a flight over and stay a while – such fabulous and interesting company it would be!!
June 14, 2007 6:02 PM  
Carole said…
Your blog is just a delight to read and look at! You’ve managed to make me smile on a cold, wet day here – thank you.
June 14, 2007 6:19 PM  
Robyn said…
They are beautiful guests, Ronell, the very best kind, I think. I would adore to have Swallows born in my garden and a cloud of butterflies in the lavender was one of my most magical early memories of a European summer.
Now I’m going to subscribe to your blog so I don’t arrive last with my praise!
June 14, 2007 7:40 PM  
Lynn said…
What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I love your sketches.
June 14, 2007 9:47 PM  
Dave said…
You make it look and sound idyllic! Wonderful post.
June 15, 2007 12:03 AM  
martha said…
Wonderful nature sketches – so loose and colorful!
June 15, 2007 12:54 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What wonderful sketches and I just love the way you write! It’s what makes your blog so interesting.
June 15, 2007 1:40 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Ok Ronell, here’s the deal. You have a contest offering the winner a weeks all expenses paid vacation to your b & b, then you pretend to honestly pick the winner… but all along it will be me that gets to come. Oh what fun it will be.Oh the other hand…. have you ever given thought of writing an illistrated book of a summer or fall etc in the life of Ronell? I think it would be wonderful to read and look at. You have such a way with words and paints…….. Give it some thought, for us, your fans.
June 15, 2007 5:16 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the kind comments.
You made an interesting point there, Sandy and Robyn…subscribing to a blog? I don’t know how that works and thought that was for “professional bloggers”…I would also like to subscribe to some work, because I also arrive late with comments…tell me too how to do it!
Ronell
June 15, 2007 6:28 PM  
Desiree said…
OH what fun you are! I loved the story and was ready to sign up to visit your B&B, maybe you should think about writing ads for peoples business’! Great work.
June 15, 2007 7:21 PM  
Sandy said…
oh boy…how to have a subscribe button..I would go to the dashboard and read up from there. Maybe it will talk about it. If not just google how to put email subscription on blog, that ought to do it..but I would definitely sign up. I wanna be in line FIRST…its’ all about me, don’t ya know..hahaha.
June 16, 2007 7:30 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
This was such a delight to read and see. I’m awed by your creativeness, sense of humor and talent. A little butterfly landed on my knee the other day in my backyard and I got to study it for a quite awhile. It reminded me of how my mother used to give me “butterfly kisses” with her eyelashes as it was so delicate and gentle.
June 17, 2007 8:08 AM  
luci said…
Love, *love*, the story, Ronell. And of course the beautiful pictures that illustrate it all. Your garden is as magical as the one in Secret Garden. :)

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