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Posts tagged “drawing

My favorite perfumes in aquarelle.

When life trips me, I head to the perfume shelves. To indulge and forget for a while about the hardships of life. And I never leave without a tiny bottle of perfume. That is my biggest sin in life and I will gladly carry my punishment one day, should there be. I use a spritz of perfume every day everywhere…to town and  to the opera, to do the washing to weed the garden, after my shower and before I drop my head on my pillow.

there is a secret to good spritzing. Do you remember the way Malan and Mamy used to dab their eau de cologne behind the ears, on the wrists…well, those were the old days. The French way to do it, is to spray a cloud of perfume in front of you in the air and then walk through it. No harsh , overwhelming, nose itching smells, but rather a gentle caress on the skin, interacting gently with the oils of the skin to bring forth the  subtle underlying notes of the perfume.

..l’eau d’Issey by Issey Miake – light and soft for summer..

perfume 1

 

..Intense, by Dolce & Ganbbana- for those times I feel passionate and ..intense….

perfume 2

 

..baiser volé by Cartier – reminds me of Arabian nights…

perfume 3

 

..Coco by Chanel -my favorite perfume which always make me feel elegant , and brings out my French side!

perfume 4

So, come on ladies, spritz your perfume, time is too short not to!

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


A rough sketch of some painting tools.

I dug this sketch out of the bin. It ended there along with many others I’m lately not happy with. I feel in an awful slump and nothing seems to work..everything is either too “pretty”, or too perfect or it is just plain bad art. I struggle to find that exciting stroke, or that exciting subject, or even the right medium. I work on small tiny papers and do small tiny challenges. I am in need of freedom and uninhibited expression. I know what I want and what I don’t want..or do I?

I wonder if art can go through menopause…in which case, that is where I would say my art is right now. Going through menopause. I hope it passes soon.

the first one is just pencil contour lines and then of course I didn’t like it and thought colour and pen would make it look better…

painting tools-001…just to realize it doesn’t look better, nor worse.

watercolor, pencil and pen on watercolor block, HP, 18x26cm

painting tools 2-001So. The solution is probably just to carry on and maybe consider not throwing out the awful ones. They should stay with us strive for better, or different, ot both.

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 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 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

 


Provence trip 2013

I had a very quick, but wonderful trip to Provence with mon chéri a few days ago. He spoiled me with lovely dinners and a lot of patience when I did some sketches. I tried to be as quick as I can with pencil and left the ink lines until the very end so I could change to some neater linework where necessary. In some sketches I went in directly with watercolor and added the pen line work afterwards..maybe you’ll be able to notice that?

all sketches done in watercolor block, HP, 18X26cm.

This sketch took me the longest. It was the first one of our trip and I was still very careful in getting it “right”. And mon chéri was ever so patient. I then decided, I can’t spend all of our very short trip on such long sketching..so then I sped up in the sketching, trying to get down just a little ambiance of the trip.

Provence 1

Provence sketch 3

Provence 2

Provence sketch 1

I am a “corner” person. I love little corners or scenes, or little vignettes. So it is usually a little interesting corner of a larger scene that attracts my eye.

Provence 3

Provence sketch 2

The lavender fields are stunning, stunning, stunning and there is no way I can do justice to them..of course had to attempt a field against a backdrop of this lovely mas. There are so many paintings everywhere to be found in Provence, depicting the lavender fields and the olive groves..sadly, I found them all the same, interpreted in the same manner. It makes me even more reluctant to try and paint it. But of course..like all the other painters, I will paint it!

Provence 4

Provence sketch 4

I am also fascinated by staircases and uneven walls, foliage growing out of nowhere, of which there is an abundance in the south.

Provence 5

Provence sketch 5

A corner of the facade of Le mas de la Mateliére where we stayed.

Provence 6

Provence sketch 6

The rooftops, the streetlamps, the worn walls, the trees blown by the mistral…the charm of La Provence.

Provence 7

Provence sketch 7

I cross posted this post also on our blog, Four go painting in Provence, from 2 years ago, where Katherine and Robyn, Sarah and I went on our painting trip to the Vaucluse in Provence. Maybe you’d like to browse it again to see the paintings of our trip in 2011.

I so wanted to meet up with a friend who took 8 other artist on a painting trip to Provence, but time didn’t allow for it. You can see their adventure here Sketchers in Provence.

It seems I always nobly get to Provence on these ‘quick’ trips. But I have decided this is it. No more “quick” trips when it comes to Provence. My next trip will be nothing shorter than 8 days. I will also plan better in terms of subject matter so as not to be all over the place. Provence is filled with huge painting opportunities and so, my goal is to spend my time making full use of the opportunities.

à bientôt

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!


Nasturtiums in watercolour

The nasturtiums are slow off the mark this year..our summer being cold and very wet and a nasturtium a lover of warmth. But they are getting there and the flowers as always, playful and gay!

..red nasturtium..

watercolor and pen in Le Coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

Capucine 1

..yellow/apricot nasturtium..

watercolor and dipping pen with “Lie du thé” ink from J. Herbin in Le Coq watercolor sketchbook, 19x19cm

Capucine 2-001

…à bientôt…

Ronelle


A sunshine tulip and white sketches.

The tulips I brought back from Amsterdam last year are all in bloom, except for 3 Allium bulbs that I lost to greedy rabbits. I picked all white bulbs and got  big surprise when a few of the carefully picked white bulbs turned out to be a bright sunny yellow! That is OK. Oh well,  I am not too angry. Seeing that we are still wearing winter clothes and waiting for spring weather, I can only imagine the yellow was chosen by fate to uplift my spirit..some very welcome sunshine in a tulip!

As usual, I wait until the very last to get something done..including sketching the tulips. The yellow ones lost all their petals today, except for one lonely one, hanging on a few petals only for my benefit. While mon chéri saw to diner, I took the opportunity to sketch these tulips, before the fat lady had finally sung. I made it just in time…all the yellow petals are gone..

tulipes- yellow  4424x4451

The white tulips are still flowering happily and elegant in their waving. I am not a huge tulip fan and never had many in my gardens, but I have to admit that they do make for a spectacular show en masse!

tulipes -white 4404x4460

à bientôt

Ronelle


30/3/2013: Joyeuses Pâques!

To all my friends and readers and visitors, those who stop for a moment and those who pass right by…whatever you do during this Easter period, whichever way you celebrate it, or even ignore it…I wish you fun and joy,  many chocolate Easter eggs, (may you win the Easter egg hunt), and the most important of all…stay safe and pass on that wide smile!!

Joyeuses Pâques a tout le monde!

Ronelle

happy easter


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

 

 


Umbrella, ombrelle, parasol, parapluie, they all say one thing…sketch me!

An umbrella is easy to draw..right? DING! Wrong!

So many things to consider:   Convex, concave, round, shadows, transparency, folds, foreshortening, colour, patterns…

A good challenge!

..two half open umbrellas..

pen and watercolor on Fabriano artistico  watercolor block, HP, 23×30,5cm

Umbrella 2

..wide open umbrella..

pen and watercolor on Fabriano artistico  watercolor block, HP, 23×30,5cm

Umbrella 3

..two closed umbrellas..

pen and watercolor on Fabriano artistico  watercolor block, HP, 23×30,5cm

Umbrella 1


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..


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


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