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Posts tagged “pencil

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 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


Two..or maybe three eggs in watercolor.

Eggs. Easy to draw. Difficult to paint. but satisfying, because one can play around a lot with painting eggs..or the suggestion of eggs. Sometimes it works.  Sometimes not.

..three eggs 1..

in watercolour and pen on Fabriano watercolour block, HP, 23×30,5cm

..three eggs 2..

in watercolour and pen onArches watercolour block,CP, 18x26cm

..three eggs 3..

in watercolour and pen on Fabriano watercolour block, HP, 23×30,5cm


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


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!


More paintings from Provence.

Our first outing was to this lovely spot and we planned on all doing gouache. Except for me – I had a real bad hair day and nothing worked that day…Robyn gave me such encouragement and comfort that day…she’s very special. The gouache you see here, was done here in Correze from the little watercolor I did on the spot. It isn’t quite what would normally make me jump in the air from joy, but seeing that it came from an already hesitant little watercolor, I think I  will now yield and validate it as OK.

…vineyard and cherry orchard…

gouache on paper.

 

…the original watercolor sketch, vineyards and cherry orchard..

…pen and watercolor in sketchbook…

Our first outing all three together and we painted the same spot.  Sarah hadn’t arrived yet, so you can see mine and Robyn’s at the bottom with Katherine’s to the right.(mine in watercolor and the other two in gouache…see them on ‘Four go painting in Provence.‘)

Sarah’s painting of the same spot a few days later is on her post Farm and cherry orchard afternoon.

This was very early…6:30 in the morning. Sunrise. But it actually works more as a sunset painting!

…sunrise, sunset…

watercolor on Fabriano watercolor paper

So I tried again here in my gallery to get a more early morning feel, which wasn’t a success either. But I learned in this process and that is important. I learned a LOT on this very short trip…maybe I will share it later…

...sunrise…

watercolor on Fabriano watercolor paper

And to finish off…a sketch of a terrace in the little village Bédoin, while having a diabolo cassis at the  café opposite.

…a terrace in Bédoin…

pencil and watercolor  in sketchbook

To follow: Oil and gouache studies.


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..

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

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.

 


Autumn sketches II..leaves and Marie-Christine’s cheetah.

Picking up leaves on my walk by the Loire resulted in autumn sketches number II during our art afternoon earlier today.  This is what I did, while Marie-Christine continued working on her cheetah.

All my sketches were done in pencil, pen and watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm

…yellows in autumn…


…reds in autumn…


With her permission, I photographed Marie-Christine’s painting this afternoon, to show the stage where it is at now…far from finished of course. It is an old painting that she is reworking: keeping the cheetah, and started changing the background, wanting to work towards a warm African feel with heavy skies. Looks good to me already so far!

..Marie-christine’s cheetah in progress…

oil on canvas


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


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…


A sketch from the garden and a walk.

Two sketches from a sketchercise walk by the Loire, where I do my usual thing…sketch with a pencil or pen in watercolor sketchbook and adding a wash at home.

A waterpump in the tiny knotted garden by the Maison de la loire .

The narrow tree lined pathway by the Loire.

And lastly a sketch of my “chicken”  in the garden.

All sketches with pen/pencil in watercolor sketchbook


Two sketches from Caen, France.

Having the youngest daughter finishing her studies in Caen.., had us renting a truck and taking off in the directionof Caen to empty her apartement and bring it back home. Another chapter finished. She starts in Paris next week for a long “stage” and then we’ll take on another chapter, who knows where.  Always an exciting life when you have kids – it never stops!

Sketch in rotring pen and watercolour in watercolor sketchbook, 15.3x25cm.

When all was packed and we waited for the estate agent to come over for the “etat de lieu” – checking that we didn’t steal the ceiling or the shower etc…I sat on the windowsill of an empty apartment and scribbled a sketch of the building opposite her window, as well as the pigeons of Rue St Martin, trying their best to hide from the pouring rain and the cold. Not much in terms of great sketching, but at least some pen to paper!

sketch in pencil in wartercolor sketchbook, 15,3x25cm.


Sketchercise walks 27 and 30 March.

We were for a quick weekend at Coin Perdu, starting some work again. but it was raining and we didn’t get alot done. Went for some nice walks though. On my sketchercise walk I took my pen and sketchbook and roughly sketched some dry weeds from last season. The fileds are covered in flowers, especially the bright yellow marigolds, but since it was overcast, they were all closed.

Here are dry Scottish thistlel, some goutweed and young Plantain.

All sketches in pen/pencil and watercolor wash in Sketchercise book, 18x25cm.

This morning on my walk here in Montlouis, the weather was as bad,  if not worse. It is alwasy a few degrees warmer in Correze than it is here. I went for my walk, having a hanglip becasue of the weather. My bones are asking for good spring and summer weather now! I need to be outside now, in nature and in the sun and by the river and bare arms and walking barefoot!

So here are some frustrated sketches from this morning’s walk in un temps de chien(awful , dog weather)!

A daffodil and hyacinth and tulip encountered on my walk, as also an underground water pipe.

A sunny Forsythia in bloom, and a curb and flowerbed near my home.


Sketchercise walk 22 March.

I’ve started my walking and sketching again. Walking I’ve always done, but now I’ve started taking the sketching stuff along again. I’ve also decided to do it a bit different from now on. The sketches will be very quick. The walking is about exercise firstly after all and stopping too often or for too long breaks my rhythm. On these sketchercise walks I will also only take my sketchercise journal(a lovely watercolour sketchbook, covered in red linen) and a rotring pen or pencil. I don’t want to carry a lot of stuff and I don’t want to fiddle with art supplies. I simply stop and do a sketch while standing, close the book and start walking again. I do a maximum of three sketches and they need to be very quick. Two to three minutes at the very most.

…all sketches done in sketchercise sketchbook, 18x25cm….

The sketches I did this morning were only about two minutes each and only in pencil. I added a wash at home. By making quick notes on the sketch,  it  helps work the memory for when I want to add a splash of colour at home. It works really great.  I achieve a lot…. get good walking in without breaking my rhythm and I get quick “unthinking” , almost blind contour drawing sketches done AND a posting as well! Leaves ample time to get on with the rest of my day and do decent art in the atelier or go out for some good sketching, with decent art supplies.

This is a fallen tree over part of the river which happened with the big storms that passed thr0ugh France about a month ago.


In a sketching phase.

I am in a sketching phase. And especially scenes, not things or objects. Scenes like buildings and architecture, streets, les places, small shops. I don’t think I’m particularly good at these type of “scenes”, but I’m having fun!   I sometimes feel I will never be a proper artist. I  feel too much  like a changeling for I have too many phases. Maybe it is the winter.  Or the atmosphere in the streets, the lights coming from buildings, the reflection of streetlamps…how can I work alone in my atelier when there is the smell of coffee and hot chocolate in the bars, the intimate talks around candles, the festivity of people with shopping bags in the streets, the  creeping deeper into your woolen hat and coat…

Some last sketches from Paris: The first from le jardin du luxembourg with its hordes of trees and chairs.

…trees in jardin du luxembourg…

…a corner of st Sulpice and a sentier off rue des archives

la fontaine de st. sulpice

All sketches done in pen/pencil and watercolour in sketchbook (15.3x25cm)


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