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Aguarelle

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


Geraniums for a postcard

My very late postcard to Bridget consisted of geraniums, done way back when it was still summer.

..Summer geraniums..

-pen and watercolour on watercolour paper-

..summer geraniums in gouache and pen, on handmade paper..


Some lunch sketches.

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

…vegetable soup and bread

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook

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

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

…vegetable soup…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook

…coffee and water with cpeculoos biscuit…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook


Still life with copper pots.

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

… stil life with copper pots…

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

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


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