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


Urban sketches in Beaulieu.

Below are two sketches I did from the car. I don’t often sketch from inside the car…somehow I am uncomfortable and the window is in my way. But I suppose everything just need to be done regularly and it will become habit. In bad weather it definitely is an advantage to sketch from inside the car.

..parked cars in Beaulieu sur Dordogne..

pencil and watercolor in Daler & rowney sketchbook, A5

hotel beaulieu voitures

..hotel in Beaulieu sur dordogne..

pencil and watercolour in Sketchbook, A4

hotel beaulieu

à la prochaine


Landscape sketches, catching autum colours 2.

I am working hard on landscapes in watercolour. And October is just getting more and more beautiful by the day. I am almost hyperventilating, fearing that I won’t be able to gt enough sketches and paintings done before autumn moves into winter.

Les vaches

watercolor and pencil in watercolour sketchbook21X29.7cm

les cacheswood ferns

watercolor and pencil in watercolour sketchbook21X29.7cm

autumn wood fernsUntil next time


Landscape sketches..catching October colour.

I am in the mood to do landscape paintings in watercolour, which is a challenge for me, because I paint corners of landscapes, not full, wide scapes. so I set off this week with a collection of sketchbooks in different sizes and pages and a whole arm full of mediums and I  went sketching. I just sketched. Again and again. Some little sketches are awful, others not too bad. I do find it difficult, so I still have a lot of sketching landscapes to do. So. Voiilà. A few of my landscape sketches. In a next post I will show some more and embroider with more détail on my experiences.

les fardines

landscape study 1

I did this sketch at the bottom, after I decided that I didn’t like the one I did above. Then I liked this one even less. but by this time I was fairly tired, so I think the mood and energy to do a decent little sketch, left me.

landscape study 2

At home, I just scribbled a few things around me, while we were at the barbecue. they wer done in graphite and a little charcoal here abd tghere.

Graphite, charcoal sketches 2 Graphite, charcoal sketches à bientôt


Sketches around a cup of coffee.

Simply sketching in a tea shop in St Céré and having a coffee and croissant. No fanfare. Tout simple.

watercolour and pentel brush pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 14×21.6cm

teashop 1

watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 14×21.6cm

teashop 20001à bientôt


Beaulieu and people sketches

I am struggling enormously with my sketching lately. The whole process of art doing in my atelier is actually on the struggle. My art has taken a dive for the worse, but hopefully it will resurface with vigor soon. In the meantime I just follow the giant Nike’s advice: “Don’t think, just do it”. All in all, I felt better after doing these sketches.

All sketches done in the Stillman & Birn, Epsilon series, 14×21.6cm with watercolor and pilot prera pen.


I sat in the square in Beaulieu, first doing the Wednesday morning market and afterwards the view down the street.

beaulieu market

I also did some people sketches while having a coffee. I find I have lately been moving into feathering again when drawing and I absolutely hate feathering. It always happens to me when I feel insecure in my art making. What I call feathering : I don’t draw a line in one go, I feather- feather in the direction I want a line to go, a lot of fiddling with shape and line…awful! It was good to get back into one line drawing, or rather sketching, by doing these people. they are wonky, but I feel good about the line work. More and more people don’t want to be the object of observation and I really try to respect that by being so discreet and unobtrusive as possible, making my observation a somewhat off the mark. I have to train my eye again to get to that discreet-drawing-level.

..pantalon rouge..

poeple at Cecil's 20001

..pantalon arc-en-ciel..

poeple at Cecil'sà plus


Splashes, splotches and spatters in aquarelle.

I have been asked so many times how I do my splashes and after another request from Sophia, I thought I could do a pôst to explain how I splash ans splotch. have forever been doing splashes in my watercolor paintings and sketches. I paint and sketch with a big brush and loads of pigment and water and the splashes almost happen all by itself on my page. There are times though that I use splashes to emphasize or create a certain effect or atmosphere. It all depends on the sketch or painting.  I notice that it has become very fashionable in the sketching world to use splashes which is great. But sometimes a sketch can look out of sorts with splashes, which either don’t fit the style of painting or the subject doesn’t ask for splashes, and so it appears on sketches just because it is fashionable. I love my splashes, but I don’t use them every time and with every subject.  I would like to see that watercolor work  show more discretion when using splashes, before it ruins an already perfect watercolour painting or sketch.

Old french bowls 1…without any splashes. This sketch was done using watercolor, watercolorpencils and white gouache. I overworked the sketch somewhat, so the bottom bowl started losing its shape.

Old French bowls 1-001

Old French bowls 2, without any splashes. Mixed media – watercolour, watercolour pencils and white gouache.Old French bowls 2-001

Old french bowls 3, with blue splotches and 1 red splash which I added simply to “accompany” my signing). I used only watercolour and pen for this sketch

Old French bowls 3-001

Old french bowls 4, with brown spatters on the right side, dark red splotches at the bottom and 1 lilac splash(for my name). In my opinion, on this sketch, less spattering or even none would have been fine, I added the spatters etc for demonstration.

Old French bowls 40002-001

When working in watercolor, I use only one brush, usually my Rosemary sable 12. My splashes are done right at the end with the same brush. Depending on the subject and the atmosphere I want to add to my sketch/painting, I choose from 3 different types of splashes. I call them for my own use, splashes, splotches and spatters.

*Splotches are the small, smaller then the splashes, but bigger, but bigger than the small spatters. To get these dropletys, I load my brush a fair amount of water and colour and hold the brush up straight while I shake the brush in quick upward and downward movements to release the droplets.


*Spatters are those tiny droplets that sometime happen a line or a curve. I get them by loading my brush with not too much water and then flick my finger on the brush to spatter the colour, which most of the time, are small droplets which end up in a line on the paper.

SpattersSplashes are the large round drops dropped from a high distance above the paper. I fill the brush with color and water, stand up over the paper to keep my eye on the spot I want to drop a splash and press the brush at the tip to form a drop which splashes on the paper.

SplashesI have chosen some of my sketches to show the effect of leaving out splashes or adding them.

To illustrate some of my splashes and splotches etc, here are some of my previous work.

Two Siberian iris sketches – Left: Only 2 big splashes. The line work and minimalist appearance of the sketch doesn’t welcome tiny spatters of colour, it would only distract. Right: The more loose watery interpretation allows for some large splashes as well as some spattering. It adds to a frivolous interpretation and could suggest  picking of the irises, blowing in the wind, petals falling…movement.

iris reticulata iris reticulata-001

Some more examples of where splashes work and where not:

In the bottom sketch, splashes don’t belong..it is already a very busy sketch with lots of information.

Le Pescher Maison 6466x4910

The sunflower just asks for some splattering…suggesting bees working, pollen blowing in the wind, petals falling off… movement.envelope to vivien0001In the sketch below, I used only a green splash and blue splotches to suggest sky and leaves and I like the effect of stark lines with the contrasting wild bursts of colour.

bretnoux la post

I hope this explained a bit my thinking and use of splashes, splotches and spatters.

Until next time


Spain sketches 3

This will be the last post on Spain sketches. Next will be a post on the splatters I make hat I promised a while back.

 man sleeping on deck chair

watercolor and prera pilot penspain sketches 7

..beach scene..

watercolor and pentel brush pen

spain sketches 10

spain sketches 11

..around the pool..

watercolor and pilot prera pen

spain sketches 2..a bientôt..



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