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watercolour painting

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


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..


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!


Colors and foliage of November 2

More experimenting with fall colors…which are quickly changing to grays and blacks and umbers. some of these experiments and playing with line and color simply turn out a mess…as can clearly be seen in “ochres and siennas”, but somehow I actually like this mess, since it is much more loose and spontaneous than the others, which are strict and too precise and stiff. the goal of this experimenting is, after all, not to render, but to interpret. In that sense, “ochres and siennas” are my best effort so far, the one I’m the happiest with.

..ochres and siennas..

watercolor and pen in sketchbook, 15,5x25cm

I used the messy sketch above to do a painting 0n larger scale and extra white abriano artistico  paper. I shgould’ve gone for a more yellow tinted paper. Much lighter hand, lighter in color and more diverse in nuances…but still not what I’m after. A lot more work to do. But for this Sunday, it will do. I’m going for  a walk in the woods now to find some grays.

..ochre fall branch..

watercolor on extra white Fabriano artistico paper HP,41,5x30cm

..crimsons..

watercolor and pen in sketchbook, 15,5x25cm


Colors and foliage of November 1

I’ve been neglecting my sketching and I can feel it clearly in my wrist. Stiff and uncomfortable. Unsure. Hesitant.

…colors and foliage of November – yellow greens…

..watercolor and pen in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5x25cm..

I’m back at Coin Perdu for a painting sabbatical. Only me, my art and my soul. I’m staying in the barn, made many changes and it is now more of an atelier than anything else. We surely won’t receive any visitors during winter, so I’m set with my easels and paints around a huge fireplace which burns day and night to provide me with heat. It is actually good to be a little on the cold side. It keeps my brain from being too comfortable and become lazy and my body needs to move and work constantly to keep my metabolism up. It helps with my neglected sketching, because my doodles are starting to turn into sketches. I will bounce back. I always do.

There is no better way to get back into sketching than using what is in abundance around us. Nature. and if it is too cold outside, we can even bring nature inside. Which is what I’ve done with the following three sketches. Going for walks and picking up.

…foliage and colors of November – burgundies…

..watercolor and pen in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5x25cm..

…colors and foliage of November – umbers…

..watercolor and pen in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5x25cm..

This will be my excercise for some time…trying to capture nature in its colors of Autumn and winter..with additions of whatever is moving and living during these months around Coin Perdu.

Until next time…keep warm in the Northern hemisphere and enjoy the summers seasons elsewhere!

Ronelle


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.


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