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Posts tagged “Illustration

Sketches from Beaulieu and Les Jardins Marquessac.

My artist friend Sarah visited and we visited les jardins Marquessac.I am totally inspired to finish my garden here at Coin Perdu, not to mention painting! I worked in different sketchbooks and I am considering going back to Moleskine, all three sizes.

..a sketch done in Beaulieu while waiting for my physiotherapy appointment..

pencil, pilot prera pen and aquarelle in LANA watercolour sketchbook, 14x22cm(this is a lovely sketchbook with 300g paper, 25 pages and a great size, with the only drawback being the spiral back.)

Beaulieu house0001..a sketch of a street in Beaulieu..

watercolour in Daler & Rowney Ebony sketchbook, 14.9X21 cm(this paper still buckles a lot with washes, but it is not too disturbing. I like the hardback so it makes working across 2 pages quite easy.)

Beaulieu0001..the marketplace in St Céré..

watercolour and prera pen in Daler & Rowney graduate sketchbook,22X14.9cm(this is suitable only for drawing…a nightmare for washes..but it was all I had in my bag.)

St Cere..Jardins Marquessac..

watercolour and prera pen in Daler & Rowney Ebony sketchbook, 14.9X21 cm

jardin Marqueyssac sketchà 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


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


Resketch the gargoyle and fountain.

I wasn’t satisfied with the gargoyle sketch 2 posts ago and even leaving it to the art fairy didn’t help. In fact the more I looked at it, the worse it got. So today I decided to redo it. I am still not in heaven about the sketch, but at least it is a bit better and I am tired of that spot in the garden. I suppose you can’t win all the time.And now I have to move on.

Gargoyle fountain

watercolour and dip pen with black ink in daler rowney sketchbook, 21X29.7cm

gargoyle and fontain

EDM – art 23, 24, 25: Detail of a building, keys, cover for something messy.

Our porcherie(little pighouse) at Coin Perdu. A fairly dilapidated outbuilding here on the farm where the pigs were kept. It will be turned into something, don’t know yet what.


watercolour and dip pen in S&B sketcbook,


We have a magnitude of keys, some from the brocantes, some found in the attic, some dug up, some lost ones, some unknown ones and some…well, just some.


watercolour and Pentel brush pen in S&B sketcbook,


My shoes are covered in oil paints. I wear them when I go plein air painting and when I go to town. I wear them whenever, because they are comfy and being so colourful, they go with everything.

..painting shoes..

watercolour and Pentel brush pen in S&B sketcbook,

painting shoes

EDM-art 16 & 18: Measuring tools and lipsticks.

We have more measuring tools in our home than we have food.  Fascinating stuff..all these rulers, square edges, the laser beams, the ultrasonic beams, I even have tiny pocket tapes for a handbag. An unending array of measuring tools, never to be found when needed

..measuring tools..

dip pen and Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook, 14X21.6 cm


Lipstick. What does your lipstick, or lip balm say about you. Our good friend, Google, says the following:

  1. sharp angled tip:  opinionated, high spirited, hates schedules, outgoing, selective of friends, likes attention, argumentative…
  2. flat top: high morals, dependable, to the point, quick-minded, loves a challenge, careful about appearances…
  3. sharp angles on both sides:  spiritual, seeks attention, curious, mysterious, loves life, big ego..
  4. flat top, concave : great detective, make friends easily, inquisitive, adventurous…
  5. round, smooth tip: easy going, peacemaker, even-tempered,  steady, likeable, generous..

..5 lipsticks for 5 personalities..

dip pen and Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook, 14X21.6 cm

5 lipsticks

à demain


EDM-art 9: An interesting label.

I find labels fascinating. So much so that you will often find me in the alcohol section of the supermarket. That is where the most interesting labels are to be found. I don’t even drink alcohol, except for my glass of red wine in winter or rosé wine in summer and champagne when I feel chic. I can spend a whole morning in  the alcohol aisle scanning top to bottom, browsing the beautiful bottles and the labels, like you would books in a bookstore and yes, I do sometimes succumb to buying a bottle of “I don’t know what‘ just because of the label. Especially the beer bottles. The labels are fantastic! When I am asked to buy beer, I always choose the bottles with the prettiest label, irrespective of instructions as to which brand I should buy. After all, isn’t it good to test new grounds?Then it turns out at home to be the most awful beer.  As if I care, I don’t drink it! Now I am not asked to buy beer any more.

..2014 Mille et une pierre rosé wine from our area..

watercolour and J. Herbin inks in Daler rowney sketchbook, 21X29.7 cm

label on rose winesee you tomorrow with the themesomething you can turn on/off..



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