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Posts tagged “sketching

La Dordogne and a walnut grove: catching autumn colours 4.

The Dordogne is such a beautiful river and with the walnut groves just beside it makes for magnificent scenery, especially in October with its multitude of colour.

I am still doing landscapes “the new way”;, although I am beginning to think it isn’t the real me. My sketches are much more loose and more spontaneous, albeit not always pretty and correct. But it is me. The landscape sketches I am doing lately feels more like small paintings done in sketchbooks. They are much more detailed and take much longer than my usual way of sketching. I am still enjoying it though. Maybe I will find that golden median between sketching like this and my usual style..

..la Dordogne in October

watercolour and pencil in A4 sketchbook

la dordogne0001..walnut grove..

watercolour and pencil in A4 sketchbook

Walnut grove..à la prochaine..


Different sketches of the same street.

Right opposite my physiotherapist are some interesting houses in Beaulieu sur dordogne. I arrived early for the previous sessions and did these 2 sketches of the same street from opposite directions on different days. One of my goals is to move towards change in my sketching; my subjects, the way I approach it and the way I do it. In a next post I will lay it out in more detail. For the moment then, these 2 sketches: the same street, different angle and different approach.

..Street view 1 south..

watercolour and prera pilot pen in  moleskine aquarelle sketchbook 21x13cm.

Beaulieu house 2

..Street view north..

watercolour and rotring tikka pen(0.1) Daler & Roney sketchook, 21X14.9cm

Beaulieu house 1I tried a different technique for each one. The view north is similar to how I paint in oils .more impressionistic if you will. The view south is more true to my original way of watercolour washes. In both instances I wanted to keep the sketch loose and light. I also tried to complete a sketch under 45 minutes and I succeeded in doing the top sketch in about 30 minutes and the bottom one in about 40 minutes.

..à 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


EDM-art 28-31: birdfeeder, garden ornament, faucet and eggs.

I am quite satisfied with my contribution to EDM. I have done every subject, 31 days. Definitely not  project to do every month, but I am pleased with myself for sticking to it and completing it.


watercolour and pentel brush pen in Daler Rowney sketchbook,14.9 X21 cm

eggs EDMWhat has EDM 2015 meant to me.

  • I have realized once again that drawing every day is essential for developing different skills and keeping them oiled.
  • Drawing every day makes us see the world and every day subjects through different glasses.
  • It forces self discipline.
  • It pushes you to push yourself.
  • It makes an artist work through a problem and not around it.
  • I didn’t always like the theme/subject of the day, but being committed made me do it anyway.
  • Looking back on a completed month of drawing is highly satisfactory.
  • It is inspiring to see others interpretations.
  • The enthusiasm of new comers to drawing and sketching is contagious.
  • New artist friends are made.
  • New directions in expression are considered.
  • More looseness and free strokes/lines creep into work.
  • Perfection lies in the imperfect strokes.
  • Deadlines lead to getting the work done.
  • There is no such thing as “not enough time/don’t have time”.
  • Doing art/drawing/sketching/painting every day is simply fun.
  • The journey supposed to be fun.

..Garden ornament and basket with fruit for birds..

watercolour and pentel brush pen in Daler Rowney sketchbook,14.9 X21 cm

garden ornaments..Faucet..

watercolour and pentel brush pen in Daler Rowney sketchbook,14.9 X21 cm

faucetà bientôt


EDM art 5: A hot woodburning stove.

Few things are as comforting and warming as an old woodburning stove, or coalstove as we used to call it. during the day it gets stacked with wood and at night with coals which can simmer all night long with closed vent; Coming down to a kitchen, smelling the heat from the coals and just moving the kettle over for an old fashioned coffee,…it is a joy few people know about today and many might remember it form childhood. In winter this is our chef in the kitchen.. For heat, for comfort, for a homely ambiance, for cooking , for keeping the kettle ready, and warming the hands. Of course this thing can push out some mean kilowatts and I have a few scars as evidence. But boy, a tajine or a boeuf bourguignon or a rosemary leg of lamb coming out of that little oven…it gives total a new meaning to the term oven baked. As the thermostat is long gone, I am obliged to step back in time and test the oven temperature  by sticking in my hand in the oven and counting….warm, hot or freakin hot!

..kettle and woodburning stove..

watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & birn Alpha sketchbook, 22.9X15.2 cm

coalstoveOn this hot note I leave you until tomorrow when I will hopefully be back with “bristles”.


EDM-art 4: Spice bottles.

I struggled with this theme today. Not because I don’t like spices, au contraire, it is a delicious theme and I love it. But the ideas didn’t show up today.I couldn’t fix my pen on a cool composition and the brush didn’t work for me either. My wrist  was stiff and unforgiving in sketching these bottles. Instead of having a free hand and sketching with some wonk, which is my usual style, my sketches become overworked and controlled. Not me. Not me at all. In this process of struggle today, I paged back through the last few sketches and artwork I did…and there I saw it; Stiffness and control. Slowly but surely during the last few sketches I moved towards controlling the pen and colour, while they should actually have more of a will of their own. That is how I raised my daughters and that is how I like my art.

Sketch 1: a himalayan salt and black pepper mill, totally overworked and in good ole French…“n’importe quoi!”

watercolour and pen in Daler Rowney sketchbook,21X29.7 cm

epices 2

Sketch 2:  without interest, overworked, not funk or peps, actually a bit boring.

watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 22.9X15.2 cm

epices 3

Sketch 3: this ws my last sketch and almost there, but not quite yet. I think I got tired at this stage, but there is a bit more interest in the dynamics, a bit more wonk and interpretation.But still sloppy. (a loose, free style doesn’t mean sloppy.)

epices 4Sketch 4: This was the second last one and I was a bit angry here, trying and trying and not getting what I want (almost went into tantrum mode…). This sketch is downright sloppy.

watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook,14X21.6 cm

epices 1See you tomorrow with sketch(es) on the theme…something hot!


Every day in May – (1)a favorite food and (2)a tree.

“A favorite food,” says the list of the art group EDM for this month of May.. Only one favorite food? That is a huge punishment! I can draw a favorite food for a whole month and even beyond. How then to choose between all my wonderful favorite fruits, the colourful vegetables, the meat…(yes, you Greenies, I love my meat!) And then there are fish and shellfish and how about a slice of cake? Or a cookie. And dessert. I never skip dessert. I won’t even mention chocolate and that first cup of coffee in the morning. Only one favorite food?

However, I can sometimes play by the rules and this time seems appropriate enough to do so. So one favorite food it is. I confess my weakness for macarons. Those beautiful, sensual, romantic and utterly delicious delicacies our patisserie in Beaulieu so shamelessly flaunts in the display window.  By just looking in my eyes, they know I am there for a box of macarons. Yellows and purples and pinks and reds which vary between red fruits and blueberry and strawberry and lemon and vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel and my big favorite, that green one, the pistache. I love them all. I leave the patisserie on an euphoric cloud and with my precious macarons gently tucked next to each other in a quaint box and artfully tied with a pink ribbon.  All that is left now, is to nail this sketch, so I can retire with my box of macarons to my favorite chair in my favorite corner…..sigh. I rest my case.


watercolor and dip pen with Sennelier indigo ink in S&B alpha sketchbook, 22.9×15.2cm



I can totally understand why there are nutcases walking around hugging each tree they come across. sometimes I am one of them. Cause a tree is not just a tree. It is a friend, it stirs our emotion, it  is a refuge, that safe place under/or in its branches where we hide from all that scorches us..the sun, the world. The olive tree is all of that for me. I do hug my olive trees and talk to them, touch them, stroke them, care for them, love them. They make me think of sunshine and heat. They makes me hear the cigales. They bring me the scent of lavender and wild herbs in the fields and I see colourful vegetables drizzled with the golden oil from its olives, glistening with crystals of fleur de sel. That is my olive tree.

..olive tree..

watercolor and Prera pilot fountain pen in S&B epsilon sketchbook, 14×21.6 cm


à demain



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