Trees in ink

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, so I took a walk along the Loire. I thought of Robyn, who did a watercolor painting and an ink drawing with a beautiful tree in her scene. I remember thinking that I’d like to take on trees, so, I took out my unipen and looked for trees to draw.

I’m afraid of trees, so this was really getting me out of my comfort zone. I find them complicated and I never know where to begin, what to put in and how to depict those intricate branches, not to mention the odd dry leaf still hanging for life, the magnitude of dead twigs intertwined like spiderwebs, the stunning moss growing on the shady sides, the windswept bending to nature’s unforgiving blows. I just find it hard.

I did four and then realized I need to do many more tree sketches to really grab hold of the character of a tree. In fact, next year one of my goals will be to take on plein air, piece by piece, studying trees and rocks, foliage, texture in nature. These are actually my first ever trees and now the ice is broken and the work awaits!

A tree standing in the water. Done on site in unipen and afterwards washed with indian ink and “petit gris” brush. Moleskine


A crab apple tree next to the Loire. Done in unipen and some inksplatterings at home to depict the gravel alongside the tree. Moleskine


An old split-open tree with a lot of spiderweb twigs hanging , which I tried to depict by a fine spray of black and silver ink at home. Moleskine.


This is my favourite tree, the Tilleul(along with the oak).  I just love their statuesque shapes that change from season to season. In late winter we just simply call them knot-trees, because they are pruned back to the thick knots, which some people find grotesque, but I think it’s beautiful. Some day I’ll do this tree again and hopefully do justice to it! Done in brushpen and I splotched some brushpen sprayes on the thick trunk to depict the beautiful moss. Moleskine.



We use our senses every day…or do we?

Do we really listen, concentrate, care, understand, incline, obey, mind, consider, reason…


Do we really see, perceive, experience, imagine, notice, observe, glimpse, admire, appreciate….


Do we actually smell, grasp, discover, inhale, breathe, relax, enjoy, long, think….


Done in pencil and WC in my handmade sketchbook  made by Marta.

Chocolate truffles and a corner of the Christmas tree

Sharon suggested we sketch our holiday cookies/baking. I made these chocolate truffles yesterday… for the weekend…for our daughter who’s coming home for the weekend. Recipe here.

Done in micro pen no 8, WC and gold ink for the gold leaf on the truffle and the “glitter”.


Everybody is so full of cheer and Christmas spirit…it is contagious. So here is a “corner” of our Christmas tree this year, which is a dry tree full of moss, that Hartman went to “pick up” for me by the Loire river. All the decorations are in shades of grey, white and silver.

Done in micro pen,WC,  silver gouache(for the angels hair and glitter) and silver leaf for the decorations.


The first image is a photograph, of which my lighting wasn’t good enough and I didn’t compensate for the colour reflection, therefore the “blue look”, but it shows the silver better than the scan (second image), where the colours are more true and the paper nice and white.


Flustered sketches

We had life drawing class yesterday. I had 20 minutes to kill before leaving for class and I fell asleep in the armchair. Fortunately my husband was home and woke me , surprised that I’m not at class. I grabbed my stuff, drove like a mad thing, all the time trying to register where I was and where I should be.

…the very first  one minute sketches, shaky and flustered….


… got highly frustrated at some stage…


….even charcoal couldn’t help….


….and finally after an hour, able to start tightening the loose screws in my head for the 15 minute poses…




….and ultimately finding the 30 minute-pose too long which resulted in unnecessary fiddling…

None of these sketches were reworked on at home.

Casey added her versions in the meantime….see here.