Coffee shop sketches

When I said yesterday I have nothing to post, I lied. I forgot I had these four sketches, which I did in February, just after France became a smokefree public area country. We are  almost 5 months down the road(why does it feel like more?) and it is still going well and the law is pretty much respected by all. Only nick now is that all the smokers stand right outside the entrance and you thus enter through this haze of smoke, holding your breath, closing your eyes and keeping your hand out in front in good hope you’ll somewhere hit the entrance! Ohh, I’m joking, it’s not reallyh that bad…I’m just happy for having a smokefree interior! Which allowed me in February to enjoy coffee at lenght’s desire in my three favourite coffee spots at the time…it’s changed by now, since I can’t stick to one thing for too long.

 le-duclos1.jpg

…Le duclos…

le-pt-gilles.jpg

…le pt gilles…

le-steven1-03-jan-08-8-25-32-am.jpg

…le steven…

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…les deux hommes, z

All sketches in moleskine, done with pen and monochrome wash.

Sketchbook exchange sketches

Now that our Flying Pictures Project is a little further down the road and everybody involved had already seen my first sketches posted on our blog FPP, AND since I don’t have much in the form of sketches to post here, AND I haven’t been around much, I thought it good to post my first sketches that were sent off in May. With my theme being “rainbow moments”, I took the first subjects that came into my view that gave me joy and this is what shaped the first two and half pages in my book that went off to Lindsay, and has just landed at Robyn.  So, four more stops, before it arrives back home.

Edited: To see Lindsay’s beautiful addition in oil pastel, see our Flying Pictures Project .

All sketches done in our handmade concertina sketchbooks with rotring pen, pencil and watercolour.

Sketches from Dordogne and Perigord, France

We just came back from visiting the Dordogne area in France. The first sketch was done in Brantôme, while we were lunching on a baguette and saucisson among the ducks next to La Dronne.

 

…lunch with the ducks…

There are many “pigeonniers”, circular or square in the Périgord and Quercy. Before 1798 it would be only the owners of plenty of land, who were fortunate enough to own pigeonniers…used for fertilizer. They were elegantly attached to houses or were loose standing and elevated to prevent humidity.

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…mon pigeonnier à Sarlat

…mon pigeonnier à Rocamadour

..colour in the streets of 8th century, Turenne…

…a monochrome view on the ruines of le chateau de Turenne…

First 4 sketches done in pen and watercolour in sketchbook, and the last sketch is done in rotring art pen and wash.

 

Bill on a bicycle

I’m doing a portrait exchange with Bill. He’s been waiting very patiently for me. Thank you Bill! See how great he did my portraits here!! Not fair that he does so well and I am struggling!

As I say, I’ve been struggling. I started off today with just a contour drawing, which got filled up a bit more than just a simple contour. Then I did another one and another…and then jumped on my bicycle and went for a ride.

contour drawing, rotring pen on paper, 29,5×42 cm

I have new bike, a very cute one. Based on the old “Hollandais city” style. Up until now I’ve used an old bicycle which had me running just as I thought I was pedalling well away. Or I was on Liandri’s mountain bike, with my behind way up in the air and my head almost down between my knees. I sort of feel at this age, I would prefer my “derriere” closer to earth and my face “lifted”. So now I look very elegant, with my back straight and my hair in the wind.

…wizard of oz…

rotring pen and watercolour in Artistico sketchbook, CP, 18x26cm(7″x10″)

When I came back, my head felt clear enough to give Bill another go.  Put in some shadows this time. It doesn’t really look like him. And before I attempt a painting, I have to get the drawing right first. He has very intense eyes and I make him glare from the page. So, I have more work to do. More cycling to do.

inkdrawing, rotring pen on paper, 29.7x42cm(11.7×16.5″)

Life drawing in pastel pencil

In the life drawing class a while ago, we had one long pose and used pastel pencils in black, white and sanguine. I’ve never used pastel pencils before. The closest I came to do something recognizable with pastels, is a little still life I did a few years ago. I dug it out to compare. It was done with soft pastel sticks.

…five a day…

I had a hard time with these pencils. They are harder than the sticks and I kept on coloring in instead of putting in mass. Or maybe it is all the sketching and ink line work I’m doing currently and very little painting. And I didn’t want to smudge the pastel, glazing it, smooth it over. I wanted texture and expressive strokes. But it seems I’ve left her out in the sun for too long…I loved the pose, so maybe I’ll redo this later and try and come up with something more painterly and eye pleasing. Any advice from the pastellists out there?

…fire, fire!…

 

Sketches from Toulouse, France.

We are back from a wonderful time in Toulouse. Beautiful sunshine days and we were spoilt rotten by Marinell. It is so bad being back here and having no one to continue the spoiling!

In between all the coffees and lunches and soulful talks and laughter and movies and dinners and lots of walking and even rock concert by Maroon Five, I sqeezed in some drawings. I did the drawings on site and put the washes in when we took a break somewhere. Toulouse was swarming with people out on the streets, which made drawing extremely difficult. I didn’t even attempt painting.

Toulouse is known as La ville Rose (pink city), because of the amazing red brick used in its architecture. It is overwhelming and I felt totally incompetent, trying to capture some of it atmosphere.

The first three sketches were done in handmade sketchbook (22 x 25cm) in pen and pencil and watercolour.

…la ville rose…

…let in the sun…

…empty…

The next sketch of Pont neuf, crossing La Garonne, was done in handmade sketchbook, 22x15cm in rotring artist pen and wash.

..a wonky pont neuf…

A few people sketches  on Place de la Daurade and the ducks closing in to investigate. Rotring artpen and wash in handmade sketchbook, 22x15cm.

…so, who are the curious ones…

A while ago I came across a beautiful little handmade sketchbook, (30×12, which seems more like a marine sketch format) and this café scene was done in it with rotring art pen and wash. Unfortunately the paper doesn’t take wash well, so I’ll stick to pen drawings in the future.

…”une baguette, du vin, et du fromage si’l vous plait”…