Drawing in graphite

I haven’t had time to post my drawings from the afternoons with Casey the last two weeks, so here follows…

The first drawing was done at her house and she set up some beautiful statues. I had fun with this. I always have fun doing statues. I find they can hold long poses…

This drawing was done in graphite 9b, on drawing block, 50×35 cm.

…hold it, hold it..

This second drawing was last week and I set up some bottles, thinking I could at the same time play around with “different strokes”, which is the theme of Robyn’s book in our international sketchbook exhange. I enjoyed all the themes of the books and it revealed a little of each book’s owner, which made every book so unique. In this case, I can picture Robyn as someone with a whole variety of “different strokes”, making her interesting, lively with a great sense of humour and strong personality. So to come up with something for her book, “Different strokes”, I played around with this next drawing, which isn’t going into her book, but it did lead me down the path to the eventual pages I am busy adding to her book. And following the advice of her wise bee, I am also having fun doing it!

Drawing done in graphite, watercolour pencils, charcoal pencil, white conté, coffee, chocolate cake…ah…no, that was for eating..

…in search of different strokes…



I have also finally sent Lindsay’s canoe home, with a sniff and a blink… She’ll defintely post her whole book soon, but if you want to catch a glimpse of her canoe, see Captain’s log.

…Adieu..




Splashy pineapples

Yesterday I had a crazy craving for pineapple. I bought whichever ones I could find…the sweet small Victoria pineapple from South Africa, the big fat watery one, produced in Costa Rica, coming from Miami???… and lastly the heavy, juicy one from the Ivory coast. Of course I had to paint them. My light pencil drawing was fine and I started putting in washes. Arriving at the spiky leaves, all went horribly wrong. And from there it on it was downhill all the way. Finally I threw the paintbrush out the door, flew out of my atelier, jammed a cup of coffee together, grabbed a canvas and plastered it with modeling paste and a painting knife. Halfway through the oil painting, and eventually simmered down, I turned to my watercolour and thought I might as well finish it by simply pulling out all the stops, I have nothing to lose. So here is the final messy watercolour….. the oil painting is still drying.

Watercolour on Fabriano artistico HP extra white block, 30,5×45,5cm (12″x18″)

Afterwards I even had some time to put a recipe together…and  eat it all. Interested in Pineapple carpaccio with saffron syrup and roasted pinenuts?

Afternoon doing drawing

I had a great drawing afternoon with Casey yesterday. It was the first drawing I’ve done in a very long time and Casey said the same for her. As you’ll see over at Casey’s, her drawing is beautiful, as usual.  She has always been so good at drawing. Our first afternoon of drawing years ago was a bowl of eggs in her dining room…maybe we should dig those up one day…

Because she is so quick at drawing and sketching, I set up two subjects to keep her busy for the afternoon, but helas, Casey enjoys talking just as much as drawing…, so you’ll see my attempt here and hers will be the other set up.

…effort number 1…


The first drawing is the one I did yesterday afternoon and I really struggled. The minute I take a drawing tool like a pencil or charcoal in my hand, I tighten up and it turns out a compact, heavy little business. So last night I attempted another one, number two. Unfortunately we’ve had the figs for dinner, so the set up is a little different and my angle changed a little too. This drawing is probably messy and sloppy and quirky, but I’m much happier. Still not what I’m after, but at least it has less “rendering” and more movement and energy. (And yes, the trophy at the back is quite skew, it is bent at the bottom)

…effort number 2…


Both drawings done on in charcoal on drawing block, 50x35cm(19,6×13.7″)

*I’ve once realized how important it is to draw regularly and how different drawing actually is from sketching. Or maybe it isn’t so different after all. If I have to sketch this same scene, it probably wouldn’t look that different!

I’ve also realized the importance of knowing the tools you’re using. I felt very insecure with this charcoal in my hand yesterday, didn’t know where to start, finally started off way too dark, worked with a tight little wrist, smearing all over until everything was one grey value. So, “draw Ronell, draw!”

Autumn impressions

I came home this afternoon from a wonderful Rigoletto in the Opera Bastille last night, in time to splash some autumn impressions on paper. I just painted some colours onto paper as I saw the colours of the leaves and rose hips and and afterwards added some suggestive linework with 2.5 rotring pen. I think I’ll explore more autumn colours in the days to come, before winter takes over.

All done on Fabriano CP block, 18x25cm. Watercolour and pen.

Quietude with Rodin

When walking around in Paris the other day with a few hours on my hand to kill, I passed by the Museé Rodin and seeing I haven’t been for years, I thought a visit would be worth it.  After a while I felt the quiet and calm so inspiring that I only attempted 2 sketches. The rest of my time was spent just enjoying. The gardens are so beautiful and it is worth it to spend the entrance fee only for a coffee at the garden retaurant, walking the grounds, watching the gardeners fiddle in the beds and simply devoting yourself to the quietude on a garden bench . Sometimes being calm and serene in the presence of greatness teaches you loads more than being frantically busy absorbing!

I appreciate the quiet of art. It doesn’t have to boast, “turn up it’s volume”, or shout out its impact to attract attention, Good art just stands quietly on it’s own podium, much like Rodin’s sculptures. We have to only look at it closely to discover it’s hidden charisma and lively spirit.

The morning spent in the presence of Rodin inpired me to try some new directions one of which is sculpture…I was once(as a child..) VERY good at sandcastle building…even won a prize! Who knows, this might just be my real calling? But for now, here are my attempts at sketches of Rodin’s quiet, but magnificent sculptures…

Done in moleskine with pen.



Montgolfière en France

I’ve had the exciting opportunity recently to go hot air ballooning in Fontainebleau. We took off on the grounds of the chateau and landed some hours later in a farmer’s field. We were treated to champagne by candlelight after landing which couldn’t have been more perfect!

I did two sketches from photos afterwards. I didn’t even consider sketching there, I was too afraid of being left behind, because once the balloon was up and billowing, there was no time for fancy stuff. It was grab your legs and climb that basket. Besides it is far more exciting watching the balloon lift and blow and bulge.

If you’re interested in seeing some pictures you can go to Myfrenchkitchen, where I’ve put up some pics of the whole process and the trip, the amazing sunset, smooth landing and our great crew.

Both these sketches were done on Fabriano artistico block(30x23cm) with pen and watercolour.

…stretching the toile

…almost there…

Luxembourg in Nina’s book

Our international sketchbook exchange is nearing its end with only two more laps to go. I hate endings…unless I know there is something new to fill its place. Any suggestions? Anyone out th..e..ere..???

Here is/was my contribution to Nina’s(Ninajohansen.se) book. See her Polychromatic behaviour, where you can have a look at her cover and how it looks right after turning over that cover. It feels like yesterday that our FPP(Flying pictures project) took off, but it has already been almost 5 months. I decided to add scenes from le  Jardin du Luxembourg in Nina’s book, a regular stop of mine to relax with a book whenever I’m in Paris. It’s one of my favourite places, with its colours, it’s water, its children, its sailboats, its shadows, and…its chairs. I’m fascinated by their chairs, standing in a “polychromatic” disorder all over. So I took my camera to Paris one day and just shot scenes all over the garden. Back home I printed them in black and white, pasted them onto Fabriano artistico and stretched the black and white scenes in colour over onto my paper. I thought that could be called polychromatic behaviour?

…the whole 21/2 pages…

…taking over from Vivien’s (Painting prints and stuff)brush and coloured pencils…

…close-ups…

…the end of my pages and off to Lindsay ( Non-linear-arts)…