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sketches in an old book

A while back I bought this lovely handmade book. It has the look of an old book with handmade paper pages. The cover had me immediately think of ink sketches, particularly olf etch-like drawings…statues, architecture…all things I love to sketch. I’ve started doing some statues in it…the paper isn’t very forgiving and not ideal for sketching and it doesn’t take watercolour at all, but maybe it only adds to the “ancient” look that I’m after. In any case this book is not about art, but about a look – I am looking forward to see it one day when it is done, filled with ink drawings, thick and used! by then, it might be REALLY old…

I use only ink and a pen with nibs and afterwards I wash gently with a little ink and water to just add a shadow and a stain here and there. The book is 11.5 x 17cm and I found it at Les milles feuilles in Paris.

…an old touch…

…statue 1-St sulpice…

…statue 2-…

…statue 3- chateau de vincennes…

…statue 4-chateau de vincennes…

Sketching some things..

Maree passed the Kreative blogger award on this way a few weeks ago…THANKS! – and now I have to tell seven things about myself. I don’t have seven interesting things to tell, but I can name hundreds of things that I love  that give me joy in this lifetime. So I’ll name a few of them.

Apart from loving my family, I adore my cats, Tokala and Ayiani. They are highly intelligent, as you’ll see from the sketch,  and they teach me how to be humble and considerate andhow to respect others’ time and place. I know they see me as a very intelligent creature and recognise my superiority to them. They laugh at all my funny talk and come immediately when I call. I never feel like a fool around them. They hasten to fulfill my every will. I am royalty in their presence.

cats cartoon

I adore being a plein air painter. I never really loved landscapes, until I went out and did my first one, which was a complete blooper by the way. But the process of plein air means much more to me than the result. Sic. Of course I’m lying! I love an awesome result! I don’t want to do it just for fun. I want to be extraordinary! I want to be gooood! That is why I go out there again and again. In search of that high that comes with the process . In search of  the experience.  In search of that complete knock-out that will one day come with a stunning result…hopefully.

plein air painter

I love my bicycle. I look quaint and adorable. My backside rests small and dainty on the saddle. I don’t wobble and I don’t bobble. The uphills are SOO easy and the downhills have people fleeing from me. It says that I am in command. I feel powerful. When I was 5 years old, I ran away from home with my bicycle and a clean cotton panty in my little suitcase. I decided the corner of my street was far enough away from home. Not much has changed. I still wear cotton and my bicycle still takes me away from home. To every corner I choose.

riding bicycle

In my next lifetime I am going to be a professional photographer. They make a lot of money and never have to work. They never go hungry. And they are always well dressed. They always travel in style and see the world. And it is all fun. For that they  get money again. And they look professional with all their equipment. Everybody has respect for someone who carries a lot of stuff. They immediately think that person must be good. I want to be goood. And it counts in my favour that  I’m trigger happy.  So I will be a photographer. After all, I’m not scared of animals. Or people. Sic.

in another lifetime

I can name many more…Africa holds my roots, France holds my heart…travelling to far-off places was invented for me…listening to other people’s stories of their lives enriches me…nature gives me space to breathe…our mountain home sets me free…

Let’s stop here. Life is too short to only name the things we love. Let’s go do it.

I am passing this award on to:

Cathy at Cards and stuff– she is a lovely french Madame, now living in South Africa and does extraordianary African art and just had an exhibition a hwhile ago of stunning African portraits!

Cecily at Butterflyhands – she is a good friend of many many years and her blog is fairly new, but I know her talent and skills from way back and I have always admired it.

Nostalgia

I am filled with nostalgia lately. I’ve already put up my Christmas tree, I remember people from long ago, I recall precious moments, I miss family and friends,  I long for the smell of the African bush, I dream of jeeps and khaki hats, I listen to the sounds of the wildlife on CD, I walk around in the house snorting like the rhino, growling in the voice of the lion at nighttime … I feel savage.

Maybe it started when I had to draw my pages in Robyn’s Different strokes in our FPP, and I thought of all the different strokes our lives produce in one lifetime. So I gave her one of my strokes…one of my dreams, one of my loves, one of my yearnings…

elephant

Done in charcoal, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, white conté and a wash here and there.

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..




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!”