Page 8 of 8

Fresh from the sea

 A drawing in ink and wash. I started out, planning this to be a painting, but somehow it ended up as a sketch with a wash. I chose the wrong day to do a painting…a bit low on energy that day. I used one of my photographs I took on my recent trip and it can clearly be seen in this sketch – it is lifeless and without feeling, without energy. I find that I cannot do a sketch from a photograph, somehow I don’t have the ability to give it …oomph..
Click on the image for a larger view ( hope it works this time, since I have been having problems with this clicking-thing.))
This sketch is pen and wash on Fabriano hotpressed paper.


Bonny said…
Ronelle, I think you’re being a bit too hard on yourself. This is a great sketch!
If you really, really think this is medioce (which I don’t agree with), think of it this way:
The sketch is a nice reminder of your trip and what you saw that particular day. When you look at this weeks and months down the road, you will be reminded of that day.
I like this. I can make a story from what I see in the sketch: what the fisherman is doing or thinking, what he might do next. It’s a wonderful sketch!
March 25, 2007 4:00 AM  
casey said…
From here, this looks active, vibrant, spontaneous – everything a sketch should be! I don’t see what you don’t like about it. This is beautiful work, Ronell.
March 25, 2007 5:38 PM  
Lin said…
March 25, 2007 8:02 PM  
Africantapestry said…
thanks for the comments…I do feel better about the sketch, Thanks!
March 26, 2007 8:24 AM  
mARTa said…
Ronelle….this is how I wish to paint! This is so lively and reminds me is many ways of a Singer-Sargent….really lovely
March 29, 2007 5:44 PM  
df said…
hi ronelle thanks for visiting my blog so that I could get to yours! I love this sketch. It’s very loose and energetic. Of course we have to work from photos every now and then. There’s no way I could ask everyone that I wanted to paint to hold the pose for twenty minutes. Can you imagine asking the fish guy to just hold it for a minute?
Plus, I love the self portrait that you have in your profile area. Very wonderful!

Picking grapes

These are my last sketches on the vineyards and grape picking in Stellenbsoch. They were done in pen and wash. I plan on using all these sketches to put together a series of paintings…hopefully it will move beyond planning!
This was much more difficult than sketching the “pickers” when they were taking a break. They really picked so fast and their heads were constantly bobbing up and down in the vineyard. Just as I thought I could capture one, he would disappear. In the end I stood further back to only capture glimpses of color in the vineyards.
The first sketch is of one of the many women pickers. This woman had such a presence about her and after a few hopeless attempts to sketch her picking, I asked her if she would keep still for maybe just one minute? The minute turned out to be much shorter than I know a minute to be, but I did manage to get her down.

The last sketch of the pressing machine was very boring for me to draw. I don’t like machines of any kind, except of course my coffee machine…I didn’t succeed in capturing it’s function, so it is hard to see what happens where, but at least you have an where the grapes fall into the shaft…








caseytoussaint said…
Wow, Ronell, these are incredible. They tell so much – travel journaling at it’s best. I hope there are more to come!
March 16, 2007 6:41 PM  
Lin said…
These are STUNNING!!! Fresh, VIBRANT! GREAT USE of ink and wash — lovely lovely lovely!! DITTO!! MORE !!!
March 16, 2007 10:33 PM  
gabi campanario said…
ronell, i can blog-travel to these vineyards thanks to these moments you captured so well with your pen and washes! i really like them. the first one is my favorite. look forward to more!
March 17, 2007 4:33 AM  
Ujwala said…
the whole series of them are fabulous! and i hope that you do get around to making paintings from them.
March 17, 2007 8:15 AM  
Jana Bouc said…
Wonderful work! All that’s missing is the glass of wine! You really captured all the steps along the way and your drawings of people are really excellent! I love the colors.
March 17, 2007 5:21 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you all, for the encouraging comments..
March 17, 2007 9:07 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hi Ronell This looks cool.
March 18, 2007 3:00 PM  
phthaloblu said…
What can I say except that these are just beautiful!
March 19, 2007 2:39 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Oh my gosh, these are just beautiful. Really nice work!!! …by the way, “Peeps” are little marshmallow candies coated in colored sugar. I just did a second Peep drawing on my art blog and also wrote a bit about peeps and provided pictures and links. Heheheh. 🙂
March 19, 2007 8:22 AM  
“Maggie” said…
Ronell,I love your loose sketches and colors of the vineyards and that capture moments of time. Wonderful!I want to say thank you for visiting my blog and glad you liked my blind contour. I love drawing them!

March 19, 2007 1:14 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody for the nice comments, I really appraciate your visiting!

Napping in the shade of the vines

Here is the second batch of sketches of my trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The first two sketches – pencil and watercolor on hotpressed Fabriano paper.

The last three – ink and wash on rough Canson paper, which I am quite happy with – it gives a feel of the roughness of the day and the job…grape picking isn’t so romantic when the heat comes down on your shoulders at about 35 degrees C.

I did the sketching on the spot and the washes later that afternoon. I was mostly interested in catching their actions and gestures and since they were clothed in all the colors of the rainbow, I could only run through my whole color palette afterwards to depict that.

As for the light – it was in the middle of the day and far too white to be spectacular.

I really enjoyed this day of drawing. The Cape folk are so easy to get along with – they take life in their stride, aren’t afraid to laugh, to joke, to talk, to differ and their wit has no equal! They were on lunch break and didn’t mind at all that I sketched them while they were taking naps. In fact, they ganged up behind me, looking to see who the next one was to be sketched, making suggestions, made jokes, even gave advice. I shared in their lunches and drinks, but unfortunately couldn’t share in the napping…would’ve liked to though!!

I had such fun.

I hope I did capture some romance in these napping in the shade of the vines….







Susan Cornelis said…
THanks for sharing all this wonderful sun and relaxation. I really get it from this post, pictures and text!
March 14, 2007 6:06 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
I just love these Ronell – thanks for sharing a little bit of your vacation with us! The colors are beautiful – well done!
March 14, 2007 9:17 PM  
Christeen said…
These just carried me away- what a great job with the colors, and the people’s positions are really believable- well done!
March 15, 2007 6:44 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
These are great. From your colors it looks like it was really hot–no wonder everyone was taking siestas.
March 17, 2007 5:19 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for the nice comments…much appreciated.
March 17, 2007 9:10 PM  
phthaloblu said…
Your sketches are so beautiful! You really got the postures of the people down so well that you can actually feel them napping.

Something tart

The Cape gooseberry(Physalis) is one of my favorite fruits..I love the delicacy of the leaves , transparent, like the wings of a butterfly. The berry itself is quite insignificant in taste, rather tart. Back in SA, I had a friend who grew them on her farm and we would pick armsful, stuff ourselves along the way and return home to make jams and chutneys and whatever else we could think of. For decoration, they are wonderful and just kissed with a touch of gold leaf, they can turn any dessert into a visual delight.I first sketched sort of a thumbnail in my sketchbook(the second drawing); just playing around with composition and color and values etc, and then did a more complete one, which of course, completely turned out overworked and stiff with no visual interest. This happens far more than I would like…too often my planning looks so much better than my final attempt, when”Thinking” comes into play then, it seems




Jana Bouc said…
Great stuff on your blog. You have a wonderful and lively sense of composition. Your sketches are great–so expressive and your watercolors are just delightful. I’m so glad you commented on my blog leading me to your site. I’ll be back!
February 13, 2007 4:40 PM  
Renate said…
Gorgeous paintings! Though I really like both versions, I prefer the more sketchy one. (aka the one you did first).
Oh, and have a great time!
February 13, 2007 5:03 PM  
ksklein said…
i couldn´t decide between the two. i like them both. the physalis is also called Lampionfrucht here in germany. that means lampion fruit. 🙂
February 13, 2007 8:04 PM  
Casey said…
I like them both, Ronell, but I think I prefer the quick sketch as well. It’s hard to reproduce that spontaneity in a second try!
February 13, 2007 9:05 PM  
aPugsLife said…
Very nice! Have u ever seen this photo of a Physalis?
Physalis and drops
It was very popular on flickr, and one of my fav. photos. 🙂
February 14, 2007 12:03 PM  
gabi campanario said…
you’re right, it’s often hard to replicate the spontaneity of a sketch when you set yourself to do a ‘final’. i’m trying to tell myself everything i draw is a ‘final’ to avoid that. but it’s still hard. great stuff in your blog, have a good trip to SA

Sprout – Ill. Fr.


I chose the Brussel sprout, but now it looks more like a broccoli to me. Well, they’re both green and healthy….

Watercolor on paper




Nina Johansson said…
Hi, welcome to the EDM! Love your drawings and paintings, they are great! Hope to see more of your work in the future!
February 7, 2007 6:41 PM  
Casey said…
Ronell, this is absolutely stunning! I love all the work you’ve posted here, but this is my favorite.
February 7, 2007 7:24 PM  
Kunya said…
Hello, welcome to EDM. Lovely watercolors.
February 7, 2007 9:15 PM  
Christeen said…
HIya, welcome to EDM- I really like your paintings, and this sprout is my favorite 🙂 Hope to see more!
February 7, 2007 10:35 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for your warm welcome and the kind comments;I feel like it’s Christmas and I’m receiving one great gift after another!
February 7, 2007 11:01 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Wow this is such a great drawing. love the composition. The fork is just great. Fabulous and welcome! I look forward to seeing more.
February 8, 2007 12:19 AM  
Sandy said…
I’m so glad I found your blog..I am loving ALL your art work.. sandy

A Peppery shake


This is my first contribution to EDM. I couldn’t find a single pepper or salt shaker in our home, since we’ve always used milled salt and pepper. In fact, I have such a huge variety of different salts and peppers…but before you think I’ve completely lost it; besides art, one of my other passions is cooking, so having al these different salts is nothing strange. For everyday cooking, I do what my mom used to do – a pinch of salt from the salt jar next to the stove, which holds grey sea salt. For table use, we have the wonderful Fleur de sel. For special occasions I would splash out with some delicate Maldon salt flakes and just for the kick of it, I would also use Kosher salt that my husband brings me all the way from South Carolina every once or so. And everyday and everywhere we’ll use the mill with the pink himalayan salt, which is apparently very healthy, but I have to admit, I choose it more for the looks! As for pepper, pretty much the same thing. The big wooden mill I use with big fanfare in the kitchen, then we have several smaller mills which I fill up with different peppers, depending on the meal and occasion; softer, mixed peppers, and a big favorite lately, the powerful Chichuan pepper(which is actually not a true pepper). So, here I am with all my salts and peppers and first drawing and very shaky legs(because of my first entry into this very talented and efficient and spontaneous group)…

I am so new to this blog-thing, so If I mess up or take more space than I ought to, or invade or whatever the case, I apologize…to be honest, I have saved this post almost 15 times as a draft, before I finally published it!

This was done with a brush pen and watercolor on watercolor paper.


Casey said…
This is really lovely Ronell – a departure from your usual style! It has a stylized quality that would look great as a cookbook illustration.
February 5, 2007 12:29 PM  
Brenda Y said…
Welcome to EDM! What a fabulous blog you’ve got here!! Your artwork is very lovely; I love the look of wood texture you have captured on the pepper mill. I agree with Casey, this would make a lovely illustration in a cookbook.
February 7, 2007 7:16 PM  
Renate said…
I feel so poor now. With only one sort of pepper and salt …
Great start for blogging. The scissor painting is gorgeous!