February art: Café life.

February is a month in which many stores, restaurants and cafés close for a fortnight, taking their break before spring arrives with all its liveliness. Not much is happening in the mostly grey month of February. Everybody is cocooning and taking Prozac in front of their daylight lamps. Schools are also closed for a fortnight and the whole world goes skiing in February. Tradition. Except…this year is not a great skiing year with snow only on the highest peaks.

In the one café that is open during this month, I enjoyed my coffee and croissant. It is better than Prozac at least. It was stock full of people, being the only bar open in town, with everybody looking for a counter to lean on with their petit noir. I am not a counter girl, I prefer a table and a large one at that for all my clutter.

It is actually great sketching wise, when there are so many people in a bar. Nobody notices you giving him/her the infernal sketching glare, so drawing people is much more relaxed.

 

Streetview opposite café de la Poste in Bretenoux…Just a building across from Cafe de la Poste. I had my young German shepherd, Lindiwe with me who got impatient and I had to speed up the sketching.

Watercolor and Pilot Prera pen in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 22X14.5cm

Cafelife

sketching with Lindiwe

Café life 1, 2 3: In PMU, we all call it Cécile’s bar, life was busy and noisy and sketching went great. The only problem was that my pen got empty and it got more and more difficult to make nice dark lines.

Pilot Prera pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 22×14.5cm

Cafelife-001Cafelife-002Cafelife-003

Cketching at Cecile

February art: Café sketching.

One of my favorite paces to lunge for my sketchbook, is in Cafe Douceur in Beaulieu sur Dordogne. Such a welcoming lieu, you keep drinking coffee just to have an excuse to linger longer.

coffee corner in Cafe Douceur

Ink and a wash in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 14X22cm

table at CD

Coffee at Voyageurs

Pen and watercolour in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 14X22cm

cafe aux V

Sketching faces in St Céré

Pen and watercolour washes in moleskine, 22X14cm

cafe st cere

faces at the cafefaces at the cafe 3faces at the cafe 2

Sketching a streetscene in Beaulieu sur dordogne.

I sat on the terrace of Café Douceur this afternoon and while sipping my coffee, I sketched the street. My pen ran dry on my halfway through the sketch, which resulted in some thin, scratchy lines. I hope the colourful splashes watercolor make up for it..

..street in Beulieu sur dordogne – close up 1..

Pen and watercolor in Stillman & Birn, alpha series sketchbook, 22.9X15.2 cm

street beaulieu &

..street in Beulieu sur dordogne – close up 2..

street beaulieu 2

..street in Beaulieu sur dordogne..

Streetscene from Cafe douceur

And lastly some people sketching..done on Fabriano artistico watercolor block, 27X18cm

two men

à la prochaine.

Ronelle

August sketching 5: more shutters and the barcounter.

Today was a tired day, even though the sky was blue and bright. Can’t explain it. It is just how it is some days.

..Typical houses around here…shops down below and the living is done upstairs, with volets(shutters), not my favorite thing to paint!

les volets 3396x4609

..done with rotring art pen in contour quick lines, while waiting for my lunch of  duck and salad to show up. Added a light wash over some of the  lines, and there you have it. a sketch..

comptoir 3452x4674

August sketching 2

It is only day 2 but boy, I am having so much fun!  I feel inspired, enthusiastic creative and just in the zone…how many of you can say that this evening? I hope it will last the entire 31 day of August…and beyond. Of course it won’t, but even just a little bit of it will be good enough.

Starting off with my café, which helps get me in the “zone”, I sketches the géraniums just opposite. It was raining, the tourists took up all the other covered spots in our small village, so I didn’t have much choice of going out. In the end I am happy I stayed, it turned out not too bad, after initially starting off a bit slow…

 

géraniums à Beaulieu 3395x4817Once again, a lot of conversation around me, but it is good in teaching me to focus and listen at the same time.

  • I used yellow on the walls with touches of burnt sienna.
  • The roofs were done with ivory black and raw umber and blue.
  • The shadows on the canopies were done with a light wash of cerulean blue.
  • The geraniums done in cadmuim red and the greens in golden green, darkened with phtalo blue.
  • In the shade of the canopy in the background, behind the people dining in the foreground, a touch of light black ivory was applied for shadows.
  • In the foreground the people and tables  just behind the stone wall, closest to me were  done in bright burnt umber.
  • And lastly some yellow ochre touches here and there when the sun came out…

yelows, ocres.. 5494x3461.0001

It is a good idea to test the same colour of different brands, because they do sometimes differ. In the above sample at the bottom left I have compared the raw umber of W&N with that of Sennelier. I prefer the Sennelier raw umber which is cooler than that of the W&N.

From top left anticlockwise to bottom: warm grey, naples yellow, burnt umber, raw umber, burnt sienna, raw sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow deep, lemon yellow.

My little pocket brushes are one from Arches…le petit gris nr 6, which broke at some time and I fixed it with tape and now it still works perfectly. The other is a Kolinsky that I have no idea where it is from. all I know is that I have used it for years, so much so that I have lost its cover and now use a piece of plastic that I found which fits over the brush. (See photos down below). So you can see, I am a bit like the mechanic whose car is always in pieces…But look ate those lovely brush points…hold as much or as little water as I want them to!

A new sketchbook from Daler & Rowney which I just discovered and am quite impressed with. The paper is not that heavy, only 160g, but it takes watercolor quite well and I don’t mind a little buckling in a sketchbook. The pocket brushes from top my precious Kolinsky nr 8 with its “unbecoming” plastic cover and the “repaired”petit gris nr 6 below.

pocket brushes 2511x3239

..Kolinsky pocket brush 8..

pocket brushes 3235x2590

 

..”taped” petit gris pocket brush 6

  pocket brushes 3330x2715

à bientôt

Ronelle

 

 

September 8: Selfportrait.

I had no idea what to draw or paint today. If I weren’t so committed to my September project, I would’ve been on the couch, watching a movie. It is raining, it is cold and it is Sunday. On the best of Sundays, I feel blue and foul mooded. Today was no exception. The drawing says it all.

..selfprotrait..

graphite on drawing paper (49,7x42cm)

selfportrait 2013 07-09-2013 19-09-17 2220x2773

à demain

Ronelle