Inktober 7,8,9.

I am really enjoying doing these inksketches. If only now I can start thinking outside the box..

Inktober7: Nibpen and wash in Stillman and birn sketchbook.

“Enchantée, dlighted to make your acquintance”.

oct 6 Enchanted

Inktober 8: Frail. Collage, ink and nibpen in Stillman and birn sketchbook.

Two chicks

oct 8 Frail

Inktober 9: Swing. Brushpen in Stillman and birn sketchbook.


oct 9 Swing

Spain sketches 1: Xiringuito, Canyelles platja.

I had the greatest holiday on the costa Brava in Spain , broken leg and all. My family decided a wheelchair is the way to get around effortlessly and although I complained loud and clear, I have to admit they were right. I could of course only sit at the “xiringuito” (beach bar) and sketch the world around me, while friend and family were out on the beach, in the water, snorkeling, sailing. But that is OK, I will get my turn next year.

the sketches are all done in situ and there will be blotches all over, because I turned pages while the paint wasn’t completely dry. a lot of mistakes too, which stayed on the pages, since I did everything directly in pen and just sketched over the mistakes. As you can see, my sketchbooks aren’t perfectly beautiful…too many blops and bloops!

xiringuito, Canyelles platja

spain sketches 15elderly lady on the couch at the xiringuitto, typing away on her tablet.

spain sketches 3

a couple on the couch, taking a break from the sand and  sun spain sketches 4

a young lady, very prettily coiffed and made-up, with matching purse, waiting for her drink spain sketches 6-001à la prochaine


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.


graphite on drawing paper (49,7x42cm)

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

à demain



Singapore sketches.

We were in Singapore for a few days recently and apart from devouring sushi, morning noon and night, I managed to pack in a few sketches. I found the climate very tiring for walking and sketching…heavy, hot and humid! But for the rest, I enjoyed every bit of the trip(except the flight there and back of course, but that is only becasue I hate flying by default).

Singapore is rich in culture and history, two things that I thoroughly enjoy. Discovering cultures different than mine and learning about their history truly enriches me. I feel fortunate to have been able to learn a bit more of Singapore…next on my list is Japan towards the end of the year, depending on the circumstances. We were in Singapore when Japan was hit recently and I sadly witnessed many people cry for family they’ve lost or haven’t heard of back in Japan.

Read more about the history of singapore here.

You can see  some photos of the trip here at Sushi..and Singapore.

Or here inTravels at Myfrenchkitchen.

Or on Facebook.

Masjid sultan

Pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5×35 cm

…on the esplanade…

pencil and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5×35 cm.

.. Lin bo Seng memorial and old supreme court…

pencil and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5x35cm

…Indian cricket club…

pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15,5×35 cm.

…scene in chinatown…

Pen and watercolor in watercolor sketchbook, 15.5x35cm.

…people sketches…

Pen and watercolor in watecolors sketchbook, 19x20cm

…buddha tooth relic temple in chinatown…

pencil and watercolor in watercolor sketcjbook, 15.5x35cm.

…Science museum…

pen and watercolor in watecolor skechbook, 19x20cm

Inspirations in color

I am in search of Inspiration. I find it in people. That does it for me. Creative people, people with strong character, the survivors, the gentle, caring ones, the courageous, daring ones…I have them all in my small circle of friends.
Voici two of them. Two wonderful inspirations. Very far away, so I had to rely on photo’s. I don’t mind that much.
I chose to do the following sketch, because I love the way this friend interacts. She is a beautiful woman, an extraordinary talented florist; you can give her a dry stick and she’ll turn it into a magical creation. And she can’t talk without her hands. I love that. When I dropped by her floral shop, she was busy with a romantic bouquet for Valentine’s day and we stood for about 30 minutes chatting, while she held this wonderful creation in the one hand and expressed herself with the other. She wears this delightful “apron” when she works, to protect her clothes. Being around her, is feeling the creative juices flow…it is inspiring.

This was supposed to be only watercolor on HP Arches paper. Then I had to “fix” it by adding pen! It seems I have to fix everything lately.


This friend is a lovely romantic, in heart and soul and in appearance. She carries a bit of yesteryear with her. With her angelic hair and fair skin and soft features, she posed many problems to paint. This is my fourth go at her and it still not what I’m after and this time pen wont’ fix it. I want nothing less than a soft, flowy watercolor painting. I’ll probably try again and again…Maybe its because I know that she isn’t ALL romantic – she can swim faster than anyone I know, she can climb a rock as fast as the young guys, she can paddle a kayak through some scary rapids and she’s not afraid of any marathon! She exudes a wonderful zest for life, nothing is too hard or too boring for her, she does everything that comes her way…it’s contagious. This is watercolor on Fabriano CP (extra white)



Stacy said…
Ronell, your friends sound lovely and look lovely too! I love how their personalities influenced you as much as their appearance did.
May 23, 2007 6:08 PM  
Lin said…
May 23, 2007 7:06 PM  
Bonny said…
You have a wonderful talent, Ronell. Not only do you connect in a special way with people, but you portray them beautifully, too. Love the painting of your florist friend. She almost looks fey like a fairy princess. Gorgeous!
May 23, 2007 7:45 PM  
Teri C said…
Beautiful paintings Ronell!! I love your commentary with all your art-they were made for each other.
May 23, 2007 8:17 PM  
Dave said…
Well, you certainly fixed it well! Wonderful portraits, and what wonderful friends it sounds like you have.
May 23, 2007 8:39 PM  
Anita said…
Oh Ronell I LOVE everything about this entry.
May 23, 2007 9:07 PM  
Claudia said…
Ronell, w o n d e r f u l watercolours, especially the first one! It has something magic!
May 23, 2007 10:45 PM  
Lindsay said…
What a sweet and beautiful post. A nice tribute to your friends too.
May 23, 2007 11:56 PM  
martín said…
Beautiful portraits Ronell. The first one really talks. Your friend does it with her hands and you through your paintings.
May 24, 2007 12:31 AM  
SCquiltaddict said…
fun wc…great stuff…gotta get my paint brushes back out! keep it up
May 24, 2007 2:04 AM  
Jana Bouc said…
What a fabulous portrait–both in words and paint. I love the second one–it’s so loose and fresh and has a sweetness about it.
May 24, 2007 6:15 AM  
Tonniece said…
Love this post Ronell
I’ts so great to have friends, good friends, and being able to capture their essence as you have here is a wonderful gift to them and all of us as well.
May 24, 2007 6:51 AM  
Carole said…
I really love how you have composed and painted these to capture their character as well as their features. They are beautiful paintings and charming descriptions of your friends.
May 24, 2007 9:18 AM  
suzanne said…
Wow Ronell….these are both breathtaking. Not only in the sense that they are technically outstanding, but also in the fact that you have captured the personalities of your inspirations so well. Not knowing them, I think I could have pretty much described their personalities in exactly the way you did, only by looking at your paintings.Your inspirations are inspirations to me.
May 24, 2007 4:39 PM  
Arty Velarde said…
This is nice. I like the watery, “juiciness”!
May 24, 2007 6:47 PM  
janey said…
These are very soft and pretty and I like the descriptions that go with them. It makes the paintings come alive even more.
May 25, 2007 1:33 AM  
juj said…
Oh Ronell – These are lovely! I especially like the second one, so soft and loose – I love the expression on her face. And the deep red of the necklace is such a nice accent to the whole and balances her glasses perfectly. Your friends both sound wonderful. You must feel very fortunate to have them in your life.
May 25, 2007 3:45 PM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
I simply love the stories that go along with your watercolors. The watercolors could stand alone with not comments, but you bring such life to them all….
May 26, 2007 3:37 PM  
Robyn said…
Both friends are lovely – I love the mood as well in the first watercolour and the second is beautiful in the lightness of your touch.
May 26, 2007 7:07 PM  
ksklein said…
I love the top pic. Very romantic. It reminds me of weddings, brides, valentines,…
I would have loved to nsee a little more of her face though.
May 27, 2007 8:58 PM  
Emma Pod said…
These are both wonderful paintings of your friends. In the top one I can almost hear her talking…the hand gesture is so nice! Nice work!
May 29, 2007 5:35 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
Both your paintings and your descriptions are loving and beautiful – what a gift you have and how nice for your friends to have you paint them!
May 29, 2007 2:09 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell, these are beautiful and I loved reading how they inspire you..sandy
May 30, 2007 9:48 PM  
platitudinal said…
Beautiful paintings of those you hold dear in your heart. 🙂
May 31, 2007 12:04 AM  
Serena said…
Beautiful work, Ronell, and a very nice tribute to your friends. 🙂
May 31, 2007 12:30 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are both beautiful paintings, but I know how you feel when you’re trying for a certain result and you can’t get it. But, these are very beautiful. I think lots of us look to the people we know when we need inspiration. That’s how we re-energize. When we are feeling down, we gravitate toward someone who is immensely positive so we can feed off of that positiveness. Does that make sense? Anyway, it sounds like you have some wonderful friends to look to for your inspiration. Full of life and creativity.
June 1, 2007 5:27 PM  
austin of sundrip said…
I’ve scrolled through your page here but I keep coming back to the girl with flowers, it catches my eye and won’t let it go. Awesome work, awesome.Austin of Sundrip

I give you… Christeen

A fun exchange in emails between Christeen and me a while ago, turned into work in the end! Not that this wasn’t fun. Too much, I would say…I actually attempted three paintings! But it sure was difficult…I was very worried about not doing justice to her beauty and wonderful character. She assured me though it is about the process, and not the end result(for this time, I’ll believe it, although I would normally believe that the result does carry quite a bit of weight too!)
She also sent me a picture of her and her brother at four years, which I’ll attempt a bit later. By her own words, she now once again has the playfulness, enthusiasm and humor she had when she was four and that was what I tried to capture. I can see it so obviously in her face, but capturing it, is another thing. She has these amazingly long eyelashes behind which she carries the sparkles of mischief, a mouth full and round with humor, and hair, wild like a free roaming lioness. See Christeen’s excellent take on this!!…. as well as the original image here
So, here I give you Christeen… graphite on paper; then watercolor on Arches and last, oil on linen.






shirley said…
All absolutely wonderful! What a huge project….
May 6, 2007 4:21 PM  
Christeen said…
Ronell, you are one amazingly talented woman!! Holy smokes! These are awesome!
May 6, 2007 4:22 PM  
Dave said…
Ooh, these are all good. I think the graphite one is my favourite. No, perhaps it’s the oil. Although now I come to look at the watercolour again…
May 6, 2007 4:29 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
Wow, Ronell, these are great! My favorite is the oil – it ‘s so full of life.
May 6, 2007 5:09 PM  
Lin said…
May 6, 2007 5:35 PM  
Claudia said…
I like the watercolour one the most! Wonderful work, all three are superb!
May 6, 2007 5:44 PM  
Nina Johansson said…
hese are just lovely! Incredibly good, you captured Christeen perfectly!
May 6, 2007 7:01 PM  
martín said…
Ronell, I absolutely agree with Christeen, you´re amanzingly talented!!! I can’t say I have a favourite, I can’t decide since I like the three of them very much. Each one has its own character. GREAT JOB!!!
May 6, 2007 7:45 PM  
Sarah said…
Amazing paintings – isn’t it interesting how the different media seem to emphasise different aspects – they’re all alive and vital, but the watercolour shows a more reflective person, the oil brings that hint of mischief out more and in the charcoal drawing she looks more curious, almost about to challenge someone (I should say – that’s how they look to me anyway)
May 6, 2007 8:45 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
Ronell THese are just super…they got better and better as i scrolled down the page…cant decide WHICH is my favorite…they are all MAGNIFICIENT!!
May 6, 2007 9:19 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Oh, Ronell, your charcoal is GORGEOUS, and so is Christeen!
May 6, 2007 9:21 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Ooops, graphite! You did such a rich, deep job with it I just assumed it was charcoal!Read ALL the words, Kate…*G*
May 6, 2007 9:23 PM  
Silvia said…
All of the portraits are wonderful :), but I think I like the second one even best :))!
May 6, 2007 9:58 PM  
Kristin Saegaert said…
Wow! I think I like the graphite the best, but with your amazing talent it’s really hard to commit to that!!! Thanks for sharing your art with us!
May 7, 2007 12:42 AM  
Shelly McC said…
Stunning painting!
May 7, 2007 1:49 AM  
Kay Cox said…
Ronell, these are just beautiful. I aspire to be able to paint like you someday. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely work. Lucky Christeen!
May 7, 2007 2:23 AM  
bec said…
What a fun project! My favorite is the watercolor… nice play of light on the subject. Did Christeen draw you?
May 7, 2007 2:35 AM  
Robin Neudorfer said…
I love the graphite drawing. So spontaneous. What a fun project
May 7, 2007 2:49 AM  
Nancy said…
I love the graphite drawing and keep gong back to it (your model is beautiful by the way). I love to look at your site – I leave feeling inspired.
May 7, 2007 4:12 AM  
Serena said…
These are awesome! I think my favourite is the graphite. 🙂
May 7, 2007 9:08 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the comments -Sarah…thank you for being so’re spot on! I’m so glad you did see a littel of what I tried to do…see down below.Nancy: Yes I had a beautiful model to work with!Bec: and Christeen does have a snapshot of me, so when she has time, she’ll do one too.note: This was a very intimidating experience for me….doing a painting of someone you don’t know or haven’t met face to face, and in a weird sense is actually a friend(like you all would agree, I’m sure) and all you have to work with is a photograph – you haven’t seen some personal mannerisms, like how her mouth moves when she smiles, how she crinkles her nose, how she plays with a string of hair, how the light in her eye changes…anything that can give you an idea of something more than physical…. Normally I would’ve preferred to have Christeen’s face say something more than just displaying rendition, tell more of a story, but I didn’t feel confident enough to do that. Who knows, maybe our paths might cross and then I’ll redo these.

May 7, 2007 9:15 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
So I’m going to chime in and say how much I admire your work and your courage as well… I couldn’t say which one I like the most, since they all have a different feeling to them, like showing different aspects of Christeen’s personality? – Would be interesting to know which one she thinks portrays her best?
May 7, 2007 9:29 AM  
Ujwala said…
all three are wonderful but the oil is my favourite 😛 sounds like a fun project and i hope we can see christeen’s work too.
May 7, 2007 12:14 PM  
Tonniece said…
May 7, 2007 12:35 PM  
Sandy said…
WOW – big WOW you are a master (bowing down before you)
May 7, 2007 3:52 PM  
Robyn said…
I love the graphite one, Ronell. it looks so spontaneous and very much from life. That, I find, is terribly difficult to achieve from a photo which usually lends itself to a more formal portrait. You are very clever – I’m so in awe of the oil too!
May 7, 2007 6:30 PM  
Fanta said…
I like the first one best, maybe because I love graphite, maybe because you truly did capture the child in her expression.
The last one truly looks like a lioness, even the twirls in the background resemble the presence of a lioness! Awesome!
May 7, 2007 9:49 PM  
platitudinal said…
Truly amazing work. You’re not only attempting a likeness of her, but also her essence. That’s very difficult to capture, and yet you did. I think each medium emphasize more of certain characteristic, but all and all they’re all there. Superb job, Ronell.
May 7, 2007 10:02 PM  
Carole said…
Well done – these are stunning! It’s so interesting seeing them done in three different media, and noticing how each gives a different feel. My favourite has to be the oil painting because I am such a huge fan of your luscious way with oils. Oh, to be able to paint like that!
May 7, 2007 11:16 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hello I cant tell you how much your work has inspired me to practice daily and hope that someday I also will be able to turn out wonderful works of art. You are a wonderful artist and I thank-you for letting us see your work hear.
May 8, 2007 12:49 AM  
mARTa said…
wow! how different they all are yet how smashing! Your blog is always a joy to the viewer!
May 8, 2007 2:13 AM  
Renate said…
Wonderful. They all have there own charm. I love the eyes from the graphite one, but my favorite is the one in oil.
May 8, 2007 8:50 AM  
wagonized said…
It is hard to tell which one strikes me the most — as each of them stresses something different about Christeen. Love her hair in the graphite one.
Thank you, Ronell, for your comments on my funk of the past few days. Your words, which i found on Suzanne’s blog, have stuck in my head ever since i read them. Yesterday, i just showed up at the page… 🙂
May 8, 2007 4:03 PM  
Christeen said…
I keep coming back to marvel at these. I’ve never seen a drawing or painting of myself before, and I enjoy them SO much!Your graphite drawing really captures how my hair feels to me- men have lost watches in it! It can be incridibly difficult to coerce into submission!I love the loose, fresh approach in the watercolor. You’ve made the light SO beautiful- I feel like I’m outside, just looking at it. I am also impressed with how you kept the line of my nosering thin and delicate in the midst of those wonderful washes of color. You’ve got my squint wonderfully.And the oil- wow. The brushstrokes are really lively. Thje background supports your lionine take on my hair, and suggests wind tossing it around (and it was VERY windy the day I took that shot). The colors are luscious. The colors you’ve used for my skin are particularly impressive to me.So, all that said, thank you SO much for applying your creative talents to this swap of photos! You’ve inspired and impressed me, and I’m so glad we gave it a try.

May 8, 2007 7:56 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Great work Ronell – not just this post throughout your blog. These are great, I think I like the pencil one the best.
May 9, 2007 1:10 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
These are really fantastic! You’re so talented. 😀
May 9, 2007 6:37 AM  
E-J said…
You’ve been so busy! You and Christeen have really taken this challenge by the horns. I think the oil is especially good.
ay 9, 2007 1:52 PM  
Linda said…
These are all great! Christeen’s painting of you is wonderful, too — you two are cooking up some fun stuff! 🙂
May 11, 2007 4:18 AM  
Anonymous said…
Come across to your blog and loved it. I will return.
May 11, 2007 2:40 PM  
janey said…
These are great, I love the color and texture in the last one.
May 11, 2007 6:15 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the generous comments!
May 12, 2007 8:26 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What a grand project! I love the graphite the best, but that’s just me. All of them are simply superb.