First I have to be honest, the sunshine and tennis have taken much of today. I forgive myself because I see summer coming to an end shortly and today has been really lovely. However, I have been working on two projects, one watercolour and ink for my daughter showing a cafe in Cornwall where we had coffee in June and one the early stages of a portrait that I am starting. The watercolour is getting there; it now needs the darks to build up. I have shown here the photograph on which it is loosely based ( I often use a mixture of sketches done on the day and photographs to help my look at lights and darks.) and the work in progress.
The second is hard to see but I plan to show all stages of this portrait as I develop it. So far, I have used the 'gridding' method to make drawing the right proportions easier. I saw an excellent demonstration of an artist using this method at my local art club. It allows you to not only get things in more or less the right place but also, if you find it helpful, to look at sections rather then trying to draw the whole. This helps me to draw what is actually there rather then that traditional idea of what a face should look like. The hard bit, for me, is the maths! Working out the ratio and applying it accurately takes me a while but well worth the time. I have shown here the other portrait I am working on to give an idea of my current style; I am very much learning how to do this and finding it challenging. I would welcome any comments or ideas on the approach as it develops.
I like to work in my lovely new garden studio which I got in January from Booths, every morning when I am not having to be elsewhere. The last two mornings I have been completing a birthday picture for a one year old relative and one for his two year old sister. I used watercolour and got inspiration from Pinterest. I framed them using old frames which I frequently pick up at car boot sales and the like.
Sketching at Pontarion.
The trees over the water create interesting tones to experiment with watercolour pencils. This was another sunny day in early August and we had a few hours of peaceful drawing time as well as a quick look around the local church
It is the end of our first season and we have had a lovely mix of family and clients sharing the Limousin with us this summer.The art studio itself has proved popular, with all ages enjoying painting and exploring different materials to create a record of their experiences from our mornings 'en plein aire'
Pontarion, a village near the studio, has a quiet nature area by the river overlooked by this privately owned chateau type house. We often spend a morning sketching here. We have had several trips to Limoges airport as flights come in from various parts of England most days. On reflection, we have decided that next year, holidays will run from Thursday to Thursday and we will be able to recommend places to stay locally for any clients not able to fly on the exact day. We will then offer pick ups from these places on the Thursday.