June 25, 2017

My Moleskine today...



The wave of suffocating heat is over and we got a more, for me inspiring light and and temperature... we can breath again. This is the view on Montmartre's north side with Sacré Coeur on the top, seen from my window.

June 06, 2017

Now in "Pratique des Arts"....


New pages with exercises + "mini tutorial" videos in "Pratiques des Arts"
(N°134, June-July 2017)
An error though; a drawing of my friend and great artist Juankar Cardesin is published without giving his name. (in red circle below). My apologies to Juankar! 

Nouvelles pages d'exercises + "mini demo" videos dans Pratiques des Arts 
(N°134, Juin-Juillet 2017)
Une erreur c'est glissée dans ces pages; un dessin de mon ami et grand artiste Juankar Cardesin y est reproduite sans citer son nom. Je lui présente mes excuses! 
(Entouré de rouge ci dessous) 





First time videos for me; one try one take! Not so easy to do this with a camera around my head!
This article talk about "gesture" I would rather say "fear"... as gesture comes after the fear is gone and confidence boosted. These exercises will treat your fear more than develop directly your gesture. To develop your gestures I would add the advice to work in standing position, with big sizes using your arm or body more than just hand. 

Une première pour moi ces videos; "ça tourne" en une seule prise ! Pas si simple avec une camera autour de ma tête ! Ces pages dévoilent des exercises pour travailler le geste, ils effaceront plus vos peurs en premier, les gestes suivront et la confiance aussi. Pour developper vos gestes je vous recommande de travailler debout, avec des grands formats vous servant des bras et du corps en plus que juste la main. 

May 30, 2017

Landscape sketches last week-end...




Not so easy to paint landscapes, first to find an interesting view and then render what you see... adding what you need to make it work or not adding what doesn't. Often you just have a great time painting even if the result is not super interesting. This time it started to rain heavily and out of a blue sky, or was it me who was too busy to pay attention? Had to run to save everything from getting soaking wet in a second!

May 20, 2017

Jar with water, mixed media...



First try with collage. Silly but I always wondered how to glue collages and paint together. It does stick flat so that was no problem. Still the result is a bit clumsy. I'll have to get used to plan a little, work on composition in other ways and save materials for each work and also to have glue on my fingers...

May 17, 2017

Sketched Peonies in Moleskine...



Quick watercolor sketch of Peonies in Moleskine. Fast, no fuss, no drawing. A sketch like this can always get better, but acceptance of the result is also part of it. Working further on it, later, might be too visible, with the risk of overworking it. You have to be in the same mood as at the execution if you really want to ad something. Learn how to stop, don't ad paint because you have time left to do so. Accept it for what it is; a sketch. Analyze the painting, register what you are not satisfied with and try keep it in mind for all paintings to come... this is how you train yourself.

May 09, 2017

Pairs of Peonies in Moleskine...




Peonies studies with an ordinary ball point pen. Easy material to bring along wherever you go. If you have less time you might feel the need to use ink pencils or colored pencils of some other kind that are thicker and which covers up faster or gives you dark zones quicker, but this is also scarier as it marks the paper right away and. With this fine pen you can start light and ad layers.

April 18, 2017

My Moleskine today...








I had time to see Cy Twombly exposition at Pompidou today and stayed for coffee and sketching a while. Both were great for heart and soul.
I decided to draw simply and straight forward, without fiddling and hesitation, using a ballpoint pen. We don't always need the whole picture, all details. Draw straight on accepting errors as part of the drawing. Stop as soon as you think the page is complete visually, when some kind of balance or interest is obtained. It's so easy to carry on filling the page with ink. This exercise as every other should be repeated. I hope I can cope with that to feel more secure each time to be able to create more interest, to dare more... to let go.
What I like with Cy Twombly's work are the layers of paint and drawing traces on each other with that energy that visually emerges! The colors are very subtle and quite feminine in my eyes. It's not agressive.
I would love to put layers in my paintings too one day!
I haven't studied his work more than today so I admit I don't get the meanings in the paintings he proposes, the stories he's telling. But there are series of his work that are beautiful and that don't need explanations. They might have needed a starting point for him to develop from but for the viewer the story is not necessary in my opinion.

April 11, 2017

Sketches from south Normandy's coast...





I spent last week-end in Granville on Normandy's south coast and I even got some time "off" alone to sketch one day. Sea was low, beach large and rocks uncovered from water. Weather was incredible and other than the seagulls' scream everything was quiet. Noise is a big pollution in our environment and when I get to be in silent nature I'm really surprised of the wellbeing it gives me each time. This was short but good. I would have loved to stay to explore more painting.

April 04, 2017

"White flower sketches" with students...





Here are quick sketches, directly with the brush, to illustrate my speech during class this week, only words aren't enough many times. Too strong guidance can also be "threatening", as they end up thinking I want them to paint like me, which is not the point of the class. I rather prefer to give the tools to be simply able to paint alone. This takes time and they know it and persevere for that, and of course, that makes me feel grateful.

My students remind me of how difficult it was for me to draw and paint flowers with their many petals. My remedy then was to draw them over and over until I started to be able to "stay cool" in front o so many layers and shapes and I actually started to get them all on the paper. I did this with a fine felt pen so I couldn't rub it out, which also gives you confidence with practice. The rubber will not be needed much after that.
Today I try to teach the short cuts, if any, of how to render flowers and how to see in general. I explain what to look for to respect the shape (the contour) of the flower and the most important; the shadows. How to simplify and link shapes (shadows int this case) a maximum. To "paint the light" is the order. Do it by painting the shadows, after that you can eventually ad very light shadows in the light side of the flowers. To keep the painting luminous use light colors ("diluted" in watercolor painting) If your shadows are too dark it might not look credible. The light, mid and darker tones have to be related to make one shape. If one of those stands out too much we won't see the whole shape as one, that part will then not fit in the flowers harmony.
Stay "bold" in the gesture when painting, feel active, not passive and avoid fiddling with the brushstrokes or details. In the beginning you can use one color only, later mix a blue, red and yellow in different quantities and with more or less water to make luminous grays.
I hope you "see" what I mean and that it might be helpful...

March 26, 2017

Thank you "Pratique des Arts""

Again I thank french magazine "Pratique des Arts" (N°133 April-Mai) for sharing my sketching methods... 



March 17, 2017

Figure drawing session...



I felt already fitter during this week's figure drawing session; sharper concentration, more relaxed and confident which leads to loser actions. The hand follows some invisible guidance from the relaxed spirit. If the model poses as you find it interesting, the light seduces your vision and mind, something might actually happen on the paper. Some things cleared up in my mind this week. I should write them down before they vanish...

March 15, 2017

Snowy landscape studies with my students...





Studies for bigger painting of the same subject with my students. I even made them do a graphite drawing to start with. This way the final painting was easier and looser, as they by then knew better the subject and how they wanted to paint it. A process that surprises most as they think you just start painting, without any thoughts of how you are going to proceed or what you want. The amateur gets saturated of the subject very fast. I can only explain this by a not yet developed insight in the subject or the different knowledges you need to paint and a lack of looking. Knowledges that make the process interesting.
Think you have done it all and your best after painting a subject once, when you can paint it a hundred of times without doing the same thing and only get better and better.

March 14, 2017

Landscape from Normandy...



This was a view from Normandie, it took me only a year almost to scan it and post it here. (Size (40x25cm) is too big for my scan and that explains the middle line, which of course is not on the original.)