Monday, 24 April 2017

Stones & Pebbles

Great subject revisited: stones & pebbles... for the still life we made them wet (NB: I also varnished the stones to make them shiny). Of course it was a lot of work and not everyone has finished! Above the really good start of André, Celina and Elia! They used masking fluid for the highlights and I'm sure their stones will be amazing when finished... Will be shown next post. And then of course there are the fast painters! Patience brought 2 family members and, like herself, they were incredibly clever with pencil, brush and paint:
Annabel painted this powerful image. Shiny stones, a leaf -but most of all a very good composition! I love it, especially when you realise that watercolours are new to her!

Same still life, other interpretation, this is Sophie's version. more realistic and with a soft, gentle touch. Sophie is also new to watercolours but must have drawing experience: below is the umbrella she quickly sketched outside! great subject - and here in double role of Arabic prince!

The wet stones by Patience - original as ever and clever use of the symmetry - and then a background to break it and confuse the mind! I see a palm leaf...  She also found a board with a well-preserved mosquito stuck on it. She honoured him with humor and talent by creating this Picasso-style impression of the still life!

Ongoing projects...


Speaking about stoned - She's near-finished, Sandra's Janis Joplin!! I love the white spirit -with warm fuzzy thoughts

Carol has quite a challenge with these pasta jars and when she picked it up to continue she hated it (a little bit) (very recognizabe) But she persevered and look where it is now!! One more afternoon I estimate and it will be excitingly beautiful - imagine having that in your kitchen...

And here's an other super still life! Liz was genuinely surprised that we were all so enthusiastic about this, it is quite different from what she normally paints - but despite the big white surface and the delicate colours, it has a great strength. Sometimes it is more important what you leave out...

In the meantime in Bretagne... it is not as sunny as here, but Michele (our Breton correspondent) used it as inspiration for a lovely, heartwarming aquarelle!

Monday, 17 April 2017


 Patience is back after almost half a year - but she hasn't forgotten how-to and immediately created a fantastic jar with pasta in a combination of watercolours and pen

Last week we painted glass jars filled with herbs, grains and pastas. It worked out superwell as you can see above and below!

 Tana's bottles, not finished but they do smell great already

 This is going to be a still life with many jars and bottles. Not easy! Luckily Carol's painting it, I'm certain she'll nail it...

André's excellent still life - looking so pure and simple

Same for Celina, who added her personal touch, rhythm and light to these bottles with herbs and spices

And from our correspondent in Brittany, Michele C, this outstanding row of jars with fresh homemade confiture... Particular: she painted this on Monday, when she didn't know that we were going to paint jars en groupe!!

Michele F worked on a free subject and chose a difficult pair of prunes. She put a lovely border around it. Borders are her thing, Love it

And then these awesome milk jars by Cathie (who else?!) She experiments with textures, and it is working out as you can see from the rust as well as the wood!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Spring & more...

 Perfect apple blossom in the recognizable style of Anna-Karin

The weather is getting better everyday, spring is in the air and the sun is shining! You can see it from our watercolours - last Aquarellista session was mainly about blossom and inspiration from the colourful Holi festival (which celebrates spring, with an explosion of colours). Of course there were also projects to be finished - and exercises of the starters... See here what we created:

Blossom in the recognizable style of Carol... So much depth in it!!

It is also spring on the Place des Arcades in Valbonne - here's an aquarelle by Agnès our 'hobbysketcher' - she nailed the buzzing atmosphere!

Holi Fest

Holi Festival - participant with colour-covered face. Believable! Well done by André.
You can look forward to the one Elia started, I have promised her to leave it out of this post - it is very spontaneous and active. More next week hopefully

Indian Ladies celebrating Holi - and gossiping at the same time if you ask me. And having fun. I love this painting by Liz.

 The last exercise the starters have to do is painting an eye. Starting with the iris and pupil. Of course a highlight. That's the same principle as the sphere and as you can see it poses no problems in all possible colours. The next step is two eyes. A bit more difficult, symmetry; distance - but both Michele and Brigitte did very well! And now they are almost ready for the free subjects. A bit of playing with masking fluid and then they really know everything there is to know - in theory of course, but the experience will come. It has gone very fast!
Michele's worksheet with irises, skincolour practise and the mask. The blue eyes looking a bit surprised still, but the next one makes more than up for that. I find it very very good:

Michele's eyes. So wonderfully subtle with the masking fluid fantasy around it!

Brigitte's eye exercise. The pair of eyes with skin colour are very good - the ones behind the mask may be a bit surprised... But the mask itself is very good!

Still Life 

Tana worked another round on her still life, added some contrast and created a 'whole' with a quite dramatic effect. Well painted - and I love the composition and the colours!

And last but not least, another Ink Bottle (1/3d full) by Carol. The photo doesn't do it justice, the real watercolour is truly impressive. I hope it will be in our Theoule expo!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Still life, Spring and Starters

Michele's still life with light bulb, now finished! It is very transparent - I love it!

Michele C was there for her last watercolour session of 2017 - she is going home for the summer season... We will miss her - but she promised to work with us from there and send results regularly! (no pressure 😆)

 Also finished: Carol's old ink bottle. Fabulous (as expected) with its old label...

 Cathie's final version of the chandeliers - what can I say, they are so fantastic!

And Cathie is now diving into an experimental period! Very interesting for all of us... keywords chalk, plaster, pigment, gesso. I will make sure interesting discoveries are posted here so we can learn from that!

Elia has also been experimenting! Imagine, she painted a blue surface, put 3 drops of water on it for the dandelion puffs, lifted some extra paint there, and when it was dry she scratched a tiny bit away for extra fluff. Then she lifted a bit of blue here and there for the glass vase... Seriously cool stuff!!!

And to add more spring to the day, she painted these beautiful apple blossoms, with ladybug


First setup of a lovely classic bust, by Tana from a still life. With imaginary background (to be darkened) very clever and decorative, and also giving this watercolour a deeper meaning and dreamy atmosphere
 Spring is in the air in the South of France. It inspired Michele C. to paint a lovely bird on a branch with blossoms...

Fantastic result of a 'transparency' exercise by Brigitte! The transparency is suggested by using more diluted paint for the objects behind the curtain. Which is not actually there, only suggested...

More transparency, now combined with patterns, well done by Michele F!

And last but not least the last starters-exercise by Michele F! The 'irises' are practice for eyes and they are perfect! The mask is a first try out, and it has come out very funny-angry!! One more version of this the next session and then she knows all the watercolour-rules in theory... ready to go for the free subjects - which no doubt will work out!

Monday, 27 March 2017

 Bibbi's model-watercolours - every little image has a story to tell

Last week we got together to work on the Chinese pillars project from l'Art de l'Aquarelle, but there were so many other great things to paint that we didn't get around to finishing the pillars. As soon as they are done I will dedicate a post to them, they are going to be so interesting!! But what's shown here is the free work of our Aquarellista group, individual ideas and subjects!

 Agnès painted these light and happy (and springy) daffodils

Sylvie worked on this adorable mom and baby giraffe...

These are doorknobs! Painted in the typical colourful style of Celina

You can hear him call, Elia's wolf. Not completely done but already very strong!!

 Fantastic Forest by Anna-Karin: she decides this weekend if there will be a darker shade on the left side... We'll keep you posted!

 Start of an exciting glass bottle by Carole. I've seen the real thing and I can tell you that the label will also be awesome. Can't wait to see the finished work!

 The first layer of Tana's version of last Tuesday's still life. It still needs some contrast but she truly nailed her step one: to work with light colours!

 The still life challenge was also started by Michele C (she also finished her awesome version of the Chinese dragon pillar- more about that next time)

Brigitte is back and she continued her starters' exercises. Inspired by Michele F's take on the dew drops she created them in the same style, on a coloured surface and look how well they turned out!! 

Michele F has been good busy with the transparency  exercise. Above finished, below was also meant to practise on the patterns (well done) and will have (the suggestion of) transparent fabric on it next week...

 Michele F received a very impressive box with watercolour pans, for her birthday and decided wisely to make a map of the colours.

And on the other end of the spectrum, Cathie's chandeliers - almost finished. What a fantastic job!