Wednesday, February 01, 2006

French Window

I was commenting to a fellow artist yesterday about what happens when the Mistral starts to blow in France and makes plein air sketching almost impossible and rather unpleasant. And I started to relate some of the things you do instead - such as looking around to see what has some appeal for drawing purposes. Which is how I came to draw my "French Window" in the late summer of 2004 (and how I learned how to sketch in a car - but that's for another post).

One should never ever judge old French houses by their exteriors - the plaster may be coming off, the windows may need a lick of paint (that sun really gives paintwork a beating in the south of France) but inside you may see gilt mirrors and chandeliers - as indeed were visible in this window. This window was across the road from the house I stayed in Montreal de l'Aude in the Languedoc. I sat in the first floor sitting room, opened the windows and drew.

This was completed using a limited number of coloured pencils on a sheet of blue grey Canson Mi Teintes (smooth side - not the really horrible chicken wire side). I aimed to balance out an accurate drawing of the window and its surrounds (and yes it wasn't square - it was old!) with coloured pencils used in a looser way. I cut the pencil 'lead' long and then dragged it across the page - pretty much as one might do if using a pastel. The real challenge was to get the sense of the reflections in the windows at the same time as using very similar colours to represent altogether more substantial aspects of the building. But I loved doing the stonework and the bricks.

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2 comments:

"Maggie" said...

The muted colors in this are so lovely. What a great picture this would make hanging in my home!

Katherine said...

Thanks Maggie

I'm always open to offers! ;)

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