Friday, 26 May 2017

There is work in progress...

This time I do not have a picture to show you.
I have been working on a project that will include at least fourteen charcoal drawings and I will publish this project when it is finished. To give you a hint on the progress: four of them are finished, ten to go. For this project I have been given permission to use pictures made by my son Martijn and my daughter-in-law Claudia. When all drawings are made, I would like to write (or have someone write for me) a text to accompany my artworks.

Usually I have time to paint or draw in the weekends, but lately there have been other things filling my time. 
For example: my son got married last week. Of course that is a very happy event but it took my time and attention away from my little studio.

The time of outdoor art events has started in The Netherlands and I have some obligations towards my 'colleagues' in amateur art. On the other hand, those days might inspire me to do some watercolours, so I could have paintings to publish here soon.

When nothing is published here, I am still working on my project.

More information about the paintings I have made in the past and the art events I participate in can be found at my website 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A brown beech tree in springtime

A few months ago I became member of IWS Holland. That is a nice group of watercolourists, both amateurs like me and professionals are in it. A few times each year a meeting is organised in a beautiful spot so that we can meet, talk and paint together.
Last time we met in the town of Vleuten (in The Netherlands) where a nice little church stands surrounded by large trees. On the side of the churchyard is a huge brown beech tree. As it was springtime, the foliage was brightly coloured and not as full and dark as it will be in summer. The sun was shining brightly so the light yellow and red shades of the young leaves were attracting my attention.
I made a sketch and some reference pictures, selected a piece of paper and started to paint. Somehow my tree was not what I wanted it to be and some of the other members of IWS Holland were giving me valuable advise. My painting of that day ended up as an autumn scene and not completely mine as I was given a demonstration of how to paint an interesting tree. 
Of course I am very grateful for the demonstration and with all that fresh in my memory I started another painting the next day. This time I worked from one of my reference pictures and really tried to make a tree in springtime.
Brown beech trees look like autumn in this time of the year: bright yellow and red colours instead of the more usual green leaves. The colours of the leaves will turn to a reddish brown very soon and stay like that all summer.

I have discovered that a tree in springtime is not an easy subject. The sun shone through the leaves, giving lots of colour but not much shadows, as the foliage is not very close yet. The trunk of the tree and the large lower branches are still very visible and that makes it hard work to suggest volume in the foliage.

This painting may be not one of my best, but I will continue painting trees in all seasons, untill I have mastered my subject.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, materials used, etc) can be found at my website 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

In the Caves of Han

Last autumn we visited the Domaine des Grottes de Han. The caves are famous,we would be passing the area on our way to the Black Forest in Germany, so the decision to visit these caves was easily made.
The tour in the caves lasts over an hour and there are many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites to be seen. My husband Peter had the camera and made lots of photographs. Most of the formations are not easy to paint - for someone who is used to water, clouds, trees and that stuff - but this one was challenging me. 
This formation was lit by one strong lamp and the shadows in the deeper parts are very, very dark. There are some stalactites hanging from a ledge in the wall  of the cave. The whole scene is not very large, maybe less than one m2.
The colours are real and are caused by various salts that dissolve in the water and mix with the limestone that shapes the stalactites.

Of course I decided to paint a white-on-black painting. The fading of the light on the edges of the area the lamp shines on was a bit of a challenge. This is easier with watercolour paint on watercolour paper.

This time I made the picture after the painting myself and I used a 'not so very good' computer program to edit that picture. So what I am showing you could be better, but this is the best I can do for the moment.

More information about this painting (size, materials used, etc) can be found at my website