Monday, 31 July 2017

Ardennes, day 3

Today we have been away from the house, on the shore of the lake. First we had an introdution to Impressionism and then we were invited to paint.
The shoreline is curved, so we could all choose a different view.
I decided to include some of the pine trees and bushes to suggest the distance between my spot and the opposite shoreline.
Once again the creation of all those shades of green with blues and yellows was challenging, but the results are much more to my liking than the results I got when using greens from the factory.
In the water I added some touches of Iridescent Medium, just for fun. The results are nice! So thanks to my daughter who gave me the Iridescent Medium for my birthday.

More information about me and my paintings can be found at my website

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Ardennes, day 2

This day is 'warming up day', so we start finding our inspiration in the view from the house. There also is a nice garden and many of us started painting flowers.
Of course I found my inspiration in a lot of trees and some buildings on the other side of the lake.
After I had started the green painting one of the teachers said "Why don't you paint two paintings at the same time?" and I gathered paper and other stuff to start a second version of my subject. As one was drying, I painted the other one and so on. Each watercolour painting has three or four layers of paint, so I have been switching a few times.
It was really nice painting  this way!

For more information about my watercolour paintings, please visit my website

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Ardennes, day 1

This week I will be painting in The Ardennes again. The view from the location is great, even in the evening. Today was mostly spent in the car, we arrived in time for afternoon coffee with cake. Tomorrow we will start painting and I will post the results of each day.

For more information about my previous painting vacations, please visit my website 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

After the rains - morning in the mountains

Last autumn my husband and me had a short vacation in the Black Forest, Germany. I have already made and published some watercolour paintings I made during and after that trip. On the way home we started early - as it is over six hours by car to get home - and we stopped for this sight. In the night and the early morning it rained and now the water that had fallen was rising up to the sky again in the form of mist. In the mountains that is a great sight especially for people like us, who are living in a flat country.
On my request my husband Peter stopped the car (in a parking place of course), opened the window and made some photographs.
We were near a hamlet situated in a bend in the road, so there were some buildings in front of the forests, the mountains and the mist.

Because I wanted to lay emphasis on the tranquility of the scene I have 'forgotten' to show the part of the road that was visible and added some bushes to the ones that were already there. The house on the left is also a bit altered and has got a more traditional 'Black Forest' facade.

Once again I have not been using green from the tube, but mixed my greens using several blue, grey and yellow paints. Because it is autumn I have added the yellows in pure form to the trees and bushes. The pine trees are evergreen of course and most of them are emerging above the mist. Only those on the far left are hidden behind the mist as that mountain ridge is much further away.
The smoke from one of the chimneys is highlighted with Chinese White.

Once again I had not stretched my paper before painting on it, and again I had some small difficulties. I have been giving this method a second try but I have found out that it is better for me - and my painting habits - to soak and stretch my paper before painting. 

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

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Evening mood in the polder

The reference photo for this watercolour painting had been waiting for almost two years now. My son Martijn lives in Almere, which is in what we call 'the New land', one of the polders made in the IJsselmeer. His birthday is in September so when we drive home after a visit the chances of a nice sunset are good. Usually my daughter Mariska makes a picture from the car when I ask her to.

Because of the poor light circumstances the fields were very dark and without structure in the reference photo so I have changed that part a bit. I had to do this from my memory because since the photo has been made, parking places have been made there.  
The railroad is still the same. On the right is the little railway station, unfortunately its structure is mostly on ground level. Behind the railroad only one building is visible. There are plans to build more of course as the town of Almere will be developed further in the next decades.

Maybe it is due to the rainy weather but painting this was not without struggle. It can also be caused by the fact that I did not soak and stretch my paper before starting to paint. The surface of the paper reacts differently to water and paint when the coating from the mill is not removed by the soaking and stretching. It's easier to remove paint this way and I had forgotten that - I remembered quickly though.
Nevertheless I made a painting I like very much.
For the first time I used Chinese White in this painting - only to highlight the moon a bit. After I had removed the masking fluid I tried to soften the edges and the result was not good, so I tried to hide that behind some clouds, and still I was not happy about it. The white paint did the trick, as it is not very opaque (like gouache) the clouds are still there, but my moon is round again.

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

Monday, 10 July 2017

I have got free art materials!

This month my favourite art supply store gives away free art materials when you get yourself a membership of the Dutch Association of Artists.
So today we went to the store, filled in the application  form and went shopping.
The result is in the picture.
I got paint and paper for my watercolour paintings, charcoal, fixative and paper for charcoal drawings and paper for sketches. I will be using some of these materials when I am on my painting vacation in The Ardennes - in a few  weeks.
The membership of the Artists Association does also have some nice advantages, so I think I got myself a good deal.
Now I only have to paint.

More information about me and my paintings can be found at my website

Friday, 7 July 2017

View on the Kasbah of Ouarzazate

After so many weeks working on a project using charcoal, I wanted to paint again! So I brushed away the dust from my palette and started browsing through my 'inspiration gallery'. That is a collection of reference photos that were made by my husband, my children and me. 

This time inspiration came from Morocco, my son Martijn visited that country as a tourist almost three years ago and gave me some of the photos he made there.
One of the trips he made was a visit to the historical Kasbah of Ouarzazate, a monument.
The view is great and a challenge to paint. The colours of the buildings have only a little bit of variation so I had to exaggerate that variation to give depth to the structure.
There was a hint of green and grass in the landscape so I used that as well.
And the cactus on the rocks in the foreground. 

This is my first cactus and it was a bit of a challenge, especially as i am still mixing my greens from blues and yellows. I had to find the right mixture here and that meant experimenting with my colours. The green of the cactus is made up with two different mixtures of a yellow and a blue and a grey mixture for the shadows. Each mixture is applied on the dried paint I had already used, this technique allows me to suggest the shapes of the cactus leaves. Of course it is not perfect yet, but for my first attempt the result is satisfying.

For the grasses and the dry branches on the foreground I used my Watercolour Sticks. They are nice for drawing thin lines and when used dry on dry the lines are uneven because of the structure of my paper.

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

Monday, 3 July 2017

Painting again! A view in the forests.

It has been a long time since my last painting. I have already mentioned that I had started on a project of fourteen charcoal drawings and that project is ready for the camera now. When the pictures are ready I will publish my project.

We have been busy with a lot of things, the weather did not cooperate so it had also been a long time since we had our last walk in the nature of our country.
Not very far from our home lies the small town of Oosterhout which has a nice little forest to walk in. The signposted walk is provided with information about the history of the area and how that history affected the landscape. That is really interesting, the area used to bee moorland, later it became production forest and now it is being brought back to recreation forest with a lot of attention for the past.
In this piece of forest there are also some patches of field where wheat can grow alongside with the flowers that naturally accompany it.
At some point we had a nice look through from under the trees over one of those fields. The scene had some back-light, so the trees are a dark mass on the reference picture I took. The wheat has all the sunlight we had at that moment and makes a nice contrast to the dark greens of the surrounding trees.

This gave me the idea to paint this scene on black paper, using white gouache and some of my watercolour paints. The foliage hanging over from the top gave me some troubles, as expected. That is much easier to paint on white paper, painting the leaves and not having to worry about the white colour of the clouds behind them. I decided to make the foliage a bit more dense, this may be reality next week, so I only took some 'artistic liberty' here.

This time I cropped the picture I have made after my painting to where the paint is. Usually I show some extra bits of the black paper, but this time my 'horizon-line' could not be erased without damaging my paper. This is how the painting will be framed.
Of course it is possible to make a better picture after the painting, but it still is as I have told you before - I do not have that advanced a camera and I do not have an advanced editing program on my computer.

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