Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The lovely Helena

The painting class felt confident enough to tackle a watercolour portrait of my lovely assistant on the last day. Here is my demonstration.

A three quarter portrait is the most interesting one. The challenge is to get the head and face to "turn" to look three dimensional and not like a stylized flat Egyptian painting, so one eye must be properly tucked behind the nose. The level positioning of the eyes is very important. One eye often tends to migrate onto another level.

I had to rework this picture to correct the eyes. One of the advantages of stretching paper is that you can wash off some of the painting and rework it when the paper dries.

"I've encouraged both myself and others to experience the joy of drawing. It may be separate from painting, but it is certainly key to much that is great in painting. To find a line, to make it work, to really see it and know it holds life and energy or is pregnant with feeling, is to experience a kind of excitement that even sensitive observers cannot truly know." Robert Genn

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Into the field

In the second week of the painting class, we packed up paints and brushes and moved into the field. This summer we painted Rocamadour perched on rocky falaises, the market in Gramat, the Dordogne river (where we picniced...and some sk--ny dipped...) and ended up celebrating the end of the class lunching in Saint Cirq-Lapopie after visiting the 25,000 year old paintings in the caves of Pech Merle.

I hope to add more photos of student work- please email your photographs everyone.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Fête!

The Rignac Fête fell on the Saturday between week one and two of the watercolour workshop this summer. A dance floor and tables were set up on the place in front of our proudly restored twelfth century church, St Germain.

Things started out formally and sedately enough at first...

Then the watercolour contingent arrived with friends and the pace quickened fast, especially once our Australian stagière showed the locals a thing or two about dancing.

Today is Bastille Day, le Quatorze Juillet. Brace yourselves Gramat, tonight the watercolourists hit your streets...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cezanne day

Here is a small sampling of the luscious pears and more from the fourth day of my July watercolour workshop. I am very proud of the group's fabulous work. Next week we move into the field to paint markets, towns, and landscapes.

Most everyone chose the fruit composition, but one brave soul successfully tackled the cabbage.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Rignac Fête

Hooray, there will be a fête again this year in Rignac, after a pause of several years. A group from the committee de fête were around to serenade us on Saturday and remind us to book our tables in the village square for the repas champêtre and dance this weekend.