Scarf in a jug still life

scarf

Scarfs were the theme during last week’s watercolour class at the Hangar where I go regularly. I chose a bright and cheerful  scarf that was on offer and made this still life with it wrapped around a jug standing on a stool.

I painted  a very subdued background as the colours and motif of the scarf were loud enough … a bit of a calming down for the eyes would balanced out the picture, I thought.

Two blackbirds above cars in Valbonne.

2-black-birds

If they are not having a bath like in my previous post I was inspired this time by 2 blackbirds up in the sky, perched on the winter trees in Valbonne. I liked the row of trees and cars for the perspective effect and as usual I took artistic licence to create a new brand of car , increased the size of the birds and put some colours to brightened up the scene.

The manufacturing of wine barrels in Bercy, Paris.

bercy-tonneau

Bercy village today in Paris is a very trendy shopping centre which was built in the 1990’s . In the past Bercy used to be an important wine market. This sketch is done from a vintage black and white picture. I chose a main colour which evoked wine . I know some people use wine to replace watercolour but this is not the case :  I don’t think I would have obtained the same transparency and  and I am not sure  the paper of my sketchbook would have taken it well…

Paris and social networking in the olden days.

les-timbres

In the 1900 ‘s Facebook did not exist but there was a lot of social networking going on in the streets of Paris. To illustrate this, I chose to paint a scene from an old black and white photo portraying people exchanging stamps on the famous Champs Elysées. This kind of picture can be bought along the river Seine at the bookstalls “les bouquinistes”. The people in the picture are looking at their stamp collections comparing their personal treasures. One can imagine all sorts of conversation going on : a  potential story behind the scenes. Although the old picture was in faded grey shades, I chose to use  bright colours and ink to accentuate the movement and postures.

Valbonne autumnal light.

valbonne-entrance

The trees have lost their leaves and  give a lovely calligraphic quality to a painting. I chose to paint the access to Valbonne village framed in the foreground by winter branches inviting the eyes to follow the entrance to a narrow street. In spite of approaching Xmas, the light is still very strong and and gives a warm feeling to everything it touches.

Classic red car.

classic-red-car-2016

Although I am not a car specialist, I love the look of classic old cars and they make a particularly interesting subject to paint because of their rounded shapes created by the light reflection.

I see these old cars really as big toys or art objects great to look at. They are related to a nostalgic distant past. This red one is inspired by one of the photos I took at the annual vintage car fair in Valbonne village. I chose to make a colourful shadow to match the striking aspect of this car and left the white background not to over-do the visual impact.

Mandelieu castle on the French Riviera

mandelieucastle

Can you see the wee man ?

I was walking along the beach in Mandelieu last week and the weather was amazingly bright. The Castle lies next to the water and there is a beautiful walk to do just underneath it.When the sea is rough you are most likely to be wet but last week was a perfect day. I saw a wee man sitting on the rocks listening to his mobile phone. I thought he was the perfect character to lead the eyes towards the middle and background. The rocks wind your gaze towards this point of focus.