This grotto is situated at 15 km West of Grasse the perfume capital of France and outside the village of Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne. It can be visited but who knows if this is the secret place for Santa…. I used lots of layers of bright watercolours to render the light coming from above and put some black ink for more darker contrast.
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.
A bit of fun to be in the pre-Xmas mood… I used the wet on wet technique(wetting the paper first before applying the paint)to get the fluffy look and the soft fur effect.