The Snow has Arrived :: La neige est arrivée

I started painting 7 months ago, always using the same steps. First, I draw with a 2B or HB pencil, then go over the lines with a fountain pen (either black or grey ink) adding more detail, and once the image is complete, I then paint.  I was scared of letting go of the ink drawings… and of their secure containment of the image. I have been hanging on to this system for dear life… as I have tried to go directly from pencil to painting, with disastrous results… until the snow arrived!

I do not exactly know what or how it has happened, but since the snow has arrived it has given me the freedom of seeing the negative shapes of the objects instead of painting the objects themselves (positive shapes). When I was drawing in ink, I would be painting the positive shapes… and with the snow, I am looking at the “effect” of the shapes with the snow… thus the negative shapes. Anyway, hope you like these as I am having alot of fun ;-) I did add some ink lines after the painting was done, to give it a bit more detail.

Une peinture peinte de la fenêtre de notre salle de bains… et non j’étais bien assise sur une chaise! Juste pour dire que la neige m’a permise de peindre d’une toute autre manière… au lieu de peindre les objets, je peins l’effet des objets et/ou l’effet entre les objets… difficile à expliquer par contre. Je crois que mon explication en anglais, est plus facile à comprendre (excusez-la). Mes étapes sont les suivantes. J’ai dessiné avec un crayon 2B (ou HB) ensuite j’ai peint avec l’aquarelle et j’ai finit avec ma plume fontaine pour donner un peu plus de détails. Voilà!

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, New Gambodge and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

20121230_BathroomView

Ladder :: Échelle

I do not really understand what is happening but I have been trying to paint without filling in the lines with ink first, to no avail… and since the snow has arrived, suddenly, I can. Because of this my drawings are much looser and less precise, but I was scared to paint without the safety of the ink lines. I first sketched the outlines with a 2B pencil (including the shadows) and then I chose my colour theme (Cobalt blue, Alizarin crimson and Cadmium yellow pale) and started painting the main tree trunk. Once I was finished, I found that my drawing was not detailed enough so I went over the painting with a Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF filled with Noodlers Lexington Grey ink to add a bit more detail. So here it is…

L’échelle pour monter et réparer notre satellite ou pour enlever la neige, comme aujourd’hui.

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, Camium Yellow Pale and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

20121228_Ladder

 

Snowstorm :: Tempête de neige

We knew that it would come… it’s just that we did not know when. Well it has happened. 2.5 feet of snow fell today and I could not even leave my house… my spouse took 2 hours to clean up the driveway, the path and the steps. So I painted this scene looking out of the dining room window.

Did you know that birds are incredible? When a trough, high winds or snow are coming, birds know. Very early this morning they gathered around our 4 feeders and there were 100s of them… American Goldfinches, Common Redpoles, Red-breasted Nuthatches, White-breasted Nuthatches, Hoary Redpolls, Black-capped Chickadees, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, they were all feeding in a frenzy. They kept me busy as I had to refill all of the feeders 3 times.

For this painting I used mostly Burnt sienna, Cobalt blue and New gambodge. For the snow I mixed Cobalt blue and Alizarin crimson.

Avant que la tempête arrive, les oiseaux le savent très bien et ils se préparent. Nous avons eu des centaines d’oiseaux aujourd’hui qui se nourrissaient autour de mes 4 mangeoires d’oiseaux. Il y avait des Chardonnerets, des Mésanges, des Pics chevelus, des Pics mineurs, beaucoup de Sizerins flammés, des Sitelles à poitrine rousse, des Sitelles à poitrine blanche. J’ai dû renouveller les mangeoires 3 fois au cours de la journée. Voici la vue de ma maison bien assise au chaud au bord de la fenêtre.

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, New Gambodge and Burnt Sienna (with some Alizarin Crimson)

20121227_BirdFeeder

The Madonna on the Lake of Two Mountains :: La madonne du lac Deux-Montagnes

This madonna stands on the shore of the Lake of Two Mountains, which is part of the Ottawa River delta. It was originally named Lac des Médicis in 1612 by Samuel de Champlain, then renamed Lac des Soissons in 1632 and then obtained its current name in 1684. The two mountains in reference are the two highest peaks of Mount Oka, Calvaire Mountain in Laval and its twin, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac Hill. It is said that the “coureurs des bois” could see these two peaks from the northwestern shores of the lake from the portage of Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue.

Cette madonne veille sur le bord du Lac des Deux Montagnes, qui fait partie du delta de la Rivière Outaouais. En 1612 Samuel de Champlain nomma ce lac Lac des Médicis, ensuite il fut renommé Lac des Soissons en 1632 et finalement Lac des Deux Montagnes en 1684. Les deux montagnes citées sont la Montagne Calvaire à Laval et sa jumelle,  Montagne Saint-Joseph-du-Lac. Il est dit que les coureurs des bois pouvaient voir du portage de Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue ces deux sommets.

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexigrip Extra Fine
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt & Cerulean blue, Cadmium yellow light and Rose madder genuine with a bit of Burnt umber

20121221

 

Vertical & Horizontal Lines :: Lignes verticales et horizontales

Some fences are nice and this one caught my eye. For our holiday party, our Union invited us for a buffet-style luncheon at Château Vaudreuil and this is where I saw it. Continuing on the theme of yesterday’s post, I decided that I would draw horizontal and vertical lines only… and this is the result. I also did a bit of cross-hatching for the tree on the upper left hand side of the painting.

Il y a des clôtures qui sont belles, et celle-ci a capté mon oeil. Pour continuer sur le même thème que hier, j’ai utilisé des traits horizontaux et verticaux. Le voici, le voilà!

Paper: Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook
Pen: Pilot Flexigrip Fountain Pen, EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey

20121220_fence

Vertical Lines :: Lignes verticales

You know that I have been quite busy when I submit a drawing (instead of a painting) as this takes much more time. So today I had but a few minutes to sketch… and I have had, in the back of my mind, an idea that has been creeping up for awhile that I would sketch, on one of these frosty fridays, only with vertical lines. Well I have to admit that I did not achieve this at 100%, but still, just a beginning… and once I got going, then I could not stop… and I added some horizontal lines too, and then some oblique lines… Argh… Anyway, this is just a toodle-y-poop of what I had originally intended on doing.

Un dessin de lignes verticales, et par après ajout de lignes horizontales… un méli-méli des deux qui n’était pas voulu, originalement. Comment se fait-il que je diverge ainsi?

Paper: Moleskine Pocket Scketchbook
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexigrip Fountain Pen EF

20121219_VerticalLines

First Snow :: Première neige

Today was the first time that a considerable amount of snow fell… there was about one foot that fell in Rigaud. When you wake up in the morning and all of the sounds are hushed, it is a telltale sign that it snowed. I painted this scene with three main colours. Cobalt blue, Aureolin yellow and Rose madder genuine with a bit of Burnt umber. I had to put aside the first painting that I did as it was quite terrible… it looked more like a Prismacolor drawing than a watercolour painting.

Aujourd’hui était la première journée où nous avons reçu une quantité raisonnable de neige… environ 1 pied, et ce matin, encore dans mon lit, je savais qu’il avait neigé car tous les sons étaient feutrés. Avec les changements climatiques, j’ai tendance à m’inquiéter si l’hiver québécois tarde à venir, donc ce matin j’étais tellement contente ;-) J’aime l’hiver!

Paper: Larolan
Watercolour Sketchbook

Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexigrip Extra Fine
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, Aureolin yellow and Rose madder genuine with a bit or Burnt umber20121218_firstSnow

Bilbo’s Lamp :: Lampe de Bilbo

I have drawn this lamp quite often… it reminds me of Bilbo the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings… it has many colours in it and has a river flowing through it. Quite nice actually. One of these days I will paint it in colour.

J’ai dessiné cette lampe plusieurs fois et elle se nomme, par moi, la lampe à Bilbo… car elle me rappelle la triologie du Seigneur des anneaux par sa forme et ses couleurs. Une autre fois je la peindrai en couleurs….

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook
Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilo Flexigrip Extra Fine

20121217_lamp

Old Rigaud House :: Vieille maison de Rigaud

Here is a sketch of an old Rigaud house with beautiful architecture. However, I had to draw it about 7 times in order to make this sketch happen… everything was skewed and disproportionate. So this is the beginning, I hope, of a painting that I will produce very soon.

J’ai recommencé ce croquis environ 7 fois, pour finalement arriver à ceci, qui n’est qu’un début. Il y a de ces journées que la coordination entre les yeux, la main et le cerveau fonctionnent mieux, ou moins bien.

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook
Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilo Flexigrip Extra Fine

20121216_OldRigaudHouse

Painting is a Discipline :: La peinture est une discipline

The past two weeks have been quite hectic as we are in the last stretch of the semester… and because of this, I have not been able to paint as much as I as would have liked to (I usually complete three paintings per week and on the other days I draw). Because of this I find that my sense of observation as well as my hand and brush coordination were not as keen. But what amazed me the most this morning was that I had no idea which colours I should use for this painting! So this is my first painting in awhile and I hope that I will improve from now on, as I feel that I have stepped back in time and have lost the experience that I had gained. Painting is a discipline and a painter needs to practice in order to excel.

This is a very small summer house on Bourget Street in Rigaud. I mostly used Burnt Orange, French Ultramarine, Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna.

Les deux dernières semaines ont été très stressantes à cause de toutes sortes de circonstances, ce qui a fait que j’ai eu moins de temps pour peindre. Habituellement je peins au moins trois peintures par semaine et quatre dessins.

Donc ce matin quand je suis sortie en automobile pour peindre, mon sens de l’observation, la coordination entre ma main et mon pinceau étaient moins habiles. Mais ce qui m’a suprise le plus est que j’avais aucune espèce d’idée quelles couleurs prendre pour peindre cette petite maison sur la rue Bourget à Rigaud! Au lieu d’avancer en peinture, je trouve que j’ai reculé… La peinture est une discipline qui a besoin d’entraînement, car quand on le fait moins, on perd beaucoup. Donc à partir d’aujourd’hui, étant donné que ma session vient de se terminer, je vais recommencer à peindre à tous les jours, ou presque… car la peinture est aussi thérapeutique, pour moi au moins.

Painting: on location on Bourget Street in Rigaud
Paper: Larolan
Pen: Carbon Ink Fountain Pen with Black Carbon Ink
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith

20121215_bourgetStreet

Machete :: Machette

In our bedroom we have this huge machete that my spouse bought in Guatemala many years ago… it is there, dangling down. It is a beautiful piece of work and is about 3 feet long… and quite heavy. In Southern Africa, it is named a panga or tapanga. In the Philippines, it is called a bolo. Malaysia and Indonesia call them parang or golok, while in Thailand they are named E-Nep or Nep or Hua-Tad or Pra, and is similar to the Muslim Jambiya and the Pakistani/Nepali Khukuri. The Chinese Dao or the Brazilian facão and the Russian Taiga. This instrument throughout many cultures was often known to be an excellent head chopper.

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook:
Pen: Pilot Flexigrip Extra Fine
Ink: Noolders’ Bulletproof Lexington Grey

20121214_machete

Tools of the Trade :: Outils de peinture

Since this morning I have been quite busy organizing myself… reorganizing my colours in the Daniel Smith Travel Palette, cleaning them up, creating a color wheel, cleaning my fountain pens and really trying to figure out the “best” system for painting in my painting studio, aka my kitchen counter ;-)))

Depuis ce matin je suis en train de réorganiser, nettoyer et refaire mes couleurs d’aquarelle. J’ai aussi mis les outils (plume fontaine) et pinceaux que j’utilise pour dessiner et peindre. Une autre fois je parlerai des papers disponibles pour l’aquarelle. Ces photos ont été prises dans mon atelier de peinture… ma cuisine!

PALETTE
So I thought that some of you may like knowing what I draw and paint with…  First picture is the open Daniel Smith Travel Palette after cleaning it today, with both of its mixing areas open. The second picture is with one of the mixing areas closed with a view of my colour chart.

 

 

COLOUR WHEEL

The arrows in my colour wheel follow the direction (from left to right) for my colour chart in my Daniel Smith palette.

 

TOOLS
1. Winsor & Newton —  Series 7 — Sable brush #10;
2. Omer De Serres, squirrel #10;
3. Winsor & Newton — Series 7 — Sable brush #5;
4. Lamy Joy Calligraphy Fountain Pen, 1.1 mm filled with waterproof black ink;
5. Carbon Pen extra fine filled with waterproof black carbon ink;
6. Pilot Flexigrip extra fine fountain pen filled with Noodlers’ Bulletproof Lexington Grey ink;
7. Sigma Pigma Micron .01 archival technical pen;
8. Lead Pencil, 2B;
9. Kneaded eraser.

Tolerant Leafy Zone :: Zone des feuillus tolérants

One of the best books that was ever published on the Quebec flora is named: Flore Laurentienne by Frère Marie-Victorin. The version that I have is dated 1964 and I have been perusing this book, and come to the realization that I live in a zone that is named the Tolerant Leafy Zone. In this wooded sector, it is the home of the Maple Tree Acer Saccharum, the Hemlock Tree Tsuga Canadensis and the American Beech Fagus Grandifolia. The maple tree prefers higher areas as it likes having its feet dry. Its wood is very hard and is used for floor planks, and its sap is used to make the famous maple syrup, a secret that was transmitted from the Indians to the white settlers. The hemlock is a tree that can live up to 600 years and its wood is stronger than the White Pine. The american beech is mostly used in maritime construction as it stays preserved under water. So here is a painting of these three tress, although indistinct. I must say that the Larolan paper is exquisite!!!

Un des plus beaux livres que je possède est La flore laurentienne du Frère Marie Victorin, publié en 1964. La zone forestière où je vis est nommée la Zone des feuillus tolérants et une grande partie de sa population est constitutée de l’Érable à sucre Acer saccharum, la pruche Tsuga canadensis et l’hêtre américain Fagus grandifolia. Voici une peinture de ces trois spécimens…

Paper: Larolan
Fountain Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip, Extra Fine
Ink: Noolders Lexington Grey
Watercolors: Daniel Smith // Winsor & Newton
Colors: French Ultramarine, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna

Fireplace Mantel :: Manteau de cheminée

I am starting to prepare for the holidays… even with my sketching, and further on for my paintings. Did I mention that I am planning on painting every day of the holidays? LOL — maybe that I have to remind myself here. So here is a quick sketch of our fireplace mantel, which the term originated in medieval times as a hood that projected over a grate to catch the smoke. Nowadays, it is more appropriate to name it a mantelpiece (also known as chimneypiece). On the top left hand side is our very small xmas tree.

Voici une partie de notre manteau de cheminée… je me demande bien où est-ce que le mot manteau peut bien provenir? L’encre bulletproof veut dire qu’elle est imperméable… donc elle ne coulera pas au contact de l’eau.

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen, EF,
Ink: Noodlers “Bulletproof” Lexington Gray

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Beneficial Errors :: Erreurs bénéfiques

This is a very quick sketch and a very quick painting… and sometimes in life we live through beneficial errors… not always, but sometimes. Even though this is not as good a painting as I would have liked to post, I am posting it to show why it showed me some of my previous errors. I am using the Small Moleskine Sketchbook and I decided to let the paint “bead” or “pearl”… but in order for this to happen, I had to put in alot more water and paint than I am used to! And this is when I realized that for all of my previous paintings, I have not been putting in enough water and paints… the brush really needs to be full of paint–it needs to feel heavy and the minute that I let the paint touch the paper, it should bead down. Previously my brush would only have a few drops… not big dollops. So I will try this again sometime this week.

Une erreur bénéfique est quand nous apprenons d’elle… et j’ai réalisé aujourd’hui que je ne mettais pas assez de peinture et d’eau dans mon pinceau pour toutes mes peintures antérieures … le pinceau aujourd’hui était lourd et la peinture “perlait”. Aujourd’hui j’en ai mis beaucoup, et même si le résultat n’est pas aussi bon que je voudrais, j’ai mis la bonne quantité de peinture et d’eau. Donc ma prochaine peinture va recevoir beaucoup plus d’eau et de peinture que je suis habituée. On va voir si je vais avoir de meilleurs résultats.

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook
Watercolors: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Ink: Lexington Grey with Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF

Sketching :: Drawing from Observation

I love using the Small Moleskine Sketchbooks for drawing with ink, pencil and also painting with watercolours because of their small format… you can actually put it in your jean back pocket… they are so easy to carry around. If I had to use a bigger size like letter size or bigger, I would not have the courage to start — as it takes courage to start drawing, or painting or writing or doing anything that is creative. Drawing in small formats encourages us to draw, paint, write, etc. as it takes less time in our busy lives.

J’ai tellement hâte à mes vacances de Noël car j’ai l’intention de peindre à tous les jours, au lieu de trois fois par semaine. Peut-être que pour la journée de Noël même, quand la maison va être pleine à craquer, ça va être un peu difficile, mais je vais quand même essayer… ;-)

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook (about 12$)
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF (about 20$)
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray  (about 17$)

Vignette of a Room with a View :: Vignette d’un point de vue

As I get older, I seem to long for a room with a view… or many rooms with a view, from very high up, overlooking mountains and lakes, where you can look at the horizon and peruse. So here is one view, from one of the roofs at John Abbott College where huge cranes are setup, doing whatever they do best. This is a vignette as the four corners are not painted in and there is a cruciform shape… or the presence of horizontal and vertical lines that lead to a focal point.

Voici une vignette d’un des toits à John Abbott… il y a tellement de construction à John Abbott depuis des années, que la vue d’une grue est rendue normale… pourtant! Une vignette est une peinture ou une photographie qui a une absence d’objets ou de couleurs aux quatre coins et que les objets verticaux et horizontaux se rejoignent pour créer une forme cruciforme… donnant un point focal. 

Paper: Larolan 5.5″ x 8.5″
Watercolors: Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith
Ink: Lexington Grey