Autumn is just around the corner :: L’automne est presque arrivé

Autumn is just around the corner. The air is crisp and still, the birds are quiet and the days are saying goodbye much earlier… For this painting I chose Prussian Blue, which is an amazing blue, if you are painting a very bright summery day. For this landscape, I should have chosen another blue like Winsor Blue instead… it would have given nicer greens. As Winsor Blue has some yellow in it, by using a yellow that has some blue in it, like Aureolin Yellow, my greens would have been octanic, the term that Jeanne Dobie uses in her colour theory.  By using New Gambodge (red undertone) mixed with Prussian Blue (yellow undertone) my two colours clashed and the undertones were muddy. However, all of this theory is really indicating to me “how to” setup my watercolour palette the next time that I decide to clean it. I will be putting my colours along the line of Dobie logic. If you would like to know more about this here is one of my previous posts on the subject — Jeanne Dobie Make Colors Sing –.

L’automne est presque arrivé et l’air est frais et clair, les oiseaux sont silencieux et les jours nous disent au revoir bien de bonne heure. Pour cette peinture j’ai utilisé du Blue de Prusse qui est une excellent couleur si l’on peint une scène chaude d’été… mais pour l’automne, moins. Si j’avais suivi les consignes de Jeanne Dobie sur les couleurs “octaniques” j’aurais utilisé le Bleu de Winsor qui a une teinte de jaune avec le jaune Auréolin, qui a des teintes de bleu dedans et mes verts auraient été beaucoup plus resplendissants et non ternes. Une chose que je sais: la prochaine fois que je refais ma palette de couleurs, je vais avoir en tête la logique de Jeanne.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolor
Pen: Pigma Micron Pen 01
Colours: New Gambodge, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue and Yellow Ochre.


Old scary shed for Halloween :: Vieille grange pour l’Halloween

This is a regular old shed looking scary… I must be feeling the Halloween spirit looming ;-) Autumn is upon us, and the grass is turning a dirty yellow — and the trees are turning a muddled green with tinges of yellow. Soon, with the first frost, bursts of orange, red and purples will be blooming all over the countryside and again, my heart will be filled with joy — and some sadness — at the disappearance of our very very short summer.

Une vieille grange qui a de l’air épeurante — peut-être que je suis déjà dans l’esprit de l’Halloween? L’automne est à nos portes et la pelouse devient terne — les arbres aussi! Bientôt avec la première gelée qui s’en vient à grands pas, la nature va se transformer en éclats de rouge, orange, jaune et pourpre et mon coeur va être rempli de bonheur — et de la trisstesse de savoir que l’été a été si courte -)

Paper: Moleskine Watercolor
Pen: Pigma Micron Pen 01
Colours: New Gambodge, Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna


Colours & my eyes :: Les yeux & couleurs

This past week was very intense at school and I spent most of my weekend preping and correcting students’ work. So I had very little time to even think about painting or sketching. So today I rushed out at 3:00 pm to try and sketch… and disaster was in the making. I have noticed that if I do not paint every 3 days, my eyes cannot see the colours anymore… my hand/eye coordination is still good, but the colours have disappeared from my eyes.

So here are feeble attempts at a beautiful landscape… I did not have the colours in my eyes! So the first landscape was done with Cerulean Blue, Yellow Ochre and Alizarin Crimson while the bottom attempt was with Cobalt Blue, New Gambodge and Alizarin Crimson. Both have muddy greens and I should have thought about Jeanne Dobie’s lessons -)



Contour Drawing :: Dessin contour

Today my students and I went outside on this sunny fall day to draw trees for my Typography & Design course. Trees are this week’s theme and I will be giving them a different theme to draw every week of the semester. Can’t wait to see the results at the end of the semester.

The students’ drawings were outstanding, considering that they had never drawn a contour drawing (except for one student)… for those of you who do not know how to do this it is quite simple to comprehend. Once you put your pen on the paper, it cannot be lifted until the entire drawing is finished… takes a certain concentration to keep it there. Of course, there were a few slips, but everyone did amazing work! I am very proud of them. This type of drawing gives a very fluid and lively type of drawing… it is not detail oriented. Once I got home I decided to put in a bit of watercolour paints in this sketchbook, which is not really made for this, and gives very grungy results.

Aujourd’hui mes élèves et moi sommes sortis dehors pour dessiner des arbres… le thème de la semaine. Chaque semaine je vais donner un nouveau thème à mes élèves et ils devront dessiner ce thème sur le courant de la session pour le cours de Typography & Design. Je leur ai demandé de faire un dessin contour… pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas ceci veut simplement dire qu’une fois la plume sur le papier, elle ne peut plus être levée… le dessin au complet doit être finalisé avant que la plume se lève du papier. Ceci donne des résultats qui sont très fluides et vivants — voir grunge. 

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook (large)
Pen: Pigma Micron Pen 01
Colours: Yellow Orchre and Rose Madder Genuine



Octanic Colours

I often have problems when mixing my colours and I think that Jeanne Dobie’s book “Making Color Sing” is actually helping me out. She has a colour theory for mixing colours, which is quite simple to understand once you get through the logic. I hope that I do not mix you up -)

I first created a colour wheel with some of the colours that she recommends…
• On the cool side goes: Rose Madder Genuine, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine and Winsor Blue;
• On the warm side: Aureolin Yellow, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red.


Then looking at each colour

• Rose Madder Genuine & Alizarin Crimson have some blue in it;
• French Ultramarine has some red in it;
• Winsor Blue has some yellow in it;
• Aureolin Yellow has some blue in it;
• Cadmium Yellow has some red in it;
• Cadmium Red has some yellow in it.

The idea is to choose, for example’s sake: a blue pigment with some red in it like French Ultramarine and a red pigment that has some blue in it, like Alizarin Crimson. As both pigments have the other pigments undertone, these will create vibrant or octanic colours.



























The same goes for creating a vibrant orange. Camium Red + Cadmium Yellow
















The same goes for green: Aureolin Yellow + Winsor Blue will give a vibrant green. However, if you mix a Cobalt Yellow (that has red in it) with a French Ultramarine (that has red in it) then the colours muddy… see below.