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Do not fail to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good. 
— Cennino Cennini, 1370-1440

I was painting with my friend Chi Mai today on the Canal Lachine in front of the Fur Trade at the Lachine National Historic Site which dates back from 1803. It is a gorgeous place, right next to the Canal Lachine and next to Lake St. Louis which is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Chi Mai has a vast knowledge in watercolours and she helped me out in the end which is very generous of her. Thanks Chi Mai! If you would like to see her work, just click on this LINK.

I find that I have trouble with midtones and usually my paintings fall flat as all of my values fall in the same range… not enough contrast. So I worked today with one concept in mind and this was to have values in mind. To do this I started with a value sketch in lead pencil.  The other thing that I did do differently today was only use flat brushes, and I loved it. I had a big 1″, 0.5″ and 0.25″ and I really enjoyed using these and kind of liberated my arm. And Chi Mai helped me with my values -)))

Paper: Arches 12″x12″
Watercolours: Pyrrol Crimson, Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Q. Burnt Orange, Raw Sienna & Burnt Sienna.
Location: LINK

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:: Summer breeze ::

 

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
— Seals & Croft

Woke up to a sunny windless morning and went swimming in the Pacific for a good 45 minutes. I have to say that this is a perfect holiday! We had dinner with our hosts last night at a local fish restaurant and ate exquisitely. 

While typing this post, I actually thought that we were still in the morning but it is presently 1:10 pm and we still have not had our breakfast… time flies when I am painting. So this is the drawing completed in watercolour this morning.

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Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Q. B. Orange & Sap Green
Location: Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico

Day 2 :: #OneWeek100People2018

A box without hinges, key or lid
yet golden treasure inside is hid.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo the Hobbit

I did not have much time today and I wanted to draw faces up close… really close. So again I chose a photograph on the net of a family of three people. What I tried doing today is trying to find a specific characteristic that enhanced the likeness of the person…as to me this is the real challenge as I find that all of my portraits look alike.I tried focusing on one feature at a time. Choosing people with different hair styles helps alot!

So now I am at 23 people and tomorrow I am going to sketch at Fairview Pointe-Claire for around 1:00 pm or a little earlier if I can. Can you guess the answer to the riddle?

Paper: Bockingford 30″x 22″ folded 7.5″ x 5.5″
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Pyrrol Scarlet, Raw Sienna, B. Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

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:: #OneWeek100People2018 ::

What has roots that nobody sees
is taller than trees,
up up it goes
and yet never grows?
— J.R. Tolkien in Bilbo the Hobbit

I really juggled with the idea of participating in the #OneWeekOneHundredPeople Challenge by Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steele. Some of the reasons why I am reticent is that first I have tons of correcting to do and I wonder how I will find the time to draw 100 people. Also, drawing people is intimidating for me, and I lack practice so I thought what better way than to practice this skill? I did have to muster up my courage though.

So after having thought about it for awhile, I decided that for my first day I would find a photograph on the net of people sitting in a café where there would already be 20 people there. So one painting, 20 people, instead of several small paintings… yeah! A kind of a warm-up exercise.

A few months ago I had folded a huge 30″x22″ Bockingford 140 lbs sheet the way that Cathy Johnson teaches it on YouTube. If you would like to see how she does this, it is quite simple in reality and gratifying too! You can view it here. So this is the sketchbook that I am using today to fill with my 100 people -)))

So this is a warmup exercise as tomorrow I will be in Montreal and I might not find the time… so this means that on Wednesday I’ll do 40! On Wednesday I am planning on going in the afternoon in the mall at Fairview Pointe-Claire. So if some of you would like to join me, I will be there, sketching away.

Paper: Bockingford 30″x22″ folded 7.5″ x 5.5″
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Cobalt Blue, B. Sienna, Mineral Violet

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:: Death of a lady’s man ::

Take the word butterfly. To use this word it is not necessary to make the voice weigh less than an ounce or equip it with small dusty wings. It is not necessary to invent a sunny day or a field of daffodils. It is not necessary to be in love, or to be in love with butterflies. The word butterfly is not a real butterfly. There is the word and there is the butterfly. If you confuse these two items people have the right to laugh at you. Do not make so much of the word. Are you trying to suggest that you love butterflies more perfectly than anyone else, or really understand their nature? The word butterfly is merely data. It is not an opportunity for you to hover, soar, befriend flowers, symbolize beauty and frailty, or in any way impersonate a butterfly. Do not act out words. Never act out words.
— Death of a Lady’s Man by Leonard Cohen

Today I am in a Rectify Soundtrack, seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 type of mood on Spotify. I love love love Johnny Cash and the soundtrack is eclectic and moody. I have often painted this scene which is situated in St-Clet and it is called Sinagri Sec on rue Du Moulin. I seem to like grungy scenes, backyards are so much more interesting than front yards… and the artist in me wishes that I could have access to all backyards near me… funny how people maintain the front and not the back, huh, just sayin’…

These three paintbrushes are my favourite ones, and not the most expensive ones I might add. The one on the right is from Rosemary & Co Sable blend SER 401 which comes from Manchester, England from last year’s trip to England. The second one was a gift from a friend that travelled to the Picasso Museum in Malaga and has not left my side since. The third one on the bottom left is a daVinci Casaneo #489 mop which can soak up an incredible amount of water, so this one was very good for the sky wash in the background.

I have painted this scene a few times and you can see it here.

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook #22 8″x8″
Watercolours: DS Q. Gold, DS Raw Sienna, DS Cerulean Chromium, MG Mineral Violet & WN Burnt Sienna
Location: Sinagri Sec on rue Du Moulin in St-Clet, Québec, Canada

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:: Smile ::

Smile tho’ your heart is aching
Smile even tho’ it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You’ll get by
     If you smile
Thro’ your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shin-ing thro’ for you
     Light up your face with gladness
Hide ev-‘ry trace of sadness
Altho’ a tear may be ever so near
     That’s the time
You must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worth-while
     If you just smile
— Nat King Cole

Here in Rigaud the temperature is -25C and the birds are in a frenzy at my feeders. If you are staying inside today, as am I, there is some good reading to do, or cooking, painting, drawing or simply puttering around doing miscellaneous stuff and on Sundays, this is “the” perfect day to do this! So have a wonderful dominical day while I am listening to “Smile” by Nat King Cole -)

Yesterday my black & white drawing of the head of a cactus got viewed as a potential spider and I decided that today I would add some watercolours so that it looked more like itself. I used a mix of two colours only to achieve these hues. These two colours combined together on this type of paper almost appear velvety, don’t you think?

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Watercolours: Q. Gold & Cerulean Chromium Blue
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Have a Wonderful New Year ::

“To be nobody-but-yourself
— in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
— means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”
by E. E. Cummings

By this first of January 2018, I wish you all Health, love, wisdom & a very long life!

My dear departed father would have loved to see this painting of our Scottish family’s coat of arms. I tried replicating the colours as documented in the Rietstap Armorial General where the original description of the arms (shield) is as follows:

“Ar. Three roebucks’ heads couped Az. collared or, a bell pendent from each collar.” When translated the blazon also describes the original colours of the Hannah arms as: “Silver and charged with three blue roebucks’ heads, severed from their bodies and wearing gold collars from which a bell is hanging.” Above the shield and helmet is the crest which is described as: “A black cross, three branches of which terminate in crosslets and the other (lower) branch of which is sharpened to a point, issuing out of a black crescent.”

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook #22
Colours: Q. Gold, Cobalt Blue, B. Sienna
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Paroles de Migwetch ::

Si la vie était dure je jure
que je ne l’ai jamais su
Je n’ai de regret que celui de mon âge
et ce jeune cœur de moi est intact
Le mal qu’on m’a fait est écrit dans le sable
et le bien est gravé dans le roc
Souffle ce vent de haine
ma peau est feuille de chêne
Je suis si seule parfois
parfois si souvent
souvent toujours
Je ne serai plus l’architecte des nuages
ni de vos existences
Vos beaux yeux noirs déposés sur mon visage
comme une récompense
J’irai rejoindre sous la feuille
mon bien-aimé
si doux celui
qu’un jour m’a dit
Pour toute la vie
— Richard Desjardins, partie de la chanson Paroles de Migwetch

I went to visit my 92 year old Mom today and as usual she was in very good spirits. She seems to have adjusted very well to her new residence on Dufferin Street in Valleyfield and enjoys the company of her girlfriends. She keeps telling me that she has a 19-year old boyfriend — always laughing out loud as she tells me… and I almost faint every time that she says so! Of course this is a joke! This painting is on the backstreet to where I lived for 9 years with my young husband… very good memories of those days gone by…

When I scan my paintings it (Epson) seems to dull the colours a bit and I always want to have the scan look as much as possible to the real painting. So the steps that I take in Photoshop are the following.
a) I scan at 300 dpi for my high resolution image;
b) I then do –> auto tone –>auto contrast –> auto color” which gives me good results, even though the colours become too vibrant
c) I then open –> Layer –> New adjustment layer –> Levels and then I move the mid-adjustment gamma to 1.15 instead of the mid value of 1.0
d) I also open –> Layer –> Color Balance- -> where I put the yellow slider to +0.15 and the red slider to +0.15. This combination seems to work well for most paintings that I do, except for the black and white ones of course.
d) I save my image –>international date.paint subject.myname.jpg
e) I flatten the image and then resize the resolution to 100 dpi;
f) I save again adding –>loRes add the end of the filename and this is the one that I post.

I am listening to the music of Rectify on Spotify, a TV show that still resonates with me!

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Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8″ #22
Watercolours: DS Q. Gold, DS Pyrrol Crimson, MG Ultramarine, DS Raw Sienna, WN Burnt Sienna
Fountain Pen: Platinum Carbon Desk
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Reference photograph taken in Valleyfield

 

:: A long sigh ::

IN AND OUT
The dog searches until he finds me upstairs,
lies down with a clatter of elbows,
puts his head on my foot.

Sometimes the sound of his breathing saves my life
— in and out, in 
and out;
a pause, a long sigh….

Tuesday was my last day of classes, Wednesday I started correcting, today we had our last department meeting of the semester and tomorrow I am still correcting… however, I feel free and that I can start breathing again. Cegep teaching is a weird field, as you are juggling with over 100 students, preparing your courses, correcting your students and of course teaching… I calculated once that I was  correcting over 2000 times per semester… something that I am not overjoyed to know! and on top of that dealing with administrative requirements, deadlines, dealing with software issues and all of these young beautiful people that are dealing with their own issues on top of that… lahdiladah! Can you tell that I am “very” happy to be done? So here is a small flowerpot that I have in my house that I just painted to commemorate all of this! Yeah!!!

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook Watercolour
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Q. Rose & Cerulean Chromium
Painted in Rigaud, Quebec, Canada
janehannah.com
#sketchbook #watercolour #flowerpot #painting

:: The way through the woods ::

— SOLD —

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago. 
Weather and rain have undone it again, 
And now you would never know 
There was once a road through the woods 
Before they planted the trees. 
It is underneath the coppice and heath, 
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees 
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease, 
There was once a road through the woods.Yet, if you enter the woods 
Of a summer evening late, 
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools 
Where the otter whistles his mate, 
(They fear not men in the woods, 
Because they see so few.) 
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet, 
And the swish of a skirt in the dew, 
Steadily cantering through 
The misty solitudes, 
As though they perfectly knew 
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
— Rudyard Kipling

Winter has finally arrived and I greet it with a mixture of trepidation and awe as I actually enjoy all of our four seasons here in Québec. This weekend will be a busy one as I have student projects to correct, I am thrilled to be part of the Square Foot Art Exhibition on Saturday from 11:00 to 4:00 pm and I do hope to see some of you there. This is one of the paintings that will be on exhibit. Hope that you enjoy it.

As some of you already know, I love trees. I painted this majestic white pine two weekends ago while autumn was still in bloom right here in Rigaud. Does this poem bring you back to childhood?

Paper: Fluid 100 12″ x 12″
Watercolours: MG yellow, B. Sienna, B. Umber, Ultramarine, P. Scarlet
#squarefootexhibition2017

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:: Inktober 22 Trail ::

(Sung by Munchkins)
Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road
Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow-brick road
Follow the yellow-brick, follow the yellow-brick
Follow the yellow-brick road

You’re off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
You’ll find he is a Whiz of a Wiz is ever a Wiz there was
If ever, oh ever, a Wiz there was the Wizard of Oz is one because
Because, because, because, because, because
Because of the wonderful things he does
You’re off to see the wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!
—  L. Frank Baum

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Paper: Sketchbook #21 Handbook field watercolour journal 6″x6″
Ink: Dr.Ph.Martin’s Black Matte
Watercolours: Q. Gold
Location: Rigaud from my imagination
#inktober2017, #inktober,  22 trail theme

:: Inktober 21 Furious ::

Over the misty mountains cold
Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To seek our pale enchanted gold.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

I toggled between the idea of a furious bull or a furious dragon… and the dragon won. Beautiful day here in Rigaud, need to get out in the sunshine -)

Paper: Sketchbook #21 Handbook field watercolour journal 6″x6″
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black Ink
Fountain Pen: Carbon Pen
Watercolours: DS Pyrrol Scarlet, DS Q. Gold, WN Indanthrone, WN B. Sienna
Location: Rigaud from my imagination
#inktober2017, #inktober,  21 furious theme

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:: Inktober 20 Deep::

What has roots as nobody sees,
is taller than trees,
up up it goes,
and yet never grows?
— J.R.R. Tolkien

Roots run deep and studies are showing that trees have a very intricate communicating system with their own. So happy to hear this -)

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Paper: Sketchbook #21 Handbook field watercolour journal 6″x6″
Ink: Dr.Ph”Martin’s Black Star Matte & Pen-White
Watercolours: DS Cerulean Blue Chromium & W&N Burnt Sienna
Location: Rigaud from my imagination

:: Inktober 10 Gigantic ::

“The emotions have … their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic.”
— Henry Beston

For this gigantic theme, I had quite a few ideas… a gigantic meteorite coming towards Earth (I thought too close to our current fears), then had this idea of a giant pumkpin sitting somewhere in the dark. I chose this idea because I still wanted to test out a bit more the effects of Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White and also to try out my new Black Star Matte ink colours… and wow! Usually black leaves streaks of grey, but not this one. It is dense, opaque, non streaking and can be diluted with water too. The grey sky colour is a mix of the Black Star colour with the Pen-White colour and this one did streak, but still good as the white is very opaque too. I am glad with these experiments today.

Paper: Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook #20
Pen: Platinum Carbon Desk Fountain Pen
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black Ink & Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White & Black Star Matte
Watercolour: DS B. Orange
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada from my imagination
#Inktober2017 #10 Gigantic Theme.
#ink #watercolour #painting #inktober

 

:: Inktober 9 screech theme : The invisible driver ::

The creative process helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Creativity retrains you to accomplish just for the self instead of others.
— Debbie Mandel

The screech theme, so many options available. I thought first that I could draw an owl in full flight screeching at its victim. Then I thought of someone screaming at someone. Then I thought of a car screeching past me… and that was it!

This Inktober challenge is a great challenge and at the same time so needed. It is forcing me to discover ideas and how to plan without having the “real” thing in front of me, something that I have been relying on in past years, then changing and playing with different mediums. In watercolour, when it comes to adding white the choices are always very difficult as when I add Titanium White it fades by 30%, never stays at 100% opacity. Then I tried white gouache and it pretty much did the same thing. Lo and behold, today I bought Dr. Ph Martin’s Pen-White ink and wow, it does not dilute on the paper and stays at 100%…. yeahhhh! Where this ink is the thickest, it takes awhile to dry (it is still drying at the moment, so this is why I took a picture of my painting instead of scanning it in) and I can use it with my paintbrushes and it is water soluble… can I ask for more? No!

I also discovered a new app for my iPhone which works very well for taking pictures, cost me $3.99 and it takes really nice night pictures. It is called Camera+ and when you are taking the picture, there is a grid that appears to keep things straight, which is very helpful.

Paper: Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook #20
Pen: Platinum Carbon Desk Fountain Pen
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black Ink & Dr Ph. Martin’s Pen-White
Colours: DS Pyrrol Scarlet, DS Cerulean Chromium & DS Raw Sienna
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada from a reference photo
#Inktober2017 9 Screech Theme.
#ink #watercolour #watercolor #painting #inktober

http://www.janehannah.com