Commission

Commission: an order for something, especially a work of art, to be produced specially. I wanted to explain the steps that I go through when I receive a commission from a client. For this example I am working from a reference photograph. I also wanted to mention that I never post a client’s final painting as that painting does not belong to me anymore… it is theirs -)))

1. Composition Sketch: the first step that I take is to figure out the composition… I think and sketch about the various elements for the painting and where to place them… will I add a tree there or keep the houses in the background? Usually I create three of these.
2. Tonal Value Sketch: I then pick the best composition, and figure out the main highlights and tonal values of the sketch and pick one colour (usually Payne’s grey) and apply three values to a rough sketch. The one colour is applied at difference intensity levels (75%, 40% and 15%). This is the sketch that I am showing you today. I must add that I will do the compositional sketch right after this, as I have not yet figured out if I will leave the houses as they are in the photograph or put trees instead…
3. Small sketch in colour: In a sketchbook, in a much smaller size than the real size, I then “try out” a rough coloured version of the painting and see where that brings me. I might have to do two of these. This is where I choose my triads.
4. Real size sketch in pencil: Once that I am satisfied with my small sketch, I move on to a very high quality paper and draw everything at the client’s required size with a #7B pencil (quite soft lead so that it does not scratch the watercolour paper as this may create gutters and lines in the watercolour).
5. Real size sketch in ink: Then I go over the pencil lines with ink (if necessary or required).
6. Final version of the painting. Voilà! In the hopes that it is to my liking, as I am “the” most difficult person to please -)
_______________

Pour ce blogue je voulais expliquer les étapes que je fais quand je reçois une commande d’un client. Pour cet exemple, je travaille d’une photographie de référence que la cliente m’a envoyée.

1. Croquis de composition: la première chose que je dessine sont des “thumbnails” ou des tout petits croquis de composition. Est-ce que je vais garder les maisons à l’arrière ou est-ce que je vais les enlever et mettre des arbres au lieu? Est-ce que je vais mettre l’horizon au centre ou plus haut ou plus bas?
2. Valeurs de tons: Ensuite je fais une étude de valeurs de tons. J’utilise pour ceci qu’une couleur avec trois intensités différentes (à peu près 15%, 40% et 75) pour démontrer les tons clairs, sombres et moyens.
3. Sketchbook: Je fais un croquis dans un “sketchbook” en couleurs et c’est là que je choisis mon triade de couleurs… des fois je peux en faire 2 ou 3 de ces croquis.
4. Grandeur réelle: papier aquarelle d’une très grande qualité (Saunders Waterford 140 lbs CP) et je la coupe à la grandeure désirée, dans ce cas, 11″x14″, et je dessine au crayon #7B (un crayon gras pour ne pas abimer le papier).
5. Encre: Après je retrace avec une plume fontaine remplie d’encre (si nécessaire ou désiré).
6. Peinture finale: peindre la peinture finale en espérant qu’elle soit à mon goût car je suis la personne la plus “critique” de mes peintures. Des fois je dois refaire 2 fois…

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10 – 5″ x 8″
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Pen: Twisbi Classic EF
Colour: W&N Payne’s Grey

20140111_100ppi_Hilary

Advertisements

“Pick me, pick me!” said the crutch… — «Choisis-moi» a dit la béquille

It seems as though I have painted or drawn everything that there is to draw in my house and as my eyes were perusing my environment this morning, they fell upon my crutch that has  stoically been with me for two months now… always there, always ready to do the job. It cried out: “Pick me, pick me!” and lo and behold I realized that I had never painted it even though it has been a big part of my life for awhile now. So here it is.

If you feel like joining me tomorrow Sunday April 28th, the Urban Sketchers of Montreal are gathering at the Atwater Market for 10:00 am… they are announcing plenty of sunshine, so it should be perfect for sketching. Here is the LINK and information.

Il me semble que j’ai peint ou dessiné tout ce qu’il y a à dessiner dans ma maison…. jusqu’à ce matin, quand mes yeux se sont reposés sur ma béquille. La béquille qui me suit depuis deux mois, qui est toujours là disponible et fiable. Elle m’a criée du bout du salon: “Choisis-moi, choisis-moi” a dit la béquille. Donc la voici!

Demain matin, dimanche le 28 avril, les Sketchers urbains de Montréal se regroupent au Marché Atwater pour 10 heures. Si ça vous tente ou chante, venez-nous rejoindre. Voici le LIEN et l’information nécessaire.

20130427_crutch

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

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

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

Pyper’s Collar

This painting was done in a Moleskine Sketchbook… this paper is not a watercolour paper as it probably has many coats of glazing and is meant for sketching with pen or pencil… and when watercolour is applied to it, it “beads” or “pearls” down… which I really like. It has a grungy feeling as the paper does not absorb the paint, and lets it run down. If we want the paper to absorb the paint, we must “scrub” it in, which is entirely different from painting with watercolour paper. Anyway, I hope that you can at least recognize that this is my dog’s collar? On a foot stool? In a freestyle way… at least for moi?

Les couleurs que j’ai utilisées sont Bleu Cobalt, Burnt Sienna et New Gambodge.

Irish Elk :: Wapiti géant

I drew this yesterday at the Redpath Museum and then had the time to paint it today (I took a photograph to remember its colours). The Irish Elk, also known as the Giant Deer or Megaloceros giganteus, was a giant of the last ice age, about 10,500 years ago. It stood 7 feet (2.1 meters) at the shoulder. Adult males had massive antlers that spanned 12 feet (3.7 meters) and weighed up to 88 pounds (40 kilos), as per National Geographic. I painted using French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Aureolin in a Larolan Sketchbook, 5.5″ x 8.5″. This is a wonderful paper to paint on.

Voici un géant wapiti vivant au moment de la dernière ère glaciale, il y a environ 10,500 ans. Ce géant mesurait 7 pieds (2.1 mètres) à l’épaule et les ramures s’étendaient à 12 pieds (3.7 mètres) de large et le wapiti pesait environ 88 livres (40 kilos). C’est surprenant qu’un si gros animal soit si peu pesant.

Boulangerie Paradis Neighbour

I am in awe…. I have started painting in a new stechbook which is handmade by Larolan in Sintra, Portugal. It cost me 28$ (Cdn) including the shipping, and it is wonderful (no import fees). The watercolour glides on the paper and the paper stays flat, even if I put alot of water. This has to be one of the best papers that I have ever painted on (it is very close to the Stillman & Birn paper). I am ordering 2 more today. For this painting I used two main colours, Payne’s Grey and New Gambodge with just a bit of Burnt Umber (for the tree trunks). Payne’s Grey is an autumnal colour in my view as it has alot of intensity and can be diluted to a very weak blue to a very strong dark blue, and I think that it will be good for the upcoming winter season that we are looking forward to.

This house is next door to la Boulangerie Paradis which resides on St. Jean-Baptiste street in Rigaud, which is the main commercial street that saw the first telephone poles coming up in 1911, the first telephone in 1901 and the first oil lamps were hung on street wires in 1892.

Cette maison est juste à côté de la Boulangerie Paradis, rue St-Jean-Baptiste à Rigaud. Cette rue est l’artère commerciale de la ville depuis bien longtemps.  Je me suis achetée un nouveau carnet d’aquarelle de Sintra au Portugal et le papier est merveilleux. L’aquarelle glisse et danse et le paper ne courbe pas. Je m’en commande trois autres aujourd’hui.

Paper: Larolan
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton / Daniel Smith
Fountain Pan: Carbon Pen with Carbon Ink

Last Train from Rigaud :: Dernier train de Rigaud

On February 14, 1890 the last train rail is finally installed in Rigaud. The train is ready to run. The locomotive 333 from the “Grand Tronc” is heard for the first time by the locals and a huge inauguration is organized where 2000 pilgrims gather to admire the 20 cars that are pulled by two locomotives.

On June 30th, 2010 at 6:40 a.m. the train left Rigaud for the last time as the municipality deemed that it was too expensive to keep it running… what a loss. This is the train station, before… & after…

Au mois de février 1890, plus précisément le 14, le dernier rail est finalement installé à Rigaud et ceci inaugure le début d’une ère nouvelle — il y aura un train à Rigaud. 2000 pèlerins viennent admirer les 20 wagons tirés par deux locomotives… il est dit qu’il y avait 5000 personnes qui sont venues voir ce spectacle en cette journée.

Le 30 juin 2010, le train part à 6h40 pour la dernière fois en direction de Montréal. La municipalité de Rigaud estime que les coûts sont trop onéreux pour continuer ce service. Quelle tristesse. Voici la gare maintenant… et avant…

Paper: Stillman & Birn, Beta Series, 140 lbs
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton Artist Series + Daniel Smith
Ink: Black Carbon Ink with Carbon Ink Fountain Pen, Extra Fine

The Sugar Candied Home :: La maison en pain de sucre

This is Louise’s house, one of my very dear friends, and where my Golden Retriever Pyper stays when I have to be away for longer periods. This is his second home, he has been going there since he was 8 weeks old.

For this painting I sticked to three main colours for this painting. Winsor Red, Aureolin Yellow and Cobalt Blue with a tad of Winsor Green. Why do I only use three primary colours for the whole painting? Imagine that I used 3 colours on the left hand side, and another 3 colours for the right hand side… the painting would appear divided, broken in two.

Many of my friends tell me that they do not know what to say on my blog–and I think that this is quite common, as to become an art critic is not for everyone. Suffice to say that just mentioning: “I really like the trees and the way that you drew them” or asking a question “what happens when you stick to three main colours?” or something like that is quite sufficient… and it is a very good start. Once you have started commenting, then the next time, you will try to find another way of saying things… you will only excel at commenting with practice — that is all. So please try and comment, I am quite open to your suggestions, views and different ways of seeing my paintings.

Cette peinture a été peinte avec du Winsor RedAureolin Yellow et Cobalt Blue avec un peu de Winsor Green. Ceci aide les mélanges de couleur à rester en harmonie et soutiennent toute la peinture. Imaginez que le côté gauche aurait été peint avec 3 couleurs, et le côté droit aurait été peint avec 3 autres couleurs. Il y aurait eu une disjonction, une brisure, une division dans la peinture.

Souvent les gens me disent qu’ils ne savent pas quoi me dire sur mon blog. C’est normal, car devenir un critique d’art ne se fait pas du jour au lendemain… ça prend de la pratique. Donc une de mes suggestions est de vous inviter à commencer. Vous pourriez commenter de cette façon: “J’aime bien la façon que tu as dessiné l’arbre à gauche” tout simplement…. ou vous pourriez me demander une question: “Pourquoi est-ce si important de rester avec les mêmes trois couleurs primaires?” Et un petit commentaire à la fois, vous allez développer une façon de dire les choses. Vous allez vouloir changer la façon aussi de dire ou de commenter et c’est là que le vocabulaire va s’agrandir. Aussi, vous allez commencer à regarder d’une autre façon, car si vous commentez, vous allez regarder avec votre commentaire en tête. C’est aussi simple que ça!

Watercolours: Winsor & Newton Artist watercolours
Paper: Stillman & Birn, Beta Series 140 lbs
Drawing Ink: Carbon Ink Fountain Pen with black Carbon Ink