Composition- Provence or the Blue Ridge?!!

I am thinking it’s the blue ridge. I love the views from the tops of the mountains with the towns snuggled in the bottom around a lake.

I think this paintings done. Going to sleep on it to be sure.

12×17″ arches 280 cp Cheap Joe’s American Journey paint.

Paint along with Vladislav Yesileyev

I took a class with Vlad Yesileyev on composition today.

Fascinating and educational as usual.

He said composition is THE most important thing in a drawing.

Typically you divide a drawing into thirds vertically and horizontally. And where they cross is your focal point. It’s the place where you should put the greatest contrast in your painting with less detail in the other areas.

MINIMIZE anything not in your focal point. And if you don’t like your value sketch then don’t start painting.

I highly recommend that class. He’s just THE best teacher. Willing to answer any question and stay as late as necessary to help if needed. He explains everything so well leaving no detail unexplained as to why he’s doing what he’s doing. And if you don’t understand he will patiently explain it again.

And he has a GREAT russian accent and a GREAT sensenofnhumor.

The drawing

First wash. I managed NOT ago sticky my fingers in the sky or blot it. My two fav things to do to mess up My sky wash. Yellow Ochre cobalt alizarin and neutral tint

Finishing first wash using the same colors

Adding trees. I can finally do lacy dry brush trees. Well more or less.

Still using the same colors and some burnt sienna and burnt umber and indigo for the dark greens.

Teacher critique. Too much splatter and pines too Lacey. Oops. Easy fix.

Can I whine but I like splattering. You should see the tv I watch the zoom on. Covered w specks of paint.

and yes he was right. Too much splattering of flowers in the foreground.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for his paintalongs and his classes. You will be glad you did.

Day 158 Update

The Finger Lakes Upstate NY

Fabriano 300# rough 15×22″Paint alongs with Vladislav Yesileyev

Done. I lost a lot of whites and can be almost impossible to get back.

Had fun drawing white lines on it with my white pentel gel pen. It easily lays down a really white covering line. If it’s not getting entered in a Watercolor Show doesn’t matter if it’s gouache or gel pen does it?! Yesterday. I added ALOT OF DARKS today and tried to finish the water. A few more windows and darker ones bigger shadows more shadows. Greyes the power pole down. Built a fence and a dock well sort of.

Somewhere in Paris
Fabriano 300# rough 15×22″

Done

Added more darks and some whites with my white pentel gel pen. The darks really make both of the paintings pop don’t you think!??

I think when it comes down to it I just like to draw with something. A pen is good a crayons works so does a dark juicy pencil.

Fabulous clouds tonite.

Margaret xoxoxo

Day 136 Giverny

Pronouncing this one done. I added lines to the sidewalk and stone effect. A few whites with Gouache. More reds on the taillights for sparkle. More black lines. Adding details here and there to improve contrast.

Paint along with Vladislav Yesileyev1/4 sheet Fabriano rough press. Lucas wc paint which I think gives a cloudy effect.

Last time. Can you tell the difference???

I am told this looks just like Giverny. When we were in France we didn’t go because it was closed. Closes in Nov I think.

But we went to Auvers where Van Gogh painted his last 6 months and finally died. It still looks just like it did when he lived there.

Do you know if you had gone to Van Gogh funeral you could have taken home one of his paintings.

I painted this during a five hour long class with Vlad on drawing cars which I draw a lot and people ditto that. He always brings something new and fresh to the table that you have never thought of.

Margaret xoxoxo tucking into my Ina Garten Bianca pizza.

Day 121 Sweetwater Lilies

Day lilies abound in the western North Carolina mountains. I don’t think there is a more gorgeous spot than there.

Watercolor pencil in my stillman and birn Alpha.

Wildflowers everywhere.

A sweet cabin on a trout stream.

Wild lace cap hydrangeas line the riverbanks the road and the hiking trails.

Down the hill path is the largest waterfall on our property on the Thompson River.

Tall Falls

Margaret ready to do nothing xoxoxo

Day 120 The View from where

I sit. Lamy Ef and Namiki Fude. Trying out different effects that the Fude can do. Lots of smudging.

Meant to post yesterday but completely forgot while packing to go to the cabin. This is the story of the black snake. He’s in the Apple tree in the foreground. Slithered off the porch where I am all the way over to the tree in a half an hour or so.

Out my back window with pencil. One of those cheap pencils u can get in a box of 12 at staples.

Stillman and Birn Alpha. Xoxoxo

The view from where I sat and drew today. You can rent it on VRBO Sweetwater Flyfishing camp. Bytw my son and grandson pulled five trout out of the river in a half an hour today. One was a foot long rainbow. Yummm.

One of six waterfalls at Sweet Water. This is at the fishing and swimming pool. The rest are big ones.

Margaret xoxoxo

Day 44 A Day in Provence with Vlad

Did a paint along with Vlad Yesilesev today. He will be doing some more. Think it’s a great format that lets what he says sink in. And you get a copy of the class to download. Some dummy didn’t get that 911. They expire after a couple of days. OPPPSEY. I Will do it this time. Using a 2B mechanical pencil we all do a value sketch under his tutelage. Lots of squinting.

Light washes of yellow ochre cobalt and dioxzine and alizarin.

First wash. Oopsey. Always leave holidays and then duh go back and repaint. That does NOT work on damp watercolor. You get blooms.

And opps forgot to take more photos duh. Next time.

Hugs Margaret. Xoxoxoxo

Day 33 Never

Eat a large chocolate bar. It will keep you up most of the night. But oh was it good.

I took another photo of The Farm using my Ott light to light it up. Much more accurate photo. Can’t wait til Saturday for the next class.

Drawing with Koosje. A corner of the living room really my den.

Lamy Stillman and Birn Alpha.

We drew masks with Danny at noon. Now we have to pick one out and make a paper bag mask.

I had to write down what I thought they were saying. That was fun. Can you find the Covid monster?! Lamy Safari Stillman and Birn Alpha. Only five spreads left but I got a new one from Amazon. Hurrah.

Sweet Ilaina. Missing my painting peeps.

Digging around for my 140 # rough press Fabriano I found this. Always liked it. Still have the photo to finish it. Full sheet on Waterman cold press I think.

Got some decent pics of the Downy that hit the window this am. So pretty.

Not sure what he is but cute. A sparrow?! Where’s the bird book?!

Loves this female cardinal on the thistle feeder. Adoreable.

Distancing in SC

Margaret ready for bed despite my excellent afternoon nap while watching Mary Berry at Highclere Castle on YouTube. Zzzz

Xoxoxox😘

Margaret xoxoxo

Day 1088 A recap

Thought you might like to see the order of the sketchbook so far. Still at least one more sketch to paint which will go here in the order. Painted on Kilimanjaro with Ted Nuttalls Transparent colors or Charles Reid Palette. Pen Lamy Safari loaded with Noodler Black. 

Seemed like and especially good idea to me 

Since the upstairs AC was dripping water thru the ceiling  and it’s turned off. 

So I “slept” on the den sofa 

But mostly tossed and turned 

Getting just a few hours of sleep. 

AC fixed. Nap time now. Enjoy. Margaret xoxoxox worn out. 

Day 1087 Sweetwater Fly Fishing Camp


The Cabin sits on the Thompson River one of the best wild  trout rivers in North Carolina and it’s one of the few places there is access to it.  The property is surrounded by Nantahala National Forrest so the only access to the Thompson at the fish camp. 

The rhidodendrons were in full bloom last week as was the wild flower meadow. Gorgeous setting.  The shed is a picnic shed with adirondack chairs and a fire pit over looking the river. 

Ttyl Margaret heading home today xoxoxo I mean we have to watch GOT tonite right?! 

Day 183 Sweetwater Fly Fishing Camp page 

The title page is done. Not to sure about that rainbow trout but that seems par for every page I am doing lately. Lol. 


Earlier this week. How many more pages to paint?! Two or three. 

I don’t know if I said but this is a copy of a sketch I did for their guest book. Only that one is just in black and white. 

Bytw the water was painted with my #2 Isabey mop. Drawing with my Lamy Safari on Kilimanjaro cold press #140 paper.  

Back to sneezing. 

Margaret xoxoxo