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.

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 171 The Louvre – After the Rain

The painting so far. Still a lot more to do like add the darks in the sky that I lost.

Cadaques finished. Almost forgot I finished this one.

More tomorrow. One should not deep clean the downstairs before a paint along. Do tomorrow I will clean some more and finish the painting. The finishing shouldn’t too take long. Just darken the sky in places and maybe the street.

Margaret too tired to move. Xoxox

Day 144 Paris Barges

Nothing better than walking by the Seine in Paris passing the barges under the fabulous bridges, Pont Alexander, and by such landmarks as Les Invalides and my fav – le tour Eiffel aka the Eiffel Tower.

the picture

A wild paint with Vlad. I bet his wife, his manager, has to wear track shoes to chase him around.

The value sketch.

Seems I forgot to take a pic of my sketch. This is Vlads.

First wash. Almost done.

And the washes are piling up. Pointy brush w Paris grey to the Eiffel Tower and the Pont Alexander.

Sliding toward home. Pulling the masking off the boat lines and a few other whites I wanted to save.

Going to have to fix these lines now the masking gone. Can’t leave them stark white.

Lines

Looking better. Really need to work on softening my lines.

Calling it quits for tonite.

What a difference a few minutes makes in the sky.

Margaret Xoxoxox

Day 143 Paint brushes flew

300 lb Fabriano rough

Away to Dubrovnik Croatia with Vlad Yesilesev today. Great fun. Lots of mad painting. Vlad was funnier than usual today and he’s always funny. You really should join us.

The photo. Not much to look at as a photo is it?

The value sketch. Vlads. This is what we paint from.

The sketch

First wash. Yellow Ochre alizarin cobalt and card red orange rooftops. Not much paint at all.

Heading down the sidewalk. Sky cerulean cobalt neutral tint and whatever else Vlad decided to toss into the mix.

More washes. Darker ones.

Adding browns and dioxzine purple.

Trees cad yw cobalt ultramarine yellow ochre burnt sienna neutral tint.

And more darks. Scratching out lines. Think I might take some of the purple out of the wall but not til tomorrow.

Wildly painting lines with my sword brush which worked fine today skimming out electric lines without a problem.

Some splatters for crepe Myrtle tree flowers.

Margaret who needs a nap now. Xoxoxox

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 2119 Van Gogh did NOT commit suicide

Auvers Van Goghs Blue Church on the hill my version

But I knew that.

Auver from the Oise River Bridge. Ravouxs Auberge (Inn) where Van Gogh died on far left

This article based on a forensic analysis of his death says otherwise.

Van Goghs famous blue church

Of course I can’t get to my sketchbook and share a map of Auvers. It’s in Augusta and I am not.

Go on a Viking Seine River cruise in the winter and they will take you to Auvers since Monets Giverny near Normandy closes in October.

Margaret in Atlanta with the grandkids. Xoxoxox

Day 2074 Rue de Gros Horlage part deux

Been working on this all day today. Takes a while in between washes to dry.

Rue de Gros Horlage in Rouen Normandy France. Thinking maybe it’s done or close?! Now to stare at it a while. It will tell me one way or the other. rough 300# fabriano

adding more darks to windows and doors and people.

Wash on wash.

First wash

The sketch.

Now Officially too tahred to type more

Margaret staring at the painting

Day 2069 French cars

Took a photo of this small wagon in Rouen. I love old French cars and all the fabulous French doors.

Rue de Florence Rouen Normandy France

Why didnt I use the second one. Duh. I know redo time. Another sketch. Lol.

Twisbee pen Dartrementis document brown Ink hahnemuhle journal. Not liking the paper a lot. Charles Reid palette colors.

Margaret Xoxoxox who has one more Baldacci book to read before her Amos Decker binge is done. Xoxoxo

Day 1042 – Happy Memorial Day

Which somehow seems an odd thing to say when you are remembering the deaths of millions of young men in battles.

American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandie. 

The 73rd anniversary of the D Day Invasions is coming up June 6 so Memorial Day seems like a good time to revisit the invasion sites in Normandy and remember the many brave young men who died there so long ago. 

Bytw Rick Stevens visits all the places we want to in Normandie including Rouen the Norse capital and of course d Day sites. 

Arrowmanches les Bains, Normandy, France in the heart of the invasion zone.  

Last night I watched a Pbs show about a group of D Day survivors who returned to Allemanche and the landing beaches on the 75th Anniversary in 2014. They had not wanted to go do fear the French would reject them. 

The D-Day Landing map 

It was so touching to see how much the French of all ages opened their arms to the returning soldiers now extremely old men giving them many hugs and kisses and thanking them for giving them their freedom that they still enjoy 70 years later. In Normandy they still celebrate the arrival of the Allies every June 6 so that it will never be forgotten. 

 The Pegasus Bridge Commander, General Hill, and the US Divisions who were at Normandy

The one of the old men said they were not the Beatles but to the French of Normandy they were something better. Men who had fought and died to free the French. Such a touching show. 

 This is the Canadian WW2 Cemetery at Bien Sur Mer. A touching spot it’s a beautiful parklike  place where 70 years later everything is in pristine condition bushes trimmed gravestones scrubbed and flowers planted everywhere. 

The Canadian Museum at Juno Beach. Gleaming in the afternoon sunshine if viewed from the air it looks like a large maple leaf. The exhibits are all up to date state of the art interactive exhibits.  It sits on the bluff above the beaches and La Manche -the Arm- what the French call the English Channel. 

Pegasus Bridge. The spot where the Brits lead by Gen Hill parachuted into Caen, Normandy the DAY BEFORE the  D Day Invasions. And of course many died there. Some never touched the ground. One hung from the church tower acting like he was dead and lived to tell the story. Brave Man!!

This fascinating museum is shaped like one of the gliders they parachuted out of. 

Pock marked with bullet holes, Eglise de Ranville, the site of another allied cemetery, where even on a cold grey November day there were bright flowers marking the graves. This Ranville, Basse-Normandy, France claims to be the first village freed by the Allies in June 6 1944. 

Another Map of the D Day Invasion. 

The full spread from my sketchbook. 


And a journal page of a few other places we visited on our trip to Normandy to the D Day sites.  

Happy Memorial Day! 

Margaret xoxoxo whose going to listen to old WW 2 movies on TCM while she paints.  #usk #urbansketcher #traveljournal #watercolor #aquarelle #ink #strathmore #viking #strathmore500 #arrowmanches #normandy #normandie #normandietourisme #vikingcruises #PegasusBridge #bayeux #Ranville #beny-sur-mer #Rouen #omahabeach #junobeach #dday #alliedinvasion 

Day 726 – Almost two years. 


My Van Gogh Sunflowers 20×24 Acrylic For Sale 
Coming up on two years of daily posting on Day 730 or at least attempting to do that. 

One of the things I learned this year – if you are taking a Viking cruise up the Seine River the wifi is definitely UNdependable. Have to think about a cure for that next time we go. 
My friends and fellow artists say they have seen a lot of growth since I started this journey. I started out to do a month then 50 days then 90. It grew like topsy. 


Auvers sur L’Oise – Prints available Watercolor 8 x 11″ approximately 

I love Van Gogh. Ever since the Viking Cruise and a tour of Auvers where he died I have been thinking about painting sunflowers because I knew I could never afford a real Van Gogh. I had to paint my own another that mine is in his league!! 
This week was the week. I bought a bunch of sunflowers at Krogers and Costco to paint in my blue Shishir pot from Tire City Potters in Augusta.  

Colors used – Pthalo blue, cerulean, ultramarine blue, golden Green Gold and nickel Azo gold, hookers Green, cad yellow medium, cad yellow light, cad red light, burnt umber, titanium white. 
I had a lot of trouble with the yellows. They tend to be transparent which did not work well over the turquoise background. I finally found a tune of Golden Primary Yellow that I drew petals on straight out of the tube. The impasto ( thick) paint finally did the trick.