Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009 - bistro

This image is based on a photograph I took while in Paris. I just love images of their shops, cafes and restaurants. They are always so lovely and so French. I was going to change the name of the restaurant in my watercolour but thought better of it; "Gaspard de la Nuit" just works. I cracked open more new paper and again it's Hahnemuhle. Love it. This is from the matt block. Why don't we have these papers here?

Pleased with this picture. I also used some of my new pans of colour from Germany although I'm afraid the green is one I have already. Oh well. Can't have too much green.

Feel so pleased with myself that I got a picture done today. I have been worrying lately about employment and such but I read a brief thing in a magazine at the library that called my situation "funemployed" - when you have the time to do what you wanted to do and to enjoy it. I've got to start enjoying this time more and trying not to worry. Painting is ever so calming...

I am closer to making this a sideline, though. I've got most of my watercolours scanned and I'm going to try hocking them on a stock illustration website. Wish me luck.

October 30, 2009 - desk

Still trying out my new pencils and my new paper from Germany. First time I cracked open any of the paper that I bought there. This is a rough Hahnemuhle (I've used their paper for photography and it's excellent but have never seen it here in Toronto for watercolour). I never usually have rough paper so it's a bit of an experiment. The image is from a French magazine featuring reproduction furniture. Not entirely happy with it but I like the experiment.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Paris market scene

This is from a photo at the Marche des enfants rouges. We went there on Sunday. It was the second market that we had attended that day. It is one of the few covered markets in Paris in a lovely neighbourhood. The ones near us takes up the middle of the street for blocks and blocks. We didn't buy much except a roasted chicken for dinner that night. It's just really something to watch people and to see how food is displayed. Some market traders go to huge trouble to display their goods in elaborate arrangements. Not something I would want to do so early in the morning.

Berlin shops

Saw something similar to this while walking around our first day in Berlin. We stayed in Prenzlauerberg which has all sorts of quirky shops and cafes. Many of the shops have vintage clothes or furniture and knick knacks from the cold war era (our neighbourhood was once divided by the wall, part of it remains across the street from where we were staying).

Parisian pastries - Macarons!

Everytime I had been to Paris, I still never managed to have a macaron. Can't believe that. I've seen them here but they are also really expensive. So my first was from our local bakery and raspberry flavoured. They come in all sorts of flavours and are lovely pastel colours. But they are also so yummy. If you haven't had one, they are basically pure sugar and meringue so just one goes a long way but people tend to get a bag of them. Since I also got a fraise pastry at the same time, one was more than enough. I did sneak it in before dinner, though.

Berlin this time - cafe chairs with blankets

So many lovely cafes in Berlin especially in our neighbourhood and so many of them have cosy seats and blankets to keep you warm. This one had brightly coloured blankets. So tempting to stop at all of them for a hot chocolate.

Paris market

Another Parisian market scene - a dog riding in its owner's basket shopping cart. Not so pleased with this, just a quick sketch but I still have to include the ones that I don't necessarily like along with the ones that I do.

First up - image of herbs from a French market

This was actually inspired by an image of markets in Paris. This is the first tryout of my new watercolour pencils. Love them so far!

Paris and Berlin travels - art supply replenishing

Okay, I haven't been keeping up as I should but I was away nearly two weeks. However, I did manage to do a few watercolours while away. I kept meaning to while we were in Paris but we did go for walks at night and just something kept getting in the way of me sitting down. My husband went off one morning in the hopes that I would go out painting down by the canal near us but it was freezing that day! I couldn't imagine sitting on the concrete or even being able to use my fingers after a while so I went further up the canal from Bastille to Saint Martin to take pictures instead. I can always use those images later to inspire watercolours.

Anyway, it wasn't until Berlin that I started. My first stop upon landing was the art supply store Boesner's which had a location nearby. Perfect! It was enormous. I got paper I couldn't get here (didn't open it yet). I got watercolour pencils (set of 48) and watercolour pans all by manufacturers that don't sell here. Fabulous. So I was inspired when I got back that night to use them. Nearly had a bit of a meltdown when they didn't take non-German credit cards but hubby pulled through and loaned me the money. It was so nice to spend evenings that way. We had a tv but only German channels. So hubby was on the i-touch surfing the net or reading and I was painting. Lovely.

So first picture up - the loot from the store and the store itself (very cheap coffee there - 50 cents!).