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Category: red ochre

Exploring the Luberon

Exploring the Luberon

First thing – Coffee!
This day is absolutely gorgeous!  Today we visited two of France’s Plus Beaux Village (most beautiful villages) of which there are 141.   Before we left the hotel, I demo one of my favorite ways to do quick on-the-go painting sketches.

Our first stop was Gordes where we found a wonderful place to stop to take photos.
Gordes is a very beautiful old village, perched on the southern edge of the high Plateau de Vaucluse. The stone buildings built in tight against the base of the cliffs and those perched on the rocks above, including the 12th-century castle, are made of an beige stone that glows orange in the morning sun. The view from the village is a southern panorama out across fields and forests and small perched villages to the Montagne du Luberon.

 Our first stop is the lavender factory.  We learn about the different kinds of lavender.

We stop here to take photos of Gordes, one of France’s most beautiful village

We arrive at Roussillon, famous for it’s red ochre with its red rocks, red stone buildings and red tile roofs.  We spent several hours here painting.

Mary Ann, Kendra, Sharon, Helen and myself with Roussillon in the background

  We buy little jars of the mined local pigments.  We also get gum Arabic so we can mix the powders to make our own watercolors.  How cool is that!
I can not resist a “boule” of lavender ice cream!

It is fun to see all the colorful baskets.  Everything here has a glow of red that bounces off the stone walls.  I feel like I could spend 100 days here painting!

Fun With Brush Strokes – Impressions of a Landscape Painting

Fun With Brush Strokes – Impressions of a Landscape Painting

Quick 5 minute study of a landscape

As I get ready to teach my For Beginners Only Class, I am having fun remember the joy of discovering what your brush can do on the watercolor paper.  It is so exciting to watch the colors mingle and combine to create new and unplanned colors.  Why not have fun before you sit down to some serious painting.
Pick 3 colors (I used Cerulean Blue, Quinacridone Sienna and Nickel Azo Yellow).  Start with the blue at the top for a impressionistic landscape.  Switch to sienna and then yellow as you near the bottom.  Before the painting starts to dry,  mix the yellow and blue for some greenery.  As you paint, play with your brush to see how many different types of strokes you can make: soft edges, hard edges, dry brush strokes, flicks, splatters, twirls….. Just play and don’t worry about what the painting will look like. 
I would love to hear back from you….Let me know if this was a fun thing to do!

Lots to learn about Color!

Lots to learn about Color!

Ingrid making a beautiful color study

Kim showing her book with her painted cover

Comparing books

More color studies

It has been a couple busy weeks teaching classes and trying to keep up on the holiday hoopla around the house.  Needless to say, my house doesn’t look at all xmas-y yet as my priorities are always with my classes.  Friday I finished teaching The Good, the Bad and the Beauty of Color Class and everyone left with a beautiful spiral bound book full of color studies.

Making Plans for Painting in Provence, May 2011

Making Plans for Painting in Provence, May 2011

I met with Helen yesterday about our upcoming May 9-19 trip to Provence, France.  I am getting so excited about it that I can’t sleep past 4:30 in the morning.   We will be visiting  Roussillon know for it’s red-ochre colors and designated one of the most beautiful villages in France.  Here is a photo that I took when I was there with my family in 2003.  This photo is inspiring me to get to my studio today to paint!  Daniel Smith Art Supplies has a color I haven’t tried yet – Burgundy Red Ochre.  Described as a granulating, reddish-brown earth color, it sounds perfect for trying to capture the ruby glow of Roussillon.  They also have free shipping, so now is a good time to stock up on supplies if you need anything.