Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last page of my sketchbook... 
for the last day of the year

It was just a coincidence, but some days ago I realized that I had only a page left of my drawing diary, and it was only few days for this year to finish. Obviously, I couldn't resist the symbology of it, and went out today, last day of the year, to honor this 2015 full of drawings. 
A couple of weeks ago, a friend recommended me to go to Mourex, which I didn't know, so off I went... The village is really nice, and really small, I'd almost say it has a single road and one intersection. But as tiny as it is, there were many charming views, although today I was kind of limited because of the rain and, ideally, I wanted to pick a spot where I could park and draw from the car. After many turns (I don't think I've gone over and over on the same road that much ever before), I decided to take the risk and draw outside. It went OK, it just started raining towards the end, so I packed my stuff and left... but the sketch was already done :) I'm still getting used to this new watercolor box, but today it was easier than the previous day in Divonne, and we'll have time to get to know each other better in 2016 :)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Marché de Divonne

This morning I went with my father to the market in Divonne, he to walk around, and myself to draw and use for the first time the new watercolor box Father Christmas brought me. I noticed its pigments are much more concentrated, and so with a tiny bit I already get very bright and intense colors. The color palette is also a bit different, but in the end things worked out nicely, and I got my sketch of the market done :) 

Now, time to warm up a bit again, I get so cold when drawing in the shadow!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Felices Fiestas! Joyeuses Fêtes! 
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Vesancy, a village to get lost...

This morning I went to Vesancy, a little village in the Jura, between Gex and Divonne. I had never been there, but when I was leaving home this morning, a friend told me that the town was beautiful, and recommended me to go. I had no clear plan to draw, but just wandering around a bit until I found something, so off I went!

Despite the fog that had descended this morning, the sky in Vesancy was bright and blue, and the day quite warm for being winter. And I am thankful to my friend because indeed the village is gorgeous, undamaged, and well conserved. The town seems to be built around the château de Gex and the church, and from the cemetery where I was drawing, the houses seem to crow together leaving no space for anything else. 

One other day I will come back, Vesancy, and get lost in your little streets and corners. I'm sure you have plenty to offer me!

Friday, December 11, 2015

A corner in Prévessin

Wednesday night I went to my weekly model drawing session in Ferney, and when I got there, the model asked me if I could drive her home, as she was with the car in the garage. She lived in Prévessin, and it was only a small detour for me on my way back home, so I took her with me. We arrived to Prevessin from Ferney and at some point she indicated me to turn left. It was dark, but I could see that in the middle of the whole residential area Prévessin has become, there was this small road that had remained almost intact, with its old houses and farms, and with its beautiful corners. So I decided that next time I would have a moment to go out, I would come back there. 

Today I really didn't have much time, but it was so sunny I really had to profit, so I took my stuff and went out. The time was so short that for the first time I had to set an alarm to stop drawing and run to my car. Time can fly when I am drawing!! I chose a spot where I would get some sun, and drew this quiet and charming corner between Chemin de Magny and Chemin du Marais. Today, time was so short I didn't become cold at all :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Drawing in the fog

Today the day started sunny, but already in the morning the fog descended from the mountain, and ended up covering everything. In the afternoon, the fog was quite dense, and the ambient very humid and cold. I had a moment, so I went out. Also this time I brought my father with me, and we drove a bit before finding a spot that would convince me. It is sad, but as many beautiful and authentic places as there are around, many others have been turned into urbanizations, and even if they can be nice to live in, they've lost all of its character. Finally, we ended up in Mury, a very small village close to Echenevex, where houses and old farms still live together. As last time, at some point, my father stepped in, and this picture, together with my cold feet, is the result! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My father's favorite place

Today my father brought me to his favorite place, so I would draw it for him, and gave me nice conversation while I was doing this sketch. This is a little road that goes from Chevry to Naz Dessous, called Route de la Source, and that continues high and almost to reach the source of the river L'Allondon. In fact, I found I have drawn it before, but from another location. It is funny since I didn't know the place, but I drive regularly through the road that cuts it high in the top, and just a detour right hand would have brought me here. 

While drawing, at some moment my father stepped into the frame, so that's him over there, looking at the fields. Then, when I was finishing, I got to meet the people who live in one of the houses. They were passing by with their car and stopped, curious to see if their house was in my paper. I love when these unexpected conversations happen, and when people is happy to see and recognize their place. 

I definitely had a very nice afternoon in this very beautiful sunny winter day. Now, time to warm up!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Finding new places

Today, after a bit more than a week, I finally found a moment to go sketching. I had work to do, but I must say that the cold holds me back a bit as well and I find time to progress with other indoor projects. This morning I had to go to Chevry, so after that, I continued driving until I found this nice place in Véraz, a small village that belongs to the commune of Chevry. It is a small road with no exit called Chemin du Moulin, as there used to be a mill there. Since last time I posted a drawing, the snow that had fallen in the valley has melted down, but the grass is as green as ever, and the cold has backed up a bit. Although even 7 degrees is a bit low when one is without moving for a moment!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Building a story up

What does come before, the chicken or the egg? What does come before, the idea for a story and then the illustration, or the illustration and then the need to make it live and evolve to build a story? Sometimes it is clear, others I am not so sure. 

The drawing I am posting today is one of these cases where the story and the illustration came together, or maybe the story had been growing up inside me before the drawing came, or maybe I got inspired during my excursions to sketch the little villages around mine. Most probably a bit of everything. 

A while ago I posted an illustration of a little road which inspired a story in which I am working on now. When you work a story out, the first thing you need is a storyboard. That is, a set of simple drawings put in the format of a graphic novel that will mark the evolution of the story. After that one can start doing the serious illustration work, so now I am making different tests of composition, color, characters, and others to define how is the place where this story will take place. Today's illustration is one of these tests. 

What will happen in this little town?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

First snow of the season!

And yes, it was really my last chance to draw without gloves for a while! Between yesterday and tonight we've had the first snow of the season! It is not a lot, but something around 10 cm, and enough to cover everything in white for a while. Already in the morning, the sun came out, and together with soft breeze, it is slowly melting the snow away. So I went out quickly, before the snow in the roofs melts down, to capture this beautiful moment. This is Rue du Jura in Crozet, a little road in my village that I've drawn before, but today I drew it from its top, next to the church, and looking down towards the valley.

Friday, November 20, 2015

House portraits

One of the fun things of drawing in the street is that, sometimes, you get to know people. In general, people who see you is shy, and many not dare to even say hello, because they are afraid of disturbing you. But others, they approach, they look, and comment. I like it very much when this unexpected chat happens. Sometimes, some of these brave ones even ask you if you'd do a drawing of their house, so that's even better :) 

Then, once agreed, I go to see the house, we decide things like the size of the drawing, the view, the season, whether it should be sunny or it doesn't matter, and all sorts of stuff like this. When the day arrives, I go to the house with my little foldable stool, my pencils, pens and watercolor box, and make the drawing. 

The drawing below was done for some friends of mine. They wanted a portrait of their house in autumn, if possible in a sunny day. It was kind of tricky this autumn to get a full sunny day before all the leaves had fallen, as autumn mornings are usually really foggy here, and then days become shorter and shorter, leaving less chance for some sun after the fog opens up. 

After waiting and checking the weather forecast for a couple of weeks, finally a sunny day came up! And so I went with all my stuff and my small sketchbook, and did the drawing in small size so I could finish it before the sun light vanished behind the mountains. Then calmy and once at home I did it big size, and this is what this beautiful house in Thoiry looks like!

Who wouldn't want a portrait of a house like this?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Before winter comes this weekend...

After working working working, and with everything done and approved, I finally got some time to get out this morning. And I was lucky that I had everything closed today, as there's been many warm sunny days before winter comes this weekend, and apparently, if I trust the weather forecast, today it was my last chance to draw without freezing for at least some time! I had to go to Thoiry in the morning, so after that I continued driving a bit farther, just to the next little town, Fenières, where I found this sunny and open spot with old farms and streets to draw. After I'd finished, going back towards Thoiry, I realized the view of Fenières main road was much nicer from that direction, but that's something I'll draw some other day.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Celebrating with Music 
collection 2015-2016

Again this year time has come to share with you the illustrated card collection for this season! For all of the cards the drawing is hand made, with ink, then I give them color digitally. 
Celebrate with music, and have fun!

Monsters concert

Le cirque

 Fête au cor

Petite Sorcière

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Drawing in Chevry

After a full morning of working in my computer, it did me very good to go out and draw. It is not always possible to find time to scape and draw, but in the end, it is not much, and it pays off. Colors are gorgeous now, even if we're in the middle of a cloud of fog that never seems to leave completely! This drawing is made in a small road in Chevry, a little village next to mine. The road is right where the town ends, and it goes parallel to the forest where the river Allondon has its source. The place is just beautiful. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In Pregnin, under the cloud

This afternoon I went to Pregnin, a bit further below the mountain moving towards Geneva, but very close to home. A very nice little village where it's easy to find a spot to draw when I don't have much time. So this is Rue du Fierney, which takes its name by the mountain that is in front of it, as does the télécabine that goes up to the ski station in Crozet.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

And finally some sun!

Fog is what defines autumn here. It starts with fog, and the fog only disappears when the snow is about to come, already in December. So one has to get over to the top of the Jura to see the sun on top of the sea of clouds. But, sometimes, the fog opens up in the afternoon, and so it did today! I took the bike and went just to the center of my little town, to draw this old coffee that is not longer a coffee, but an old farm converted into a house. These coffees were quite common in the region over the last century, you can check a bit of its history here:

Monday, October 26, 2015

At the airport

Few days ago I traveled to Barcelona, taking my sketchbook and watercolor box with me, and with big (but unrealistic) plans to draw around. And then I only had time to make a quick sketch at the airport, while waiting for boarding, and not even in Barcelona, but still in Geneva! Next time, maybe... :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Siesta time in Thoiry

It is difficult sometimes to find moments for ourselves while kids are on vacation. But today, siesta time seemed like ideal! This is Rue de la Vierge, in Thoiry. In fact, it is called like this because there is a statue of a virgin there, but in the drawing, it is covered by the trees foliage!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Meeting a friend in St. Genis

Today I was meeting a friend in St Genis, and I had just a little time before meeting her, so I decided to leave a bit sooner and draw something. I went towards St. Genis, and actually, I did many turns with the car trying to find an "old corner" over there... but I couldn't find any that was actually intact. Probably there's still something left, I just didn't find it. After losing more than 1/2h looking for THE spot, I just parked in front of this crossing, and drew it from the car. This is one of the busiest crossings in St. Genis, where its two biggest roads, Rue de Lyon and Rue de Genève, meet, although not that busy at 2pm today :) But it was cold and raining... 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Having fun

In some way or another, drawing and illustrating is always a way of dreaming, and of getting those things in your mind to get life on their own. Sometimes the things I am drawing are just in front of me, and I just make them a bit mine when having them on my paper. Others, like today, they are ideas and stories, that get their way out from my mind and hands to the paper. 

This little town is peacefully quiet today. It must have a forest behind, but we cannot yet see it. Kids are surely at school, otherwise it wouldn't be that quiet. But it won't be always like this, as things change...

Friday, October 9, 2015

Today, Thoiry

This afternoon I went to Thoiry. It is a village not that small, at least compared to others around, with many beautiful corners. As all villages that have grown up in the last decades, it also has some big buildings and not that nice corners, so one has to get lost in the small old streets to find these typical places. This is Rue de la Fruitière, and I already discovered some other thing to draw in that same street!! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Beautiful morning in Sergy

Today I came back to Sergy. It was a sunny and fresh autumn morning, and wanted to profit the sun before clouds will hide it in the afternoon. I picked a sunny spot, to not get too cold while drawing, but oh! sun does move faster already, and after a while some bush was dropping its shadow on me! This is Place de la Mairie in Sergy, quiet, already a bit cloudy, and with autumn already starting to show up all of its colors.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Autumn is here

Today we had the first real foggy morning of the season, announcing that yes, autumn is here! Behind the fog, the mountain is already changing colors, although today, as I told my children, it had disappeared :)  This is Rue du Jura, in Crozet, submerged in the fog.

Monday, October 5, 2015

In Sergy, under the rain

Today I went to Sergy, I found a spot and even though I knew it would rain, I just hoped it would hold and I drew outside the car (I couldn't park where the best view was). But it started raining. At the beginning softly, so I was OK with an umbrella. But then harder and harder... I had to finish quickly and leave! Sergy, I will come back!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

La Foulée de Crozet, 2015 edition

Beautiful morning today for a run in Crozet, and so sunny after the rain yesterday night. As well a beautiful morning to go out and draw. I arrived a bit late, but luckily just in time to draw the last runners getting to the arrival line :)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Today, Pregnin

This afternoon I've managed to find some time to go out, and I've been to Pregnin. It is very close to where I live, just 10' by car, a bit down in the mountain. It is a very nice little village with many nice spots, but I like this little road a lot. And the view, well I just chose this one for convenience (a sunny place to seat ;)), but it could be beautifully drawn from every angle! This is Rue des Fontaines seen from the Rue du Fierney.

I couldn't get October to start without dedicating a little portrait to it!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vide-grenier 2015

Again was time for the vide-grenier in Crozet today, a huge garage-sell where everyone in the town (and abroad) can sell their old stuff. The day was quite humid and grey, but still there was a lot of people selling, buying and just having a nice time out. It started to feel kind of chilly though, drawing there outside!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ancient farms in Villeneuve

Everywhere around here is full of ancient farms. Most of them have been reformed into houses, all lands have been sold... Sometimes what it comes out of it is not that nice, but there are many corners that preserve that rural spirit of what it was the unique way of living many years ago in this region. This is in Villeneuve, 15' walking distance from home, in a very sunny autumn afternoon.

In Gex again

I always pass by this crossing by car, always admire it, and continue to wherever I am going, thinking, I have to draw this some day! So today it was finally this day! But I still want to draw some other angles...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Road towards home

These last days I have been a bit far away from my sketch book, and I missed it quite a bit. I've been with a paintbrush in my hand all the time, but varnishing varnishing varnishing!! Not quite the same ;) So today I took the first free moment I had and went to draw a little. I really had few time so I just went 5' walking distance from home. The day was again heavy and menacing to rain, but again, it hold! :) This is the Route d'Avouzon, when entering Avouzon from Flies, and it is the entry to my town that I like the most.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Discovering new places

Today I went to Gex with the idea of drawing the Rue du Comerce. Once in Gex, since I had some more time than usual, I went for a walk, and I discovered this nice spot. It is called Passage de la Voute, a little hidden street that crosses Rue du Comerce high at the top, almost where the church is. I found a place quite comfortable to seat, and I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't rain. And it didn't! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sun after the rain

Today it rained a lot. The whole day. Everything is getting so green before a big storm with wind comes up and removes all the leaves from the trees! I had some time, so in the afternoon I went out ready to draw from inside the car, hoping the drops in the windshield would let me see the outside. After a while it stopped raining, but everything was still heavy and wet, so I stayed inside. The road was empty and quiet. But suddenly, a super bright and clean sun came out to fill everything with colors. At that moment tough, I had to leave :) What a beautiful afternoon!

This one is the Chemin de la Fontaine, in Naz Dessus, a very small and very nice town up in the road that takes to the source of the river L'Allondon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

One of my favorite spots

Just 10 minutes walking distance from my home there is this marvellous spot. It is one of my favorite ones ever since we moved here years ago. It is called Chemin du Moulin, a small little road with a stone bridge going over the river l'Allondon. Everything was so green after the rain yesterday. Capturing these colors before they start turning red!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sketching my meal

I've never been fond of drawing still nature myself, but today, in the spirit of "everything can be drawn", I drew my lunch menu. I was also thinking, the same way they say any meal is tastier if it is one who's cooked it, I thought, maybe drawing them will make my vegetables tastier too? ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A wonderful Sunday!

Today has been a fantastic day. Maybe because they said it was going to rain but it didn't, not a single drop, and instead it was sunny and warm, or maybe because we were all ready to enjoy it as it came. It was a Sunday as all Sundays should be, calm, relaxed, a family Sunday. 

Many days I want to draw and I struggle to find something that motivates me, but it is all a matter of attitude, as you can draw EVERYTHING! And we tend to think where to go... But today, maybe inspired by the calm around the house, I just went to the back yard. What a nice place to draw, our chicken coop!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

After a long summer... Poster for the 20th Art Exhibition in Crozet

Après un long été... Affiche pour la 20 ème exposition d'arts à Crozet

This summer has been a busy one for me, but it is only now that the various things I've been working on will start being public, and so it becomes the time for me to share them with you. Back in June, I worked in this poster for the 20th Art Exhibition in Crozet, an exhibition of arts and crafts by local artists, which will take place this October, in my little town, and in which I will also show some of my work.

During the exhibition, a contest among the participating artists takes place. This year's contest is themed about "voyages", and so this is what the poster is about, voyages from the perspective of the artist who goes everywhere with his pencils, paint box and sketch book, and captures everything that will inspire him.

Sometimes, when time allows it, I can myself be this artist, and so I could use some of the drawings I've made in the past, but I also did others specially for this occasion, and mixed papers with different textures to make the final effect. And yes, in case you're wondering, that aquarelle box in the bottom, yes, that one, is mine :)

Poster for the 20th Art Exhibition in Crozet, 2015

Cet été a été très occupée pour moi, mais il est seulement maintenant que les différents projects que j'ai réalisé commencent à être publiques, et il devient le temps pour moi de les partager avec vous. Au mois de juin, je travaillais dans cette affiche pour la 20ème exposition d'art à Crozet, une exposition d'art et d'artisanat par des artistes locaux, qui aura lieu en Octobre, dans ma petite ville, et dans laquelle je vais aussi montrer quelques de mes travaux .

Lors de l'exposition, un concours entre les artistes participant aura lieu. Le concours de cette année est sur le thème "voyage", alors c'est aussi le thème pour l'affiche, voyages sur le point de vue de l'artiste qui va partout avec ses crayons, boîte de peintures et son cahier, et capture tout ce qui va lui inspirer.

Parfois, quand j'ai le temps, je peux être moi-même cet artiste, et alors j'ai utilisé quelques dessins que j'avait déjà fait, et je n'ai fait aussi d'autres spécialement pour cette occasion. Après j'ai combiné des papiers avec des textures différentes pour rendre le effet final. Et oui, au cas que vous vous posez la question, cette boîte à aquarelles tout en bas, oui, celui-là, est la mienne :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Children's card design and illustration

Recently I came back to my pencil colors to draw illustrations for a card for a child's baptism. It was nice, after what it felt to me like a long time, to color things again with pencils. Painting takes much longer than with watercolors for example, as it is by mixing many soft layers of different colors, drawn with different inclinations, that I have the effects I desire. But it is very relaxing, and it surely does test my patience :) 

Usually I don't think about taking pictures while I work, but this time, as I wanted to show the progress to the person who ordered the card, I didn't forget of doing it, and I can show here the work progress. In this work, the drawing is simple, because is the colors who give the whole magic. Although of course having drawn the right theme is always important!

The card is to be squared, 14 x 14 cm, so I made the drawing proportionally, but a bit larger to gain resolution in small details.

First drawing for the front cover, ready to paint

Coloring progress. I started from the left bottom part until I finished all the mountains and trees. Then I did the sun and the sky. Finally, the sea in the middle, the stork, and the baby throwing up the stars in the sky.

Front cover drawing finished.

Detail of the drawing in the back cover, for which I followed the same process as with the front cover. But it was much faster! :)

Finished card. It folds in the middle, so that the main drawing is in the cover, and the small one in the back.

Picture of the finished card, courtesy of the client.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Illustration Contests 

Concours d'Illustration
Concursos de Illustración

Sometimes, when there is time between project and project, but not time enough to make significant progress in other longer term ones, I participate in illustrations or poster contests. Wining a contest is a bit like winning the lottery, so I have learnt to take defeat OK, and be happy if I was happy with what I presented. The illustration below is one I made for an international illustration contest held in Torino, Italy. I didn't win, but I am happy to share it now. I hope you like it!

Full illustration (shape given by the organisers)

Fragment of the above illustration

Parfois, quand il y a du temps entre projet et projet, mais pas du temps suffisante pour des projets plus longs, je fais des illustrations et des affiches pour des concours. Gagner un concours est similaire à gagner au loto, donc j'ai appris à pas m'attrister si je ne gagne pas, mais être contente si je l'étais avec mon travail. La illustration au-dessus c'est une que j'avais presenté pour un concours international d'illustration à Torino, en Italie. Je n'ai pas gagné, mais je suis contente de la partager avec vous. J'espère que vous vais l'aimer!

A veces, cuando hay tiempo entre proyecto y proyecto, pero no tiempo suficiente para proyectos más largos, hago ilustraciones y pósters para concursos. Ganar un concurso es casi como que te toque la lotería, así que aprendí a no entristecerme si no gano, y a estar contenta si estoy satisfecha con mi trabajo. La ilustración de arriba es una que presenté a un concurso internacional de illustración en Torino, Italia. No gané, pero estoy contenta de compartirla con vosotros. Espero que os guste!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Burkels, family scene portrait

Les Burkels, portrait d'une scène familal

This one is a detail of an illustration I made on command, to be given as a birthday present for the fathers' 40 year birthday. It is a picture of a family scene, and the daily chaos of having three young children, a dog, chickens, rabbits...

Publicity for the 88 edition of the Festival de Musiques du Pays de Gex

Publicité pour la 88ème édition du Festival de Musiques du Pays de Gex

Poster for the Festival, also used as a cover image for the booklet with the program...
Affiche du Festival, utilisée comme couverture pour le livret du programme...

... and flyers with the same theme 
... et flyers avec le même thème