Archive for December, 2012

Vibernum Tinus is a shrub near my front door and has green leaves all year, small berries and pinkish/red flowers. After a sketch of this shrub and outline with watercolor, it has to dry for a day.  The next stage: cobalt+olive for the outline of leaves. The stems are painted with  bright green; cadmium yellow/darker green. They will get some dark red next time. The ‘main’ stem is umber and will get walnut brown.  The blossoms get their first layer: light rosa; magenta and white. The berries are indigo and dark violet for a start, with highlights. They’ll get some walnut brown next. At this time of year some of the leaves of this shrub are wrinkled and broken, and I have to watch that I don’t automatically correct this, but paint what I see. Vibernum tinus After a day’s drying, I color the leaves, stems and such. For the leaves: dark olive/cadmium yellow. The stems get light olive and walnutbrown, the stems of the flowers  madder brown and the berries  walnutbrown as well. As I used a lot of water, I will let it dry for two days or longer. Then I’ll define the veins/shape of the leaves, color the tiny buds of the flowers, add details.  For the white patches on the painting: I could ‘scrape’ the paint off, to get a white surface, but that damages the paper. Now I lift the paint with an almost dry brush to get some highlights;in short strokes.


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Fish on the Nile on an 3-4th century Coptic Urn and stones near the Bend- and Red Pyramid in Dashur.I have been to Egypt  from 17-30 november and took my painting-box along. I have never seen such incredible sights…..but less time than I thought for drawing.  My first drawing is  one of a fish from the Nile, which I saw in the Coptic museum in Cairo, on an urn from Saqqara, the Monastery of St.Jerimiah, 3-4th century. And some stones in Dashur, near the Red and Bend pyramid. The shadows are sharp and dark, as it is 30 degrees under a blistering sun. Not every room has a table and chair,so I have to improvise a bit. And I see the river Nile quite a bit, as most Egyptians live in the triangle Cairo-Alexandrie-Suez and on the small fertile strip along the Nile. There are palm trees everywhere and used for fences, roofs etc.  These leafs have all colors of green, yellow and brown.leaf of a palm tree

Thistle in the Egyptian desert



As I am a lot in the desert, I try to look for vegetation. But it is very barren  and hot. Once in a while I see some tiny holes in the sand…beetles? And I see a tiny thistle  that I am going to paint. Again these harsh shadows. It is 38 degrees.




Opposite my hotel in Luxor  is this beautiful ancient temple, and trees with bright yellow flowers. As soon as I pick them to paint, they wither. It is a challenge to capture colors and details.


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