Sketching In St. Vallier

Last Wednesday several of us drove to St. Vallier at the invitation of Louise Denault, one of our sketching buddies.  This was very exciting because St. Vallier is a beautiful place, with a wide variety of sketching locations.

4x6 toned paper, Platinum Carbon pen, Platinum Carbon Black ink

4×6 toned paper, Platinum Carbon pen, Platinum Carbon Black ink

I took advantage of the fact that, for once, I wasn’t driving and so I did some quick sketches along the way.  The bumps in the road added to the scribbly nature of the sketches but it was fun anyway.

We picked up Louise at her house and headed to a side road overlooking the valley and its agricultural fields.  Everyone set up next to a wheat field with the expanse of the valley behind it, but I walked down the road to sketch an outbuilding I’d seen as we arrived.

outbuilding in St. Vallier, QC

Stillman & Birn Beta (6×9), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Claudette and Louise came to where I was sketching just as I was finishing and we walked back to the group together.  It had been determined that it was time for lunch and that we would head back to Louise’s house for lunch.

As everyone else was packing up I looked out at the valley and decided it would be an opportunity to do another one of those one-line sketch drawings and so I did one.  I did ‘cheat’ a bit and lifted my pen a couple times to keep the drawing a bit cleaner, but by the time everyone was packed I’d done the sketch, added some darks, and was slopping paint on the piece of cheap Bristol on which I did it.  I mention this last thing because it was a mistake.  I thought I’d grabbed a piece of watercolor paper but instead I was trying to herd water on a piece of slippery, coated paper and I was using a waterbrush to do it.  That was exciting.  But this was a few minutes of fun and the result isn’t horrible (grin).

6x9 Bristol paper, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

6×9 Bristol paper, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Lunch was to die for, and if I’d eaten one more bite that might have happened.  Louise provided quite a spread, with a beautiful salad, lots of cheeses, smoked sturgeon, quiche, baguettes, and wine… lots of wine.  I was stuffed.  And then Louise mentioned the pies…two pies.  And, of course, we had to try both of them 🙂

Louise’s house is amazing but it’s the backyard, with its gardens, gazebo and view of the St. Lawrence that is the real jewel and we were eating in said gazebo.  I’m used to a protein bar and a coffee when I go sketching.   This was different, a really good kind of different 🙂

And now that we were done with lunch, it was time to get out sketching again.  So, barely able to move, I left the gazebo completely delier, my new French word for the day.  It means to be loosened up, and boy, was I loose.  Any looser and I would’ve fallen down.  I needed a nap.

Off we went, to a small nature park not far from St. Vallier.  It was a parking lot, picnic tables, some trails and a gazebo set up for bird watching along the coast.  Most of us decided to draw the gazebo.  Here’s mine.

gazebo near riviere Boyer

Stillman & Birn Beta (6×9), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

It was a great day but by then we were all pretty worn out and called it a day.  Thanks to Louise for all her hospitality, her zucchinis, and that fantastic lunch.

6 Responses to “Sketching In St. Vallier”

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  1. cetin says:

    Good to see your one-line sketchs, yesterday when i reading your post about one-line sketching, i decided to take Taro Holmes’s course, i started the lessons. Now i’m also practising one-line -i’m also cheating a little bit- sketching. It’s very interesting drawng style, but i can’t achieved smooth flowing yet.

    • The one-line sketch exercise is a fun and useful one. I think Marc is correct that you need to do a bunch of them before you figure out how to do them but it seems to change how you see a scene as well as changes your line work significantly. I’m continuing to so some along with my regular sketching. Practice is its own reward, but it is fun when one of these sketches works out 🙂

      • cetin says:

        Can i ask a question about materials, which watercolor set do you prefer when practising Marc Taro’s lessons?

        • All questions are graciously accepted. Occasionally I can even answer one 🙂 These days I use Daniel Smith watercolors but I’m very much like Marc in that I’m willing to use others. I have a bunch of Winsor & Newton Artist-grade watercolors and a few tubes of Holbien.

          I’ve also, and here is where I draw the line, got a lot of lesser quality watercolors (eg – Koi, Winsor & Newton Cotman, Yarka). None of these produce the results of the better quality watercolors and while they may work for people who are expert at watercolors, I feel a beginner needs the best there is to provide the best chance of replicating what they see being done by others. I bought all those cheap paints and simply got frustrated that they didn’t produce the rich watercolors I saw on the internet.

          That’s certainly not a very definite “this is best” kind of answer but I hope it helps you make your own decisions. I will say this. A few high quality watercolors are far better than a bunch of cheap ones and working with a limited palette let’s you learn those colors and how they mix together. I often work from a 6-color palette and sometimes even from a 4-color palette. Red, yellow, blue, and burnt sienna can take you a long way.

          • cetin says:

            Thank’s a lot for your answer, when i practising, i use W&N Cotman series cakes but results didn’t satisfied me, so i decided to ask a very good and kind friend that must be use cheap and quality watercolors, papers and other art crafts together, then i write my question here :)))) .

            Your answer is very definitive for me, thank’s again

  2. Tina says:

    Great sketches — delier is obviously good for sketching!