Silverpoint drawing of trees along the Saone river in France
A silverpoint drawing of trees along banks of the Saône
Creatively planted and groomed copses, such as this one, are spaced at intervals along the banks of the Saône river in France. I made a sketch of this one late one morning in the fall.
I’ve drawn this image from my original sketch using a medieval drawing technique called silverpoint (or metalpoint). The method flourished during the Renaissance, but was obsolete by the 18th century; graphite had become the preferred medium.
Light reflecting off silverpoint drawing.
This drawing is done entirely by dragging metals across the gessoed surface producing a light gray tone. Darker values are achieved by going over areas several times. For drawing tools, I used what I had handy—a brass belt buckle, gold and silver jewelry, a sliver-plated spoon, and a cast bronze belt buckle. Because the image is drawn entirely with metal, it reflects light when viewed from various angles (as shown here).
“Sur Rue Claude Monet, Giverny” 8x10in. Acrylic on stretched canvas.
I visited Giverny, in Upper Normandy, France. Giverny is the birthplace of Impressionism and was the home of Claude Monet from 1883-1926. This window overlooks the street named for Monet, and is just a few blocks from his house. It was overcast and chilly on this particular morning in October, and hot coffee was the order of the day.
This place, sadly, has been remodeled since I was there. It was at first a country grocery, then a cafe-bar during Monet’s time, and now a bed and breakfast called “Le Coin des Artistes.” I’m glad I came across it before the renovation.
The title translates to: “On Claude Monet Street, Giverny.”
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“Paris Street Singer” Acrylic on MDF, 4″ x 4″
This street entertainer is well known all over Paris. He plays a barrel organ and sings (bal-musette, I’m told). I met him on Rue Cler.
“French Girl” Acrylic on MDF, 6″ x 6″
The sidewalk is the place to be on a Sunday, in November, along the Champs-Elysees in Paris. That’s where I met this young lady. She and her younger friends were playing. I was playing too, I suppose. At least we were smiling at each other. She seemed a little bashful when I asked if I could take her picture. But not THAT bashful, happily.
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023 “Market Day” Acrylic on MDF, 5″ x 7″
I was walking along the river, near Melun, France, on my way to the weekly market, when I encounter this woman coming to market. She apparently lives on an old barge on the other side of the river. I loved her nearly heroic pose, her beauty, and the contrast between the battered old metal boat and her stylish, almost Renaissance-looking coat, her velvety dress, and ballet-style black slippers.
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