France 2013 and Apologies to #PaintSeptember

Knowing when I took on the challenge of #PaintSeptember I would be travelling trying to inspire others for most of the month I knew my paintings would be mainly demonstration pieces what I didn’t bank on was lack of internet connections or time to upload photographs.

When looking at the paintings please bare in mind these are teaching pieces to give technique and composition ideas.
I always say that my teaching work is not to make me look good, it is to pass on techniques for students to develop the confidence to paint in their own style.
Taking seven painters to Chateau du Bussas in LʼEstrechure the Gard region of Languedoc Rousillon Southern France.
giving clients mixed subjects and a taste of local life is always the consideration

Day 1 Friday 6 September stop over Paris
Pen Sketch of Art Hotel our logement for the night.


Day 2 Travel by TGV to Nimes

Day 3 Sunday 8 September – St Andre de Valborgne  Fête de l’oignon et du pélardon.
a superb day of village market brass band saluting Les Marseilles. Monseiur le Mayor extolling bon ami.
A quick 10 minute sketch demo of a market stall


a 20 min. sketch, waiting for delicious galettes for lunch, of the feel and colours of the whole day, the atmosphere was great this watercolour sketch is on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gsm.

Not in perspective or particular composition, just colour, stalls, people, bunting , trombone player and geraniums


Day 4 Monday
A winding trip across the mountains to Le Pont Romain on L’Herault River a peaceful beautiful place.
An acrylic demo showing laying dark over light also showing how when painting in bright sunshine how dark your light can appear in domestic light so you need to compensate.

We then moved on to St Guilhem le Desert a UNESCO world heritage site, I didn’t demonstrate here but did spend time helping with perspective and creating texture using dry brush technique.

Day 5 Tuesday: Market day St Jean du Gard we based ourselves at the steam railway station where I did a watercolour demo.

After lunch another bridge this time on the Gardon River and acrylics

Day 6 My day off a visit to Uzes

Day 7 Thursday Anduze market town, a quiet square of olive trees balconies, lampposts how French !!!   With a nice cup of earl grey and homemade toasted teacake at the English / Irish teashop !!!

Here I did some ink drawing demonstration, below is a line drawing of people on the next table in a cafe, showing how little detail you need to get the essence of a scene.


The afternoon in the La Bambouseraie de Prafrance a watercolour & ink of the Chinese pergola and Acers in the valley

before the painting I did a study of one of the Acers and my composition in my sketchbook



Day 8 Friday  We stayed around Bussas today over the valley to the house on the rock
a beautiful view and we met the owners daughter from Belgium and spent the afternoon soaking our feet in the Gardon river near the bridge with no sides.


This was my neat demonstration piece, watercolour then ink

This was the piece I did for myself, Ink first watercolour after


TGV back to Paris it was a long week !!!!


In June 2014 I am working for “Shades of France”  set in the Parc Naturel du Perigord-Limousin in South West France

for details please go to


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