Book review. The essence of watercolour, by Hazel Soan :

So, today, I am really happy to offer my first watercolor book review! 😊

I admit that, a few years ago, I was not a lot into books anymore. We already have so much things to read on the internet! 😯😉
However, my love for sketching and watercolor painting made me start to buy some books again.

I love watercolor books because :

– It’s so enjoyable to be able to see and observe the sketches on paper, even if they are just printed! Of course, the pic have to be big enough, with sharp reproductions.
– That’s more handy and pleasant to have a book open besides your sketchbook as an inspiration than an computer or an ipad.
– There is no problem with luminosity with a real book. You can browse it outside, during summer, on your deckchair! 😍
– I tend to prefer real books (or even ebooks pdf files) better than ebooks on e-readers because, on the laters, the page setting is lost. And page design is really important for me. ☺️ (Note : ebooks can be a good option for too small books or not so great layout books as they allow us to enlarge the pics. They are suitable too, if the book you want can’t be shipped in your country).

The first book I decided to review is Hazel Soan’s book because it’s my favorite these days. 😚
That’s not a perfect book – I don’t know any – but I really like to browse it and to read some passages again these days.


The essence of watercolour. Hazel Soan

Let’s talk about the book then! ☺️
This is this book we are talking about.


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Indian woman holding a jar demo

Hi guys!

I realized that there was a last demo from my Indian prep sketches I didn’t shared with you yet! 😉
That’s a short video where I sketch a woman wearing a yellow sari and holding a jar on her head. What a lovely scene to paint! 😊

I sketched this after a photo and I am really looking forward to painting this kind of subject, on location, in India, next February! 😀
I am so impatient!!!

I am sure that, on location, for some people sketching, I will have to paint even faster than 7 mn for a sketch! 😉

Continue reading

Is sketching a better way of seeing and creating than photography?…

I am sure that, like me, you read so many times that sketching was such a better way to catch a moment and to really see than photography…
And I am sorry but I just can’t stand anymore reading this in all the sketching books and all the Urban Sketchers blogs I visit.  😫

So, pleeeeeaaase stop detracting photography to enhance sketching! It’s just nonsense…
Sketching is amazing enough in itself!! 😀 There is no need to depreciate anything to praise it. 😝 😉




I am a sketcher and a photographer and I have to reveal something to you. 😊  

You, sketchers, think that photography is not interesting because it is not your thing so you don’t use photography in an interesting way.
And the way you use it is fine! But depreciating it like it’s often done is a bit like telling that cooking is not creative while defrosting a frozen dish in the microwave! 😉
Of course, cooking that way is not creative and that’s not even sure that you could call that cooking, lol! 

The same way, if the way you use photography doesn’t seem creative or interesting to you, that’s because you do it “the defrosting way”!  Continue reading

Why negative painting is always a good idea! :)

So, that’s leaves season in the northern hemisphere! ☺️ I admit that this is one of  my favorite subjects, as it’s colorful, with an interesting shape, no ! So many different impressive shapes!… And I can make a cocooning sketching session with them, at home, when temperatures begin to lower. 😁😉

This morning, there were some red leaves waiting for me on the sidewalk, just in front of my house. I found them, going for the mail.

I sketched them in various ways and, of courses that isn’t new but this made me think, once again “who, definitely, negative painting is always a good idea!! Don’t ever forget it again!!”. 😝   Continue reading

Last video from the USK Symposium, with Nina Johansson.

Here we are! This is the 5th and last video I upload about the Urban Sketcher Symposium which took place in Manchester last July.
All good things come to an end! 🙂

Today, Nina Johansson is our common thread and we follow the progress of her sketch of the “The Salutation” pub, throughout the video.




In the meantime, I leaf through my sketchbook and I take you to some amazing / lovely / crazy places in Manchester, especially the most incredible tea room of Manchester, “The Richmond tea room”!

We spend some time, too, with my new adorable sketching friends, Deborah and Clara…
Fun crazy “selfie videos” to expect!!! 😉 Continue reading

USK Symposium [Episode 4]. Veronica Lawlor workshop and Marc Taro Holmes painting

Here is the 4th episode of our saga about the Manchester Urban Sketchers Symposium! 😀 😙

This videos is especially about Veronica Lawlor workshop, which was really inspiring and interesting.
Her sketches have such an amazing style and, as an illustrator living in New York, she even sketched the World Trade Center attack, live, so the least we can say is that she knows what she is talking about!… (Oh that’s so weird, I just realized, writing that, that we were the 11th September. All my thoughts to the victims and families…)

I really really like what she is telling in the video :

“Sometimes, that little bit of exaggeration or distortion can really becomes a lie to tell the truth. If I draw exactly, you’ll know what I saw ; if I really push on it, you’ll know what I felt”.
Veronica Lawlor.

I think I need to write that somewhere. 😝 😉

So, I keep browsing my sketchbook for you, telling you what I tried to achieve with my sketches and talking, especially, about giving depth and dynamism to our drawings.

This video also includes 5 full minutes of Marc Taro Holmes painting and that’s such a treat to watch him paint and to study his awesome technique!! 😃

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What if your brushes had a thinner tip than you think?! ;)

Isn’t it a weird question?! 😅

But it’s a good question!…
…because I noticed something on all my round brushes.
(maybe that’s because there are not the most expensive brushes ever? even if they are made with natural hair?…)




Their tip is not perfectly round! 😱

Is the tip of your round brushes slightly flat too?
I think you might want to check. 😉 Continue reading

Manchester USK Symposium Videos [Episode 3] : Paul Wang workshop.

Here is the next video about the Urban Sketcher Symposium!  😆

This time, it’s especially about Paul Wang workshop, with Paul explanations and demos, and my work during the workshop. ☺️
We keep browsing my sketchbook and we also have a glimpse into Paul Heaston impressive technique and enjoy a few seconds of Marc Taro Holmes drawing with his special “loop lines”, with pencil.

ManchesterEpisode3 Continue reading