View Full Version : NOVEMBER, invitation to paint, FRANCE

Dale Ziegler
10-23-2007, 03:18 PM
Mexico was great, now lets go back to Europe, to a region of France bordering Germany.--- Alsace. I found this shot by OLGA in our reference gallery titled A Window in an Alsacian Town
I think it has great possibilities--- interesting textures and colors, beautiful flowers, and it will be easy to draw. Something for everyone, so lets give it a try!

Im trying to find interesting photos from all over the world but am having a hard time. Especially from the orient and the tropics. If you have any to share, contact me by e-mail or PM. Dale

10-23-2007, 03:59 PM
Beautiful and interesting. I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Doug Gulley
10-23-2007, 09:33 PM
Dale I'll give it a shot.


10-24-2007, 06:45 AM
This is a lovely reference photo. I hope to join in once I finish a couple of others.


10-24-2007, 08:13 AM
I'm in, especially since my ancestors come from German side of this region. This looks as if it will be a challenge.

10-24-2007, 12:39 PM
Great picture, Dale. I plan to give it a try when I get home. Presently I'm in Michigan with my son and his family but I'll be home soon and print this off so I can study it. It looks like fun!

10-24-2007, 12:42 PM
Great shot. I like this type of ref pix. I will try. Jan

10-24-2007, 01:38 PM
I look forward to joining in.

I've sent you an email, offering a few of my photos of India -- if any of them seem suitable to you.

10-24-2007, 05:32 PM
I am in on this one. Lovely photo.

10-26-2007, 04:08 PM
Hello Dale, In checking this tread, I see a photo of a painting I made a few months ago from RIL. It's the same painting but I used acrylics. Would it be okay to post it here although this is a watercolor board? I did post it in the acrylic board for viewing but it's funny how I happen to see the same thing here. Let me know, okay? Lil

10-26-2007, 04:27 PM
Sorry Lil, I'm afraid we don't allow acrylic paintings in the forum, only watercolours with minor amounts of other mediums. See the Posting Rules.

Perhaps you could just post a link to the acrylics thread?


10-26-2007, 10:54 PM
I like this reference!!

10-27-2007, 03:55 PM
I look forward to trying this out.
Thanks for posting it, Dale

Doug Gulley
10-27-2007, 07:47 PM
Here's mine on Arches #140 paper Winsor and Newton Paint.


10-27-2007, 08:59 PM
Looks good, Doug
Nice shadows.
Perspective look pretty good to me, too.

10-27-2007, 09:22 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: Yippeee...we're goin' to France!!

This is a beautiful photo. The amount of greenery makes me nervous...but I'm in...nothing ventured, nothing gained right? :thumbsup:

10-28-2007, 12:01 PM
Hi Doug, I did post my acrylic version on that board and hope to try this painting again in watercolors. It's a lovely reference photo that can be done in any medium. Lil :rolleyes:

10-29-2007, 08:21 AM
Good one Doug, and I'm with you Tracy...those leaves scare me! lol....but then again, so do the flowers! :) I'm running out of ink in my printer though. Don't know if I will be able to print this anytime soon.
Glad you could join us Lil.

10-29-2007, 01:54 PM
Here is my picture I did on a5 paper. Not too happy with it.

Doug Gulley
10-29-2007, 02:06 PM
Thanks Dru the greens did worry me.

Lil I saw yours, you did a very nice job in acrylic

Thanks for looking Marcia and making a nice comment, waiting to see your posting.

Nice, Gill.

Thanks to all Doug

10-29-2007, 02:16 PM
Gill, all you need to do is work on adding shadows, here I have added a few in Psp:



10-29-2007, 04:36 PM
Hi Doug thanks for your comments I have added the shading to my picture and yes it looks a lot better.

10-29-2007, 04:51 PM
You have to admit that it is an improvement Gill.

Shadows are worth studying. You have to imagine a light (the Sun in this case) positioned at a certain point and then work out where the shadows would fall. here the Sun is above and to the left, so there will be shadows under and to the right of every projection.


Doug Gulley
10-29-2007, 07:08 PM
Just out of curiosity what is that thing at the bottom of the vine? I didn't know so I made an address marker out of it in my painting.


10-30-2007, 11:23 AM
Here's mine. Not happy with it, but it's better than I thought it would be.


I get frustrated with Photoshop and quit before the colors are right. The blues in the windows are more grey. I can correct some of the distortion from a photo that's not square, but I don't know how to correct the bow. I've tried the middle handles in Transform, but they shift the whole side.

Thanks, Dale. This was fun.

Doug Gulley
10-30-2007, 11:31 AM
Even with the difficulty with Photoshop you have had, it looks pretty good to me Jenny maybe a little more darks.


10-30-2007, 11:58 AM
Very light and pretty!

10-30-2007, 12:09 PM

Well okay, I was waiting for a few others to post first :rolleyes: -- this is the first painting I've posted here. It was a stretch for me - I usually do pen and wash sketches - I enjoyed it. My favorite part is the stone planter on the ground, where I mixed the grays on the paper.

Suggestions gratefully received - I know I'm very weak on foliage, for instance...

Mainly DS and WN watercolor on quarter-sheet Arches 140 paper. The gray for the house was mostly DN Blue Ocher.

10-30-2007, 03:33 PM
Very nice Nancy.

Doug Gulley
10-30-2007, 03:53 PM
Very nice Nancy the shadows and the joints between the stone are done well the painting is good.


10-30-2007, 07:24 PM
Okay, here's mine, again don't like the foliage... I always mess up. The window really isn't bent that much in the middle... :)-


10-30-2007, 08:23 PM
Trying to get color closer to the original, I readjusted my image in Photoshop.


It's on Fabriano Traditional White paper, so there's no true white in the painting. Now it's duller than the original, but at least the greys show more.

My main problem with this was being too shy with using color because I'm not good with putting one color next to another. I need to start with richer colors in the beginning. Some of my original strokes were good, but the colors were too pale, and fiddling didn't help except to darken the areas. I totally "freak" when it comes to the greens.

There are some great interpretations coming in. Glad to see so many are having fun with this invitation.

10-31-2007, 01:39 AM
@scriblett, I like the window panes especially - they look very clean and light. It's so nice to see what everyone is doing with that one photograph!

10-31-2007, 12:26 PM
I will give thsi a try. It wll be my first since I became a member yesterday. Great picture with a lot of possibilities Fiona

10-31-2007, 12:34 PM
Welcome to the forum Fiona, I look forward to seeing your paintings.

Check out the NEWBIES help thread for info on using the forum or click on my name and send me a pm if you need help.


11-01-2007, 02:23 PM
Here's my attempt, i'm not quite sattisfied with it but still won't through it away.
would appreciate your critics/comments.
Thanks, Eyn.

11-01-2007, 02:30 PM
Well, I think it is super Eyn, can't se anything to criticise.

Your window reflections are teriffic.


11-01-2007, 02:40 PM
That's excellent! What good foliage, and reflections too.

Dale Ziegler
11-01-2007, 03:42 PM
I think we're getting some really nice results in France. Haven't started mine, and I'm leaving tomorrow for two weeks of workshops. Maybe I can do something there. I'd like to do something different.. a cat on the sill? more texture on the wall?... just a tad more interest somewhere.
If I have any criticism of those already painted, I would say that most are having problems with the greens in the foliage. Which is not unusual. Most of us make greens too green. (me too) Next time you're outside pick some leaves and compare them with the greens on your palette and you'll find that the leaves have a lot more burnt and raw sienna in them than any green on your palette.

11-01-2007, 05:11 PM
Thank you Doug and Nancy, I think my problem with it is that i feel it's overworked and not fresh enough..

11-01-2007, 05:22 PM
Dale, I was surprised the photo didn't show more texture on the wall, and texture would add a lot without overtaking the scene. A cat would also fit anywhere along the bottom area.

Greens are my worst enemy, and I know the photo was bluer than real life. My mixes were not what I was after, but I went with them out of frustration. Someone needs to calm down and seriously play with greens. Who? Me?

Have fun with your workshops!

11-01-2007, 05:37 PM
Well...I have tackled the greens....by turning it into a FALL scene - complete with pumpkins and mums!!!

I'm having problems with my computer and our home network that only dh can solve. I can't access my photos to post them. When he gets it working for me again, I'll post.

In the meantime....I think I'm going to make it be WINTER in France!!

11-01-2007, 11:33 PM
I think I've got it now...

This is 11x15", maimeri blu paints. Ignore the dark area across the top - that's my sidewalk! I didn't crop the photo very well.


c&c welcome! Thanks for the great challenge, Dale!!

11-02-2007, 12:31 AM
Amy, that's fantastic! Happy Halloween! You really did a nice painting, and the pumpkins are an added treat.

11-02-2007, 02:29 AM
Amy, what fun! Lovely!

EYN, I also felt that mine was overworked -- I painted a second time, tried to loosen it up, mix colours on the paper, lose some edges -- and it came out almost identical to the first :rolleyes: -- shows my limitations very clearly, I suppose. (The one that I posted was the first version.)

11-02-2007, 06:55 AM
Love your interpretation!!

Doug Gulley
11-02-2007, 09:12 AM
Some very interesting interpretations all very nicely done.


11-03-2007, 12:08 AM
:wave: I came across this beautiful reference/challenge while poking around other areas of Wet Canvas...my usual forum is the acrylics wing. I've enjoyed seeing what everyone has done with this so far. So many versions...all lovely! :heart:

So, since reading earlier in the thread that acrylics are a no-no, I dug out an old set of watercolors that have been gathering dust (and drying out) for over a decade. This is my first recent watercolor, but second overall so I am a beginner and would appreciate any tips for improvement. I'm wishing I would have spent more time on the drawing now. My window panes are not even and the perspective a bit skewed. Anyway, here is my attempt.:D



9 x 12" overall, painted portion is 7 x 10"

11-03-2007, 01:03 AM
How beautiful - does your painting really have that yellowish cast, or is it the way it has scanned? I like it - gives an antique feel to this. And you're much cleverer than I, to turn that clay tablet-thingy into a pot! It's lovely.

11-03-2007, 04:23 AM
Elizabeth - I love it, Nancy - i think yours is good, it doesn't look overworked to me, i think that what realy helpe'd me this time that it was the first time i planned alot of it before starting to paint and tried many combinations of colors till i've found the right one's.

11-03-2007, 05:12 AM
It's lovely Elizabeth, here it is with the colour cast removed:



11-03-2007, 10:48 AM
:wave: Thanks Nancy and Eyn!

Nancy, the yellowish tint was from taking the picture at night and not the actual tint. I agree though it is kind of neat! I've read that paper can be tinted like this with coffee or tea. I'm not sure how well it would work under watercolors though.

Thank you Yorky, both for the compliment and for adjusting my photo. The lighting in yours is exactly right. I wish I had better editing software - maybe someday!:D


11-03-2007, 12:57 PM
This is Glenda's painting. She used "Simandle Grey"...manganese blue, rose and raw sienna and sap and undersea with aureolin and ultramarine blue for the greens. This was another fun project as windows are also one of her favorite subjects. Next time, we will post from her house.


11-03-2007, 03:48 PM
Well, here's mine. I almost didn't put it up as I think it's over-worked. Maybe it's just not my usual subject. I liked painting the window and trying to give it a focus area. The up-close greenery was the hardest. Since November has barely begun, I might try it again and modify the subject some. This is done on 11x15 Waterford cold-press paper and Winsor Newton colors. JanP

No. 83, France


11-03-2007, 06:12 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:
Jan that is beautiful, I love the flowing deep rich colors.
Everyone is soooo good, I'm sorta chicken to jump in. The subject is great. Turning the thingy under the bush into a pot or pumpkin is really cool. When you don't know what something is, imagine something else in its place.

great work everyone :thumbsup:


11-03-2007, 08:44 PM
It feels a little cartoonish, but here is mine. Hot press paper. Charlotte

11-04-2007, 01:29 AM
Jan, lovely colors and so lightly done on the window / shutters. So nice, where the right shutter shows reflected light.

I'm at the stage where I feel that I must try to be literal - but these - Jan's and Charlotte's - show a different way to go about it. I might try this again (for the THIRD time).

11-04-2007, 08:31 AM

so many nice interpretations with powerful colour are shown here. So I decided to paint with only one colour.



11-04-2007, 08:39 AM
Well I decided to give this lovely window another try in watercolors. This is my version and looking again at the original photo I realize that the window is at a different angle than the way I did it. Hope you like it. Lil

11-04-2007, 09:34 AM
Hi Lil,

I like your colors and you did it very accurate:thumbsup: . Only the blue shades in two of the window glasses are a little bit strange.


11-04-2007, 10:31 AM
I like to see how each person works. This is only my second month of invitation to paint and I like it very much. This subject did not have my name on it, and I was not happy with my pencil drawing or pen drawing, and the final painting is not what I expected, but it shows something about me. I get a headache every 2 hours similar to cluster headache or paroxysmal hemicrania, and when it hits, my painting turns dark and opaque. If I work on something for more than 2 hours, I usually end up washing off the paper and soaking it thoroughly and letting it dry, and then rebuild layers of transparent paint back up. I have been trying to integrate this into my painting and not let it stop me. I washed this paper off thouroughly once and rinsed it off lightly once. I am happy with the geraniums, and the rest of it leaves me undecided.

I like seeing how people change the angle and what each artist includes or deleted. I don't think any of them look overworked on the screen, but I know mine felt that way too.

Since it early in the month, I will try it again, maybe like Kimba in 1 color, or maybe in 2 or 3 colors, also.

Thanks, Dale, for picking the photo, Olga for contributing it, and to each person posting. I am participating in the Landmark Challenge, which switched to once a month and am the only person left on my team which is kind of lonely (although the other once a month team is still faithfully participating), and this invitation is filling a large empy spot in my heart and giving me a new thread I can be addicted to.

Thanks, people,


11-04-2007, 12:19 PM
Here is my take on this. This was a good challenge for me since I struggle with structures.:o
This piece is on 11x15" CP Arches & M Grahams paints.


11-05-2007, 12:32 AM
So many wonderful interpretations!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Love the way some of you have change the scene...adds a real interest to this thread.

Like many of you I struggled with the foliage...not my forte...but I am pretty pleased with the outcome over all. It's a 1/4 sheet of Arches 140 CP. Now let's see if it looks okay...hard to get a good pic at night...here goes!!!


There...that doesn't look too bad...pretty close anyway!
Happy painting everyone!!:thumbsup:

rue d'oak
11-05-2007, 01:57 AM
I'm really intrigued as well, with the different styles and interpretations. A good reminder that source photos are just that: a source, a starting point.

And this is a challenging photo -- from the perspective to the multiple elements to balance. And the camera has distorted the angle, the perspective a bit...I can see many of you have made adjustments or taken license with it.:p

Some thoughts on paintings posted most recently --
Only the blue shades in two of the window glasses are a little bit strange.
The blue done in the two panes like this, Lil, suggests there is something - a wall, another building -- out there, being reflected in the glass. The source photo has the "blue" in the top panes, clearly a sky reflection. If you can tell us, what was your thought on doing it this way?

Tracy, your range of lights and darks really works well IMHO. Nice sense of light in the vine climbing the wall, and many good textures all around.

Shiela, love the clarity of your colors. The perspective on the flower box on the ground, though, throws me -- it seems tilted towards us too much, in comparition with the window sill.

Kimba, the monchrome definately strips away the distractions, and lets us focus on the window!

Charlotte, cartoonish? Well, WHIMSICAL maybe! Your perspective has a life of its own, I think...AND it works. In fact, the diagonal created by the window panes, and the diagonal of the flower box, give a stronger sense of focus -- assuming the red flowers on the window ledge is your focus -- that with the more regular perspective.

Jan, beautiful colors - they give such unity!

Glenda, what fun to see your painting via Charlotte's post. Beautiful greens, especially in the windows.

Elizabeth, lovely! Especially with the post redone. Creating the clay pot, with the vine twining its way up to the window, frames the window and the flowers beautifully.

11-05-2007, 07:52 AM
I've not been keeping up and don't have much time on here this morning. But Jan I love your shadows and pinks. Charlotte, "cartoonish" or not...lovely. I saw a watercolourist in a book somewhere who does a lot in that particular style and obviously if work's "published" it must be good...right? lol

These challenges are good for learning and they do challenge me!

Kimba, I can't tell what color you used for your monochrome and it could be the scan as well...but you've done a good job with your bricks and the "architecture". I bet you could do some more glazing to increase your values for practice if you wanted. :)

And I saw someone's splatter on the sidewalk...effective! EDIT: Oh yeah...Tracey!
Too many to comment on...but good painting everyone! :wave:

Ok...onto another thread...gotta get my lookies in! :D

Doug Gulley
11-05-2007, 08:31 AM
There are some very interesting styles and techniques used in this thread. Very nice work and after looking at most of them mine looks really green, nice job to all.


11-05-2007, 03:41 PM
This looks like an interesting subject. I think I will give a try. Everyone's paintings and interpretations are very interesting to see.

11-05-2007, 05:09 PM
This is a wonderful reference. I have paint it a few months agoo. this is the result.
On Canson paper, rough grain, with colours from Schmincke, size 30/40 cm
Hope you like it


11-05-2007, 07:23 PM

This is my first post to this forum and I hope I am doing this right. This sounded like a fun project and just what I needed to get myself painting again after a long hiatus this summer.

I painted this on a 1/4 sheet of#90 Arches Hot Press ( I thought that I had #120 cold press taped to the board and frustrated it wouldn't texture--Oh well.)
The walls were painted first with Winsor lemon and while still wet, I floated Permant. Rose and the Daniel Smith's Moonglow to try to get texture. I let the paint mix itself. The Window panes were Winsor green and Alizerin for the dark and colbalt blu and rose for upper panes ,again let it mix on paper. Shutters were several mixed greens glazed over for a often painted look. My ref. photo printed too dark in the vines and I see I painted too much folige. Not happy with that-- but I layered various mixed and muted greens there. Geraniums are Cad Red.
I would like to try this same window in a totally differednt palet to see what happends. Is that permitted here-another post?

I invite all critique PLEASE

(sure looks different from the original watercolor ) (

11-05-2007, 07:35 PM
Hi Bob, this is a teriffic first post - welcome to the forum.

I like the bright colours in the flowers and foliage, especially the geraniums on the windowsill. I would perhaps have toned down the green in the shutters a little, let the flowers be the main eye catchers.

I look forward to seeing more of your work.


11-05-2007, 10:18 PM
Yvette, I like it a lot.

By all means, Bob, try another pallette and cold press. We like different versions by the same people.

I like hot press, and I like your version. It has an end of the rainbow feeling, like when you drive through the rainbow on your way home.


11-05-2007, 10:42 PM
I'll try this also. Great picture. I am new to WC do we need to post our efforts by a certain date.

11-06-2007, 01:56 AM
Hi Dale:wave:

This is my first time ever participating in a forum/project. I just wanted to say that the picture is absolutely beautiful:thumbsup: and I am going to try it.

Also, in looking at the work that has already been submitted by others...it is amazing! There are so many interesting and beautifully rendered paintings that have really inspired me. I can only hope to do as well.


11-06-2007, 09:35 PM
Marita - You can join in whenever you like...no limits really...a new one will start in December!

11-07-2007, 03:04 PM
I am so impressed with the different palletts and perspectives.
Very well done everyone.
Especially like Emily's and yvette's.
Mine is progressing. Hope to have it done in the next couple of days.

11-07-2007, 05:18 PM
Hello, I am a recent member of this site and this is the first post I have made.
I can tell you what the "clay thingey" is - it is a roof tile and the plant is probably a clematis, because that's what the gardening catalogues say to do - protect the roots with a tile, as the plant likes its head in the sun and its roots in the shade.

11-07-2007, 05:39 PM
Hi djd, welcome to the forum.

Good thinking on the tile :thumbsup:

Where in France do you live?


11-07-2007, 05:44 PM
i am in Brittany.
Thanks for your welcome.
This site is so big - I have had trouble getting any kind of handle on it, but I think the newsletter may help.

Doug Gulley
11-07-2007, 06:09 PM
Hello djd I was the one who ask about the thingey, I made it an address marker but glad to know what it actually is. I remember the Clematis wanting it's head in the sun but the roots protected from the sun. I look forward to seeing you around WC.

Thanks, Doug

11-08-2007, 08:05 PM
:wave: Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to the site and am making my first post. I stumbled across the November Invitation to Paint in the watercolor section a couple of days ago and was intrigued. I just love the work some of you are doing and it inspired me to give it a try too. So, here's my attempt at this beautiful photo-a little overworked in places and, like so many of you have mentioned, I struggled with the foliage. But overall, I guess it's good enough to use with my first post-and I had fun painting it. I look forward to this monthly painting adventure and to see what kinds of challenges will be here for us to try in the coming months.


11-08-2007, 08:18 PM
Hi Elaine, great first post - a very nice interpretation.

Gald you found your way here and how to post pictures, you are doing well.

Check out the pull down forum list bottom right for the other parts of the watercolour forum.

You will no doubt have explored the links in my signature to masses of information on this wonderful site.


11-08-2007, 08:22 PM
Thanks so much for the welcome. I'm actually confused by a number of features on here-and almost overwhelmed by everything there is to see. But it's a lot of fun and at least I did figure out how to post my painting. As for the confusion, I guess I need to do a lot more reading...

Elaine :lol:

11-09-2007, 12:50 AM
Welcome to our crazy world Elaine! And congratulations on your first post...really nicely done.
This place is a little overwhelming at first...just start small. Actually, I've only just started venturing out from the the Watercolor Forum into other forums...I mostly forget they are there! :lol:
There are any number of people here who are more than happy to help you out if only you ask...like Doug (Yorky)...he's knowledgeable and always a great help. Good luck!

11-09-2007, 10:47 AM
Hi to All! I was working with encaustics lately, but missed water-colour, so I was glad to read about this challenge.
I couldn't resist, so I'd like to show you my try now:
Arches 300g/m(140lbs), 23 x 31 cm, or 9" x 11".
Thanks for the nice reference photo Dale! :clap:
C & C highly appreciated!


11-09-2007, 11:30 AM
In my previous post I mentioned that I would like to try a diffferent pallett on this window.This time I painted on Yupo paper. I had been wanting to try this paper and judging by the result I have a lot to learn about painting on this surface. But, this is a fun, although frustrating venture. If you like sharp, found edges and a lot of control over where your pain goes this isn't for you but if you like the unexpected and want to try a looser style give it a try. The texture is really wild and the photo doesn't really reproduce it well. Surely ,in a more capable artists hands the results would have been a lot better..I debated about posting this but thought it might be of interest and I had fun with it. The pallett was Indanthere blue, Quinacridon Red and Permanent Yellow-all greens mixed.
Any tips from Yupo users out there?


11-09-2007, 11:49 AM
Wow Bob, the colours are really something!

Yupo is known for the ability to use intense colours.


11-09-2007, 12:39 PM
Wow, summerlove, mari, and freerangebob - all beautiful and different interpretations of the reference photo. Mari, I really love your colour scheme. And the textures of the yupo are so interesting (not that I'll EVER have the nerve to try it.)

And djd, I'm really glad to know about the clay thingy. Thanks! :lol:

11-09-2007, 12:46 PM
Thank you Nancy for your kind words!

Oh thank you djd; I'll protect my clematisses this way in the next summer!


11-09-2007, 04:35 PM
Everyone's paintings continue to be so different.
Here is a different one still.
Arches 1/4 sheet
MGraham and Van Goh paints

I'm not sure the upload thing is working.



11-10-2007, 04:30 PM
Everyone has painted beautiful paintings so far!

11-10-2007, 07:01 PM
:thumbsup: I have very much enjoyed everyones renditions, they are all very inspiring. I read in one of the posts to change it up a bit so here is my project. I have a clematis vine in my front walkway so I decided to make the vine a clematis. My two cats are always hanging out in the garden so I decided to add a couple. :cat: :cat: I have never painted animals ever so forgive... I just started painting in August, so every challange is a new adventure for me. 5 x 7 140lb Strathmore CP rough. (I can't afford Arches). I used various paints and stuff for texture, that was fun. I had a good time and of course c&c are really welcome...:)


11-11-2007, 03:30 AM
Marsha-Wow! What a wonderful job; really hard to believe that you've only been painting for a few months. I love the added cats-very clever-and I think you did a very nice job on those too. You're obviously talented and must have a good instructor too, so keep it up!

Elaine :cat: :cat: :cat:

11-11-2007, 02:09 PM
Thanks Yorky and Ngandhi, I have just started to experiment with Yupo and find it has some really interesting effects and color glows but its not as "spiritual" as putting down that first wash on pure, absorbant Arches cold press.
Still, I think that YUPO will be a lot of fun.

11-11-2007, 03:35 PM
Really good job on getting depth with your pansy's. Like your leaves, too.
Your first animals? They are obviously cats, and I couldn't say that about my first animals! :)

Laura D
11-11-2007, 05:42 PM
Wow, you all are turning out some really nice paintings! The range of different takes on all of them is delightful. This one stands out the most for me, and I have a couple of questions.



First of all I'd like to say I am impressed with your foliage and window... those pavers are really nice too. I like the high-key style as well. :thumbsup:

Is there a reason you've chosen a very light color/texture for the wall? You've got some really good things going on in the street and door sill, I'd really like to see more of that in the wall. Maybe a scumble treatment in one of the siennas (or both!) here and there. You could get some diagonal motion with the placement of the texture, for a tad more drama. It would also balance out that gorgeous red you've got in the window box and keep the eye moving around the painting. ;)

Your shadows in the structure are good but I think they could be strenghtened and my eye really wants some cast shadows from the trees and ivy. I think they would really make the light so much stronger. Even using a high-key color/tone it would work, keep the painting really fresh. You've got a great opportunity to define the light direction in those curtains. Something in blue, like Indanthrene would pick up on the darker foliage in the window box and wouldn't be too dark for high-key. :)

The last "nit" is the rod the curtain hangs on. It seems to stop on the right-hand side of the window.

What do you all think?

11-11-2007, 07:28 PM
Wow, these are really wonderful. all these different interpretations of a photo (Now i want to try)
Dru, I really like your foliage, but I'd like to see more darks in there. Shadows, maybe? I'm telling you what everyone else is telling me!! more darks.
And I didn't know that was a curtain rod!!
your pavers look REAL as do your geraniums!

11-11-2007, 07:53 PM
:wave: Thank you Eagleorr and Elaine for the nice comments.... you inspire me to keep it up. I guess you could say the only instructor I have is this Wet Canvas Forum. I have read this forum for hours, the instructions are wonderful, I did the first challanges and kept on, someday I would like to go to a live workshop or take a class. Now I look forward to the next invitation to paint forum, I guess for December. I am so impress with everyone in Wet Canvas. Thank you all :clap: :clap: :music:

11-11-2007, 09:48 PM
Dru your painting is absolutely fantastic!! You sure are improving in leaps and bounds and you should be very very proud!

Just remember to add those shadows and don't be afraid to go darker..:)

Cheers JJ

11-12-2007, 04:20 PM
Thank you Laura, Mimi, and JJ for your specific comments. It is really the only way I can continue to improve.
Laura- oops the Curtain is suposed to be the shutters, and the curtain rod was supposed to be the shadow os the top ridge. I will add some color to the wall. I did it that way because when I did the first wash I liked the color. It reminded me of a cement wall.
Mimi Glad you like the foliage. It has been one of those break through moments for me. I mash up the end of my brush and drop in the leaves one color at a time building up layers slowly. I am still adding darks very conservatively. I'm afraid if I jump in there with a lot I will turn my picture into a bunch of mud. Thanks for the reminder, I will try to go for another layer after I think I'm done.
JJ- Thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me. I think I will make up a song with a refrain of "Darks, darks, darks, and then a little more"
Thank you everyone.
I agree the challenges are a great way to learn and I look forward to a new one each month.

11-12-2007, 04:51 PM
I am really enjoying this thread and this project. All the submissions has been so good and many have been very different from one another.

I decided to add my submission, but I have to admit I was kicking and screaming as I drew this project. I'm not fond of doing buildings or of mucking around with perspective. When I finally got to the painting, I began to enjoy the challenge.

I decided to make my painting reflect the colors of the Mediterranean so perhaps it is in the south of France. I used 1/4 sheet of Arches CP#140 and primarily DS and DaVinci paints.


To do a bit of self-critique, I have to say I'm not fond of my foliage. As I look at it on screen, I think I should have put the roots of the climbing plant among the rocks rather than behind them. I am very happy with the way the window came out with the box of flowers. That's the most interesting part of the painting for me.

I welcome any and all comments.

11-12-2007, 05:23 PM
I really like your interpretion, especially the color of those shutters!
I think the rocks and roots are great.
Add shadows and darks to the geraniums and the planter they are in.
Good job with the window glass.

Laura D
11-12-2007, 05:45 PM
Judy, your colors are great! They do have a very Mediterranian feel to it. With that kind of light you really need to have cast shadows though. Add them in and this will really siiiinnnnggggg!

Dru, laughing at your song. We all need to learn to sing that, so teach us the tune! Sorry about mis-interpretting the curtains/curtain rod! Silly me, curtains on the outside of a building. Oh well.

11-12-2007, 10:18 PM
I joined Wet Canvas today. I have been browsing before today and saw the Nov invitation and thought I had to give it a shot. Comments are welcome.... This was done on Canson watercolor paper 140lb with Liquitex watercolors. Size is 12x16 in.


Laura D
11-13-2007, 12:52 AM
Welcome to WetCanvas! Ken. Wow, you jumped right in. Good job!

11-13-2007, 02:58 AM
Nice work Ken, love the way you handled the shadows around the shutters.


11-13-2007, 03:52 AM
Thanks to Charlotte Williams for letting me know to post this here. Still getting used to this site and how it works. Thanks for the comments already given, others welcome.



11-13-2007, 09:56 AM
Thank you, Allan. Part of the fun and excitement is seeing how each person interprets the photo. I love these invitations, and very nice to have you here.


11-13-2007, 11:49 AM
now that I see the image - the bottom appears darker on the screen than in the original - guess it was the angle in which I took the digital photo.

11-13-2007, 12:03 PM
Ken, you already posted your painting in post#103 above.

I deleted the second one.


11-13-2007, 12:09 PM
Thanks Doug - and sorry about the double post. When I sign in I don't always see the latest set of updates. I have to do a view/refresh of the forum sometimes to pick up the lastest entries to the thread.

11-13-2007, 02:46 PM
Nice work everyone. It is always so interesting how everyone views things differently. Here is my attempt at this reference photo.

11-13-2007, 09:10 PM
In answer to the question about the "strange windows" I looked again at the original and tried to get the same effect but it didn't work out. So I went back to the painting and made the rest of the windows white the same as the top 2 panes. Hope you like it this way. :rolleyes: Lil

11-13-2007, 09:20 PM
I find the different interpretation really fascinating - cool to learn different ways of seeing the same subject. Really nice work...

Bob I was really impressed by the color in your interpretation - stand out work!!

11-14-2007, 04:07 AM
I like the way you "flipped" the reference Jeremy :thumbsup:

Love the dark shadows Lilian.


11-14-2007, 02:29 PM
LOVE that you flipped the image. Very cool idea.

Great reflection in that window. I would like to see a little variation of color in your foliage.

Looking good. The left middle and lower pane of your window seem to protrude? I think because of the dark shadow on the right side there. You might try removing the shadow there.

Great depth of color. Good reflective technique for the window. My only question is the placement of the lightest reflection. It doesn't seem to match the dirction of light.

Great job everyone. I look forward to even more interpretations.

11-15-2007, 12:41 AM
Hi everyone, I am new to the watercolour forum and usually paint in oils. I have been so amazed by everyones work I thought I might try watercolours for myself and well, they are hard!!!

Here is my first attempt at watercolour after reading through 100's of posts to figure out what to do... any help much appreciated and needed.


It seems as though it is more difficult to take a decent photo of watercolour than it is of oils as well :( . The colours of the window thingies are not as dull in the actual painting.

Thanks for letting me join in!


11-15-2007, 01:09 AM
Wow Great Job Everone!! How fun.

(Dru, I pm'd you back...just in case you check this first!!)

11-15-2007, 05:08 AM
Wonderful job Nat - shadows and foliage handled really well. I hope to see more of t=your watercolours here.

Welcome to the forum.


11-15-2007, 09:34 PM
Thanks Yorky,

It was a lot more fun than oil painting, so I'm sure I will keep plugging away. I love a challenge and I think I will be very challenged with this medium!


11-16-2007, 01:53 AM
Hi all,

I just joined a couple of days ago, after lurking for a while. I like the idea of a monthly challenge, so I joined up in order to participate.

I've been teaching myself watercolor since roughly May of this year. I haven't graduated to "pure" watercolor yet -- I still tend to stick with line & wash.

I upload all my artwork attempts to flickr, if you're interested in perusing them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mathomas/sets/72157594570684935/

Anyway, here's my attempt at "french window". I've enjoyed checking out other folks' work, too. So many styles and ways of seeing. It's always so interesting.


Media: bamboo pen with Higgins black ink. Mostly Daniel Smith watercolor applied with a W&N #12 sable (love this brush -- I use it for everything). Paper is Arches 7x10 sketchpad, 140lb CP.

11-16-2007, 02:20 AM
AllanR: your windows have a great glassiness, your proportions are great, and the flowers are very well rendered.

h2ocolorpainter: I love your color scheme, and the flipped composition. The result really pops off the screen.

ArtsyMom: While not true to the photo (and that doesn't matter), your window rendering still looks shiny. As is, it looks as though what is opposite the wall/window is open sky. I think it works. I might like to see a bit more texture in your planes, though.

Nat: Upon looking at your painting closer, it made me realize that I'd forgotten to put any detail in the shadows behind the right shutter! Oh well. Your shadows are filled with detail, which is great. Your painting's proportions are super-accurate, and you've really nailed the windows. I'm always afraid to go dark. I glazed and glazed until I finally said "oh, give it up".

11-16-2007, 03:49 AM
Impressive work Mike. I checked out your Flickr site and have yet to fully explore it, but I'm very impressed by your art and your photography.

I for one love pen and wash, but as I do most plein air I use an Ediing 1800 pen. Your lines are more expressive.

Welcome to the watercolour forum, you will like the folks here.


11-16-2007, 06:21 AM
Hi mathomas I really like the loose sketchyness of your picture. The combination of drawing and washes looks great and has a lot of energy as well as detail without getting too nitty.

I love the photos of Colorado on your website too!

11-16-2007, 09:22 AM
Wow there are some great versions of this. Page 9 already and it's only 16 November!

Better late than never here's my effort. A big thank you to Dale, because I would never have considered painting this image in the past. It turned out to be great fun.



Lawrence Fox
11-16-2007, 09:54 AM
Boy, am I impressed with the renditons so far--Mike, that pen and wash was very good! And as for the guys who managed to get lifelike renditions of the leaves and the dark shadows--woo, that was good. (Did you do the shadows first and then the leaves on top, or did you labouriously "fill in the spaces"?)

Anyways, here's my version...I decided to go with a more "stucco" look for the wall, but I might have gone a bit too yellow...IRL, the whole thing kinda glows a bit, but I like it...


11-16-2007, 10:33 AM
Mark: Those wet-in-wet windows really look great! Very liquid and shiny, especially the top left, which is really perfect. And you absolutely nailed the colors of wall, stone, etc. I had a lot of trouble with that, and just decided that "my wall is this color" :-).

Lawrence: I love your translation of the colors. It kind of moves the location to the Mediterranean. I'm much too timid to do bold colors (yet), but appreciate it when others do so.

11-16-2007, 10:45 AM
Impressive work Mike. I checked out your Flickr site and have yet to fully explore it, but I'm very impressed by your art and your photography.

I for one love pen and wash, but as I do most plein air I use an Ediing 1800 pen. Your lines are more expressive.

Welcome to the watercolour forum, you will like the folks here.


Thanks, Doug.

Re pens: I've been experimenting with different pens for a while now: felt-tip liners, Rapidographs, crowquills, bamboo, brush pens, etc. I much prefer the line quality I get from dip pens, but they are so inconvenient in the field (as you mention).

I wish I could find a "portable" pen that has expressive line quality, but has a harder "hand" than a brush pen (very hard to control, though do I use them). The search continues. My idol, Edward Wesson, apparently used a sharpened matchstick or popsicle stick and managed to get decent results :-). I guess he didn't mind bringing along a bottle of ink.

11-17-2007, 05:24 PM
Started this as a sketch, excatly like the photo. Relized perspective was wrong and then decided to use the photo only as a reference. I printed the photo off at work. So when I got it to the studio it was black and white.
Decided to go for it and use different colors too.

Feel it needs a little more work, was a little sloppy around the window frame.

11-17-2007, 05:47 PM
It's fine Pamela, we all have different approaches.


11-17-2007, 07:16 PM
Pam, I like your color choices, and I love the birds.


11-17-2007, 08:01 PM
Pam, I love your choice of colours - very autumnal and warm. I think your birds are fabulous too, they add a sense of action and movement to the stillness of the scene.

Lawrence your choice of colours is so hot and summery. Makes me want to visit the Mediterannean.

11-17-2007, 10:30 PM
I am a beginner -- this is a great learning site and I'm glad I found it!:wave:

11-17-2007, 11:58 PM
Thank you all for your encouragement. Would not of thought to even try and paint this. The perspective is such a challenge for me. Excellent choice of subject. Thank you all for being apart of this site.

Resa, I love your choice to include a sliver of the arch way and your walls really look like stone.

Lawrence Fox
11-18-2007, 11:38 AM
It's always amazing to me that the same photo ref can be used to generate such beautiful opposite interpretations...Pamela, you've got some great fall colours and a dark moodiness. It's terrific! Then there's Resa's summer warmth (an nice cat in a typical cat pose!)(I also like the arched doorway).

Selahs art
11-18-2007, 04:11 PM

Love your choice of colours....still brooding on mine.
By the way I love your new work on your website.


John Nicholas
11-18-2007, 05:32 PM
Everyone has done so well; its exciting to see the same reference result in such a varied group of paintings. The drawing had been lying on my table for 3 weeks so I got motivated and finished it yesterday. A lot harder that I thought it would be, kinda confusing. See what you think. Litle leafy things arent my cup of tea, apparently!
Various brands of tube WC on canson paper w/ india ink applied with a stick ( a chop stick actually, but I put it in the pencil sharpener). 8 X 11 in.


11-18-2007, 08:54 PM
John Nicholas: I think that came out rather well, and it's nice to see another line & wash-er out there. Your linework is very precise, and I think the foliage came out great. My approach was to leave random bits of white paper and go back in to paint the foliage.

BTW, I grew up in central KY -- Winchester and Lexington.

John Nicholas
11-19-2007, 01:20 PM
Thanks, Mike. I think I will do more of the ink thing; its fun. Leaving bits of white to in-fill later is a problem for me; it requires planning!
I'm in Woodford County, by the way. Hi (former) neighbor!

Dale Ziegler
11-19-2007, 10:11 PM
Here's my entry. I did it last week as an assignment in Judi Betts's workshop in Myrtle beach. 9x6 new gamboge, permanent rose, cobalt blue. A little different for me.
first we did an abstract underpainting of circles and other shapes., leaving about 1/3 irregular white shape in the center. keeping the colors very pale, and using mixtures of only the three primary colors. Then we overpainted it with a subject of our choice, again using mixtures of the same three colors.
Not my usual method of painting but an interesting experiment.
coments welcome. dalehttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/89779-french_window.jpg

11-19-2007, 10:41 PM
Dale, your painting is beautiful, and the use of the shapes is very interesting. You certainly managed a wide range of colors with your three. Nice kitty!

Lawrence Fox
11-19-2007, 11:27 PM

Very nice--quite different than your usual style, but still very nice. The circles add a bit of "something" to the painting. And I do like the cat--it does add a nice sense of life to the picture, above and beyond the foilage and flowers. (I wish I coulda figured out how to get a cat or a bird into mine, but I think the wall colour was overwhelming)...

11-20-2007, 09:01 AM
Interesting technique Dale - welcome back.


11-22-2007, 02:09 PM
Hi all,

I just joined a couple of days ago, after lurking for a while. I like the idea of a monthly challenge, so I joined up in order to participate.

I've been teaching myself watercolor since roughly May of this year. I haven't graduated to "pure" watercolor yet -- I still tend to stick with line & wash.

I upload all my artwork attempts to flickr, if you're interested in perusing them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mathomas/sets/72157594570684935/

Anyway, here's my attempt at "french window". I've enjoyed checking out other folks' work, too. So many styles and ways of seeing. It's always so interesting.


Media: bamboo pen with Higgins black ink. Mostly Daniel Smith watercolor applied with a W&N #12 sable (love this brush -- I use it for everything). Paper is Arches 7x10 sketchpad, 140lb CP.I really like this Vignette.

Selahs art
11-23-2007, 03:11 AM
A Lot of good work done so far.
Love the line and watercolour.




Jack Liberty Lake
11-24-2007, 03:05 PM
Hello Everyone ... I'm kind of new here .... I've been watching the site for awhile now and finally decided to take Dale up on his November Invitation to paint France. Anyway, here's my entry. Comments and suggestions are always welcomed.


11-24-2007, 03:23 PM
Very nice.
Good variation in the foliage.
Like all of us you could darken your shadows and add a shadow for the plant on the window sill. The shadow on the ground would have some green in it from the climbing vine and some brown from the planter box.
Great shutters and nice shadow under the window sill.
I'm so glad you joined us. You will find good friends and advice here. I have learned so much over the past few months.

11-24-2007, 07:46 PM
Welcome to the forum Jack.

All this lacks is a little punch which would be provided by darker shadows. Try them on a print before committing them to paper.


Scene Chaser
11-24-2007, 08:49 PM
Jack, I agree with the others, more dark in the shadows. Very nice composition and perspective.

Perel, Very nice, just a little too cool for me. But, I love it!

Dale, definitely not your style, but a very successful experiment.


11-24-2007, 09:33 PM
Dale, I love your experiment, Brings your eyes all over the subject, nothing is left out.... It brings it alive...:cool: I also love the CAT.... :cat:
Mike I like your pen and Ink, love the colors :thumbsup:

So many nice Windows in France :wink2:


11-25-2007, 02:43 PM
Retha, I like the cool, moody feeling. Even the red shutters are cool.


Selahs art
11-27-2007, 12:00 AM
Bill Thank you. Maybe I was thinking of France as cool.
Never been there though.

Thank you.


Shirl Parker
11-28-2007, 07:46 PM
I hate being so late in the month to post. Hopefully, I can get in gear earlier for the next one.




11-29-2007, 12:22 AM

Greetings, everyone! I'm new to the website, and a beginner in watercolors. This is just my 6th painting. I've been fascinated with all the wonderful paintings that have been completed for this project, and I've really enjoyed looking over each one and learning from all of you.

Isn't it amazing to see how the spark of creativity of each painter makes each painting unique? The window reflections, as one example, are all different and they all work! :heart:

11-29-2007, 01:26 AM
Shril & Syl1471- great job on these!!!- never to late to join a great challenge!

Syl- welcome to the forum!!!

11-30-2007, 07:09 PM
This last submission was done with a palette of Dan Smith Burnt orange, D Smith Gold and ultramarine blue all mixed on paper. The exception was the red flores. A you suggested Yorky, I greyed down the green shutters.

12-01-2007, 05:45 AM
This looks very orange Bob, is it the scan?

BTW I don't remember suggesting you grey down the shutters, your previous version was on Yupo :confused:


12-01-2007, 01:34 PM
Yes, the painting is not so orange. I posted another painting earlier this month, back on page 5, with a different palette.

12-02-2007, 03:38 AM
Here is my version of the France painting... I am late again, however the painting was done already two weeks ago... :o


12-02-2007, 04:51 AM
Nice work Katya - love the chickens.

Welcome to the forum, check out the links in my signature.


12-02-2007, 03:10 PM
Very nice Shirl and Syl. Capricat, love those chickens and what a great job on the rest! Bob, you never cease to amaze me - it's like nova time. I so love burnt orange, although I usually use DaVinci brand.


12-02-2007, 04:23 PM
Thanks, Doug and Charlotte!

Shirl Parker
12-02-2007, 04:44 PM
Thanks Charlotte and Conni.


12-02-2007, 05:30 PM
capricat - so much definition and detail (even in the shadows), and perfect color. Very nicely done!

Dale Ziegler
12-02-2007, 08:14 PM
A lot of thought and experimenting, and a lot of different styles and interpretations from one photo. That's the real fun of this thread. Keep it up. Now,--- on to December. Happy painting!

12-02-2007, 09:06 PM
It would be great to see all these paintings on the one page..:)


12-03-2007, 09:47 AM
Thanks Charlotte

12-11-2007, 10:27 PM
;) Hi Sylvia, your painting is wonderful! Great Job!! Your painting pale, Tommiehttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Nov-2007/124411-Window_watercolor.jpg

Greetings, everyone! I'm new to the website, and a beginner in watercolors. This is just my 6th painting. I've been fascinated with all the wonderful paintings that have been completed for this project, and I've really enjoyed looking over each one and learning from all of you.

Isn't it amazing to see how the spark of creativity of each painter makes each painting unique? The window reflections, as one example, are all different and they all work! :heart:

01-10-2008, 08:24 AM
Here is mine...Yvonne

Shirl Parker
01-10-2008, 12:04 PM
This is very nice Yvonne.


01-10-2008, 03:11 PM
Nicely detailed.
I love your palette, too

01-14-2008, 01:58 PM
I too am a new member. First post. Attached is my try too.


01-14-2008, 02:29 PM
Congratulations on your first post - welcome to th eforum.


01-14-2008, 03:53 PM
And, welcome to the fun!
Nice foliage and colors.