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Road trip in California: Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles

dessin de San Bernardino
San Manuel Stadium, San Bernardino, California, ink drawing on paper

First drawings of a project that I have had in mind for a few weeks. In order to prepare for the next vacation in the United States and to take a road trip in California, we are scouring many potential destinations on the West Coast of the United States. The choice of places to visit is difficult to determine, we will have to decide which places to choose. Based on this observation, we take our time to study which would be the cities, sites, national monuments in which to go.

Dessin à l'encre de San Diego en Californie
San Diego beach, California, ink drawing on paper

As naturally it is not possible to go on an adventure without my painting equipment, my current approach is to actively spot many Californian spots. It allows me to roughen up a bit the sites that will more or less catch my attention, to create a library of places that I would be more likely to stop to draw. This investigative work is quite exciting, because I can thus project myself into this beautiful project, and experience a virtual road trip before making it a reality. Although I prefer to paint from nature in general, this research allows me to make sketchbooks in advance and is a source of inspiration for the future.

dessin à l'encre de Sacramento, Californie
Sacramento, California, drawing on paper

My active collaboration with the magazine France Amerique gives me many opportunities to illustrate articles on French culture established in the United States. This time the exercise is a little different: it allows me, the Frenchy, to discover a deeper, more confidential America. Indeed, we will inevitably go to see the must-see places in the US, but the desire is to put yourself in the life of the locals and also see everyday places. Besides San Francisco and Los Angeles, what about cities like Sacramento, San Bernardino, Palm Springs or Monterey? Places less familiar to us Europeans, but none the less intriguing.

Los Angeles, California, ink drawing on paper

To make this series of travel sketches that just begs to be enriched, I opted for pen drawing. As a magazine illustrator, I have several work tools that I use depending on the mood. It’s a tool that I love most of all: the hard, dry point allows you to scribble on paper in a vivid way, like graphic writing. In addition, it provides great freedom in the choice of ink colors. So far I’ve gone in the sepia tone, but I can’t wait to use other colors to give this collection a bit of rhythm, and to have a look that better matches each of the destinations.

Painting of Saint Germain en Laye, watercolor on paper

watercolor painting of saint germain en laye yvelines
St-Germain en Laye, watercolor of the main square

Watercolor painted on the main square of St-Germain en Laye, not far from my home. Royal city, the sub-prefecture of Yvelines is a cradle of culture and history. In the same architectural spirit as my city, Maisons Laffitte, Saint Germain is a welcoming city in many ways. Its many shops make it a must for Yvelinois who like to stroll through the shopping streets. A large choice of cafes and restaurants complete the whole of a very pleasant city to live in.

I really like painting outdoors so as to capture the ambience of the place. This place is for me quite emblematic of the royal cities. Magnificent facades with elegant architecture frame this living space. Town market, outdoor events, association day, concerts, festivities … the inhabitants of the town take pleasure in meeting and discussing. So many opportunities to draw characters in their daily life.

To make this watercolor of Saint Germain en Laye, I used the painting equipment that I usually use when I go out to paint in the field. A block of fine-grained paper that allows you to draw lots of details in ink. Indeed, I really appreciate the thoroughness when I do magazine illustrations or for the press, and I like to continue this delicate work when I paint outside. The ink I use is often applied with a sergeant major or glass nib, but when time is of the essence, the weather is unstable, or I have little room to settle in, I ‘uses permanent markers. These fine point markers, where the permanent ink I use with a nib, is indelible and does not react to water. This gives me the ability to color in watercolor, even with a lot of water.

The real constraint is that of the paper, which must be of a substantial weight (around 300 grams), to ensure that the surface does not curl and does not react to ink wash or large brushstrokes.

painting of St Germain en Laye
Painting of St Germain en Laye, Yvelines

Painting in Paris, la Defense. Business center area.

This Sunday afternoon we went with my daughter for an outing to La Défense. When the weather is gray, humid and gloomy like most of these November days, I enjoy seeing a little light and color. During a coffee break, I took to the terrace to do this little ink study of the towers of La Défense. I have always loved this urban architecture. When Paris gives itself the air of a great New York lady, it gives a skyline of buildings with slender silhouettes. Glass structures, metal joists, the city never stops reinventing itself. I always enjoyed sketching cities.

peinture de la Défense, Paris
Painting of Paris la Défense

To change technique a bit, I started entirely with an ink drawing. When I paint outdoors, I usually bring specific painting supplies, mostly watercolors, brushes, tubes of gouache or acrylic. This time I opted for a sergeant major pen drawing. A tool that I really appreciate for the full and the fine, a subtlety that the glass nib does not provide. This offers better varieties of line thickness, with a formidable finesse. The steel nib is naturally harder than the bristles of a paintbrush, so graphic writing is more edgy.

dessin à l'encre à Pairs la Défense
Drawing of Paris la Défense

After hesitating to leave my line drawing, I wanted to add an ink wash to give more dimension and relief to my sketch. I stayed in sepia tones in order to keep chromatic consistency. In addition, the fall colors are well represented by these colors of bistres, ocher or walnut stain. Melancholic hues that go well with autumnal atmospheres.

Skecthbook with sépia ink

I had brought with me a travel sketchbook in a slightly panoramic format. I did not regret the choice of this size of sketchbook in order to be able to capture the urban panorama of the Towers of Defense in Paris.

Hamburger drawing – watercolor at Big Fernand in Paris

aquarelle de restaurant
Painting in a hamburger restaurant

This midday, during a getaway in the Batignolles district, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, we stopped by Big Fernand. It was a great find. I often have the opportunity to draw ready meals, recipes or ingredients when I do illustrations for magazines or the press.

As often, I brought all the painting supplies with me to draw when I go for a walk. This allows me to be operational to make sketches depending on where I am. I really like taking advantage of these opportunities to paint on location: it’s always a very good job of observation that gets out of my studio. With the freshness of these autumn days, I have a little less opportunity to paint Paris, which is why the refuge of cafes and restaurants offers a good alternative.

dessin de hamburger au restaurant
Watercolor of a burger in a restaurant

Once my watercolor was painted, I was able to enjoy myself: Big Fernand is a very good choice of hamburger! You can tell it’s good meat and quality ingredients.

matériel pour peindre à l'aquarelle
Watercolor set

For the very first time, I brought with me a brand new accessory that I got this week: a glass feather. I had learned a little about the subject, as I wanted to change some of my indelible India ink markers.
After trying several fountain pens from various brands: Rotring, Waterman, Lamy Safari or Pentel, my choice fell on glass nibs.

Of course, they don’t offer full and thin lines like a classic sergeant-major feather, or any other chisel point … but the regularity of the line is an advantage to me. For my part, this allows better control of the line, without unpleasant surprises. It is possible to draw from any angle of the hand. The pen thus runs over the sheet of paper, with a long reserve of ink.

In order to be able to combine drawing and watercolor, which is a water-based painting, I opted for a permanent ink. It is not Indian ink, the gum arabic of which obstructs the fine spirals of the nib. This black ink therefore remains very fluid, it flows well on the paper, and does not bleed very much in contact with water.

However, to avoid any unsightly smudging, I started with coloring in watercolors. As soon as it was dry, then I drew my outlines and details in ink. The blackness of the line is perfect: very dense, it combines wonderfully with the lighter shades of water-based paint. The contrast is therefore in my eyes a good balance, I can not wait to redraw now.

Watercolor of the Roofs of Paris, illustration from the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette

illustration des toits de Paris à l'aquarelle
Watercolor of the roofs of Paris from Boulevard Haussmann, Opera. View from Galeries Lafayette rooftop.

This afternoon we wanted to take advantage of the autumnal mildness of this sunny Sunday. We went to Printemps and Galeries Lafayette des Grands Boulevards. Some time ago, I had taken a view of the roofs of Paris from Les Halles at the same time, or the skyline of Paris from the Concorde. I had anticipated this Parisian excursion and prepared something to draw in the open air, to sketch this incredible view. Ever since I “went to the capital”, I have always loved painting Paris watercolors.

The Haussmannian buildings so characteristic by their very slightly ocher stone architecture, adorned with their slate roofs, offer an incomparable playground. In addition, the autumnal hues of the sky in this month of November, give Paris an atmosphere particularly conducive to nostalgia and melancholy. Pictorial atmospheres that I really appreciate.

This watercolor is available in my online art gallery, and will most certainly be the subject of a preparatory study for the creation of a large painting of the roofs of Paris.

Watercolor of the Château de Maisons Laffitte and race horses

Watercolor of Maisons Laffitte with race horses and castles
Watercolor of a race horses at the Château of Maisons Laffitte in winter under the snow

Watercolor on paper of a drawing of the Château de Maisons Laffitte with galloping racehorses in the foreground. It is a theme that I have often represented, having at heart to represent the two strong symbols of my city. Our Castle has just been magnificently renovated: the facade has been completely sanded, sandblasted, the monument has become even more resplendent. In addition, the Gardens of the Castle were completely taken over this year, which gives an idyllic setting to this building which is the pride of our municipality.

Regarding racehorses, even if many uncertainties weigh on its future, the Horse remains an inseparable element of Maisons-Laffitte. The thoroughbreds that it is common to come across in the Parc de Maisons Laffitte, at the Training Center, at the Caves du Nord or in the many alleys, are athletes who have their place.

The jockeys proudly wear the colors of the stables or owners for whom they compete on their helmets. Tireless, they tame their steeds and bring them to the racetracks and gallop their stallions until they lose their breath. So, even if our racecourse is no longer in use for the moment to host equestrian events, this representation of our horses combined with our Château is more relevant than ever.

This watercolor by Maisons Laffitte is made on an A3 Bristol-type paper print that I colored with gouache highlights, for the sky and the gowns, in order to have a very dense color rendering. To structure the castle and the lawns, I used a very light watercolor wash in shades of gray. I draw outdoors, but with the freshness of these fall days, I preferred to try this technique.

Several of my watercolors, reproductions or paintings by Maisons Laffitte are available in my online art gallery, which I invite you to discover.

Watercolor of the Château de Chambord

aquarelle du Château de Chambord, Sologne

Peinture à l’aquarelle du Château de Chambord sur papier

Watercolor of the Château de Chambord on paper. During our visit to this incredible French monument in the heart of Sologne, I took the opportunity to paint the imposing building. A massive silhouette of white stone, adorned with countless fireplaces. The spectacular architecture of this castle was entrusted to Mansart, who also designed another building that I know well for painting it: the Château de Maisons-Laffitte.

The domain of Chambord is located in Loire-et-Cher, a natural, preserved and pampered environment, which shelters countless hectares of forests. The history of the Kings of France is truly palpable at the Château de Chambord. The centuries-old stones, which date from the time of François I, have survived the centuries and the Kings of France, the Emperor Napoleon and various politicians have all contributed to the preservation of this French Monument.

After drawing the silhouette of the castle in Indian ink as I usually do, each time I paint on the location, I colored my watercolor outline. The palette of tones is quite limited: a fairly light ocher for the details of the facade, a blue gray for the slate roofs, and a wash of soft green for the lawns of the park in the foreground.

This small watercolor is available for sale in my online art gallery, do not hesitate to consult me ​​for any further information.

Brandy Melville, illustration in Paris Passy

Brandy Melville illustration
Brandy Melville illustration, Paris Passy

During a shopping session with my daughter at Brandy Melville de Passy, ​​in Paris, I took the opportunity to paint the showroom of this store. This is one of my daughter’s favorite brands, and I have to say I really like the style. Chic and relaxed Californian atmosphere, elegant and very trendy. Fashion design has always fascinated me, stylists regularly manage to renew themselves by innovating or drawing in neo-vintage atmospheres. When I do illustrations for magazines, it allows me to acculturate myself to this universe of fashion design.

To my knowledge, there are two Brandy Melville stores in Paris, one is rue de Rennes, towards St-Germain-des-Prés. The second, the one I visited, is in the heart of Passy, ​​in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. I love making watercolors of Paris, it wasn’t so long ago that I painted the Place de Passy. The atmosphere in this district reminds me a little of that of towns to the west of Paris, such as Maisons Laffitte or St-Germain-en-Laye.

The architecture of the Passy store is spectacular: an industrial building with beautiful metal joists supporting the building. A decoration that evokes the loft spirit, well in line with the vintage American ambience of the brand. which reminds me of my travel diaries in the United States.

So I didn’t hold out for long: during my daughter’s shopping spree, I took out a sketchbook and a box of watercolors to paint this interior view. I have a habit of always bringing my painting supplies with me in case the opportunity arises. I draw regularly on location: I love painting outdoors or indoors, depending on the occasion. This allows me to work on drawing characters with observation sketches.

Please feel free to browse my online art gallery to see my available watercolors, and thank you for visiting!

Illustration painted on location in Brandy Melville, Paris

Watercolor painting of Honfleur, Normandy

Watercolor painting of the Port of Honfleur, in Normandy. This highly touristic fishing village is in my eyes a marvel. Moreover, given the large number of artists, painters and sculptors who have treated this small fishing port, I am far from being the only one to be seduced by these pretty facades.

I have always loved traveling around this region to create paintings of Normandy. The landscapes are very different from each other, depending on whether one walks in the Normandy grove with its beautiful Norman stone houses, the beach of Deauville as well as its Casino Barrière and the Hotel Normandy, or the spectacular cliffs of Deauville. ‘Etretat.

aquarelle du Port de Honfleur en Normandie
Watercolor painting of Honfleur, Normandy

Each trip is an opportunity to paint outdoor marine or rural, sometimes urban, atmospheres in the open air. Depending on the destination, I do my best to plan the right painting equipment so that I never get caught off guard.

This time, it was after photos that I worked, this is how I work on my illustrations for magazines, for example. This allows me to work on my compositions in peace and to work on the desired atmosphere according to my desires.

If you would like to browse my online art gallery to see my other watercolors and paintings available.

Painting of the cliffs of Etretat, Normandy

Indian ink drawing colored with watercolors, of the cliffs of Etretat. Of course, the Lupine series has given pride of place to the Aiguille Creuse and the adventures of Arsene written by Maurice Leblanc. As a child, I devoured his books and it wasn’t until my teenage years that I discovered the real cliffs with my own eyes. We often come to Normandy. From Maisons Laffitte, this magnificent and green region is not far from our home. Each time, it is an invigorating and invigorating getaway to walk in Normandy.

aquarelle falaises d'Etretat, Normandie
Painting of the cliffs of Etretat, Normandy

The meadows as far as the eye can see offer a comforting landscape. The bocage and the villages are great stopovers. Whenever possible, I bring my drawing materials with me to do watercolors. Whenever I can, I do outdoor paintings on site to bring back paintings of these green escapes.

Thus, between our trips to Deauville, Honfleur, Mont-St-Michel or the Normandy hinterland, this gives me the opportunity to build a collection of paintings from Normandy. Some are available in my online art gallery.

Watercolor of the Mont St Michel

It’s been a while since I wanted to do a watercolor of the Bay of Mont-Michel. Disputed by the Normans or the Bretons, this majestic place is one of the most unusual places there is. The imposing silhouette of this building built in the middle of the salt meadows is easily recognizable. The abbey at the top of the Mont is an integral part of French heritage and is a hotspot for tourism. Not just from Normandy, but from all over France.

aquarelle du mont st-michel
Watercolor of the Mont St Michel

The spiritual dimension released by the ascent of the path in the middle of this architecture is a strong symbol in itself. It is, moreover, an important stopover on the Santiago de Compostela routes taken by pilgrims. The objective of the walk is to reach the summit on which the statue of St. Michael rests.

Throughout the year, only around thirty inhabitants – the Montois – took up residence on the Mont. This population exerts a certain fascination on me: lodging it on Mont Saint Michel is a spiritual retreat in its own right. Geographically cut off from the rest of the world, the Abbey of Mt St Michel and its houses are in the center of the bay. The surrounding marshes form a natural setting in which the sheep of the salt meadows evolve.

Regarding traditions and gastronomy, Mont Saint Michel is closely associated with the famous recipe of Mère Poulard. This reputation is due to the quality with which the eggs and cream are whipped with a long whisk at a steady pace. As you walk along the main street, walking figures and pilgrims can hear the characteristic lapping of the whip as they pass the establishment of Mère Poulard.

Normandy is a region that I like to paint. Norman houses have a specific architecture: there are beautiful houses with pretty stones and often rich vegetation … even if painting houses in Brittany is also a very satisfying experience!

This watercolor of Mont St-Michel was made from a photo. Usually I like to paint outdoors, but depending on the occasion, whether for magazine illustrations or painting commissions, I work from an iconographic medium.

A preparatory sketch is used to set up the composition. This allows me to color in a second step and to think about what will be the best atmosphere to restore: melancholic, spring, nostalgic or joyful.

I invite you to discover my online art gallery of paintings to browse the paintings and watercolors made over the years.

Greek landscape

greek landscape Santorini
Santorin

The Greek landscape offered by the Cyclades archipelago is a real treat. After our vacation in Greece, I start preparing for an exhibition in Santorini. Several subjects lend themselves well to the Strogili Art Gallery in Fira.

So I just did this little study of bell towers overlooking the Aegean Sea. An improbable succession of buildings of immaculate architecture, clinging to the sides of the cliffs of the Caldera.

Succession of small white villages clinging to the hillsides that plunge into blue waters, the island of Santorini is for many one of the most incredible places in Greece. It is not for nothing that it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. There are many steep paths that run along the ridges.

As far as the eye can see, from hills to hills, the Greek landscape is declined in all horizons. The rounded silhouettes of the domes of the dazzlingly colored churches contrast with the arid vegetation. Imposing buildings or small houses nested with each other, form a dense and united architecture. Good smells of grilled fish or moussaka perfume the narrow streets, in which the sun is struggling to find its place.

Thira, Imoriviglie, Oia, so many cities, proud and sparkling fortresses which dominate the waves. The people of Santorini can be proud of their beautifully maintained and terribly authentic island.

To discover all of my paintings on Greece, click here.

Maisons Laffitte Ermitage College

maisons laffitte ermitage college
Maisons-Laffitte Ermitage College

On this beautiful afternoon back to school at the Maisons Laffitte Ermitage College, I wanted to paint this very beautiful building. I thought it would be nice if they remembered this beautiful establishment in Maisons-Laffitte.

Nestled in the Maisons-Laffitte Park, this freestone and slate school building is an archetype of Mansard architecture. Pyramidal pediments, high chimneys and wrought iron gate complete this building that I had the pleasure of sketching.

Based on a drawing sketched in Indian ink, I colored this combination of shades: ocher of stones and emerald green of trees. These colors are really complementary. It is a real pleasure to combine warm colors.

Tomorrow the peaceful place will be a little more hectic with the returning schoolchildren, not necessarily too impatient to return to their school.

With the summer still warm, there is still time to daydream on the lawns in front of the school. Place for games, football games. The students find each other one last time carefree. Soon homework will feed school bags. The teachers will make way for the lifeguards, making way for the last moments of the holidays.

Welcome back to you all !

how to paint video
Click on the picture to watch the making of

Watercolor place de Passy, Paris

This afternoon during a walk in Paris, I took the opportunity to go do a watercolor Place de Passy, ​​Paris while the children did a little shopping. It is for me one of the most beautiful Parisian districts of the 16th arrondissement.

This afternoon during a walk in Paris, I took the opportunity to go do a painting at Place de Passy, ​​while the children did a little shopping. It is for me one of the most beautiful Parisian districts of the 16th arrondissement.

Drawing from life is really the best way to learn. Work the eye, observe the perspectives, the movements of the crowd. This type of urban scene is the ideal terrain to capture the ambience of the streets as quickly as possible. Trees introduce a notion of plants to the city. The white buildings cool the warm summer streets with their shadows. Thus the terraces of this small square welcome a crowd of Parisians and tourists under their two-tone parasols, who gather around a drink.

watercolor place de Passy, Paris
Place de Passy, Paris

Painting a watercolor Place de Passy, Paris

Small sized paper pads are perfect for painting directly in place. Of a reasonable size, however, it is possible to reconstitute sketches on a small scale that will later be used to create paintings, depending on the inspiration. They allow you to quickly grasp an ephemeral atmosphere. It is also easier to immerse yourself in the subject, discreetly, without attracting too much the gaze of passers-by.

The small watercolor blocks that I use make the process easier. It is a painting technique that dries relatively quickly. So, if a thunderstorm is brewing, it is always time to repackage the equipment. In addition, no easel is needed: to paint this painting of Place de Passy, ​​I was able to draw standing up. Well propped up, leaning against a lamppost, I was able to choose my point of view more easily.

The subjects of paintings are so numerous that I made myself the promise to come back to paint in this beautiful district. Indeed, the squares, crossroads, cafes and terraces are places of life. So many pretexts for new designs!

Peinture Place de Passy, Paris 16
Painting in the 16 area of Paris, France

Watercolor Parc of Maisons Laffitte

watercolor of the Parc de Maisons Laffitte
Watercolor of the Parc de Maisons Laffitte

Realization of this watercolor of Parc Maisons-Laffitte. The city enjoys a spectacular green setting in which walkers like to get lost. Numerous wooded reserves adorn the city with natural plots of charms and lime trees. So many refuges for red squirrels, jays and chickadees which coexist with splendid villas.

Being lucky enough to live in this incredible place, I have an incredible playground for regularly painting watercolors or drawing in the shade of trees. In addition, the rich and varied architecture of these beautiful residences is enhanced by these green spaces. Attic rooms, millstones, chalets or modern houses, there is something for everyone.

Add a few handfuls of riders trotting around in this environment, and you’ll have a result that is not far from what heaven can be.

Whatever the season, the Parc Maisons-Laffitte is a delight for the eyes. The leaves of the trees are adorned with beautiful shades of color. Bright spring green can give way to warm fall hues. These delicate tones offer endless possibilities for watercolor, gouache or any creative pleasure.

Art gallery in Santorini

art gallery in Santorini

While visiting an art gallery in Santorini, an idea occurred to me. Why not exhibit my watercolors directly on this island? Yes, after all, I painted many pictures while on vacation in Greece. It’s a great opportunity to show my work directly on site. This is why I contacted the Strogiliart Gallery in Thira. So I presented my work, I will have the chance to exhibit my paintings and paintings in this art gallery nestled in the heart of Fira, the main city of Santorini.

Strogili Art Gallery
Erithrou Stavrou, Thira 847 00, Greece
Phone. : +30 2286 022247
Website: https://strogiliart.gr

art gallery in Santorini
George Chalaris and Yves Damin, Strogili Art Gallery, Santorini, Greece
To discover all of my paintings on Greece, click here.

Nestled across Greece, the small Greek Orthodox churches take on an even more special identity when they cling to the hillsides of the Cycladic islands. These little immaculate white buildings bear witness to the faith of the men and women who built them in difficult situations.

They sculpt the rocky and dry landscapes of a dry and arid land. Their blue domes cover their walls and are a landmark for the traveler who gets lost in the islands.

Painting in Greece is a privilege for artists, the subjects allow many compositions and are so many opportunities to paint pictures. So I’m grateful to have an expo in an art gallery in Santorini.

painting of Santorini
Painting of Santorini
Oia, original watercolor of Santorini
Village of Oia, Santorini

Greece paintings

Aquarelle Grèce, Ios Cyclades
Watercolor of Greece: Cycladic island of Ios

During our vacation, I was able to do many paintings of Greece. The Greek Cyclades each have their own personality. Ios impressed me in many ways. The sunsets here are fantastic, the island lights up during golden hour, and the white walls turn pearly.

The main town of Ios is a spectacular tangle of white houses. Nested within each other, the eye is easily lost. A magical, spectacular city.

This watercolor of Ios was painted facing the city, sitting in the shade of one of the island’s windmills. The terraces in the foreground are the privileged place of the many Greek cats who live here year round and bask in the sun.

To discover all of my paintings on Greece, click here.
ile Grèce Ios
Watercolor of Ios Island

Architecture and vegetation

After a few hours at the beach, I sat on the terrace of one of the many cafes on Mylopotas beach, on the Isle of Ios to do this watercolor. This allowed me to take a close look at the Greek architecture so characteristic of the Cyclades. Houses nested one in the other between which runs a relatively sparse vegetation. Succulents, cacti and palm trees give an exotic color to these immaculate white buildings.
The white Fabriano paper with a fine texture thus gives the necessary relief to densify these urban landscapes made in watercolor.

Ile grecque de Syros
Galissas, Syros

This is the type of exercise that I like to practice regularly in character drawing and life scenes. I try to take advantage of any quiet moment to sit down and pull out my sketchbook. The people waiting for the bus were a perfect alibi so I could draw them in Indian ink, then quickly color them with watercolors. As they did not move, it allowed me to be able to observe them at leisure and to paint this watercolor in the Cyclades, in the heart of Greece.

To discover all of my paintings on Greece, click here

Mykonos painting

Mykonos painting
Mykonos from the beach

To do a Mykonos painting, you need several ingredients. First a bright blue sky, then pretty white houses, and finally a sea of ​​turquoise waters. On the other side of “Little Venice”, charming restaurants with tables on the water’s edge welcome tourists and locals with tantalizing smells of fish and grilled meats.

Greece is a real land of sensual pleasures that flatters the appetite as well as the eyes. The very beautiful architecture is a treat for drawing. The shades of white and blue allow for a rich and varied color palette.

Prussian blue goes well with cobalt blue or even turquoise, while the tones blend in watercolor shades in which the gaze is lost.

peinture de Mykonos
Mykonos, Little Venice

What seduced me the most in Mykonos, is undoubtedly this beautiful promenade which offers a beautiful perspective along the sea. The ancient columns bear witness to Greek Antiquity, white and slender, which contrast so much with the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. That’s why I wanted to do a Mykonos painting.

Mykonos aquarelle sur papier

The white marble at the end of the day takes on the colors of the sunset and the city lights up with tones of ivory and gold. This is why I like to paint with watercolors: it allows me to capture the fleeting moment and draw on the spot, in order to better capture the sensations and better soak up the light.

To discover all of my paintings on Gre

To discover all of my paintings on Greece, click here

Painting of the Cyclades

painting of the Cyclades

Painting the Cyclades is an invitation to travel and change of scenery.
Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, but also Ios, Santorini, Syros and many others, bring unspeakable joy to the traveler when he walks these island lands that dot the Aegean Sea.

I have a lot of fun painting these seascapes, rural or urban. The colors are enchanting, they are both harmonious and surprising, and the sea is never far away.

Tableau Cyclades
Ermoupoli, on Syros island

Painting the Cyclades is an invitation to travel and change of scenery.
Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, but also Ios, Santorini, Syros and many others, bring unspeakable joy to the traveler when he walks these island lands that dot the Aegean Sea.

I have a lot of fun painting these seascapes, rural or urban. The colors are enchanting, they are both harmonious and surprising, and the sea is never far away.

To discover all of my paintings on Greece, click here

Italy watercolors

Italy watercolors
Procida, Campania. Watercolor on paper.

What a joy to paint watercolors from Italy. During a family getaway in the Bay of Naples, I took the opportunity to draw. As so often on my travels, I bring paper, brushes and pots of colors. During this brief stay I took the opportunity to paint different compositions. Villages, small authentic fishing ports or even the street scenes that I love, especially in the Mediterranean.

painting of Napoli

So installed on café terraces, on the ground or standing up, I took out my sketchbook and my pallets. I thus realize some paintings in situ. For me, drawing from nature remains the best means of observation and immersion. I immerse myself in the atmosphere that I try to render on canvas or watercolor papers.

original watercolor of Pompei
Pompei, watercolor on paper

Italy is a real playground for those who like to paint old stones, the facades of houses with ocher tones and full of details. A few years ago I brought back many watercolors from Sardinia. The centuries-old architecture offers a wide variety of subjects to sketch, draw and color. The drawing of my travels always gives me great satisfaction: it allows me to dive back in with delight and relive fabulous vacation moments. It is also the impression of recreating the very special atmosphere of travel designers, such as the Marine Painters, explorers and visual witnesses of scenes of life.

Painting an ice cream maker in New York

glacier à New York

France-Amerique once again entrusted me with a painting of New York illustrated dossier, devoted to … ice cream! Like all reports for which I have the chance to create illustrations. Events rich in anecdotes. This time, the highlight for me was to learn that Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States was a gourmet absolutely fan of these “French ice creams”. He even wrote the official recipe during the Civil War. These stories in History are a particularly tasty pretext for documenting myself and looking for the best possible iconography.

France-Amérique is delighting us with its projects which bring French gastronomy high on the American continent. When the culinary arts combine with history, it is with relish that we taste this exceptional magazine.

From now on, the next time I come to American soil, one thing is certain, whatever the season, even in the coldest winter, I would be looking for that ice cream truck in New York. A few Frenchies are passionately traveling the United States to conquer new markets.

Thus, ice cream does not belong only to the monopoly of large industrial groups, but to artisans who seek a very specific quality. Ice cream is not only a question of gluttony, but a question of taste, of flavors. The conquest of America has a bright future for all food lovers.

Thomas Jefferson writing his recipe of the first ever ice creal of the USA. Watercolor on paper.
peintures France Amérique

Magazine illustration

illustration de magazine
Sculptor Bartholdi at work

Besides my visual activity, I often work in magazine illustration. I particularly like it because it takes me out of my comfort zone. Indeed, you need a strong desire to document yourself in order to precisely illustrate the images that match the narration. An exercise that I love because it allows me to explore new artistic horizons.

Drawings of characters, scenes of life, still lifes or landscape paintings… There are many pretexts to broaden one’s graphic palette. Historical scenes give me immense pleasure: to dive into History in order to bring to life through drawings famous or forgotten people or places. It exerts a certain fascination.

Substantive files allow us to understand, through multiple visuals. A rich iconography at the service of the author of the text. A special alchemy, a link between text and images.

New York magazine France-Amérique has commissioned a new report from me to illustrate. The incredible story of Coca Cola, which is suing Vin Mariani for trademark infringement. American giant against the Corsican family business has allowed me to paint a large number of gouaches and watercolors on the United States as well as a few paintings on Corsica.

An opportunity also to paint some famous figures such as the sculptor Bartholdi, or Doctor Pemberton, the inventor of Coca Cola. Illustrating for a magazine allowed me to explore many anecdotes from history.

peintures France Amérique

Ordering a painting from a house

commande de tableau d'une maison
Painting of a country house in Brittany, France

I received this comission about ordering a painting from a house in Brittany. A client did ask me to paint his family home. This magnificent residence is located in North Finistère. Brittany is a region which lends itself readily to painting, with soft or tormented hues. The weather always gives the tables a certain tone. In this case, for this composition, I preferred to let speak the tranquility of nature that naturally envelops this house, with a palette of colors and mineral and shimmering green tones.

I often do paintings on demand, there are several possibilities to do this. Whenever possible, I try to get there. It allows me to paint on the spot in order to better capture the atmosphere. I can also turn around the subject better to soak up the composition and have a better feel. The atmosphere to be returned is very important, and nothing beats planting the easel directly on location.

Another possibility for ordering a painting from a house is to work from photographs. For places located very far away, where sometimes that no longer exist, I thus manage to reconstruct a place through painting. The important thing is to always have a good documentary base to faithfully reproduce the desired setting.

Of course, an oral or telephone exchange with valuable indications, facilitates the understanding of the subject. Sometimes it is just the smallest details that evoke a specificity dear to the inhabitants. It could be a drawing of a fountain, a lamppost or even a significant tree in the garden.

Thus, it is possible for me to paint a Norman house, a Provencal farmhouse, a Parisian building, a New York skyscraper or a Breton farmhouse.

Offer a painting

offer a painting

Offer a painting is a really personal process. I had the pleasure of making this watercolor of a magnificent house in Normandy. A large house nestled in lush greenery north of a stream in which an old wooden mill regularly laps the ru. A place out of time, inhabited by lush vegetation conducive to the creation of this painting in the heart of the Normandy countryside.

This house was the subject of a birthday gift from friends for a birthday to a loved one, who came together to give this painting. In this context, this proof of friendship is imbued with intimacy, because we touch the sensitive soul of the person. It is a very personal present, which does not cheat, and which evokes a memory, a memory of a place.

Houses are an integral part of human memory. They have the flavor of childhood, a reminder of a slice of life. From the perspective of a painting, it is often happy memories that come to mind. Beautiful years that have passed, romantic encounters or even a certain carefree attitude.

Details are of particular importance. They are meaningful and allow you to better project yourself into the moment you experience. Thus, offer a painting very often amounts to offering a journey through time, into memory.

Verdun historic illustration

Illustration about WWI in Verdun

It was with great pleasure and emotion that I participated in a new contribution for France-Amérique magazine based in New York. This time, I was asked to make four watercolors on paper to illustrate the narration of a very beautiful text on a rather special guided tour: the trenches of Verdun. Dive into the heart of the villages during the First World War to illustrate the cemeteries, forts and memorials of this great conflict.

In order to bring a little joie de vivre and cheerfulness to this theme, I opted for bright colors and a cheerful palette of tones. Large watercolor juices allow landscapes to give back a little taste for life with an atmosphere more shimmering than grayish.

It is not a question of truncating a sad and brooding reality, but of approaching the subject with illustrations with a fresher, spring-like treatise. In any case, the pleasure and the emotion were at the rendezvous for the creation of this series of visuals.

Each time I am doing illustrations for magazines, it is a great satisfaction to create new visuals, especially with such an intense meaning.

Personalized greeting cards

personalized greeting cards
Watercolor greeting cards representing the desert

Creation of a series of personalized greeting cards. Very limited edition of 10 greeting cards illustrating a peaceful stream bordered by palm trees at the foot of the dunes of the Sahara desert. Creation of a composition on behalf of a Franco-Tunisian company. Watercolor on paper.

Even if digital technology has naturally replaced most of our exchanges, traditions remain. Traditional greeting cards always carry a special message. A watercolor card is more than just a rushed message.

Recipient can fully appreciate the card received and framed if desired. The sender takes more care when writing his message. Choice of words is important, it reassures the promise of the image addressed to his loved one.

Words are precious, a card, even if it is sent only once a year, when it receives such attention, strengthens the bond between the two people. The challenge is therefore to find a theme that is strong and powerful enough to evoke a memory or a common issue. The primary objective is to convey a warm and positive image. Making personalized greeting cards allows this freedom, that of choosing the first message to illustrate. Whether it’s a winter scene or a Mediterranean landscape, there are many illustrative options.

Painting of the Louvre

painting of the Louvre, Paris
Painting of the Louvre

Realization of a painting of the Louvre from the Seine: very large watercolor on arches paper. As a watercolor artist, it is always my heart to draw water, whether it is the sea, the ocean, rivers or lakes. In this case, it is the river of Paris that serves as the backdrop to paint the Louvre.

An excellent urban landscape, the sight of this emblematic Parisian monument brings color to the perspective of the building. Greeted by the Bateau-Mouche which brings a blessed human presence in this stone setting of the capital.

This painting of the Louvre was painted for a lover of Paris, keen on history and architecture. Like me, he is sensitive to the charm of this immense monument of the Capital. This fascinating masterpiece is imposing, but it is the symbol of a building that has stood the test of time. Over the ages, its collection of paintings, paintings and sculptures from all civilizations has continued to grow.

As a student in art school, I can no longer count the number of times I have gone to admire the artistic compositions of painters and sculptors. The Louvre simply houses the most impressive collection in the world. Current testimonies of Flemish painting, German and Spanish masters. Greco-Roman and Egyptian civilizations, but also more confidential works, there is something for all tastes, all styles.

In addition to the pyramid and the imposing volumes of its architecture, it is the environment close to the Museum that gives this place all its importance. Ideally located geographically, the quays make it an admirable point of view. From the Square du Vert Galant or from the Parisian Bateau-Mouche, this is where I prefer it.

order a painting

Lobster battle illustration

Illustrations produced for France-Amérique magazine, to illustrate watercolors of European and American lobsters. The in-depth dossier concerns the economic challenges of fishing for this crustacean in the world’s oceans. Geopolitical tensions for this poor crustacean who sees all the colors before ending up at the bottom of our plates.

I must say that I took immense pleasure in drawing the colors of the shells, rendering the textures in watercolors in order to whet the reader both literally and figuratively. It’s always a pleasure to create illustrations for magazines.

Musical comedy sets: positive reception for Ducobu

illustration for musical comedy set
Musical comedy set illustration

Despite the health context, the live performance managed to perform in some rooms with success. This is the case for Ducobu, the comedy in which I had the pleasure of participating to produce the digital illustrations noticed in the Parisian edition. Each of the scenes was graphically dressed by giant drawings, broadcast on LED screens, in order to offer a scenographic immersion to give even more body to the magnificent stage performance of the actors.

As a magazine illustrator, I am used to collaborating on wonderful projects, but the dimension of the performing arts offers a fantastic dimension. My pleasure of drawing outdoor or on location fully corresponds to the challenges of scenography and the creation of sets. In addition, digital painting done with illustration tools like Procreate or Illustrator, changes the equipment of the traditional painting equipment that I use on a daily basis.

There are many possibilities for broadcast on stage or screen projection. The spectators thus have an irreproachable image quality which makes it possible to enhance the staging. In addition to the sets made for the musical Ernest and Celestine, these performances thus gave rise to a great press review on my artwork.

Illustration of the sets for the theater play Ducobu

Illustration for the theater play Ducobu, Théâtre de la Tour Eiffel, Paris

After making the watercolors projected on stage at the Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse in October 2019, I had the pleasure of working on the illustrations that dress the play Ducobu. This play, written and directed by Caroline Magne, is performed at the Théâtre de la Tour Eiffel. It is inspired by the comic strip by Zidrou and Godi, which has given rise to three films interpreted in particular by Elie Simoun in the role of Professor Latouche.

So I designed several atmospheres in agreement with the artistic direction and to compose as well as possible with the actors on stage, to represent a classroom, schoolyard and fair.

The drawing style is in a clear line in the spirit of the comic book, with vivid areas of color. In order to have an optimal display quality on the screens, I opted for an illustration with digital painting, which allows a faithful reproduction of colors and lines.

Portrait gallery of Black Paris

Watercolors, paintings and drawings about important black people in Paris

This summer I made a collection of drawings and paintings on the theme of black American personalities who mattered in France. As a magazine illustrator for France-Amérique, I was entrusted with a fascinating dossier: proposing a stroll in Paris, an illustrated walk in Black Paris.

The personalities highlighted are notably the singer Joséphine Baker at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the jazzman Miles Davis, the writer Charles Baldwin in St-Germain-des-Prés or the Harlem Hellfighters, an American military band that introduced the first notes of jazz in Pigalle and Montmartre.

Paintings of places and characters to give the Black Lives Matter movement a visual and graphic interpretation of the cultural imprint of these people in the paintings of Paris.

Painting of the City Hall of Paris: hôtel de ville

City Hall of Paris: the Mairie, as well known as Hôtel de Ville

Watercolor from the Paris City Hall to illustrate an article in the bilingual New York magazine, France-Amérique.

This building with flamboyant architecture is rich in infinite details carved in this freestone, adorned with sublime slate roofs.

Even though this building offers cool and white colors, I opted for more shimmering tones, with a beige and ocher color palette to illustrate a warmer aspect to the Paris City Hall. As an illustrator of magazine, I have several occasions to paint many compositions about History, people or architecture.

Of course, I really enjoy to do paintings of Paris : its monuments, rooftops, skylines or any kind of building drawings. Usually, I paint on location as a parisian Urban Sketcher.

Illustrations from France Amerique magazine

France Amerique Magazine covers

It is with great honor and pride that I was asked by the New York magazine France-Amérique, to illustrate the special “Bastille Day” feature for the July 2020 edition. A great achivement for a magazine illustrator!

This emblematic American magazine is the ambassador of French culture and the art of living of our country on the overseas continent.

It is the only fully bilingual illustrated magazine distributed throughout the United States, since 1943, when its founders created the first edition intended for all Francophiles or French expatriates.

From a graphic point of view, I have always been drawn to the covers of Unes colorful and richly illustrated, with striking style and detail.

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