Hiroshige’s ‘Cherry trees at Goten-Yama’

This is Cherry Trees at Goten Hill, from the series Twelve Views of Edo, done around 1835 by Hiroshige:
Reference illustration: Various people in grassy meadows slopping down toward the sea with sailboats. There are a few pink blossom trees.

After sketching in pencil, I used a 0.05 mm and 0.2 mm (for the closest sailboats) Uni-ball pin pen to create the outline:
Rough pencil sketch on watercolour paper
Outline in black ink. My pencil, a tiny rubber and the black pen I used are visible on the table.

Then I used watercolor. Light grey for the sky, green for the grassy hill:
Light grey watercolour applied loosely in the sky, pale green in the meadows.
I added the roofs of wooden shacks right behind the hill, as I decided I wanted them. Then I continued painting, adding burnt sienna to my grey mix for the roofs, and using a wash of Prussian blue for the sea:
Blue gradient, still wet, for the water.
I darkened the sienna and grey mix to add contrast to the roofs, started to paint the figures in grey and light ochre. For the cherry blossom, I used alizarin crimson:
Wet pink watercolour in the trees.
I ended up applying too much dark sienna to the roofs, that I couldn’t fix and darkened the figures as well. More alizarin crimson for contrast in the blossoms, and I was done:
People painted in some shades of grey, more pink added to the trees for contrast.
Finally I cut it and taped it to a metallic blue card, and was ready to write the birthday card for a friend:
Finished piece now neatly cut in the shape and size of a metallic grey blue card and matching envelope.

Moebius monolith & blond Narcissus

Both of these Moebius illustrations, that I had seen at the exhibition in Toulon, were done on bristol paper, 82×128 mm, using alcohol ink Brushmarkers and Promarkers.

Sepia ink with nib for the outline of the Moebius bust monolith, and warm grey markers:
Grey ink drawing of a man carrying a bag and wearing a pointed helmet, who stands at the foot of a gigantic monolith in the shape of the bust and face of the artist Moebius.

Uni-ball pin pens (thin and really thin), and coloured alcohol ink markers for the blond Narcissus:
Coloured drawing of a young boy kneeling over water. His reflection is broken by a large ripple.

Making Christmas cards

I started to make Christmas cards yesterday, thinking that was going to be a quick thing. Wrong.

I wanted to use either or both watercolour pencils and watercolour pens. I went for the latter.

The pens are easy enough to use. Either apply colour on paper and quickly work with a brush and water, or apply colour on a plastic surface and mix on brush with water. My paper was barely thick enough, but that will do. 

I sketched my scene, cut the elements, did the layout, drew on paper, painted cut out the elements and glued them.


Christmas cards with red baubles 

And I continued today, with different colours.

 Christmas cards with blue baubles 

Update 12 December: I made a few more this week:

 Christmas cards with Santa and reindeer 

 Christmas cards with Santa, presents and little cabin 

I intend to create a few more and hope there is time, as it’s quite time-consuming.

Update 19 December: I made a few more today and I’m done:

 Christmas cards with Santa and reindeer; and with Santa, presents and little cabin  

Photo of all the Christmas cards I made this month