Painting more European photos: Stone wall with a blue door


watercolor door layers

For my first official painting project in quite some time, I chose my usual subject: an architectural photo from my Europe trip. I went for an almost diorama look by layering an old photo mat, my painting of the stone wall, and the painting of the door. This dimensional idea came to me after I messed up the original door and, in my irritated state, cut it out of the wall.  The yellow wall came after layer upon layer, mostly wet washes, to create a mottled effect. The original photo is below and I believe was taken in Dijon, France.



Watercolor Painting: Burgundy, France Street Scene

French street scene in watercolor - withcraftsandlace

For Christmas, my best friend requested some sort of European watercolor scene like the Paris one I did a while back. It took my until mid-January but I’m glad I took the time to plan it out right. It’s much more colorful and the edges blurring out farther than I intended but overall, I’m happy with my second official composition.

Burgundy watercolor painting

As usual, my painting is based on a photo I took during my semester abroad. The original photo is just below. The friend I was visiting when I took the photo believes the scene is from Beaune, not his hometown next door, Dijon. However, since neither of us are sure, I labeled the image Burgundy, since both towns fall within it haha. I shrunk the focus on my painting and swapped the building colors along with other modifications.


To save time and frustration, I did trace some perspective lines that I struggle with (roof angles) and was worried the look would be too artificial in the end. I think for the most part, the added sketching details and paint relaxed the look, but I definitely want to work with purely my own lines as much as I can in the future.

Techniques I was trying to incorporate in this work include line and wash, urban sketching, under painting, and layering colors. I also relied heavily on my brand new paints from my Grandmother for Christmas: Windsor and Newton watercolors. The colors were beautiful with more dimension (is that the word I am looking for?) to them than any I’ve worked with so far.

Burgundy watercolor

A French Christmas Card

A Christmas card I made for the French family taking me in this holiday. I’m very lucky to have somewhere wonderful to be during my Christmas abroad!

For the card’s base, I dyed some art paper with coffee. I then layered a cutting from a brown paper bag, a scrap of lace, and a paper doily I bought here in the UK. Embellishments include a lovely, pastel green Prima button, a small white tag that I water-colored a Mosaic-style star on, and some “Paris” Cavallini & Co. washi tape – as a silly homage to the location. 

I would like to enter this card in Simon Say’s Stamp’s last Monday Challenge of 2015, ‘Anything Goes’: 

Happy Holidays my lovelies!