Workshop. Fabrezan. South of France

August 1 ’16.  ‘Taste of Sketching’ Workshop at Domaine PaulHuc. Fabrezan.

Aude and Florence had invited me to hold a Sketch Workshop at their domaine when I visited a couple of month’s ago. The two sisters happen to own this wonderful old family property. They are on a mission to renovate and convert the massive wine storage spaces to gites ( apartments) with a boutique and cafe as a meeting place and swimming pool set among the gardens.. It is now up and running and we will make this home for our Travel Sketch Holiday in June ’17.

Today was a chance for anybody living in the area to try Travel Sketching. What a lovely and diverse group we had. Some are established illustrators and painters while others were quite sure they had no hope. But everyone came because they wanted to try.

That’s where the magic occurs. We observed our subjects – 2 potted petunias – and planned where on the page they’d go. Then your first part of the jigsaw puzzle, find the first main shape. Using only black drawing pens, held up to keep you loose (no pencils here) we all established which flower that was and down it went. Wibbly wobbly, but it was the beginning. Follow the steps as I talk you through and before long – there on your page is your pot of flowers.

Right then ready for colour? YES. With a mixed collection of watercolour pencils, and a few wax crayons, we shared our colours and I showed how to use them.We made a few swatches from dark to light, getting used to holding our pencils sideways! more coverage and faster! Now the vital trick Leaving whites tops and sides.

Soon colours were flying and silence reigned. I talked about one colour over another, building brightness. We learned that we are not copying the subject. It’s there as reference for you to get your sketch done. Then apply colour. It can be any colours you like. If it looks good on the sketch then we’re happy. It’s an impression rather than it’s portrait.

Now that everyone had signed and dated their work, we did a ‘disconnect’ – step away and look at it with fresh eyes. I took each and we were amazed at how completely different they were. That’s your style. Embrace it. No one else can sketch as you do.

So we were all very happy and big smiles filled the room. We had a beautiful lunch, chatted to our neighbours, swapped emails and promised to do it again.

We are planning our EHS classes at La Cour des Arts Olonzac. Such a beautiful old building just waiting for our sketch classes to fill the halls with happy  chirrups. The coming year will be a great chance to build our EHS school here.

ErinHill Sketching will give many people a chance to become sketchers, and to join our thriving sketching community. It can change your life!!!



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