Monday, February 16, 2009

Moutarde

Driving across France last week I stopped half-way in Dijon . I got up early the next day for a stroll around the historic city centre. There were a million things to draw but it was too freakin' cold hence the wobbly nature of these sketches.

Place François Rude-great name, lots of chimneys.

The town is famous for its half-timber buildings similar to the Tudor style architecture that I drew in Chester, England . The French call this style 'maison normande'.


Dotted around the town were ancient carvings of chouette or owls which the locals touch for good luck. With my fingers numb from the cold I touched the owl before heading back to the hotel to warm up. I'd love to return to Dijon in the summer & draw more of the architecture.


A grand total of 12 hours driving took me from the bottom of France to the top. I caught the ferry to the UK from Calais. Calais is not as nice as Dijon.

21 comments:

k. borcz said...

these are pretty! I love architecture but I find it very intimidating to draw

Matt J said...

Thanks K.-best approach is to block out the big shapes first then dive into the details without worrying too much about replicatingthem exactly. Try to give them some character.

Richard Mitchelson said...

May i suggested woolen fingerless gloves, they keep most of your hand toasty while alowing your digits free to create and sketch, although beware of looking like a tramp as they often wear these items of clothing. I particularly like the sea gull in the bottom pic. Nice work Matt...

Kyri Kyprianou said...

Wow, amazing places. I love the old architecture! Reminds me a little of Canterbury.

Matt J said...

Thanks for the tip Rich. I had my thermals on.
Kyri, Canterbury is one place on my list to visit on a sketching trip

Richard Mitchelson said...

If you ever head up north in the uk, you have to go to York, the Minster and winding medieval streets are great for sketching...

Oscar Grillo said...

Jonez. Last nite we went to a Lebanese restaurant and the waiter was the spitting image of you. Was it you and pretended not to know me?

Christian said...

Matt, welcome back. Rolling with the Bristol Massive, are you at Arrdman now? I'm in Manchester storyboarding give me a shout if you come up north.

Kristian said...

You are a consumate pro. Even the cold morning couldn't deter your hand. Well done for producing such wonderful drawings in those adverse conditions. I find when I block out the intial shapes of architecture .They are so way off that My drawing loses it foundation. And like many a subsided house, goes horribly wrong. You manage to capture all the neccessities and fill them with charm.

Matt J said...

Oscar, these are hard times we're living in-I had to take that restaurant job. we're not allowed to converse with the clientele.

Chris-yep -i'm at Aardman, getting to know Bristol & hoping to explore England -i'll give u a shout when i pass Manchester.

K-thnks dude! I don't mind if the initial blocking goes off-i actually push for that to give these ancient buildings even more character.

libra bear said...

Beautiful drawings as usual, and now from your comments I've actually learnt something about your process.

Richard Mitchelson said...

Hi Matt, yes still living near Brighton. I bought a house and live out of the hustle and bustle of Brighton in the country, but i am still close enough to get into Brighton or London, which is handy... If you are darn sarf and fancy fish and chips on the sea front give me a shout.

Stéphane Kardos said...

bises mon Ami. As tu vu Zébé?

Matt J said...

Non, pas encore. Il travaille a l'autre studio avec l'equipe 'stop-motion'. Moi, je travaille dans la centre ville sur un projet CG. Bisous

'Diamond' Dave Merritt said...

Once again you nailed it Matt. Enjoy your sketches

limbolo said...

I once had a neighbour who came from Dijon. She went on and on about how marvellous it was. Now me, I prefer Calais.

Gulzar said...

Great stuff as always! love those lines!

Bernard Joaquin said...

These are awesome matt! I actually like the wobbly nature of the sketches,something about them that gives that searle feeling.

Tel Coelho said...

FANTASTIC!

Stephen Gardner said...

Such great line work, these drawings are so alive.

Ira Robbins said...

tres beau