Portrait of a Young Boy – Sanguine Drawing

portrait drawing of a young boy in prrofile - sanguine

‘Portrait of a Young Boy’ – Sanguine, 15 x 20 cm approx, © adam cope

The Likeness Part of a Portrait – Watteau


Jean-Antoine Watteau ‘ Three Studies of a Young Girl Wearing a Hat’
1716 Sanguine & charcoal

To master the capturing the likeness part of a making a portrait, try doing the same head  three times.  Can you maintain the likeness consistently in all three drawings?

I am humbled by Master Watteau. Not only three drawings but three different angles as well. And look how beautifully laid out on the page they are. Almost like cinema… different view points, different angles. Different moments in time.  Ephemeral.

I’ve not succeeded in doing three on one page. Actually I haven’t yet tried , other than drawing the same people over & over again, such as the three views of Peter (on five e sheets of paper) in the previous post or the evolving suite of drawings of my children over the years, watching them closely as they grow.


Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl
c. 1716-17; Red, black and white chalks on buff paper, 18.7 x 24.4 cm; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

It surprises me the speed with which we recognize someone. Even when they’ve aged & morphed some over time  or we when only get a slight glimpse in a funny angle. Bang! We recognise them instantly. What is the mechanism by which see recognize the likeness of someone?

I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be. – Lucien Freud

Watteau obviously enjoyed doing this type of ‘two of kind’ or ‘three of a kind’ portrait. Again on one sheet of paper :


Cute isn’t she  🙂     I also warn anyone of the difficulties of drawing a smile… very difficult . I once sat for a painter friend who wanted to try this . I had to grin &smile for hours… it was very painful to hold a smile, which, after all, is ephemeral. Passing like all feelings & sentiments, shifting states of minds – ‘passing clouds’ my grandmother used to call them.. That portrait looked horrible too.

And so now to finish-off with, here’s some Eighteenth Century Rock’n’Roll :

Watteau, Jean Antoine (1684-1721) - Homem tocando guitarra, 1717-18

'lili' detail conté 2013 © adam cope

‘Portrait of a Young Girl’ Detail Sanguine © adam cope




‘Peter 2’ Charcoal A3.
Profile portrait © adam cope




charcoal A3 © adam cope




‘peter 3 – Le grand chapeau’
charcoal © adam cope




snaguine profile500

‘Profile in sanguine’
A4 © adam cope




‘Man with a Beard in Profile’
pencil A4 © adam cope


Was happy to be able to pay attention to the profile in these portraits.

Which point comes the furthest forward?

Is the lip further forward than the bridge of the nose? That sort of thing.

Also, to do several portraits of the same person. Do they resemble each other? Is the resemblance consistant across several drawings?

only connect

photot of phone cans & wiring


“only connect”   – e. m. forester

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.
— EM Forster , Howard’s End  Chapter 22. 1910.

putting the right plug in the right hole

putting the right colour into the right junction

putting the right can into the right can

Do you like the cartoon above that i made? I  cobbled it together from a photograph I took way back long ago, when I was rewiring the phone. It was the first time that I’d ever unscrewed a phone box, as I wanted to move it… the complexity of it freaked me out! Handy thing to have a memo of something before it’s untangled & undone… putting things back together sometimes is way more difficult than taking them apart. The photo hung around for years. It always makes me laugh 🙂

poor quality internet

Nowadays in 2013, phone landlines are dying out in rural france. They’re expensive. We no longer receive horrible, slow, very expensive dial up internet connection via the phone lines. Phone lines are a spider’s  cobweb that crawl over the landscape of France & hang out of every building like some gutted extra-terrestrial. I’m sure the wires wriggle about by themselves & get in an unsightly tangle. France Telecom aka Orange  now only use grey & white wires inside the PTT cabling. Internet phones via wi-max are occassionally available chez-nous. They aren’t reliable in our neck of the woods.We don’t have an internet satellite dish & sadly still rely on dodgy, slow expensive last mile wimax. Bôf…. One of my neighbours used to put up the telephone lines in north Yorkshire all his life & has a wry regard on the tangle of tilting stilts & broken  poles that you can see in our commune.


Arnold Odermatt. Utility pole, Switzerland , 1960s

However, you will note that the principle that one wishes for remains the same: Connect can A to can B.

Connect via social media & art blogs

Connect can A to can B?


Connect some cans together & get a tangle?

Maybe, probably

Connect can A to a few other cans?

shhush, nobody wants to hear you in internet isolation…

Putting the right can into the right gathering of right cans?

This means finding the people who want to hear you & that you want to connect with.

My 15 years of internet experience has proven to me that can A can not always get to can B… without some amount of tangle 😉

Connect via Advertising & Art

Forester’s injunction to connect applies very well to art & advertising. The advertiser wishes to connect & attract your attention towards the product, the point of conversion, to buy, to adhere. Is this really any different from what the artist does? Certainly when art is overly confined to a fixed conversion , a set message as can happen in religious art or public art, it seems to me, IMO, to be not so very different from advertising. My Liberal hopes of a free mind engaged in a  free enquiry & open ended questioning… offering a space different from advertising… well, this is another debate for another post.

The point is this : only connect. People come all sorts of sizes , with all sorts of tastes & opinions. One size doesn’t fit all.  And luckily so too, as diversity is a sign of free enquiry & creativity. I no longer expect all my paintings to please all people all of the time. You can’t please everybody.  So now I’m freer simply not care too much other people’s opinions. Well, not absolutely everyone’s … as, for me as creator & seller of paintings & painting holidays, some people’s opinions are more important to me than others. There’s also the people whom I respect & hope to learn from, such as painters & teachers with more experience than me.   Of course, I struggle to keep an open mind. To listen & try to understand.  Exchanges over the years with other artists of all levels & all opinions has helped me & inspired me… as well as occassionaly depressed & bored me – being pinned against a wall whilst invigilating of my own exhibitions & being told what to paint, how to exhibit & who to try & sell to… well, thanks for the advice, lol…;-)

Connect via the Mass Mind?

It only takes one person connecting with one other person…

I am reminded by the wisdom of one of favourite quotes about communication :

There is no such thing as a Mass Mind. The Mass Audience is made up of individuals, and good advertising is written always from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone.        – Fairfax Cone, of Foote Cone & Belding, quoted in John O’Toole, The Trouble with Advertising . . ., 1981, New York: Chelsea House, p. 48.

When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone… indeed.

Anyway, I’m currently speaking to myself all alone here, unconnected, so all the above is not relevant at this point in time.


Fiber Optic Network Cable


Our New Website! Blogging again

Our New Website!


We’ve recently done a total overhaul: A new design. A complete rewrite of text. And a new selection of images from our sixteen years of running painting holidays. Guy Hazell, a website designer in Rome, did the bulk of the work.  It was great to collaborate on a daunting & somewhat overwhelming project.  Guy is an old friend. We used to paint together when adolescents & we even made a paper cut-out stencil in half-tones then went on to silkscreen print it.  Of course all this was before the time of html or java script or photoshop…

Difficult migration from blogger to word press…

The migration from old to new site has been … bumpy… & caused a serious fall in google web ranking. Here are a few problematic links for the spiders & the crawlers & rankers & the *@*#/!ankers – actually the art work isn’t tooobad, worth a look & hey who knows, maybe even a comment? every child is an artist  Pencil Drawing of a Busker playing a guitar  Electric Guitar Busker – ‘L’Assurance Vie’ – life insurance?  a project : Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing small size oils

 We’ll be blogging again, blogging again….

Soon when we’ve fixed a few things, I hope we’ll be blogging again, blogging again & happily singing away to myself alone in cyberspace, which  actually probably is the best place of an artist to be… intimate diaries show this, don’t they?   This isn’t the whole story tho’ as I’ve made fsome fabulous ‘cyber friiends’ & done some good business with the net… so smile & blog on ( and try not to sing to myself out loud on the internet )

Chateaux Painting Holidays  NEWSLETTER 2012 ► Dates 2013

Bonjour à tous,  chers amis peintres 🙂2012 was another sunny year with soft fragrances and gentle colours.

The two weeks at Beduer were sunny but not too hot …. except for one only morning of light rain, where I got to demonstrate acrylics & grey mid-tones…lol 😉 Every year I try to present a new subject so as not to be repetitious. This year in watercolour it was brush & colour; in opaque mediums, it was colourist vs tonalist lay-ins. This follows on from the often expressed desire ‘to be able to paint looser & freer.’  You might have heard me express my agreement with Ruskin that ‘slow diligence’ is the beginner’s best friend.

Thing is … that painting is a practice, not so much a theory. It’s something you do, maybe the understanding comes slowly afterwards…I hope you know that feeling the morning after a day of painting … that goes  that pulls you look at what you painted the day before. It’s something like curiousity. Did I do that? Then the evaluation…that’s not so bad after all, phew!! Maybe a little bit of satisfaction…If not, well, ahhemm… try again.

The main news of 2012 must surely Eric, our new chef. Eric has run his own restaurant, chefed for the poshest golf in the Dordogne as well as worked in Paris & Chelsea, London. He knows the palette of the South West to perfection. Just fabulous to work with such a professional, such a good humoured & talented chef. We sure ate well! He laugh & joked, cooked up delicious meals & just dealt with everything like the real pro that he is. He understands hospitality. By the end of the week, there was a a tear or two, when happy-holiday-makers had to finally leave his wonderful, good humoured table.

A variant of ratouille created by Eric; Rosé d’Aquitaine

An example of a menu maybe:

Appertif – Monbazillac

Fois Gras mi-cuit avec son compote d’èchalotes

Magret de Canard grillé avec son sauce au poivre

Pommes de terre Sarladaise et Salade Verte

Deux verres de Bergerac A.O.C.

Fromage -Chèvre Cabécou et Morbier

Verrine des Fraise Frais

Café ou Tisaine

‘I had a great time and learnt loads, which is pretty amazing since I was eating and drinking so much and socialising. It was just such a great holiday.’ – Karen, Australia, 2012

Here are the dates 2013 for Beduer :

At the Chateau de Beduer, Near Figeac, Lot, South-West France.
Weds 5 June – Weds 12 June 2013
Fri 21 – Fri 28 June 2013
Fri 13 August – Fri 20 September 3013
Two weeks in June & one week in September every year at Le Château de Béduer.

Please note that those wishing to come for two weeks back to back might wish to think about doing the first week at our new venue, Saint Avit Séniuer

Bookings for Beduer

We are now open for bookings. Please ask for a booking form. Bookings are already coming in so don’t leave it too late.


PRICES FOR BEDUER 2013 : 950 euros per painter – 50 euros prix de fidelité = 900 euros, making us one of the cheapest painting holidays in france, especially as we are 8 days, 7 nights. .

GROUP BOOKINGS :  why not bring all your art group?!  For four or more painters, a 50 euro reduction per painter. For a group of six, seventh painter at half price


WOW!! This is our new venue :

The Presbytère de St. Avit Séniuer, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dordogne, South West France.

Tuesday 28 May – Tuesday 4 June 2013

It is a World-Heritage UNESCO listed site, a fortified abbey dating from the eleventh century.

Truly amazing feeling to the place.
A major stop on the pilgrim’s way St.Jacques de Compostella. Medieval frescoes.
We have the exclusive use of the seventeenth century presbytery  as our studio, inside the beautiful abbey grounds.

Set in a charming, picturesque,yellow sandstone, sleepy, authentic Périgordien village.
Vegetable gardens, terraced gardens made by the monks.
Two minutes amble to deep unspoilt & very paintable countryside.
Lots to paint!
Pretty views, woods, cliffs, working farms with old stone buildings.
Great painting opportunity. The best of the Dordogne, really.
Accommodation in BRITAVIT , a comfortable, charming chambre d’hotes with discreet & attentive hosts.

Very easy to get to – up to nine flights a week to Bergerac airport from the UK, Amsterdam, Paris. Pick-up & drop-off to airport (30 minutes) included in the price. 1.5 hours by train from Bordeaux.

Here is the link to the web-pages which will give all the info you need.
Painting Holidays at Saint Avit Sénieur

Dates for the Presbytère de St. Avit Séniuer, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dordogne, South West France.
Tuesday 28 May – Tuesday 4 June 2013

Bookings for Saint Avit


PRICES FOR SAINT AVIT : This holiday is organised slightly differently than Beduer, in that we don’t offer an all-inclusive price. You pay the chambres d’hotes directly for the b&b and for four evening meals. For the other meals you pay directly the restaurants. This works out cheaper for you. The total price is somewhere around 850 euros, which is the cheapest on the market.


   Find me on facebook

This is where I now post sketches, watercolours & paintings as well as the odd arty thought or laugh… come & hang out with ex-painting holiday students 🙂


Hope to see you again 🙂
Wishing you all well

Lots of good discoveries & happiness with your painting 🙂

BA hons – fine art (Newcastle University); Further Education & Adults Teaching Cert (Avon); Foundation Diploma Art Therapy (Bath City College).

Business License – Siret 41962662700030. Estabilshed 1997.

‘Les Peyrats’
St Dizier
47330 Cavarc
TEL : +(00 33) 5 53  01 22 91

blogging in bergerac, dordogne

Cyrano de Bergerac hanging out ….

Been off-blog for long while now … bad school report I imagine, must try harder …

Back to the studio I go.

Vignobles, Dordogne 1

golden vines - watercolour

‘Vignobles, Dordogne 1’
28 x 38 cm (approx 11 x 15 inches).
© The Artist. sold
This autumn is particularly sunny. Blues skies, the leaves have stayed on the vines longer than usual. A winey golden glow, a haze hangs over the hills. This painting from a few weeks ago, now the leaves have mostly fallen from the vines.

Vine Paintings from France

'Côtes de Duras' oil painting of vines


‘Côtes de Duras’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© The Artist.
Golden days in the autumn vines, the leaves singing in the wind. Plein air. Don’t forget to smile at the landscape when you leave, not always as evident as when you arrive.

It was windy and the leaves were shaking.

Chateaux Painting Holidays Newsletter 2011

A warm Bonjour to everyone from us at CHATEAUX PAINTING HOLIDAYS 🙂
I hope you are not surprised to get this newsletter! Maybe it will give something to smile about once or twice a year. It contains a few tips to help your own personal painting practice as well as news of us. You email will never be shared with a third party so it’s spam-free.


There was a good spread of different types of painters, from all over the world, a charming mix of people, who got on well & enjoyed holidaying together. A great bunch of returning painters from Ireland made us all laugh & smile with their grace & wit 🙂

On a painting holiday, you should expect to have:

– a good holiday (good food, good wine, good company, good accommodation, good welcome, good price).
– a good venue (inspiring, beautiful, calm, unique, interesting, somewhere more than a converted barn where you have to clamber in & out of mini-buses to go painting).
– good painting (your practical needs are seen to see ie equipment, atelier, materials, subject matter, clearly defined learning goals to each learning exercise & more subtly, a tutor who doesn’t get in the way of your painting 😉
– good learning (bring your open ‘beginner’s mind’ as well as choose a good art tutor!)

As you all know, I only give gold stars for learning & not for ‘good paintings’. Here’s two 2011 gold stars from amongst many. Please don’t feel disappointed if I don’t mention you here. I can’t mention everybody, except to say that there were no memorial failures & that everyone worked surprising hard (this surprise me every year). Everybody got a gold star. Remember yours because is not flippant.

One gold star goes to this absolute beginner for truly embracing the ‘foliage challenge’. Remember for an absolute beginner, even holding a brush in one’s hand feels strange. We all have felt & will continue to feel the fear & hesitancy which is characteristic of the untrained hand.

“This was our first painting holiday and we did not know how it would turn out. The group were wonderful and there was a very pleasant chemistry among all the participants. The number of persons who had attended previous years and were there for their third or fourth time speaks for itself. Adam, I would also like to thank you for the keen interest you took in our tuition. The Chateau and grounds are wonderful and thank you Sue for looking after us.”

And another gold star to this beginner to alla-prima (one session only) landscape painting in oil. This was a hard won battle, risking tears & moving into the humbling ‘not-knowing’ at the heart of every learning leap. It’s colorist, done on the spot but without giving up her notion of what a good painting should look like. We all have ideas of how we would like to paint & this leads us to the delicate & complex problem that copying what you see isn’t making art.”Art is not what you see but what you make others see” – Degas

Both paintings have a breath of sunlight & joy, which I enjoy very much.


To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make the soul grow. So do it.  ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worthwhile, and it will do you a world of good. ~ Cennini, circa 1400 ad.

Practice makes perfect…it’s obvious that the more you do something, the better you get at doing it. The steps along the way are gradual & incremental. They should add up to make a solid base for your painting. But… there’s the common problem of why don’t we find the time to paint? How does one find time to paint in a busy life? How can we arrange our lives so there’s time for our painting practice?

Part of the answer to this wide-spread problem is enjoyment. I find once I get started again, the enjoyment soon comes. A good practice should be enjoyable, despite of the challenges. I will tell you a secret : the best way to paint is to enjoy it. Make it something you look forward to. You are treating yourself to especial time of creativity & enquiry. Enjoy touching your materials, the feel of paint spreading out into water, the slide of a graphite pencil over the fibres of the page.

Good work is enjoyed work  – Ruskin

Personally I find that painting ‘en plein-air’ feeds my soul. There is nothing better than being out there. I enjoy these pleasurable sensations, such as light, colour, being outside, looking at a beautiful corner of the world…


Sometimes however one’s practice might be in a slump or a down-turn. Maybe then is the time for an inspirational boost! Input from an other source. A short but intense period of practice. Maybe a change of scene? A change of habit? Try something new? Go to another landscape? Or return to that special place where you were once happy? Expose yourself to another teacher? Or go back to a teacher with whom one had good contact? Deepen the learning which was touched on? Consolidate those discoveries which were not fully integrated into one’s natural way of painting?

Sometimes… in a beautiful place, in the sunshine, on holiday, with no distractions, no worries, with good company & good teaching, it all just seems to flow. Then the practice becomes easy. It is our aim to provide this for you at Beduer.


The chefs are cooking up more delights & winning even more medals for their charcuterie!

Le Château de Beduer is everything you would expect from ‘la france douce’, a certain ‘douceur de vivre’ , a generousity & an ‘insouciance’. Calm, quiet & beautiful, with the patina & confidence of age old history.

2011 was an exceptionally sunny year. Month after month of blue skies. Incredible amount of sun soaked sunlight… one the many things that makes the South West of France a painter’s paradise.

One of my personal favourite times of the day at Beduer are the early mornings, between 7,30 and 9,30, when the light casts long,low shadows and enters the lime grove with a gold-green splendour. The hills shimmering in the early morning mists … “blue horse of morning”…. “Tous les matins du monde” … with freshness of the new day, hope for what the day will bring.



‘Lime Orchard at Beduer, Early Morning’
watercolour 28 x 38 cm (approx 15 x 11 inches)

Plein-air, colour, light, deep nature, local distinctiveness, south west france in oils & watercolor. A love of gesture drawing, especially of children, musicians & market places…. Read on Adam’s blog or more frequenting posting on Face Book (Adam Cope).

I still aspire to learning more about painting…. Tip: Letting go of being an expert enables you to keep learning. Also, be ready to learn from others. I recently met one of the world’s greatest watercolorists,Jean-Louis Morelle, at an opening night of his wonderful paintings. In the space of ten minutes of listening to him, & looking at his paintings, I learnt more than several years of looking at art on the internet…

I exhibited during July in the somewhat surreal, strange but authentic medieval town of Marcilhac-sur-Célé. I’m a member of an association of artists who have a gallery in the abbey, run by the incredible, somewhat unbelievable Peter Reusellemann. Peter loves print-making & has a print-making studio. In 1996, I was invited to be an artist in residence involving stone lithography. The exchange of ideas, mutual support & feedback was great. The conversations good; the inspiration great. Friendship & comrade are a precious & enriching part of being an artist. Every artist needs these, even professionals. Ii’s good to work alone in a solitary manner but it’s also good to receive feedback & clarification from others. To practice together. A good painting workshops should provide you with this.

If you wish to see some other artists of this association :
Gillian Golding , a print-maker, regular of the UK Royal Academy’s summer show, truly unique humorist and cats & dogs lover.
Darwin’s Garden (archival ink printed on archival matt paper) Size 73cm x 57cm

– Beatrice Mollaret , a photographer whose very beautiful images of South West France are used by National Geographic, etc.

I also exhibited in Sarlat, Bergerac and yet another UNESCO site, the abbey of St Avit de Séniuer, where we run an artist-association Gallery.



Sue says bonjour to everyone. She will be there for 2012. She overcame her reticence to be photographed & mentioned on the web site About us
Without Sue, it would be impossible… A painting holiday requires attention to detail as well as a smile & a laugh.

 A painting holiday which glides effortlessly forward like a swan always means that somebody is doing masses of work out of sight to help things run smoothly!  – Katherine Tyrrell.


Life’s a beach… and it’s all beach holidays for us 🙂 Happy days. Val is quickly developing a real passion for drawing as well. It’s a great honor to observe the unfolding of a creative pursuit in its very early phase.


TROUBLE-FREE TRAVEL FOR ALKYDS, OIL PAINTS & ACRYLICS : We offer the possibility of renting at cost-price a complete set of student quality paints : alkyds or oils or acrylics. So you can simply fly with no luggage worries! Just bring your own brushes & canvas boards or canvas paper. We supply everything else. We teach you to paint in a way so that your paintings are dry enough easily travel home with you. We pack them professionally for you.

I thought this would be a good idea, as most painting holidays don’t do much to provide for the alkyds, acrylics & oils…. the opaque mediums which are heavy to travel with (slipped discs) & are not easy to bring onto an airplane (see my materials list for helpful info on this).


PRICEs FOR 2012 : 900 euros per painter – 50 euros prix de fidelity = 850 euros, making us one of the cheapest painting holidays in france, especially as we are 8 days, 7 nights and not the usual 7 days, 6 nights. We haven’t put our prices up since 2009.

NEW : GROUP BOOKINGS , why not bring all your art group?!
For four or more painters, a 50 euro reduction per painter.
For a group of six, seventh painter at half price.


This airport is about one hour from Beduer. We pick up & drop off on the fridays at 60 euros per per journey, which is divisible amo,gst the number of passengers.
The times of the friday flights friendly with our course start time of sat 16 hr.

We pick up & drop off on the friday flights.




I’ve been toying with the idea of organizing a ‘winter-sun’ painting holiday, some time around march at the end of winter, somewhere sunny like Morocco. I’ve been recommended a old Rihiad near the desert with great painting possibilities… ruins, red sand, oasis, swimming pools… Please help me by indicating whether you might be interested int this as an idea, whether I should go ahead & organize it? I would appreciate any feedback, even negative . Thanks 🙂

Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative 2012 from all of us at Chateaux Painting Holidays
Paint well.
Best Wishes from Adam, Marie-Line & Sue