Welcome to our painting diary

We are two British artists living in south-west France. We paint on commission or according to our moods. We create paintings in watercolour, acrylic or pen and ink. Here you can see our work as it is completed.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Two acrylic paintings - French Towns

Fran completed the first of these paintings in response to an enquiry by a man who lives on this side of the town.  He bought a watercolour of the château at La Rochefoucauld and wondered whether we had any of Montbron.  Fran painted this view from the basse ville by the river and it was sold at the market in Piégut before we even had the chance to exhibit it in Montbron.

Approaching Montbron - Acrylic 30x20 cm

This next painting is the southern approach to our local village of Varaignes in the Dordogne region of FranceFran painted this to exhibit at the Foire Aux Dindons which is a big turkey festival held in the village every year.  It hasn't been sold yet but we will be exhibiting it again next Sunday at the Christmas Market.

Approaching Varaignes - Acrylic 30x20 cm

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Two watercolour paintings - Market Scenes

Every Wednesday morning a huge market is held in the Dordogne town of Piégut.  Throughout the milder months we are there every week with our stand of original paintings and greeting cards. At this time of the year the market becomes smaller and is naturally not so busy.  Our attendance over the next few months will be dependent on the weather but we hope to go at least every other week.  I have taken several photographs around the market and the two following paintings are the latest based on photos taken there.

Market day coffee break - watercolour 30x20 cm

At the vegetable stall - watercolour 30x20 cm

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Pet Portraits

We have set up a new website concentrating on pet portraits. As it is Fran who more frequently paints animals the site is www.franspetportraits.com.

This is Toby, a mini schnautzer...

Harvey the greyhound...

Holly the chocolate labrador

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Watercolour paintings

On 23 October there is an Autumn Fair in the Dordogne village of Bussière-Badil, a small place dominated by its church which was once part of a Benedictine abbey and became a priory in the 14th century.  I've painted several pictures of the church which never quite seem to capture its size.  This painting concentrates on the front façade and I've included a figure to help indicate scale.  We'll be exhibiting our paintings at the fair and I'm hoping to attract some interest in this one.

Watercolour painting 30x20 cm - Front Façade, Bussière-Badil Church, France 

On a totally different subject is this painting of a line of washing with the sunlight creating some good shadows. This was taken from a photograph by Valerie Rosen whose work can be found HERE

 Watercolour painting 30x20 cm - Watercolour Wash

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Fran has recently completed this painting of hollyhocks which was taken from a view in our small hamlet.  These flowers are blooming at the moment and seem to be able to grow anywhere, even out of cracks between pavement and walls.  This is an acrylic painting on paper 40x25 cm.

Acrylic painting - Hollyhock Cottage

The next three paintings are small acrylics on canvas 20x20cm. We display them mounted on small easels which can be supplied with the painting at no extra cost.


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Two watercolour paintings of Gordes, France

The first painting I did of this hilltop village in the Vaucluse region of southern France attracted a good deal of attention and was sold fairly quickly, so I decided to paint another version from the same viewpoint but using different colours.  I still prefer the first version but the second one has a certain appeal, I think.

Watercolour painting 30x20 cm - View of Gordes, France

Watercolour painting 30x20 cm - View of Gordes, France

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Old Doorway with Bougainvillea - Watercolour Painting

This watercolour painting was painted from a photograph found on morguefile.com which is a library of licence-free photographs for general use. 
Watercolour painting 30x20 cm

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Watercolour painting - Château Puymartin

Château Puymartin is in the south of the Dordogne near Sarlat.  Thérèse de Saint-Clar, who took advantage of her husband's absence while he was away fighting in the 16th century, and enjoyed herself with another man, was imprisoned by her jealous husband on his return in a room in the north tower, which was sealed upon her death with her body still inside. La Dame Blanche, the ghost of the unfortunate woman, has been seen wandering the château at night, apparently. 

This painting was done from a photograph as, although I've driven almost right past it, I have not yet had a chance to visit.  This will be rectified!

Château Puymartin 
Watercolour 30x20 cm 

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Big Commission - Four paintings

We have recently completed four paintings which were commissioned by an association of local tourist offices in the Charente who want to use the pictures as cover illustrations for brochures focusing on four towns in the local area.  This is an important commission for us and we are looking forward to seeing the brochures published in time for the summer season.  Two of the towns in question are much visited by tourists on account of their impressive châteaux, and we are hoping that this will generate some business for us.

Two of the paintings are in acrylic, painted by Fran; two in watercolour, painted by me.  Here are the finished paintings.

Acrylic by Fran Evans

Watercolour by Ian Osborne

Acrylic by Fran Evans

La Rochefoucauld
Watercolour by Ian Osborne

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Watercolour painting - Four Men on Bench

My latest watercolour was painted from a photograph in the image library on wetcanvas.com, which has a vast range of licence-free photos for artist's reference.  The scene was shot on Madeira.  As the figures are in shadow and the detail on the faces was difficult to see well from the photo, I have left the faces blank.  The painting is a bit of a departure for me, but I quite like the effect. I have called the painting....

In The Shade of the Jacaranda Tree

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Watercolour painting - Wisteria / Acrylic painting - Henrietta

Fran has done an acrylic painting of this door surrounded by wisteria, which is in our local village of Varaignes.  Using the same reference photos, I chose a different angle to her painting, which was a straight-on close-up of the door.  This angle allowed me to include the row of purple irises beside the doorway, and a bit of the garden beyond.  The painting is a watercolour 30x20 cm.

 Fran has meanwhile painted this hen which is one of many that belong to a friend.  This is an acrylic painting on a deep-edged canvas 30x24 cm and was commissioned by a woman here in France as a present to her daughter in England. It is to match the painting of a cockerel that she bought last summer.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Acrylic painting - Portrait of a horse

This acrylic painting is on a deep-edged canvas 50x40cm. Fran painted this, not as a commission, but as an example to try to entice people to commission a painting of their horse.  We have been asked about this several times when we have been doing markets etc. but nobody has ever followed up their enquiry.  The painting will go up in a local bar/café where we have several works on the walls, and hopefully attract some interest.

Here is the painting

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Watercolour painting - Tile style

I did this watercolour painting by masking out the horizontal and vertical lines to give the impression that it was painted on tiles.  The inspiration for this came from the tile paintings which are common in Portugal, where we lived previously.  I'm unsure at the moment how it would be best framed to keep up the pretence that it is painted on tiles.  The colour used is French Ultramarine.

I suppose I ought to mention at this point, that four of my very short stories have been published in a book entitled 'FLASHBACK 2010' which is available HERE

I also have a short story in the No.5 edition of Pink Noise which is an Auckland, NZ. based online arts magazine.  You can find the latest edition, and the previous issues, two of which also have a story by me, HERE

Read the story HERE

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pet Portrait commission - Sophie

This is the latest of Fran's pet portraits.  It is an acrylic on watercolour paper 30x20 cm.  It was commissioned by a couple here in France as a present to friends in England.  The original photograph was not very good, but Fran has managed to create a good representation of the dog, don't you think?


Not having any outstanding commissions myself at the moment, I was free to paint whatever I wanted and came up with this watercolour painting of a man playing the sax.  I liked the harsh stage lighting which rendered part of the player in shadow and highlighted the instrument.

 The Sax Player 
(30x20 cm)

I am currently in negotiations for a very exciting commission which I hope to make public very soon!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Watercolour Portrait Commission

This watercolour portrait gave me a few worries as you can imagine.  Five children in one painting was not my idea of fun and when I was first approached about it I said, yes I can do it, with a lot of trepidation.  As the summer passed into autumn while the woman who had asked me tried to get her five grandchildren to pose together, I half hoped that she had changed her mind.  In October she finally contacted me and passed over the photographs.  No escape.

The painting took a long time, half of that just staring at it, wondering what to do next.  Anyway the customer was pleased and I also think it turned out OK.

Here is the finished painting

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Pet Portrait commission - Harvey

Hello, and Happy New Year to all.

This acrylic pet portrait was commissioned by a man here in France as a Christmas present for his daughter who lives in England.  There was some difficulty getting a photograph of Harvey with his ears standing up, and this is the best that could be done.

After a flush of commissions leading up to Christmas, things have gone quiet on that front which will leave us to paint whatever takes our fancy over the coming months in preparation for a new season of doing the markets once the weather has improved.

Here is the finished painting