Many, many years ago, I went off to France to stay with my French pen friend for three weeks. I flew from Heathrow to Paris, expecting to be met by my pen friend and her family, get on a train and head off for Nantes, where they lived. Instead, I was met just by her father, whose English was non-existent. He worked for the French National Railways (SNCF) so travel on the trains was free, so I was not surprised to head for the Gare d'Austerlitz. However, I soon realised that we were not going to Nantes but, instead, were heading much further south. At some stage the engine was actually changed for a steam engine, and we had to change trains at Toulouse to get to Narbonne, where we were met by my pen friend. From there, it was a local train and bus up the Pyrennees to Vernet Les Bains, where the family had booked a flat in the main square for Easter. We had a wonderful time there with quite good weather. My pen friend, her two sisters and I were free to walk in the foothills, even getting right up to the snowline of Mont Canigou.
My original photo was taken one evening at sunset, and is actually far more dramatic that my interpretation. The basics are there, the fantastic sunlit snow covered peak of Canigou, the folds of the surrounding mountains, and even the building to the right. However the mountains were far darker, but when I tried to replicate that, it just looked an evil mess. That was when I decided that I had to start with just the shapes, which I drew in lightly in pencil. All the colouring in was done with Derwent watercolour pencils and my trusty water brush. The vividness of the peak was difficult to portray. I used several thickish layers of white, and then added highlights in quite a bright orange,blending it in.
The trees were two different stamps from Clarity, stamped in Adirondack Bottle, with quite a lot of masking to achieve the smaller trees in the distance. The birds came from one of the Hobby Art sets. So all my stamps were easy to place, all being clear, see through polymer. I started using the burnisher all over and realised VERY fast that ordinary graphite pencil smudges under the burnisher, and I had drawn in the tiles in pencil. So I had to leave the roof of the cottage unburnished.
Normally, I use quite a narrow border, but I thought this time that a wide black border would suit the image better, and kept it simple by mounting on to plain white pearlescent card.
This is the photo with which I started, and I hope you think I did it some sort of justice.
|Spectacular or what? Mt Canigou at sunset.|
Although we were there for 10 days, this was the most dramatic shot I got. As you can see, from the next two shots, luck played a great part.
|Good shot, but definitely second best|
Then, of course, there were the times when the clouds came across -
Not to mention the times when it vanished completely in the gloom
Craft A Scene challenge.