when the half light makes for a clearer view

villefranche sur mer, pen version

villefranche (unfinished)
parts of the process

When I was last in Villefranche-sur-Mer, the beautiful old Mediterranean port nestled between Nice and Monaco, I took this photo of Rue Eglise (having just eaten at that cafe and sketched the sea) and told myself I’d draw a picture of it when I got home. That was over six years ago. Yesterday I finally got the photo out and started drawing, because I was playing with perspective in my messy sketchbook (see the quick watercolour sketch below) and wanted something nice to draw.

One thing I recall is that Villefranche was where they set that film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. That’s a good movie. I especially like that Emperor Palpatine plays Michael Caine’s butler. I stopped off here on my way back to London from Aix-en-Provence, having been out here to visit some old friends and watch their play. I was flying from

villefranche, quick sketch

a quick watercolour sketch

Nice that evening, and so I whiled away a few hours by the sea at Villefranche. The old town is especially nice. I’d love to go back there to draw.

Well, I will have to make do with my old photos for now, I’m too far away. I did a watercolour study, primarily to work out how the perspective lines worked. It’s messy and quick but I quite like it, and sometimes wish I did more of my sketch work like that, if only so I could get better at the technique.  But I love drawing in pen too much! The version at the top is not the ultimately finished version – I will add some watercolour, if only just to tint it. But I like how it looks anyhow. I think it’s quite nice.


4 thoughts on “when the half light makes for a clearer view

  1. petescully says:

    thanks all! i didn’t know that, france. I think cocteau lived there too. Lovely little place. I think if I ever go back it’ll be when my son’s bigger though, the thought of all those steps and cobbles with a stroller…

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