Watercolor Sketch Cassis France

www.kimminichiello.comWatercolor Sketch in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

During our recent trip we stayed in Aix en Provence as our home base and drove to other villages in the area mostly in the Luberon region.  A forty five minute drive south form Aix is the lovely village of Cassis, which is absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine in the high summer season how crowed it must get there!  We spent time sketching, walking around and then took a boat tour of les calanques, which are the limestone cliffs along the Mediterranean Sea that connect Marsailles to Cassis.  The water is the most gorgeous turquoise, which photos never do justice to illustrate.


Watercolor Sketch From Provence


Abbey Notre Dame Senanque coprtWatercolor Sketch, Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque, near Gordes, France in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook, 9″ x 12″

Well I said I was back but I haven’t posted since July 8!  It’s been a bit crazy in the studio, in a good way!  I got a call to do a Disney illustration protect that has kept me busy the last few weeks.  It was a blast to do and I will share when the illustrations have been published.  This little project couldn’t have been more up my alley.  More details to follow.

I thought I would share a watercolor sketch I did while in Provence.  I tried a new sketchbook on the recommendation of Iain Stewart from his workshop I took last spring.  It’s a Stillman & Birn Alpha Series.  The size I got is a 9″ x 12″.  This is the first sketch I did in it and my first reaction was what the #$*%! I’m so used to painting on cold press rough or handmade Twinrocker paper, at first I felt really out of my comfort zone. This paper is a lot smoother.  However, as I progressed I started loving the looseness of the sketches and how the washes dried on this paper!  I’m a convert, not that I will give up on my other books and the variety of papers that are in those.  I just have a bigger repertoire now!

This is Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a 12th century abbey in a small valley near Gordes, France.

I had to re-read this book when I returned home to keep Provence more alive in my head and re-live our trip a bit.

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www.kimminichiello.comLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.

Day 5 of the Three Paintings in Five Days Facebook Challenge


Paris Passy Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 56 cm x 48 cm

Available please contact me for purchase information.

The final day of the 3 in 5 challenge, I cheated a bit and posted 4 paintings.  My art and design roots go back to environmental design and architecture. When working with Walt Disney Imagineering, we traveled if necessary to do research to make the environments we were designing as authentic as possible. When on our photo safaris I always tended to hone in on the details. Now I seem to be doing the same thing in my painting!


Gate of Reverence, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 15″ x 22″, 38 cm x 56 cm

Available please contact me for purchase information.

These four, paintings are part of my gate series.  Paris Passy Gate and  Gate of Reverence were inspired by gates in the area of Paris where I lived.  Mayan Gate is from the Mayan Revival Style, Maitland Art Center here in Florida, and  French Quarter Gate, inspired by a gate in New Orleans. Mayan GateMayan Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 14.5″ x 21.5″ , 37 cm x 54.5 cm

Available please contact me for purchase information.

Kim MinichielloFrench Quarter Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper Mounted to Archival Board, 6″ x 6″, 20 cm x 20 cm


www.kimminichiello.comLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.

Day 2 of the Three Painting in Five Days Facebook Challenge


Luxembourg Gardens, Paris France, Watercolor Sketch

DAY 2 of the 3 paintings in 5 days challenge…I posted  three watercolor sketches from my travel journals. I use two sizes of books 8 x 6 and a 10 x 7, one brush, sometimes two, a large round and a flat,  and a small Windsor & Newton travel palette. If you want to know more about my sketching set up you can read a previous post here. Keeping these journals resulted in my passion and path to painting in watercolor!  These mean more to me than any photo I have taken and looking through them occasionally brings back so many fond memories.


Chedi Beach, Phuket Thailand, Watercolor Sketch


Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Watercolor Sketch


Watercolor Sketch Claude Monet’s Home in Giverny, France


Watercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

I have had the wonderful opportunity to live in Paris on three separate occasions and have traveled there a number of times.  A great advantage to living there is to visit  my favorite museums on many occasions.  I loved running into  the Musée D’Orsay just to study and focus on one particular artist or area.  I could really savor the moments there and not feel rushed as if it may be my last visit ever or for a long time.

Another place I visited on multiple occasions is Claude Monet’s home in Giverny.  This place is so magical to me.  It constantly changes and  is never the same on each visit.  I have been there in every season, except winter, when it’s closed.  One fall day in October, it might as well have been winter, I froze my keister.  However even in the cold  with the garden declining it’s wonderful.

This sketch was done in the spring.  I took a dear artist friend visiting from Indiana there and we toured the gardens and sketched.  Every time I look at this sketch I think of her and the fond memories of her visit.  That’s what I love about sketching.  For me it captures way more of a feeling of the time and place then a photo ever could.


Featured Artist at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden Florida


I have shared everywhere else, Facebook, Newsletter, etc. that I am going to be the featured artist this month at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, Florida, but haven’t shared on my blog!!  I helped hang the show yesterday at the gallery with some wonderful fellow volunteers at the Winter Garden Art Association.  The  theme for this months show is “Pick Your Passion” and is only open for members to exhibit.   The collection of work I’ve put together for the show represents two of my passions, painting and travel.

Although it has been a few years since I’ve lived there, I am greatly influenced by my time living in Hong Kong and France and traveling throughout Asia and Europe for many years. I have thousands of reference photos that are a never-ending source for inspiration!  I just wish I could paint faster!

If you are in the area, the opening reception is Thursday night, August 7 from 5:30 to 8:00. The address of the gallery is 127 South Boyd Street, in Winter Garden Florida.   The show will be up the month of August, if you can’t make the reception and would like to see it.  The gallery hours are Wed. through Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.


I was getting my work framed which is such a nice feeling, not only to see it all framed which feels like the icing on the cake but to protect it as well.  I posted this photo on Facebook of Odd Man Out with yours truly standing next to it to give an idea of scale.  Many friends have commented since seeing it they had no idea it was that big!  It’s really difficult when we see work on websites or in Facebook without a human standing next to it, to judge the scale of one’s work.  Many of my paintings are quite large.



Watercolor Sketch in the South of France, Cévennes Region


Watercolor sketches on Handmade Paper

I have been on somewhat of a self-imposed exile from the internet and social media lately. I’ve been working intently on a special project I will share with everyone soon and have had a little bit of vacation time with family.

Today, I thought I would share a plein air sketch I did one summer when we lived in Paris.  We have friends that have a summer home in the Cévennes region in the South of France and we love to visit them and spend time there when we can.  They are there right now so I have been thinking of them the last few weeks.  The two sketches done vertically are views from the valley where they live.  The Cévennes area is west of Provence, more mountainous and absolutely lovely!

Stay tuned, I will share what’s been happening in the studio and will start posting works in progress of my new painting.  I hope everyone is have a great summer so far!

Gate of Reverence


Gate of Reverence, Watercolor on Handmade Paper,  15″ x 22″, 38cm x 56cm

I had to sit with this one a while in my studio before deciding if it was finished. I thought it was until I photographed and looked at it on my monitor.  I noticed a few more things that needed to be tweaked.  This is a great way to analyze a painting from a different perspective.  After a few more hours of noodling I think it is finally finished.

This new painting is the second painting I’ve done that was  inspired by a photo I took in the Passy area of Paris.  When I’m wondering around shooting reference photos I’m often struck by something that speaks to me as a strong interesting design. It could be what I’m observing has a very graphic quality, or a cast shadow on an object that creates an interesting pattern.    When I came across this gate with a stained glass window juxtaposed behind it, I knew I would eventually paint it.

First, I was immediately attracted to the design of the gate.  I thought I might change the composition completely and paint something else in the background.  However, the more I studied the photo the angel image in the stained glass started to speak to me as well.  I modified the position of the image and the gate from the photo to create a better composition. I also like how the lighter values in the painting are in the background. Painting a stained glass window, something that is more graphic, made me paint a bit tighter than I normally paint, which was a nice challenge.  I also incorporated metal leaf in the halo on the angel. If you look at the work in progress photos you can see where I intended for it to be but didn’t add it until I put on the finishing touches.

Like Paris Passy Gate, this reminds me of the time I lived in Paris and a fond friend that lived near this gate.



“Gate of Reverence” More Work in Progress


After Clowning Around, (no pun intended), my latest painting, I’m back to working on Gate of Reverence.  I’m in the detail and value phase now.  Since my last post, I have added more detail to the central figure.  I’ve also tweaked the dark background on the sides just a bit.  I thought the darks were too uniform so I went in with some pure water washes to do some lifting of pigment at the same time adding some washes of color to bring out a green tone in the dark background to tie in with the gate.

Next I will be adding more detail.  This is depicting a stained glass window in the background, so I will be painting in the lead lines, maybe adjusting value a bit more and working on some hard and soft edges.  This one has been a challenge for me, because I’m painting a bit tighter than I normally paint,  but still painting representational and trying to  avoid a photo realistic interpretation.  Hopefully I’m achieving this goal!



Watercolor Sketch at the Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens in Paris



Watercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

I haven’t posted a watercolor travel sketch for a while so today I’m sharing one I did when I lived in Paris.  One nice thing about living in a city that one normally just visits is that once you have gone to all the museums and sites that are the most popular and that you would see as a tourist,  you start to discover and explore places that are off the beaten path.  The Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens in one of those places.

Albert Kahn was a 20th century philanthropist who made it his mission to document the planet.  He financed many discovery missions all of the world.  The museum houses his archive of autochrome Lumière photography (color photos on glass plates) collections from 60 countries.

The thing that is the most spectacular about the museum is it’s gardens.  Comprising 10 acres it’s organized in sections modeled on gardens from around the world: a contemporary and village style Japanese garden, a rocky Vosgienne forest and English and French Gardens.  There is also a Japanese tea pavilion where on certain days you can participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony led by a tea master from Kyoto.

I went to the gardens a few times in the spring because it was so such a relaxing place and was hardly ever crowded which made it the perfect place to sketch.  This sketch was done overlooking the Japanese bridge.

If you are interested in going, the museum and gardens are located in Boulogne-Billancourt at 10-14 rue du Port.  One can easily get there by metro or bus.