I visited the Hôtel de France, Sainte-Croix in Vaud, Switzerland. Here is the hotel, from the street outside, just after I arrived.
I had to wait in Geneva train station, for the train which goes to Yverdon-les-Bains. The sun came through the windows and people walked through the lighted space.
The Hôtel de France is known for its absinthe.
I sketched the absinthe table. The bottles look like a group of people waiting for something to happen. Like people, the bottles have common basic characteristics, but each has their individual variations.
Glasses, too, have their characters.
I walked down the ancient salt road to the village of Vuitebœuf. Here is the Église de Vuitebœuf from the rue du Culaz, which I afterwards found out is also on the ‘Via Francigena’ pilgrims’ route Canterbury to Rome (1900km).
This church was constructed in 1904 to the design of Charles-François Bonjour.
I travelled back to London late Sunday night, on a crowded ‘plane from Geneva.
From gate B42
Boarding the aircraft
Here are links to previous drawings in Sainte-Croix.
Drawn and coloured on location, about 1 degree C. That’s snow in the foreground.
Then later, it was colder.
Hotel de France, drawn from the street, at minus 6 degrees C. This took two attempts. I had to retreat to the hotel after about 10 minutes to warm up, then I went out again and finished the picture. Colour completed in the hotel restaurant.
Here are some other sketches from the trip.
Absinthe in the Hotel de France
View from the breakfast room – a postcard, photographed after it’s been through the post.
I have been experimenting with pen and ink. Previously, I have used waterproof ink, with watercolour on top. This “pen and wash” technique depends on the ink staying where it’s put. See, for example, the urban sketch on this link.
They are all done using only Robert Oster Signature Fountain Pen Ink, colour: Black Velvet. This ink has the property that is produces a chromatograph effect, blue and pink, as it runs and dilutes with water. See, for example, the left hand side of the “wineglass” drawing, where you see black, blue and pink.
I’m using a dip pen: the Pensive Pens Serendipity dip pen.
All of this is quite a challenge to accomplish, especially as the pictures were done in a Swiss dining room, on white tablecloths. No ink drops contaminated the pristine environment. But I had to be very careful.
Snowfield behind the church. Painted with melted snow as I forgot to bring water. All done standing up as everything was wet and cold. Snow blew from the roof of the church and fell on the picture.
The Temple of Sainte-Croix, Protestant Church. Constructed 1747 on the ruins of a previous building destroyed by fire in 1744. Drawn on location and coloured at the Hotel de France. About 20 min to draw, standing in the road.