France Belleville-Van Stone Is The Bomb

One of my favorite sketching books is Sketch, by France Belleville-Van Stone.  The “how to draw content is great but what I really love about the book are the early chapters on her philosophy, the value of art, and how to approach doing art.  Like her videos, there is a clarity and practicality in her words.

France has been doing real-time videos of her drawing process for several years and I have watched many of them.  I haven’t gotten involved because she did them on Sktchy, which for the longest time operated as though there was only one operating system in the world and it wasn’t the one I used.  I don’t think it is that way any longer but their resistance to things Android and Windows still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I actually missed her transition but France now has her own site from which she streams her videos and classes.  When I found this to be the case I signed up for her latest, Showing Up At The Page.    It’s a series of videos where we draw animals, cars, people, etc. and all done in France’s typical style, though with a slightly looser hand that she calls “fuzzy hatching.”

I certainly need more hatching practice and my drawing has become pretty sloppy due a drawing kinda-sorta-hiatus to replace a knee, live through a pandemic, trying to oil paint and all the rest.  So, this should be very good for me.  It also fits my recent goals of  learning to see surfaces/form more than just contour edges.  Here’s my first attempt, done with a Bic ballpoint pen.

2 thoughts on “France Belleville-Van Stone Is The Bomb

  1. I really love this, Larry, and I’m a big Bic fan, too (not to mention a France fan)! I have thought about participating in those draw-alongs, too, as I’m sure I would enjoy them. Maybe when I get done with my 100-day project I’ll give it a shot.

    • It’s so fun and her “fuzzy hatching” approach is very appealing to me because it reduces the time and precision required with her more formal hatching approach. lShe’s apologetic about it but, as a sketcher, I find it a superior approach.

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