Art class in Cahors

Art class in Cahors


Cahors market place

We met together at 9.30 for coffee in the bar at the corner of Cahors market place.

For some people it can be a bit intimidating to paint outside in the streets, particularly when it’s a busy Saturday market, but in a group, with our backs to the wall, a limited box of pastels and  a small sketch book it seems more manageable.

We started by positioning ourselves close to the Cathedral side doors where we had a good view of people queuing at the fish stall.

Cahors market

First we laid down the basic, unchanging structures, such as the uprights of the stalls and sunshades, which provide a natural grid in which to organize our composition.

Next we placed in the over-all dark and light  masses.

Once the ‘scene was set’ it was easier to place the height and then the silhouettes of the people. Fortunately the stand was quite busy and some people were obliged to wait for quite some time to buy their fish.

What interested me particularly in this sketch, was the artificial light under the sun shade, which lit the stand and bounced light off the heads of the customers. It was a bit of luck that a lady turned up with a red shopping trolley, which attracted my eye and gave a balance to the more distant red market stall.


Half an hour is about the limit for a small sketch like this: 20×20 cm (on previously tinted pastelmatt, violet/blue)

After that time the light had changed and we were all keen to get off and look for other subjects in the market.


Sketching in Cahors market

art -class-in-Cahors-market

pastel studies of Cahors market.


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