Monday, 28 July 2014

Lourdes

I was on Lourdes again yesterday. We are making a tour around France at this moment. We already did Normandy and will be heading north tomorrow. 


Lourdes is always impressive, to see all these ill and handicapped people get strength out of their faith. And all these young people pushing carts and helping any way they can. Touching. A quick sketch of the grotto of Bernadette with the sacred source.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Crash MH17

Driving home from work I heard the news from the plane MH17 Malaysian airlines which was shot down above the Ukraine. It started from Amsterdam and had a lot of Dutch on that plane.
Horrible images on the internet, had to rework them in this drawing.
I mean, I have been to the Ukraine a few times, know how the country looks like. I've flown over the area a few times to Asia, and we often travelled with the travel agency that had Dutch passengers in this plane. It suddenly comes near.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chemicals

Another job at the chemical plant Chemelot. I passed this installation this morning, walking from a meeting to our site office. Just enough time for a quick one. Fountain pen ink washed out with water and adding a little colour.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Le Mans 1970

Wanted to draw something this evening. Anything.
I took a picture of a Le Mans 24 hour racing car from 1970 (a Porsche), and tried to draw speed.
I am not sure the drawing really conveys speed, I'll check in a few days.
I even wonder if the choice of watercolourpencil is the correct one.
Sometimes it takes a few days to see clearly if you achieved the goal you set for yourself.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Watercolour pencil

Bought myself a good set of watercolour pencils (Faber Castell). Started experimenting with them, based on a picture took a few weeks ago in the Paris Metro. Just an exercise.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Icarus

Busy with all kind of stuff, except Urban sketching or drawing.
I had planned to go out last weekend, but ended up writing the "the hunt for Carlos" comic.
And working on my new stained glass project: Icarus. Making these statues is great fun.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

BlamBlamBlam

As you may recall I host the Comic department of a Facebook site called "sketching Workshop". It features a kind of drawing puzzle game called "the Sherlock game". 15 artists make a drawing on a chosen theme in their own style. Like a dangerous woman smoking a cigarette.
The visitors must guess the artists name.
Unfortunately I lack the time to participate, but it's a challenging game.

Anyway, the drawings this time were so good, that they came up with the idea to change it into a comic story.
A James Bond story!
I helped making some in between panels, and rewrote the story and all balloon conversations.

It will be issued somewhere next week, but in the meantime: here is the Teaser Alert.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The love letter

The love letter. A painting loosely based on a painting by Vermeer.
I posted an earlier version on this blog some time ago, here is the link:
http://www.renefijten.blogspot.nl/2014/02/stuck-at-vermeer.html
I received some good observations by Beth (from Montreal), which I followed to some extent.
I also posted the painting on another forum (sketching workshop), and even if I did not follow all suggestions, they all made sense somehow. I makes you think, and that's the only way to improve.

The major changes are:
- background: toning down the background and unifying the top with the bottom, getting rid of saturated  red.
- figure: the posture of the maid was unnatural, I made her smaller and repositioned the arm for a more natural look.
- I made the yellow skirt less exuberant and enlarged the letter (the subject of the painting....)
BTW: I observe that the blue lines in this picture come out more saturated than they do in reality, I'ts hard to make good pictures of the paintings I make.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Jeanette turns 50

The partner of my brother, Jeanette, is turning 50 today. It will be celebrated in a funny dinnershow this evening. Theme: "in search of Caesar". The actors will serve dinner in exuberant clothes while singing childern songs and rock music. Looking forward to it.
I made this surprise present for her: a stained glass figure, about 30cm wide/high. Just a pity that there was no sun today to let in shine brightly through the glass.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Eemland

Another lunchtime sketch, in the harbour of Maastricht. This is the Eemland, a ship carrying sand.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

On the Riverfront

Lunchtime today: sitting in the mild sun on the steps leading towards the river on the "Wyck" side.
This is the view to the other side of the river: on the left: the house on the "jewstreet", the gothic St. John, the Roman St. Servaas basilica and the waterfront houses.
It was a real pleasure doing this again.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

More glass: Chameleon

I a working on a lot of different things at the same time now: one of them is the Chameleon.
I finished the statue last week; I just have to get a hardstone sockle to position it on. And enhance the cherrywood colour by oiling it.
Sometimes the sideworks costs more time and effort then the statue itself.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Royals are finished

At last I found the time to finish my stained glass object "the Royals".
I fixed it to a cherrywood sockle. Yes, it came out of the tree on whose trunk it now stands.
It was the first stand alone leaded glass object I ever made, and I really loved doing it.
The object was inspired by the song "we'll never be Royals" sung by Lorde. Every time I see this object the music plops up in my mind.And in case you wonder: no, the Spanish Royal abdication has nothing to do with this. Pure coincidence.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

More Escombres


On location sketches of Escombres (France). A view from the hills over the roofs of village, they are studies for the two paintings that I made that afternoon. The first one I showed in an earlier post, the other waits for finishing.

The above drawing should have been a "rene" type of Urban sketch: grey Noodlers ink lines and shades of watercolour.
But it went wrong, in the end the painting looked like s***.

So I decided to use it for experimenting.
I added layers of gouache, wetting them, drying it with a hair-dryer, torturing the paint with bristle brushes and old credit cards. This is the result: a bit 60s advertisement look.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ford B 1933

I love to draw hot rods. This beauty stood at the "cruise-in" in Brunssum, last thursday.
It's a Ford B from 1933, the most popular model to turn into hotrods. They were used so much for conversion into hot-rods that I was told that a "normal" restored Ford B 2-seater is extremely rare.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Chevrolet Corvette

The Bugatti hit some button inside of me, I suddenly felt the urge to draw some more vintage cars. So I visited a weekly vintage car meeting "Cruise-in" in Brunssum, where the owners of some beautiful old cars meet. Most of them are american, from the 60s and 70s, but there are some other beauties as well.
This is a Chevrolet Corvette from 1960, and the proud owner told and showed me all about this car.
I love that sweeping, almost female curve of the car's rear end.
They made real cars back then.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Bugatti T35c

And here is the cherry on the cake of my painting weekend. Heading home on Saturday afternoon we passed through the village of Carignan (still in France, just south of the Belgian border).
There was a vintage car rally called "Grand Prix Rétro d'Yvois", with beautiful pre-WW2 cars.
Parked on the market square I noticed a fantastic Alvis, a few ancient Austins, a genuine threewheel Morgan. And a dream come through: I was able to sketch this 1927 Bugatti T35c on location, in real life! The machine looked beautiful, shining fiercely blue in the late afternoon sun.
I am considering another hobby....

Monday, 9 June 2014

Euilly et Lombut


Second day: we went to a little village called "Euilly et Lombut". We were supposed to paint the village farms using massive blocks of colours. Building houses with paint.

I choose a red painted corrugated steel shed and a sandstone farmhouse as subject.
The top painting was the try-out sketch for the bottom painting.

Actually, I think the top sketch is better than the painting itself, I just haven't figured out why. I'll have to think about it.

Acrylic 50x60cm.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Kolenkit

I saw an old derelict and abandoned house in Tétaigne, France. On the groundfloor I noticed two old rusty "coal scuttles" (are they called like that?). Funny thing was, they were still filled to the rim with coal.
Kindof reminded me of my youth, before we had gas-fired central heating. I still have memories of my father, who would get the coal from the coal storage in the back yard, to feed the hearth using these "kolenkits".

Thursday, 5 June 2014

More Tétaigne

I was not satisfied with the earlier painting, so I started another one, same location, but just turned my head to the right. I will admit there was an ugly white caravan on the right hand side of the tree, but who cares if the painting works better without it. An afternoon well spent.