Friday, 3 July 2015

Strasbourg again

Back to the Strasbourg drawing again, made on the last day. These statues were man high, and at display in the Barrage de Vauban. I think they came from the cathedral.
I loved that king on a half horse. He looked quite irritated about the fact someone stole the bottom part of his horse.
Also a sketch of one of the many beautiful facades in Strasbourg.
I was not as productive as other days, I had to leave quite early to drive back home.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Mouzon, painted.

The finished painting of the sketch of the last post. Acrylic on canvas, 50x60cm.
Here a picture of the painting, halfway.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Mouzon, France

I just returned from a great weekend in France again. Not Strasbourg (there are still drawings from that trip to be scanned) but Tétaigne, near Sedan and the Belgian border.
I had a plein-air painting weekend again with a group of dedicated painters, under the charming guidance of Annemiek Jongen. I will show the results in due time, but here is an appetizer.
This painting was made as a study for a larger painting. I added two rather random blobs of watercolour, and after drying tried to fit in the view over the city. A bit like Tia Boon Sim or Parka Sung. Not 100% satisfied,I have to do this more.
Anyway: a picture of the group: Tina, Jolanda, Jose, Annemiek, Gertie, Pam, Nienke en ikzelf.
Not on the picture: the perfect hosts of the Logies in Tétaigne: Han en André Linssen.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Garage JoJo Strasbourg

Another Garage that we made drawings in. This time Service JoJo, a restoration atelier specialised in restoring Citroen 2CV, aka "eend" (duck) as we call them in the Netherlands.
Here you see the sketchers clogged around a car to sketch it.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Carosserie HH Services

Cars, cars, cars. A feast of drawing cars in that vintage car repair shop: Carosserie HH Services.
I don't even know all models: MG PA 1935, Citroen Traction Avant 1948, Georges Irat around 1950, Morgan 2 seater about 1945. The Mercedes Gullwing is on another page.
Still more to come.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

First meter of Strasbourg

Here is the first meter of my drawings that I made in Strasbourg. There are 2 meters more to follow.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Merc Gullwing

Two images of the USK weekend in France, Strasbourg. Below another scene of the old houses in the centre of town, in this case next to the Cathedral. Quite German looking. Which should be no surprise as Germany is 2 km away across the river.
We also went to a vintage car restauration workshop, which had some beautiful cars in repair. Like this old Mercedes 300SL, the famous gullwing. The name comes from its flapping doors, hinged to the roof. But these doors were not yet mounted in this car. A beauty.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Harlingen, Friesland

Before I continue with the Strasbourg series, I will show you the drawings I made yesterday.
I had a business trip up north, to Harlingen, to visit a salt production plant. Harlingen is a very old Dutch town located directly on the sea.
It is as Dutch as you can get: canals, gabled houses, ship locks, sailing-boats, fishtrailers and so on.
Here are two sketches: above the old sail ship "de Marieje", dating from 1898. It just returned from a trip and was mooring.
The other is a gabled house on the Noorderhaven. There were a lot of these, hard to choose which to draw.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Strasbourg, France

I was in Strasbourg, France last weekend.
There was the national French Urban sketching weekend, organized by Lolo Wagner and his team (very well organized by the way!).
Over three days I met hundreds of other enthousiast sketchers, and made three meters of drawings in Leporello style (harmonica folded sketchbook).

This is the first drawing, of the cathedral.
I will post the other drawings in the coming days.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fair in Heerlen

I was half an hour early for an appointment in Heerlen this morning. Enough time for a quick sketch of the fair in Heerlen. I painted it this evening, outside under the veranda.
The attractions were still closed, it was 8.00 AM. Funny, to see all these bright and yelling colours impatiently waiting for an an audience.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Città Imperiale

Invented cityscape. For those familiar with architectural styles: it's like Piranesi meets Sant'Elia. Not that I chose those two styles on purpose. I just had an idea and started drawing, and it evolved into this.
I had read a book on the italian interbellum architects Terragni and Libera recently, so apparently that futurist/rationalist/Mussolini building style stuck in my mind. Just drawing for fun.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Chevrolet Bel Air 1957

 I went to the Cruise-in, an American Vintage Car meeting in Brunssum.

There are always beautiful cars to sketch there. Like this shining red Chevrolet Bel Air dating back to 1957. The proud owner imported it from Virginia in 1987, and fully restored the car.
He even showed me the original Virginia number plates.
Here is a picture of the sketch, the car, and the owner.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


There are days that I am totally uninspired. I want to draw, but I just can't put my mind to it. I walk around with my sketchbook, but nothing seems to be interesting enough to draw.
Not that I am doing nothing, I recently made these sketches for a Tebodin presentation on Animal food Factories and their future developments. It will be presented during the Victam congress, in Cologne next week. I made the drawings (two on a A4) with a black pentel paintbrush, scanned them and coloured them with Gimp.
I'll have to do something to get out of this uninspiredness.

Saturday, 30 May 2015


Last art/model class. This time of Annemiek herself. The model had a problem and could not show up, so Annemiek sat for us this time. Palette knifes and acrylic on wood; 40x60cm.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Groenemeyer again

Herbert Groenemeyer, the popular German artist and songwriter, gave a stadium concert in Cologne.
We went there last Wednesday night. The Lanxess arena was sold out, and an enthousiastic crowd sang along on the top of their voices, along with his songs. Another fantastic show. I think it's the fifth time we attended to his performances, but so far we never had a let down.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


Very hard to do: painting by using a palette knife. Especially on a life portrait, this time of Eva.
I used a wooden base, which I had already used for a painting. Treated it with rough Gesso, andyou already have a textured underground. The rest was hard work. I deliberately restricted myself to 2 colours: Windsor blue and alizarin crimson. Plus titanium white and some Paines grey.
Acrylic on wood 42x62, took 2 hours in the atelier and about 1 hour post-production.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Maastricht, view from the bridge

Maastricht, went for a walk during lunchtime today. The weather was really nice.
I took the time to make this quick sketch, from the St. Servaasbridge looking over the water towards the centre of town. The tower in the middle is our cityhall. Took about 20 minutes to draw and paint.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Pilot-Namiki Falcon

During our trip to New York I treated myself on a Pilot Falcon fountain pen. The one with the bird-beak shaped flexible nib.
In Europe you can only buy the very expensive metal one, but I found this address in New York Downtown, where I could try out the regular type. The issue was deciding on the size of the nib, which also depends on the type of paper. I bought the SF type: $144.
I hope it lives up to it's reputation.
First impressions: the nib is really flexible, but I have to get used to change pressure on the nib for maximum effect.
And I did notice that the lexington grey is more dark than what I am used to, probably because it feeds more ink than my Lamy.

We bought the pen at the "Fountain pen hospital" on Warren street near City hall.
A beautiful shop with some 2000 types of fountain pens.
We were served well with really good advice, they took their time and I was able to try some different pens as well. That is something that buying on the internet will always lack: good personal advice.
And it will add to the value of the pen: the pen is now connected to memories of this trip to NYC for years to come.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Philly and Harlem

The last of my New York Sketches. I still have one unfinished, but sometimes you just loose interest and they stay unfinished. These sketches are a bit random: The above is about my new favourite streetfood: the Philly cheesesteak. I love it. Beats any burger I had so far (actually, there was a Shake Shack across the street from our hotel, seems to be something special considering the long queues blocking the pavement at lunchtime).
Below sketches I made during the performance of a Gospel choir in Harlem. Actually, it was the same choir that we visited 6 years ago: the ARC gospel choir. One of the singers was a fragile 90 year old man. He had to be supported during his performances, but what a feast it was.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

NYC 9/11

9/11. It was one of those moments when everyone knows for the rest of their lives where they were and what they were doing.
I was at the office when the first plane hit, and a little later at home as I watched in horror on live-TV how the twin towers came down in a storm of dust. My children still recount the look on my face.
We visited the former location of the WTC, the holes it left in the new square at the foot of the freedom tower, and the new museum. The museum was very well done: with a well dosed amount of respect, anger and documentation. And I should add, without the American patriotic sentimentality you sometimes see in exhibitions like these (in our cynical European eyes).
The above sketch is Ladder 3, the firetruck that was wrecked by the collapsing towers.
And the burned and bent remains of one of the steel columns of the facades. It makes you realise the magnitude of the forces during the events.
Well worthy a visit. But come early, before the crowds arrive.