Thursday, 21 June 2018

Goslar, Hotel Kaiserworth

Goslar, Germany. This was probably the last visit to Goslar. the project I have been workig on the last few years is in the capable hands of anoter firm, and a local contractor.
So I took the last chance to draw the landmark on the marketplace: Hotel Kaiserworth.
Beautifully detailed, and it really sticks out in bright orange. It's always fascinating the details you see, once you start to draw the place.
Of course, I would have loved to stay in the hotel itself, but it was beyond my payment grade....

Friday, 15 June 2018

Amsterdam (4)

The last of the Amsterdam sketches. Left: "de dokwerker".  A monument of the strike of the workers on the Amsterdam docks, in February 1941, during the German occupation. The strike was a protest against the harsh treatment of the Jews by the Nazis. It lasted only a few days and was ended bloodily.
The other sketch is the flea market "Waterlooplein", in front of the neoclassical Moses and Aäron church (dating from 1840, pretty new for Amsterdam standards). I was eating frensh fries with Mayonaise in a pointed paper bag while drawings this.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Amsterdam (3)

Amsterdam. These are 2 1/2 drawings at the same time. On the left a view across the Amstel, made with calligraphy pens. On the right a Holocaust monument for deaf Jews in WW2. And above a part of a 2 minute sketch of some canal houses.
And these are some boats lying near the "Magere brug" (The skinny bridge).

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Amsterdam (2)

2 more sketches. Above the Zuiderkerk, one of the renaissance churches of Amsterdam, one of the more quiet and beautiful churches.
And below an old boat lying on one of the canals.

We had a lovely weekend, organized by our Stichting.
2 days sketching and giving workshops, with about 100 other mostly Dutch sketchers.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Amsterdam weekend

I attended a weekend of sketching in Amsterdam.
Organized by our group "Dutch Urban Sketchers". I helped organizing (a little) and gave a workshop "Living lines".
In the end I managed to fill 1,5 meter of sketches, see below. I here just show the last sketch. I will show the others later.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Another one of Rekem

This is the third drawing I produced that day. Kasteel d'Aspremont-Lynden is dating back to 1500-something. But in bad shape, the main tower (here in front) is reinforced to keep it from collapsing.
Still, in all its decline, a very beautiful castle.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Rekem België

Last saturday I went to Rekem, in Belgium, just across the border.
There was an exhibition in the old caslte, organized by Matty Engelen, another Urban Sketcher.
The exhibition was very interesting, with a lot of beautiful works.

I couldn't resist making some sketches, especially when Matty told me about the access into one of the towers of the castle. When I was working on the above view of Rekem, the photographer Frits Paffen mounted the stairs, and made these beautiful pictures of the work in progress.

I made another drawing, that I will show in a few days.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Liège USK meeting (2)

A few more of the sketches I made at the USK Liège meeting.
The top one during our lunch near the "escalier de Bueren".
The second is the view from the "remparts", the ancient defence walls. I have drawn often there.

This one is a view down a very steep road. Hard to show the steepness.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Liège, USK meeting (1)

        Four years ago I was invited in Liège to make a 5 meter long strip of drawings of the city, together with a group of other Urban Sketchers.
It resulted in a very successful book, over 10.000 copies sold.
There was a reprise last weekend, some 200 urban sketchers were roaming the city. I just had Saturday, received my 2 meter long laperello, and managed to fill it with some 9 drawings, in about 7 hours.

Here are the first 3, Michael Dessin brought me to this place, at the Church Saint Martin, where I met Arnaud and Jean Christophe again. Some scenes here.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Grandfather/grandmother again again

Another big surprise. Our son, Mart, and his girlfriend Lisa are expecting a child.
Such a great news!
It means that before the year is over we will have three grandchildren (if everything goes well of course).
The sketch is about their little dog Miku, which is a Papillon dog (Butterfly dog). Because of the ears of course :)

Monday, 7 May 2018

Auschwitz Gaschambers

This is the most horrible of all sketches that I made. The remnants of the gaschambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Germans tried to erase the evidence, so they bombed the gaschambers.
There were 4 of these in Birkenau, and one in Auschwitz itself. 1.100.000 people died in the camps, 90 percent in the chambers like these. Hard to imagine what happened here.
I had to make this drawing quick, we were with a guide, and he stopped here for only 7 minutes.

This is a sketch of one of the guardhouses of the original Auschwitz camp.
I had only 3 minutes to do the sketch, just enough for the linework. I added the watercolourpencil later at home.

Still, I think it conveyes the desperate feeling of that place.

I am glad I visited the place; of the camps I've seen so far (Dachau, Mauthausen, Theresienstadt), this was the most horrible by far.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Auschwitz Birkenau (2)

The entrance to the concentration camp Birkenau.
The trains would pass this gate, and unload the victims on the platforms behind it.

Just a few minutes from their death.
Almost a million victims must have passed these gates.


As you can see, the original drawing was a bit different, the white acrylic marker didn't perform well, and the official guide was waiting.
So I adapted the drawing with gouache and ink into something more fitting.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Auschwitz chimneys

This may be the most horrible series of posts as of to date.
We had a nice long weekend in Krakau, Poland. And we visited the concentration camps of Auschwitz. Horrible.
In case you didn't know: Auschwitz consists of 2 complexes, the first camp near the town, and the larger camp Birkenau, some 3 km away. Especially the latter was horrifying.
An impression of rows of chimneys on the vast terrain, the only thing left of the endless barracks after they were set on fire to be burnt down.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Stockholm Espresso House

Sitting in an Espresso house, during our visit to Stockholm. Nice to be able to draw, while enjoying good fresh brewed coffee.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Stockholm: view from the boat

Kastellholmen, Stockholm.
I made his sketch in under 10 minutes, the time the ferry took to cross the strait between the islands (Ferryline 80, from Skansen to Gamla Stan). It's a small castle or outlook from a former military camp on the island. Or so I was told.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Stockholm: Skansen

Stockholm. Already two weeks ago.
We had tough times last weeks, my brother in law deceased last week.

Still, some sketches of our trip to Stockholm.
On the third day, that was the second day of Eastern, we went to Skansen.
That is an open air museum, where old buildings are rebuilt and preserved. Old traditions and crafts are kept alive, and there is a lot of infornation available on how Swedes used to live.
We visited and old farm, and the very nice guide gave us more or less a full hour of college of old building techniques.

I asked if I could make a sketch, which she allowed. She found out much to her surprise, that I included her into the sketch. The least I could do to give something back for their friendliness en openness.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Hague

Two sketches that I made during the Urban Sketchig Netherlands day, this time in the Hague.
It's our Political Capital. Above you see our house of Parliament, the little tower houses the working chamber of our Prime minister, Mark Rutten.
The bottom drawing is the "Ridderzaal" the assembly hall, where the parliament assembles for
official meetings. We had terrific weather (Spring arrived at last) and a perfect organisation. About 70 sketchers had a fine day!

Sunday, 8 April 2018


Busy days. No time to post much. Just returned from a nice long Eastern weekend in Stockholm.
It was very cold, but dry, I lovely city.
This is a drawing I made in the old centre of town, the Gamla Stan. The old fountain at the Storteget.
Probably the best known colourful facades of Sweden.

Thursday, 29 March 2018


Just a quick drawing (maybe 10 minutes). After a drawing by the French painter Soluto.
Black pencil and watercolour.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Sand quarry in Meers

On location sketch, this afternoon.
A quarry excavating sand from the river Maas. I have run a lot of times past this quarry, it's on one of my regular routes. Today I went there to make this sketch.