Thursday, 19 July 2018


My most recent project in Germany is now in the execution phase. I had the pleasue to work with some local people, among others a German architect. He asked me to make a painting of his children, as a present to his wife, based on a picture he sent me.
Difficult not to fall into the "too much details" trap.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Vintage motorcycles

Aother quick sketch of the meeting in Hoensbroek. Enthousiasts discussing about motorcycles.
These are the "brommers" of my highschool days, 50cc motocycles. Every bay wanted one. From low to highest ranking: Peugeot, Yamaha, Kreidler, Zundapp and top of the bill: the Puch/Tomos. Even though they were only 50cc, it was a sport to try to speed them up, over the legal 40km/h. Without the Police noticing it.... Unfortunately I never had one, there was no need, I more or less lived across the street from my school.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Nimbus 1934

I was at a vintage car and motor meeting this evening. This is a 1934 Nimbus.  A Danish motorcycle with a 4 cylinder in line motor. A beauty, with a beautiful sound.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Steamship SS Kunz

A fantasy drawing of a steamship. These ships always remind me of "the heart of Darkness" .
I made this drawing using chinese ink and wooden cocktail sticks. And a newly aquired Schminke watercolourset. Just for fun.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Kiah Kiean

I have always been a great fan of the Urban Sketcher Kiah Kiean, and how he does his chinese ink & wooden twigs work. I have experimented a lot with twigs, especially bamboo, with mixed results.
On Youtube I found this video how he sketched a Chicago scene during last year symposium, some overhead metro track.
So I tried out the same scene, and used a few of his tricks (as far as I can tell from the video of course). That is, putting the ink in a small jar, with some bandage gauze. And cutting the bamboo stick fresh.
To be honest, I tried these things before with mixed results, the ink never came out as grey as I wanted. So today I tried putting the bamboo in water first, so the wood is soaked. And voilà, at last I got the result I was looking for.
Not quite what Kiah Kiean can do with this technique, but a promising start.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Elsloo Meiboom

Elsoo, and the Meiboom (the tree of May).
I made this lunchtime sketch this afternoon, sitting in my car in the shade of some trees, with some classical music on. The tall spike in front of the church is a "Meiboom". It's a very old regional tradition. Early May a  group of young men "de Jonkheid" will go and look for a tall pinetree, and will cut it down.
Then a few weeks later, in a parade accompanied by local groups like scouting, drumbands, and "schutterij" they will raise the tree. It's a symbolic way to welcome Spring.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Chevrolet Capital AA

Drawn earlier this evening at a Vintage car meeting in Hoensbroek.
A beautifully restored Chevrolet Capitol AA dating from 1927.
there were more interesting cars to draw, I may return.

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.