Sunday, 26 June 2016

Pate de verre

I am now working on new projects in glass. The procedure is called "pâte de verre" and it's an old french technique of making glass objects.
First you make a model in clay, then you cast gypsum around it, to form a mold.
The mold is polished and reworked, and then you grind glass. The grinded glass is sieved into different sizes, and (depending on the type of ground) you mix it with an adhesive. I use wallpaperglue. Then you lay down one or more layers of the glass into the mold, and it's heated.
These objects are glass flowers, to be fitted into the vase I made two weeks ago. I still have to make the stems.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Verseidag, Krefeld

 A quick sketch of a deserted factory terrain in Krefeld, Germany. Part of this factory (not this part) was made by Mies van der Rohe, one of the most famous architects of the last century.
While the rest of the group was given a explanation of the modern 30s architecture and its restoration, I made this drawing. Took me about 10 minutes.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Naked Flame

We visited some Mies van der Rohe buildings in our region (he was born 20km away, in Aachen).
Two of his villas (Haus Lange and Esters) ware transformed into a museum for contemporary art. A very nice museum I should add.
In one of the rooms a performance had just started. A work of art by the UK artist Roger Hiorns.
He invites naked young art students to sit on a complicated machine to stare at some flames, which are slowly dying out. The idea sounds easier than it was: it makes you contemplate on our age of technology and the relation of that technology to our naked existence.
Just enough time for a quick sketch.  I talked to the performer later on, a nice guy. He was a photographer and video artist himself.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Girl reading Klimt

I finally had time to finish the painting yesterday, it has been on my easel for far too long. But with all my travelling I just lacked the time.
The painting is Acrylic, 70x90 cm, and made as final piece of the Annemiek Jongen Painting Master Class.
In a previous post I described the painstaking journey to a good composition looking-for-klimt-1.

 After I made the linesketch I scanned it and made this quick digitally coloured version using GIMP.
I tried several trees and fabrics, but in the end I liked this compostion.

But the first version painting had the wrong colours, I had to redo most colours three times.
And it was quite painstaiking work to get rid of te blue patterns, they kept shimmering through the yellow colours.

In the end I am pleased with the outcome, even though I still see possible improvements.
It's time to move on.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The painter

At the barbeque this weekend Bob, my son in law, remarked that painters should either paint on easels or in houses.
(meaning I look funny when I draw standing outside). The Dutch word for easel is "ezel", which also means donkey.

Which led to this quick sketch.

Een schilder schildert op een ezel of in een huis.
Dus waarom niet op een ezel in een huis.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Oldsmobile Toronado

Also made during the Cruise-in meeting in Brunssum, a quick sketch of a 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado.
Very long and sleek, this american beauty.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Dodge Coupe 1937

I felt the urge to draw cars again. So this evening I went to visit the Cruise-in again, it's the weekly meeting of American and vintage car owners in Brunssum. Always a nice batch of old and not so old cars.
This is a gem: an 1937 Dodge Coupé, in beautiful chestnut brown. It had the hood open, so you could see the well restored motor. 
Like always I attracted a lot of attention at drawing in the wild, but they know me there by now. It's always nice to talk with the owners, they are always very dedicated to their cars.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Glass vase

My latest glass works piece. A vase for three flowers.
Layered sheet glass with enamel coloured layers in between, tack-fused. Tack-fused means fused at a lower temperature. In this way the sheets are not completely molten into each other, and still visible as separate sheets.
The flowers are there only for show, I notice that the holes practically impossible to clean, too small.
So live flowers will not be possible. I have started with some glass flowers, and will use a new technique called Pâte de verre. It was time to move on after a few Tack-fused objects.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Starbucks Utrecht

I travelled by train to the Dutch USK meeting, I was an hour early, so I grabbed a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks. This guy was staring out of the window, sipping his cup of coffee.
Later that day I gave an advice to some sketchers, something I have read somewhere: "if you can't draw a foot, draw a little dog in front of it. If you can't draw a hand, draw some gloves. If you can't draw a face.... you've got a problem."
The point being, that if you're not good at perspective, find solutions to avoid it. There are enough alternatives.
The above drawing would have been a nice illustration of: if you can't draw hands.....

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Urban Sketching Netherlands

Last saturday I went to Utrecht, to partake in the first National Dutch Urban Sketching day.
Organized (very well) by Ruud Otten, Wiltfried Pathuis en Richard Veenema.
At least 60 sketchers were present that day, and even though there were a few drops of rain, it was a huge success.
I organized the only workshop that day: perspective drawing at Urban sketching. We assembled at the Mariaplaats in the middle of the city (a former convent). I gave the 17 sketchers who stayed behind tips and tricks on how to make and improve their perspective skills, while drawing in the wild.
For that reason I could not draw as much as I liked to, but that was okay, I think I fulfilled a real need.
The drawing you see above was the demo that I did on location.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Rome, room with a view.

A leftover from the Rome trip, a month ago. I had made this drawing when my wife was under the shower, it's the view out of the window of our Rome hotel room (hotel Galileo, near Statione Termini). I managed to fill the basic colours, but had to quit before I finished it.
Last Wednesday I as sitting alone in a restaurant waiting for dinner, so I had time to add some colours and details out of memory.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Urban sequence

My colleagues of the 'Master Model en Portrait Class" wanted to join me in Urban sketching.
So I organized a sketch sequence for them, the same exercise I give to my architecture students.
5 stages: they start in the street and make a sketch about what they observe. Then to a porch, the same thing. Then into an atrium, followed by a facade, and the last impression must be drawing of a rough stone in that facade. All max 20 minutes, that's hard work.
Next to giving instructions I managed to make a few sketches of my own, see above.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Unne Tèsj in Roame.

A little street scene in Rome which I hadn't posted so far.
The ladies wanted to buy a leather handbag (one of those things we men feel are a nuisance to carry around - that's why we have trouser pockets. But to women it serves as a vault with unbelievable contents). In our local Limburg dialect called "Unne Tèsj".
Anyway, in the time they choose the proper bag, negotiated and bought two of them, I managed to make this little sketch of the scene. Including painting it.
It was at a little street stall at Via Della Vergini, near the Spanish Stairs. And to be honest, they got a pretty good bargain at buying them.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, only 18 years old, won the Formula 1 in Spain last weekend.
First Dutch guy to win the F1, youngest driver ever, had only driven this type of car twice.
Hard to believe he received his driver licence just a few months ago (no joke).
What makes us very proud, is that his hometown is in Montfort, just a few dozen kilometers to the north from where I live. Actually, my family originally came from this village, but that was 3 or more generations ago.
Anyway, I am not a F1 fan, but painting something like this is always fun.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Checkpoint Charlie

Two sketches from Berlin.
Above Checkpoint Charlie, one of the worst tourist traps I've ever seen. You have to pay to get on a picture before this non-original shed with a few sandbags and actors in fancy military costumes. And you even have to bring your camera yourself.
Anyway, always good for a quick sketch.

And a less vivid sketch of the beautiful red "oberbaumbrücke" across the Spree.
I really had to work quick, only had a few minutes, as I made this while the guide was explaining its history during a stop in our guided bicycle tour through Kreuzberg.
These were all sketches I made in Berlin; I really enjoyed this trip with the church-choir of Hulsberg (my wife sing in this choir). So well organized, such a pleasant company.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Berlin Reichstag

No long stories, I just returned from a 4 hour drive from Bavaria.
This is a sketch of the Reichstag, made last weekend in the quarter of an hour waiting time before we were able to visit the famous and beautiful dome.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Florian, RIP

Last thursday, as I was in Berlin, I received the terrible message that Florian Afflerbach died in a car accident.
He was riding his self restored NSU "quickly", a small motorbike from the 50s, when 2 cars crashed into each other, and Florian was caught by one of them. Wrong place wrong time.

I worked with him several times, sometimes for days, sketching cars and talking about architecture, perspective and drawing.

I remember his softness, dedication and talent.
And I cherish the memory of one warm midnight in Liège, when we were fed up playing tablesoccer, and Flo said: I feel like drawing a car.
Lapi, me and a few others went to look for a car, and found this nice Renault 4 under the neonlights, and we all started drawing.
A curious neighbour even brought us cookies and tea.
Let's remember him by stories like these.

Berlin Brandenburger tor

Just returned yesterday from a fantastic long weekend in Berlin. (yes, lately I ain't home a lot).
My wife sings in a choir in Hulsberg, and they organised a 4 day trip to Berlin.
We had terrific weather, and visited a lot of sights. And had a lot of Bratwurst and Currywurst.
There are worse ways to spend a weekend.
I quickly made this sketch of the backside of the Brandenbuger Tor, while the group passed by, obviously there was no time to paint on location (I can't expect 50 people waiting for me). I painted it an hour later, while sitting on a nice terrace in the sun drinking a nice beer.