There was another 3 day drawing event in Strasbourg: graffiti artists were making murals near the St. Thomas church. The city had prepared scaffolding with large wood walls.
Here is Gilbert at work, who paints dreamlike fairytale images. And I copied parts of a piece by Bwexo, specialized in wildstyle lettering. Hard to read.
I talked to some of the guys, real nice blokes, dedicated to their work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.