Sketches

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Maastricht 2014

The last post of 2014. A scene made in the rain (actually more like drizzle). I glued paper towels in my moleskine book, and watched the water flow, the raindrops added to the strange effect. Made during lunchbreak.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

More Liège : 8 and 11


More drawings from Liège. The bottom one is the view over the river, from the 18th floor of the city administration building. The top drawing I made during a live concert in the St. Balthelemy church. Gerard Michel and the emulation invited us for a baroque concert, but our USK-group would make drawings during the concert of course. I restricted myself with just a general view, as I did not have all my drawings tools with me. The music was great. 

Chemicals

More experimenting with glued on paper, in this case I used "tracing paper" with acrylic binder (here that paper is called calque.
Impression of the ACN chemical plant in Geleen. They were burning fumes during maintenance works in the plant. The scene is a bit different from reality, the watercolour does not let itself steer in the same way as on normal paper.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Liège from above


Another few images from the Liège drawing days with USK.
This time we were on top of a high rise in the centre of town, in the city administrative building, 18th floor.
Actually, the top floors had been deserted for years, we had a special allowance from the mayor himself to use these floors.
It was also the location of the interview with Gerard Michèl and Lapin, for Belgian television, in which I was shown drawing as well.
Obviously I was not interviewed, my French is not that good.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Volterra: a wrinkled terrace

Experimenting with urban sketching and wrinkled paper. It's funny, the watercolour will let itself steer very stubbornly on the glued on calque paper. So you have to concentrate on the major forms and values. A good exercise, how to tell a story with limited information.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Liège nr 19

Abandoned steelfactory in Ougrée, drawn in September with the USK group in Liège.

The group hard at work. David, Antoine, Inma, Miguel, and further away: Fabien, Simonetta, Gerard and Luis.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Capice


Now for something completely different.
Here is a composition I once composed, maybe 10 years ago.
Made the song up myself, played all instruments with help of electronic synthesisers and found samples.
The voices you'll hear are from the GTA game, one of the very first versions.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

More art class portraits


Two more portraits with glued on paper, this time calque drawing paper. It's semi-transparant paper that architects use to design their buildings on. Maybe better: they used to draw on that, it's hard to get nowadays. Anyway: I had forgotten to take coloured flimsy paper, but by accent had this paper with me.
After some experimenting I found that the paper only wrinkles in one direction, which I used by tearing it in stripes and gluing it in slightly changing angles.
Then a few lines with inktense pencil. And sparse watercolour, simply let it flow.
Fantastic technique. Try it!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Art class portraits

Art class. Kitchen paper tissue glued onto regular paper, with acrylic binder.
Then painting with watercolour. As the binder is absorbed randomly by the kitchen tissue, the watercolour will flow with unexpected results. At some parts it would not dry at all, and I had to wait some time to evaporate. With a little help of an old hair-dryer. Well, I don't need it any more.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Liège 3rd


The 3rd drawing of the Laporello that I made in Liege.
And a picture of the camera tripod that I use as drawing board, in this case rather high up on a wall.
As a nice detail: Lapin was standing next to me drawing the view into the other direction. And that was actually the second time, two years ago we both did the same view on an earlier USK meeting.

Monday, 8 December 2014

More surprises


Here are all the presents I produced.
The birdhouse is for my daughter, to celebrate the new house: the street they now live in is called "koeweide" (cow's meadow).
And the exchange of the presents, with a nice meal of home-made lasagne of my own special and secret recipe.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sinterklaas 2014

Like each year with Sinterklaas I made a few presents.
Sinterklaas is a Dutch tradition of giving presents to children at December 5th, the anniversary of St. Nicholas. When the kids get older this is often replaced by exchanging surprise presents. In our house the tradition grew that I make all the presents.
Here are 2 out of 4: the present for my son Mart. He recently bought a motorscooter and a bowl with black fish. The other is the present for my wife, Gertie. She has some health issues with her hands, called the "Carpaal tunnel syndrome". Also known as "sleeping hands".

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Liège overlooking the city.

You may remember that back in September I spend 4 beautiful days sketching in the streets of Liège, on invitation of Gerard Michel and the Emulation. The result was a 5 meter long strip with 26 drawings. This is one of the first drawing, a view over the city. One of my fellow sketchers Fabien was sitting on a wall overlooking the city.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Last of the Volterra sketches

The last few of the Volterra sketches. One of the porches into the city, located on a higher level, with view over the Toscany hills. And a sketch of one of the students while mastering aperture levels of their cameras.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Doodle on a post it

A doodle on a small post-it during a meeting led to this drawing.
I scanned it and added digital colours using GIMP. The watercolour background was found on the internet. Busy times, not much time to sketch, so I resolve myself to these kind of posts.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Brightlands

It must seem like I don't make any usual sketches any more; I only feature different stuff like exhibitions, digital art, travels, paintings etcetera.
Here is another event: today my largest work of "art" was presented at the opening of our new Tebodin office on the "Brightlands" office park in Geleen.
A lot of dark suits, speeches and drinks, then the presentation, an explanation and putting my name under the digital painting.

The basic idea was a "Bokeh" image of the chemical plant at Chemelot (Geleen).
I once drove by the plant on a dark moonlit evening with some ground mist, and the lights on the towers seemed to shimmer like alien eyes. I tried to capture that feeling.
The colours are the exact firm colours (nowadays Tebodin is part of the international Bilfinger group). The work was totally made digitally, using GIMP; the dimensions of the print measured 2 x 4,5 meters. That's why the final image in TIFF (resolution 300dpi) measured as much as 1.5GB....
 
A tiny remark: I was there to present the image, and didn't carry a camera. That's why the pictures don't show public :)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Monteriggione

Another small sketch from the Volterra trip: the little church in Monteriggione. I misjudged the size of the paper (or rather the size of the church): the top of the tower fell over the edge. It was such a nice weather: we sat on a shaded terrace with some nice espresso at hand.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Alphons Wintersprize

The Alphons Wintersprize was made public yesterday evening. No, I did not win the prize or one of the honorary mentions. But I was not disappointed, far from that. The winners delivered really fabulous work, far better than mine.

I am proud to be chosen through the selection stages and having reached this final round.
And if I look at the final exhibition I see very high quality of the works, and it amazes me that the jury considered my work to be fitting among them.
And that with a portriat, something I could not do decently a few years ago.
Here is the portriat of Anne, painted two years ago in a live portrait session.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Exhibition on gender preferences

We have a museum called the "Continium" in Kerkrade, some 15 kilometers away.
It's a museum mainly for children. It covers subjects like science, nature, technology, biology, history, that kind of stuff. Essentially: "how does it work".
The exhibits are not aimed at showing objects, but they try to involve the visitors and to make them play with the displays.
This is an exhibit where children are asked to make choices between art objects, music, clothes, books, films etc. The choices are then recorded with the aim to show them about gender differences, and how that involves different tastes and interests. And maybe that preferences are not so gender specific at all. 



Anyway, one of my paintings was chosen for the exhibition: the view on Madison Avenue in New York. The top painting.
I made it back in 2011, based on an unused sketch made during our New York trip in 2009.
 http://www.renefijten.blogspot.nl/2011/02/madison-avenue.html

The exhibition will run for a full year.

Monday, 17 November 2014

The total view of Volterra

Here are the last images of the Leporello. The top image was made on the last morning, just before we started on our trip home.

video

And here is the total strip of drawings: 1,5 meter long, 20cm high.
As you can see there is no room for mistakes, you can't tear out or delete a drawing.

Most drawings were totally made on location, 3 were drawn there but painted at home, the alabaster worker was redrawn from an original sketch in my moleskine book and the last one under "Volterra" was based on a picture.
The video is a little experiment in posting. I have to figure out how to handle sound or music, steadyness and how to improve the brightness. Next years challenge.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Brazil


2 portraits of Brazilian people. Based on pictures from a newspaper (Volkskrant dec 2013).
It was an exercise in monochrome painting, as part of this years Model Master class.
Acrylic on paper, about 50x60cm.

Monday, 10 November 2014

albaster workshop

Volterra is famous for its Alabaster (a kind of natural stone, a mixture between gypsum and calcium). You can find small workshops where craftsmen make all kind of artistic pieces and statues from this stone. This guy was working so concentrated in front of his workshop window, that I am not sure he even noticed me drawing him.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Monteriggione


Sketches of Monteriggione, near Siena. A small medieval fortified city on top of a hill. I was there 30 years ago and I remembered it as a bit abandoned and deserted town. It was more lively now, a lot of tourists, even for october.
The 4th and 6th instalment of the leporello.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Volterra scenes

Volterra as seen from the hostel. We slept in an ancient seminario (San Andrea), and the parking lot had this stunning view to the city skyline. Especially at 7 in the morning, as the orange sun hit the top of the buildings.
This is the access to one of the old entrances to the city, and a statue of a pig on one of the medieval towers.
The drawings are the 2nd and 3rd instalments of the leporello.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Porta Docciola

Volterra, Porta Docciola. You can see the medieval (~1300 AD) washing basins under the arches. A laundramat avant-la-lettre.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Piazza dei Priori

Another of the Volterra sketches. We had 6 students and 2 teachers, one did photography and art, I did drawing and architecture.
As I had to teach I could not draw so much myself. But at times I would give the students a difficult assignment (see below), and we would observe them from a nice shaded terrace with some hot espresso, and I was able to do something like the above drawing. It's the first installment of a Leporello, a long strip of paper (~1,5 meter long) with drawings. More to come.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Zelzate, Belgium

Had to drive to Zelzate in Belgium for another project. It's near the harbours of Antwerp. There is a canal (kanaal van Gent naar Terneuzen) fit for seaships, with some steelfactories at the side. A quick impression with fountain pen ink, diluted with water.
The other Volterra drawings will follow.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Volterra Piazza dei Priori

Two sketches of the Piazza dei Priori. I was there to instruct a group of students in architecture and drawing techniques.
It meant long days of arganising and instructing, and not so much drawing myself.
Just a few times, when I gave them a difficult task to do, did I have time to make a few sketches myself. These are the sketches of the Piazza dei Priori, the central market place, with a few high medieval towers (about 1350 AD).

Monday, 27 October 2014

Pisa, Italy


I just returned from a very intensive week in Toscane, Italy. Willem Verhaeg (a professional photographer) and I teached a group of architecture students into the sacred art of architecture, drawing and making good pictures.

This is a drawing of the Piazza dei Miracoli, in Pisa, with the famous leaning tower.
It was made last Saturday. As you may notice we had terrific weather considering Christmas is less than 8 weeks away. Good for a heavy smelling espresso on a sunlit terrace.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Teaching drawing and sketching

This is my class; 6 architecture students hard at work to sketch the built environment in Maastricht.
Next to my regular job as an architect, I also gave a course of drawing and (hand)sketching for the Academy of Architecture in Maastricht (part of the Academy of Arts). It's a 4 year course to get a Masters degree in Architecture, 2 evenings and a full day a week.
I taught them the principles of linework, hatching, perspective, isometric and axonometric drawing, hand drawing, visual drawing and sketching as method of design. And more.
I finished the final session (of 7) last evening.
Very tiring but also very rewarding to do! Here you see them enthusiastically drawing a grey stone wall at 1 meter distance. It was real nice to find a new surprising challenge every week... haha.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid made a design for a fire station on the Vitra terrain (Weil am Rhein). A fantastic building.
This is not the exact representation of the ground-floor plan, but an abstract analysis of it, made from recollection. Tried to capture the motion within the building.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Frank Gehry in weil am Rhein


Two views of the Vitra Design museum, by the architect Frank Gehry. Hard to believe that these two drawings ware made on standpoints only about 30 meters apart.