Monday, 19 August 2019

Pater Vincktoren

Another one of the sketchcrawl of last saturday, in Maastricht.
This is a part of the Medieval fortifications.
I tried the bamboo-ink method again.

Saturday, 17 August 2019


We had a nice sketchcrawl in Maastricht today, organized by Ruud Otten.
I met a lot of old and a few new friends.
We made drawings on the "Jekerkwartier", near the old fortifications of Maastricht.
This is an old house, a retirementhome for nuns. THe "Faliezusters".
Nowadays I try a new more vivid style of working: drawing with bamboo on good Fabriano paper, and ivid colourswashes.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Portraits during symposium

I managed to make some quick portraits during the Symposium, trying different materials. The first is James Richards, during the Talens workshop. He is instructor of one of the workshops.
I experimented with (Talens) ecoline, I had never tried that before. It's water soluble.

This is Kiah Kiean, a fantastic sketcher. My Bingelrade drawing was inspired by his working method. I used graphite and water soluble pencils in this drawing.

 And this is Evelyn Huang, she also participated in the Rembrandt workshop of Fred Lynch. I had to make a quick inkline drawing, with as little lines as possible.
Chinese ink applied with bamboo stick, and waterproof sepia acrylic ink.

Monday, 5 August 2019


I went out yesterday to draw an old farmhouse, in the process of being restored into its old form.
The farm is located in Bingelrade, just a few kiometers from my home. Actually it's along one of my running-routes, that's when I noticed the building.
I used chinese ink with bamboo pens, pentel paintbrush and some Rembrandt watercolour, on Fabriano 300gr cotton paper.
The ideas of Kiah Kiaen were followed in this drawing, whose demo I attended during the Amsterdam symposium. A very interesting method, with very interesting results.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Oosterdok, Amsterdam

Saturday, dead tired, but a free moment at last. Just enough time to make a sketch of the boats at the  Oosterdok. The green building is the Nemo museum.
After this the general USk overall group photo was taken, and the final closing party took place.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Fred Lynch workshop

During the symposium there was little time to sketch. But I was able to attend some workshops during the event. Among others the inspiring Fred Lynch. His monochrome drawings are fantastic.
His workshop was called something like: "drawing like Rembrandt". Actually, these scenes are across the street from Rembrandts house.
I learned a lot by working in monochrome, I must do this more often. 

Monday, 29 July 2019

USk symposium Amsterdam 2019

Phew. Finally the Urban Sketching symposium Amsterdam 2019 is over.
Here is the final picture of the event, about 1500 of the approx 2000 sketchers that took part of the event.

The event was lead by Ruud Otten and Gail Howard. I was honoured to be in the core team together with Peggy Otten, Anne Rose Oosterbaan, Roger Klaassen, Linda Toolsema, Peer Wolkers, and the angel of the team, Marleen Dambrink. And about 60 hardworking volunteers. Here is a part of that group.

The conditions under which we had to work were almost unbearable. Nature choose to break the Dutch heatrecords twice during the 4-day symposium. 39,7 Celcius on Wednesday and 40,7 on Thursday. Never before in recorded Dutch history. These were really harsh conditions to work under.
With over 600 symposium and workshop participants and about 2000 sketchers all over town, some things are bound to go wrong. But we heard from all sides that this was the largest and best organised symposium so far.
I am really proud on what we achieved and most of all I am really proud on our Dutch red team.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Meersen, the basilica

Meerssen, the 14th century Gothic basilica. On of the best examples of the gothic "maasland" style. It used to have gothic towers, but these were destroyed in one of the many wars we had in the 16th and 17th century, and never rebuilt. Funny, even though the church is very near, maybe 15 km, we never go there.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Austin 1932

Small and very quick drawing of an Austin, dating back to 1932. Drawn at a vintage car happening in Hoensbroek.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Place du Marché. Luik

Place du Marché, in Liège. On the terrace drinking a nnice cup of coffee.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Hors Chateau in Liege

Sitting nice and quiet in this little square in Liège. A project by the architect Charles Vandenhove.
Making this drawing was almost like meditation.

Monday, 8 July 2019

St Pholien 2nd

Another one from the fleamarket, this time a quick one. Maybe 10, max 15 minutes.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Liège, le brocante de St. Pholien

I visited Liège this morning, just a day out roaming the city, walking around, eating merguez, sitting on terraces and making some drawings.

On friday there is always a nice Brocante (fleamarket). Several times I have made drawings there, it's always a pleasure to be there. The guy selling stuff was called Leo; and when I made the picture he was already cleaning up his place.

Sunday, 23 June 2019


They are working o our street, the sewerage systems need renovation. there are two old ones, dating from the 1930's. To be replaced with one new large one, in the middle of the street. The construction company started four weeks ago, and it will take until November. My street is now a large pit, fit for a nice drawing of the digging equipment.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Mitzie and Tomatoes

It was warm yesterday, a fine June day. Mitzie, our oldest cat, was resting in the most unlikely place: a pot which was used to grow tomatoes in last year. We didn't have enough time this year, so the pot is vacant. Well, sort of.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Hollandsch Koffiehuis

Last saturday we as organizing team of the USK 2019 Amsterdam symposium came together for a meeting, and inspection of the venues.
I spent most of the day in the nice company of Gail spotting locations for the workshops at the symposium. We had some tough issues for some of the locations, but I am gad to say we found solutions.
When I left for the trainride home, the ride I wanted to take was cancelled. Which gave me some time to sketch an old 1911 building across te centra station, called Hollands Koffiehuis. A coffeeshop dating from an era when you could actually buy coffee at a coffeeshop.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Ford Mustang 1973

Mustang 1973.

I went to the vintage american car meeting, here in  town, this evening.
There was this beautiful blue Mustang from the early 70s. Rather difficult to draw.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Merovingen Maastricht

I made this map of Maastricht for my son, to be used in a computer presentation that he is making. The drawing depicts the town of Maastricht in the Merovigen era, about AD 600-800.
Part is based on information that I  found and received, another part is based on my imagination.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Odysseus and the Sirens

I had one of those dreams again, of a boat manouevring between rocks that made screaming noise.
Even though I could not relive the visuals of that dream, the idea stuck, and evolved into this drawing. Odysseus in his steampunk ship, passing between the sirens (which look quite different here than in the original mythology, I know, but that is called artistic freedom)

Monday, 27 May 2019


Went out to draw these two Beetles in Merkelbeek, this evening. I passed them yesterday during my running training.
They were standing in a field in the back of a farmhouse. The blue one is obviously a donor car for the yellow one, which is prepared for a rallycross.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Finn, but not really

I tried to draw my grandson Finn (now 6 months old). He was laying on his back, I drew this while standing at the foot of the bed. So the perspective is a bit weird.
Even though I did my best, and ther drawing is remeniscent of his face, it's not Finn.
Still, I always learned that it is difficult enough to make a drawing in which the person looks alive. I think I succeeded to do that anyway. Drawing babies from life is very, very hard.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Julia, once again

Julia, in a live portrait painting session. It was the last session of the Masterclass portrait course of this season.
Acrylic 50x70cm, took me two hours to make.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Brooklyn, Brighton Beach

A sidestreet of Brighton Beach Avenue. I guess it is probably also known as little Russia, I have never seen so many Russian shops, except for Moscow itself.
Coming from a country where nearly all electrical cables are underground this was a fascinating sight.
I now know why the Spiderman comics originated in the States. Inspiration around every corner.....

Monday, 13 May 2019

NYC Hanover street

View from the Starbucks at hanover square, downtown New York. They sold Banh mi, something like vietnamese baguettes. No idea what that tastes like, but we already left the Starbucks before we were hungry enough to try.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Central park

Very quick sketch in the Central Park, New York. Made in about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

The Brooklyn Tabernacle choir, a real gospel choir. 250 singers, incredible.
We wanted to attend an early Sunday mass, and took the risk to go to Brooklyn, the renowned choir that won several Grammys and sang at the inauguration of Obama (that seems already ages ago).
We were welcomed heartily. I was given permission to sketch, which i did when they were still doing voice exercises before mass. When they started to sing I didn't want to draw anymore, but only wanted to enjoy the music.
I also liked the mass itself by the way, I loved they way the priest did his sermon. A real show, so unlike what we are used to here in  Europe.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Christopher Slutman funeral

Our hotel was near 5th Avenue. We noticed that the street was closed down, to our surprise there were thousands of fire and policemen standing in attention, a few miles along 5th Ave.
They were paying their respects for Christopher Slutman, a Marine and ex-NYC fireman, who died during a roadbomb attack in Afghanistan, early April.
There were large amounts of policemotors, some firetrucks, policecars and a group of bagpipes.

Very impressive, especially in our European eyes.

May he rest in peace.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

New York, Times & Liberty

Last weekend my wife and I were married for 30 happy years. Like we did at the 20 and 25 years anniversary, we visited New York city, this time accompanied with some friends.
This meant we did the usual tourist things, but also a few new ones.
I have made sketches of these two scenes before, but I could not resist to do them again.
The view towards the statue of liberty, from the Staten Island Ferry. It was a quick one, I only had like 10 minutes to do this one. 
This sketch, made from the platform on times square, also took about 10 minutes, I did not want to hold up the company.
I loved the city, and will show a few more drawings.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Germaïn, portrait

Portrait session, last saturday. Germaïn, a model we had a few times before.
Great guy to paint, so different than the usual models.
On Bamboo paper, 50x70cm, acrylics, about 2 hours work.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Paris Notre Dame

I was horrified by the fire in the Notre Dame in Paris, last week. Visited it a number of times, admired the stained glass windows and the mighty organ. Such a beautiful place.
I made this drawing back in October 2009, during a visit to Paris. There was a Maria procession on the Seine. I just could not leave this event unnoted.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

The enigma of a monday at noon

I went to an exposition, the Tefaf in Maastricht. there were some Giorgio de Chirico paintings.
I was inspired by these, and made my own version.
Ink drawing, digitally coloured.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Koerennen / Kowrenne

A commission drawing of the Cowrunning festivities in Hoensbroek.
I made this drawing (size A4) for a friend, Bert.
Some 20 years ago he initiated a "Kowrenne" group, of which I was part as well. Later we split up into different groups, but I must say that theirs (Cow B) was even more successful as ours (Cow H).
We stopped some 5 years ago, they last year. This drawing is of their last run. The contest is quite physically demanding, and yes, we all get older.
I made the drawing for his birthday.

Sunday, 7 April 2019


Business trip last week. I had to visit an industrial park in Heijningen, in the river delta.
Next to my visiting adress there was this shipyard and winter ship storage.
I had some time left for a quick sketch, before leaving for home.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Amsterdam, de Gooyer

Amsterdam, de Gooyer. An old windmill, practocally in the middle of town. I was sitting on a nice terrace on the other side of the canal. in  the sun, sipping on some coffee.
Even though I lived in Amsterdam for a short while, I had never seen the mill up close.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Amsterdam, Nieuwmarkt

For the first time in a long time, I went out for a day to Amsterdam, to visit an exhibition about David Hockney and van Gogh.
I also took the opportunity to go out and sketch. It was beautiful spring weather.
I made this at the Nieuwmarkt, the Waag. In the middle ages goods used to be officially weighted here, and taxes to be paind. It's still a beautiful building.
In front is the daily market.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Saturday, 9 March 2019

carnaval 2019

Carnaval last weekend. This is the float in the parade of Hoensbroek. One of the 100 groups/floats/bands and single participants (Eimzelgänger).

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Madonna with child

The finished painting. Madonna wit child. Or rather, my daughter Rianne, with our grandson Willem.
Based on a picture. Acrylic and oil pastel 50x60cm
It was a difficult procedure, following Christianne Knops ideas. The different stages:

stage1: blocking in the areas. Here you can still recognize the forms of the original photograph.
  stage 2: bringing back the lines with oil pastel
stage 3: different colourfields, extending beyond the border. Each field should show a little of the previous one. Linework should behave freely around the colourfields, not restrict them. This was how last week ended.

Stage 4: today, just painting a totally different colour on top. This was very difficult to do, I had to give up on the parts I loved the most. Killing your darlings.

Stage 5: I enhanced the skintones, the strong arms needed to be emphasized.

Stage 6: Due to the arms, the clothes were too bleak. I added a contrast colour, carefully leaving traces of the old layers visible.

Stage 7: the dress needed contrast: I darkened the backgroud, redrawing the linework every time with different coloured oil pastels.

Stage 8 (final, see the first image): the dress was interesting of colour, but alltogether too flat. I added an extra layer of purple-grey.
I also adjusted the background.
Then the linework again, with orange white and black oil pastel.

The point is: when to stop. I worked over 4 hours on this, and could have gone on.
But I reached the point where I had the feeling that whatever I added would not make it better or more interesting.
I guess that is the learning point.