Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Neglecting this blog, a little busy at the moment. Among others, a business trip to Akersloot, near Alkmaar in the north of Holland, some 20 km above Amsterdam. I had about half an hour after checking in the hotel, before dark, just enough to make this rural scene. It was on a little lake a few hundred meters from the hotel.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Schaffen airfield

This is a Pietenpol Air Camper, a homebuilt plane based on 1929 drawings.
The proud owner made this plane back in 1992 or so.
Last Sunday I visited a vintage planes&automobiles show in Schaffen, Belgium, together with some Belgian USK-friends. There were over 1000 old cars, and a lot of old planes. As courtesy we were allowed to draw ON the airfield itself, in between the planes. A perfect place make a drawing of this beautiful plane.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Joker

Making drawings, just for fun.
The Joker (inspired by the work of Jason Shawn Alexander)

Friday, 3 August 2018

Castle of Hoensbroek

This is the medieval castle in our town, Hoensbreok.
I went there last Wednesday, to experiment  little with chinese ink and bamboosticks.
Still not having it under control the way that I want it. But I also notice that, even though I am using the techniques of Kiah Kiean, the result is evolving away from the "asian" way to treat the subject.
I suppose that's a good thing.
We visited the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam this weekend, and I noticed Vincent continued learning and copying other artists until he died.
But even when trying another style, van Goghs hand was always there.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam

The Albert Cuyp Market is the best known market in Amsterdam. We were sitting on a terrace (Restaurant/cafe 'de Bazar'). Next to us was this guy in his stall, he had a peaceful moment waiting for costumers. Enough time to check his mobile phone.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Amsterdam: Westerkerk

Just returned from a lovely weekend in Amsterdam. The weather was modestly hot (we are used to temperatures far above 30 degrees this year; 28-30 degrees is a treat!).
I made this sketch while sitting on a terrace of cafe Roem, across the water from the Anne Frank house, and in full view of the Westerkerk.
I had some nice talks to the waitress, a nice couple from Australia, and a Dutch/Finish family.
we live in a wonderful world with international contacts.

Saturday, 28 July 2018


Simonskall, is a small hamlet just behind Aachen. You wouldn't say so after this picturesque scene, but this was the terrain of one of the worst battles of World War 2 (battle of Hürtgenwald). Americans fought for months against the Germans in this countryside with steep hills and severe winters. It was even worse here than the Ardennes offensive, which raged some 100km more to the south. The battle cost between 33.000 and 50.000 American casualties. And 28.000 on the German side. Quite a lot for a forgotten battle.
Forgotten, yes, it's about 50km away, and we know nothing about this battle. And I toured the district: there hardly anything left to remember.

Thursday, 26 July 2018


Stolberg, just across the border in Germany.
It was just a daytrip, to escape the heat of my hometown and garden. We had 36-38 degrees here, an official record-breaking heatwave for these parts. In Stolberg, the Eifel, it was a few degrees cooler, just 30 degrees.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Hedge near the Patersweg

A ancient hedge along the footpath starting from my street, the Patersweg, towards the Castle of Amstenrade. The footpath is centuries old, I found it on a map from 1866. But there was already a castle since the mid-12th century.
Unfortunately due to the construction of a new road most of this path has now disappeared. And with it most of the ancient hedges. These hedges are constructed out of different types of shrubbery, and were so dense that cattle could not pass it. Alas, there are only a few of these left in this region.

As for the style of drawing: I used a black fountain pen, and tried to experiment with the drawing style of Ian Sidaway (check his blog).
Actually, I first copied one of his recent drawings, to find out how it works. That's the drawing of the tree lying down.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Willem, our 2nd Grandchild.

This is Willem. Born this morning, on Friday 20th. Bob, Rianne and Jake are very prood to welcome their son and brother into his world. And so are we, his Grandparents.
Everything went well, and both Willem and his mother are in best health.
I made this sketch today in the hospital, he was about 5 hours old. Willem and Rianne will return home probably on Sunday.
Life is very kind to us.

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).