Saturday, 29 December 2012


Yesterday evening we celebrated Sinterklaas with our family.
I know, a bit late, but we decided to postpone it untill our daughter Rianne returned from London.

So we had a lasagne dinner, and gave and received presents.
And we had fun about surprise presents accompanied with Sinterklaas rhymes (which according family tradition I make for all of us).
I made this painting for my son, Mart, as decoration for his student room.
He is a regular anglophile (presently he studies to become an English teacher) and was always fascinated by the movie "V for Vendetta" and the story of Guy Fawkes.

Acrylic on prepared carton, I used a London map as background, 50x 70cm, 

The painting is supposed to be hanging next to the one I made for him last year, the painting of Ann Lee. (Ann Lee post)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A dream (part 3)

The dream part 3 (previous: part 1 and part 2 )
Halfway the road to the prison some space invaders appeared and stole the roasted chickens. But the patrol car called in the flying fish brigade, who took up pursuit. The space invaders had not counted on that and in fear made chewing gum balls to hide the chickens in. Will they be able to escape?

Monday, 24 December 2012


Not really a nice picture for Christmas eve, but I reread "In der Strafkolonie" (In the Penal Colony) of Franz Kafka. A horrifying story.
Last saturday in art class we experimented with portraits, collages and half transparant overlays; this was the result.

Notwithstanding this picture, I wish everyone a happy Christmas.

Thursday, 20 December 2012


For the first time in two years I was able to run an official competition run again: the Mescherbergloop. The worst 15km of the Netherlands, only very steep hills, muddy fields, slippery country roads, forest paths and uneven stairs. Through freezing weather, rain and wet snow.

Last year February I suffered from a chronic ankle injury; I couldn't run more than 50 meters without having to stop from pain. (very frustrating, I have run marathons in the past).
The surgeon told me that even though it could improve a little, I had to get used to running with pain. Or take up another sport.
It took me almost two years, slowly building up the distances, to be able to run a painfree 15 km. And that's good enough for me.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Tebodin office Geleen

This is the view from the printer room on the second floor of the Tebodin office in Geleen.
Next to our regular Maastricht office, this one is located in the middle of the Chemelot Chemical plant (better knows as DSM), near our clients. My habitat since summer 2011.
I started this drawing during lunchhour. But as it is made in front of the window of the printerroom, people would walk in and chat me up all the time. So I finished this one yesterday at home.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Marsha in the sun

These are the preliminary stages of my new project, a stained glass window with a nice summer theme.
I already cut and polished the glasspieces. I will be painting it next week, and burning the paint into the glass.
In the bottom you see Marsha, our black cat. She is now about 15 years old, moving around is becoming difficult for her. She will be able to enjoy the sun in this window forever.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Shoreditch high street station

There is no fun in drawing in the dark, so with these december days, dark and always busy at work, there is not much opportunity for Urban sketching .
I decided to pick up Urban Painting again. This one is based on a picture I took at the Shoreditch high street underground station in London. Oil on board/canvas, size 40x50cm.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Bamboo and watercolour

Last weeks model class. Three of about 11 quick drawings of different poses, made in under two hours.
No pencil drawing to define the dimensions, but drawing directly with stubborn Bamboo sticks and chinese ink. Quick shading with bold strokes of watercolour.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Glass bird

Another stained glass piece, this one is made by my wife Gertie.
I made the design specially for this object; you can see the sketches for the different ideas below.
The piece is standing on the front windowsill of our house, on a nice steel pedestal.
It's a pity the orange and red colour nuances are a bit lost, they shine beautifully when the sun hits the panes.
Diameter 400mm.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Camden Lock retried

A sketch of Camden Lock, London.
I made this painting on location during my visit to London in September, in a Moleskine A4, but it went totally wrong.
Normally I don't even try to improve a waterolour gone wrong, but did it this time anyway.
Washed away dark spots, reinforced parts with extra colour, tried to enhance the composition, added some white gouache.
Even though it improved more than I expected, it's still not to the standard I wanted to reach. But why should I only show the good ones here?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A dream (part 2)

The dream part 2 (previous installment: A dream (part 1))
The buildings were upset about being deformed, so they took revenge, stretched out and caught the zeppelins in mid-air. Then they cut them to pieces, which fell to the earth in the form of roasted chickens.
At first everyone liked the roasted chickens. They were very polite and greeted everyone in the streets. But after a while they got hungry and started eating the legs of chairs and tables. So the Police came and rounded them up to be taken to prison.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Babel's Ark

Finally finished, my stained glass window of Noah's ark. Someone who saw it noted that he not only saw the Ark in this piece, but also the tower of Babel. Even though it never crossed my mind when I designed the window, it totally makes sense.
Even though it is hardly visible, I used two different glass painting techniques in this piece, grisaille and enamel. Grisaille are the dark lines and figures of the animals and buildings. But as I wanted other and more colour nuances than the available glass plates, I gave some glass parts an additional blue or brown colour tone on the backside. With the coloured glass, it gives beautiful effects.
I reality the piece has more and subtle colour tones (the white is light yellow). But my decent camera was stolen last week, so I had to do with the camera of my mobile phone.
Size about 60x75cm.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tower bridge, London

This is it, the only drawing left from a fine weekend in London. I made this one in the large Moleskine (which I stacked in our suitcase, which was not stolen).
We were staying in the (excellent) hotel "the Tower", located adjacent to the Tower Bridge. For a few hours we even had a room with a view towards the bridge! This view was drawn and painted from the 1st floor bar, while resting our tired feet and enjoying a nice pint of Guinness.
I should add that I drew this image late in the evening. As the bridge was fully lighted I was able to draw it as if it was daylight. I considered drawing it as if by night, but the bar was dimly lit and you need good light to paint an acceptable night scene. Believe me, I tried.

Monday, 19 November 2012


We were mugged last night in the Brussels-south raiulway station.
We just returned from a lovely weekend in London with our daughter Rianne (she presently studies for her Masters at the Imperial college, London).

It was the classic distraction tric - asking a simple question and someone walking behind your back picking up the bag. I immediately realised what had happened to me, but within a breath they were already gone.

We lost our camera and some euro's. But worst of all my travel sketching gear and my small Moleskine sketchbook. There is now only one London drawing left (which was packed in our suitcase).
These sketchbooks, fountain pens and brushes have no value to the muggers, but it took me years to assemble.  Infuriating.

There will not be so much sketching in the coming few weeks, I am afraid.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I had a dream

I was a little feverish last Sunday, and I woke up remembering this dream.
Overlooking a city from a top floor balcony, in the shimmering heat of the noon, I saw an Apollo rocket rise into the sky. But it slowly and elegantly turned around and crashed into its launching pad. Out of the boiling cloud a huge zeppelin emerged, changing its form like a huge blob, and hovering above the city. Wherever the zeppelin would descend, the buildings would slowly twist and deform. Whenever it rose the buildings would reshape again. It was very quiet all around; not even a sound from the birds. You would only hear the soft moaning of the wood fibres of the doors, as they were deforming.

Monday, 12 November 2012


Art class. Drawing and painting with Chinese ink after a live model, Annemieks daughter Isabelle.
In the first hour we made about 12 drawings in 6 different poses using bamboo pens and twigs.
The second hour we added ink washes to the black line drawings.
My favourite material.

Friday, 9 November 2012

St. Servaas

Yesterday during lunchbreak I walked to the citycenter of Maastricht.
The weather was rather mild for the time of year.
This is a sketch of the backside of the St. Servaas basilica. Actually, it's the entrance side, but the altar side of the St. Servaas is located next to the Vrijthof (a large market square), so everybody consideres that side to be the front.
Here is a drawing of the Vrijthof side: Vrijthof

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Rêve de Ceramiques

Rêve de Ceramiques by 201169
Rêve de Ceramiques, a photo by 201169 on Flickr.
I normally don't repost, but I loved this drawing of the multi-talented Pascal (living in Paris). He probably woke up in horror and sweating about this dream. Pascal, je suis honore d’être dans tes rêves bizarres.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


On artisjokkens blog ( click here: "watercan") his latest design for a multi usable watercan was shown, which will undoubtedly result in a revolution in gardening. I inserted his artist impression below.

But you still have to fill it and walk around.

This led me to this design for an improved version, which I show here for patent application: a multi-usable static watercan.
No need to move it around anymore!

Just put them wherever you want flowers, they will sprout from the can, and you never have to walk the garden to water the plants anymore.

That's called progress, Folks!

Artisjokkens version.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Chinese ink

Experimenting with Chinese ink: painting silhouettes of (live) models, and then adding drops of pure ink in the wet ink, and let it flow.
These are a few of the about 20 paintings that I made in under 2 hours, all quick ones.
Not as easy as it looks.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bamboo pens

Art class yesterday. We had to make quick portraits with bamboo pens or twigs (from our garden) dipped in Chinese ink. It took some time before I got the hang of it, but I must admit it results in very lively linework. On the other hand, the amount of ink is very difficult to control; a sudden blob of ink on the wrong location can spoil the drawing in an instant. But I loved it; I'll have to try it with Urban sketching as well.
I made like 20 portraits in about 2 hours, these are the four best.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Nearly extinct

Sometimes objects disappear from the public space without us realising it. Some 20 years ago you could find these kind of public urinals in most cities; I have seen them in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Brussels. All gone as far as I know.
I was very surprised to find one in still in place, on the tiny marketsquare of this little town, Limbourg, in the Ardennes (Belgium). I can still remember that I used this urinal once, maybe 35 years ago. I was a teenager back then and I was on my way back from a biking trip to the Baraque Michel with a full bladder. Aren't we all full of useless memories.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Sunday afternoon, I drove into the Ardennes to a little town called Limbourg. The centre is located in the valley, on the banks of the river Vesdre. But on top of the hill there is the ancient part of Limbourg, with old houses and a large cobbled marketplace.
I found this abandoned and derelict little house opposite the church. While I was drawing and painting, an old local man came up chatting to me about the old days, as far back as World War 2. As it was in French it was too difficult to listen and draw simultaneously. I admit I was a little annoyed because I wanted to finish the colouring, and the light was fading fast. On the other hand, if I hadn't be there to draw, I would never have heard these lovely stories.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Moresnet, in Belgium, just across the border into the Ardennes. It's a small village hidden below a huge train viaduct.
The viaduct was built in the 1st World War to move artillery to the western front. As the Netherlands was neutral and the Germans could not pass our country, they had to build a railwayline just south of the Dutch-Belgian border, through very hilly terrain. This viaduct spans 1,2 km with at the highest point 50 meters above the ground, and was the largest in its time. There are more interesting stories to be told about Moresnet, maybe another time.

Friday, 19 October 2012


Two drawings of the sketchcrawl last Saturday. The top one is Tineke, one of the group,drawn in action.
The bottom one is the market of Sittard. Not a very good drawing I suppose, but why should I only show the ones that came out right. Blame it on the rain.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Camden market

I am pretty occupied at the moment, work and all, a lot of sketches waiting to be scanned and published, but not enough time. Here is leftover sketch of the Camden Lock market, one of the enclosed squares with stalls selling Banana shakes, wire jewellery, leather jackets and Ethiopian food. Fantastic place, whenever you get to London, go there.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The crawlers

Our sketchcrawl group of last saturday: left to right: Joan, Tineke, Annette, Jos, Roger, Marco, Nico and Alma. I am not in the drawing, that would have spoiled it.  Resemblance not guaranteed.
Dit is de groep die afgelopen zaterdag in Sittard aan de slag ging met de sketchcrawl. vlnr: Joan, Tineke, Annette, Jos, Roger, Marco, Nico en Alma. Ikzelf sta er gelukkig niet op. Geen garantie op gelijkenis.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sketchcrawl in Sittad

Yesterday we did another sketchcrawl Limburg, this time in Sittard. Unfortunately the weather was horrible, we could only draw for a few hours on a covered terrace. But after that the rain poured down, and we had to stop early. Nevertheless, our group of 9 draughtsmen (of 3 nationalities) had a lot of fun drawing together. See more on our blog:


Gisterenmiddag was er weer een sketchcrawl Limburg, dit keer in Sittard. Daar was ook Oktoberfest: een grote kermis, veel feesttenten en schlagermusik. Helaas zat het weer tegen, we konden slechts een paar uurtjes op een beschut terras zitten tekenen, daarna regende het zo hard dat we besloten voortijdig af te haken. In totaal waren we met 9 schetsers, een erg leuke groep. De resultaten op onze blog: 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The stables

On Sunday our group went to Camden lock, and visited the markets there. A part of that area is called "the stables", it's a fleamarket located under a railwaycrossing and decorated with bronze statues of horses. Bizarre and fantastic. This huge bronze head was about 2 meters high+ it filled the arched passage under the bridge completely. Drawn with a pentel paintbrush on location, colour added at home.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

New Oxford street

One morning I rose early to make this drawing, on the corner of New Oxford street and Tottenham Court road. It was just one block from the St. Giles hotel where I stayed. On the left side you will notice the Dominion theatre, which features the Queen musical "we will rock you". Drawn on location, added colour at home.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


British Museum, Egyptian department. Above a real mummy on display. It's awkward to realise that this was a person real and alive about 3000 years ago. And now thousands of people, coming from countries he never knew existed, come to look at his remains. I also sketched a nice model of the gifts the ancient Egypts buried in their graves, two beautiful and intricately detailed models of riverboats. The realistic pose and detailing of the boatsmen is stunning.

Friday, 5 October 2012

British Museum

When I was in Liège with the Belgian USK sketchers, Lapin gave me a little sketchbook, with his drawings on the front. I took it with me to London, to try it out. This is a quick sketch that I made the first day, of the courtyard of the British Museum. I made it while waiting for the rest of our group to return, in maybe 10 minutes. I loved the dome, a fine meshed glass roof, designed by Norman Foster.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sketchcrawl Sittard, Oct 13th.

We are going for a sketchcrawl again, this time in Sittard.
For those who want to join us: Saturday Oktober 13th at 13.00 hours at the entrance of "het Domein" Sittard. There will be an Oktoberfest in town, so much opportunity to sketch!

We gaan weer sketchcrawlen, deze keer in Sittard. Voor degene die zin hebben om gezellig samen met anderen te tekenen en schetsen: verzamelen op Zaterdag 13 oktober, om 13.00 uur bij de ingang van het domein, Sittard.
Er is Oktoberfest in de stad, dus veel kans op leuke schetsen!

Meer info:

(bewerkte foto van H. Fluks)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Olympic games

This is what I went to London for, a visit to the buildings of the Olympic games. But even though a guide was waiting for us at the swimming pool, we were not allowed to enter the fenced off terrain, as we would not be performing professional working activities there.
Makes you wonder how sportsmen will ever be able to use the sportfacilities there. By wearing a hard hat?

This is a sketch (as seen from the fence) of the "Orbit" , a building of 115 meter high. It looks like a steel octopus catching a flying saucer in mid air.

We visited a few other architecturally interesting projects, and lunched on our way back to the center of town in Shoreditch.
I had a real good classic British pie there, with beef cooked in Ale, mashed potatoes, green peas and heavy gravy. As sketched below.

Monday, 1 October 2012

St. Pauls, London

Last night I returned from a visit to London. I made a trip with the Dutch architect association BNA, and in 4 days we visited a lot of architectural highlights in the city. Old and new. Luckily I was able to make a few drawings as well.
This one is the view from the top floor of the Modern Tate (art museum), showing the St. Pauls silhouette across the river.
They have a long table stretching along the façade with this view; I had a nice brie and salad sandwich with a strong coffee when I made this drawing. That's the way to draw something like this.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Citadelle Liège

 le sentier des minimes
More drawings from last saturday, when I joined up with the Urban Sketchers Belgium.
At first we went to the Citadelle, up on the hills surrounding Liège. On top you see my drawing (I just felt for a different style) and just under it the Lapin version of the same scene. He stood next to me.

And below a drawing of (nearly) all participants to the meeting, when we were seated on the terrace. Likeliness not guaranteed.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Liège, Hors Château

This is one of the places we went to with the Belgian Urban sketchers in Liège, Hors Château.
It's a renovation area of the early 80's, an example of city renewal when I studied architecture.
Architect Charles Vandenhove. And it still looks perfectly good!
Anyway, I had the opportunity to sit next to Gèrard Michel when we drew this scene. It was nice to see him at work as well, much more precise drawing work than my version.