Thursday, 30 August 2012


The last of my holiday sketches. I have a few sketches left, but they are unfinished or to ugly to publish.
I went with my wife to this little village Molières on our last afternoon in the Dordogne area. The deal was that I was allowed to draw while she would have a coffee on a nice shaded terrace. But I was stupid enough to forget my purse. Will she ever forgive me?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Clown Patate

A tiny circus stopped over at the camping site, in full view of our caravan. It consisted of a truck, a van and a moderate car; in total 5 adults 3 children, 2 goats and a Lama.
They arrive each year; I remember that some 15 years ago we visited the same circus with our children, then at the age of 7 or 8. I asked them, and they could both vividly recall the clown "Patate". We adults thought him to be very amateuristic, but somehow he must have made a big impression to our kids!
Anyway, here is the sketch, made from our veranda.
The next day the circus was gone.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Burned out car

Lately I have been posting a lot of drawings that I made during our holidays in the Dordogne, which is almost a month ago. But in reality I haven't drawn or painted in weeks.
Today during lunchbreak I had the urge again. This is a quick drawing with a Noodlers flex pen, based on a picture I made in Oradour (France) of a burned out car.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Libelle - Dragonfly

A picture of a dragonfly (libelle in het Nederlands). I made this photo with a normal small Sony digital camera, nothing fancy, during a canoeing trip over the Dordogne. The dragonfly rested for a brief moment on my paddle, while we slowly drifted downstream near Le Buisson.

Thursday, 23 August 2012


On one of our last days in the Dordogne we visited Sarlat. It was a very hot day, well over 30 degrees Celsius, and the sun was very harsh. I drew and painted this medieval townhouse at lunchhour, that's why the shadows are so dark.
Even though I was standing in the shadow, we looked for a shaded terrace with cool drinks immediately afterwards.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Aillac or maybe Cussac, a ruin of a chapel somewhere between Cadouin and Molieres. I painted the dark parts later on the camping site: the lighter parts had to dry first to achieve the max effect. Besides, our car was standing quite dangerously in a steep downhill roadcurve. Even though these countryroads are very deserted, French drivers tend to cut the bends for that reason.
I tried to incorporate the Purcell "values" ideas in this sketch again.

Monday, 20 August 2012


A little sketch of a thing of the past. Imagine, back in those days they'd have funny types of smartphones, without touchscreen and attached with a cable to a pole!
I found this (working) telephone next to an unsurveyed railroadcrossing, probably to make a call in case of an emergency or accident.
Along the road between Limeuil and Alles sur Dordogne, France.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Ackland Exhibition

Last night the Urban Sketchers exhibition was opened in the Ackland museum, in North Carolina, USA. About 30 worldwide sketchers sent in drawings as fundraiser for the USK community, among them were 3 of mine (Istanbul, Amstenrade and Baton Rouge, all made within a week at the end of April).
The exhibition was well attended and the first 10 sketches were sold that evening. I am very proud to say that my Istanbul sketch was the first one to be sold, for $200! See the red dot. I must be doing something good...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Peugeot 403

When running you sometimes arrive at locations normal tourists wouldn't go. I found this rusty and abandoned car hidden in a small wood next to a steep rocky path winding away from Reilhac, about 4km from the camping site. It's a  Peugeot 403. It was there standing longer than the tree; the mossy branches totally encapsulated the car. I drew and painted this on location, I think maybe I should have done this in B&W.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Barn at Reilhac

I tried to incorporate the lessons learned from the book "artist brain" (by Carl Purcell) into reality. That proved to be difficult, as he uses reality only as inspiration. He changes backgrounds to emphasise the main form, adjusts doors and building forms etc, all in order to achieve an interesting but not necessarily realistic painting.
Personally I feel reluctant using that approach, as Urban Sketcher I want to make a snapshot of reality. My objective is not a nice painting as finished product, but my personal record of what I see.
So, in order to use the "values", "interesting forms", "silhouetting", "colour relations" etc., I had to find subjects that already had those elements in place. And that was very difficult. This is one of the very few places where I succeeded to find it, a barn in the hamlet Reilhac, found during a 10km training around the camping site. Even though I adapted a lot of forms in this sketch, at least I tried to keep the final image close to what it looked like for me.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Rianne en Bob

My daughter Rianne and her friend Bob, sitting on the porch of the caravan. The first week of our trip we were accompanied by my son Mart and his girlfriend Brenda. Halfway the holiday they left, and we were joined by Rianne and Bob. It was really nice to have the kids and their partners around like this.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Alles sur Dordogne

OK, I got fed up with the exercises in the Purcell book, so I went out and drew on location. This is the 11th century church of Alles sur Dordogne, 2km down the road from the camping site. Drawn with bullet black noodlers ink, and some splashes of watercolour, in a A4 moleskine WC-book.
I enjoyed doing this more than making the sophisticated (but better looking) Purcell type of paintings.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Even more values

During my holiday I worked through the book by Carl Purcell "artist brain", did some exercises and tried to incorporate the ideas into my normal sketches. I found that my problem with Purcell's method is that it makes the paintings far better, but he feels very free towards the subject he draws. Very often the painting is a very far cry from the original idea, even so far that you wonder why he bothered to check reality in the first place. So I looked for subjects where the required values were present. And that proved to be very difficult.
Still a long way to go.
This watercolour is one of the exercises I did based on the book.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Oradour sur Glane

1944, June 10th: Docter Desourteaux parked his car in front of the Pharmacy in Oradour sur Glane. After all that time the Peugeot still stands there, as a reminder of the bloody massacre that took place later that day.

A German detail rode into town, assembled the inhabitants, locked the woman and children in the local church and then shot all present men. A little later they set fire to the church, where 250 women and 200 children were burnt to death. 642 victims, only a handful managed to escape.
The French government left the village in its burnt down state, as a living monument to atrocities of war.
You can visit the site, quite a chilling place. Above the sketch of the rusted and burnt car, below a sketch of the ruins of the parish church. All made on location.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Limeuil: as the main street is very steep, you can find yourself at level with the roofs of the houses you just passed. So I could make this drawing of some ancient roof chimneys, while standing in the middle of the street in front of the neighbours house (don't worry, the street is far too steep for cars or other traffic...)

Friday, 3 August 2012

Limeuil main street

Limeuil ranks very high on the official top 50 of most beautiful French villages. Place nr. 1, as far as I am concerned. The village consists of one very steep road, which wraps around a hill on which in the past a castle was located. This scene is the main street, halfway up the hill. Behind the left wall the terrain falls down some 50 meters. It must have been quite an impenetrable village during the medieval French-English wars. I drew and painted this in the blazing sun, I had to patch up some parts because the sun dried the paint too quick, and my waterbrush did not contain enough water.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Limeuil, Dordogne

This evening we came back from our holiday in the south of France, the Dordogne valley. No exotic countries this time, but a French campingsite that we visited some 7 times in the past 20 years.
The camping site is located on the confluent of the Vezère and Dordogne, just across the river from the village Limeuil. I made this drawing sitting in the shade on the bank of the river; it's the view across the water towards the medieval village.
(Note: I prepared the posts of the last two weeks before we left on this trip, not to show in public that we were away)