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.