Sunday, 30 June 2013

Guernica in glass

This is a trial pane of stained glass; I used only one colour of grisaille/contour.
The panel is meant to test out different kinds of grisaille, which in dry form is like fine crushed grey earth/dust. You mix it with spirit, vinegar and distilled water and use it to make lines on the front (=contour) and grey and hatched shades on the back (=grissaille). Then its carefully baked at about 160 degrees.
It's the traditional way since medieval times to make stained glassed church windows.
I used a part of a painting of Picasso called "Guernica"; about the first modern air raid in history, by the German Luftwaffe in Spain 1937.
Size about 40x50cm.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

2013, so far.

This is the first 6 months of 2013, an intermediate report.
As you may recall, each 15th of every month I choose a (news)picture to redraw; assembled it looks like this.
Not very encouraging. War in Mali and Syria, demonstrations in Bulgaria and Turkey, burning factories in Bangladesh and terrorist attacks in Boston. I am afraid the next 6 months won't be that much better.
For the original photographers (who have the reproduction rights) see the original posts:
January, February, March, April, May, June.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Timeline June: Taksim square

Timeline series (each 15th of the month I choose a news picture with graphic quality).
This time the riots in Istanbul, on Taksim square. There seem to be riots and discontent everywhere around the world.
This drawing was based on a picture by fellow Urban sketcher Samantha Zaza. She  lives near Taksim in Istanbul, and reports on the Taksim events on her blog:

It's half a year now that I do "Timeline", I'll post the first combined result tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mistletoe in Royer

During the art course in France, I did a few running rounds through the hills and vineyards of the region. Some 5 km from our Château there was a little village called Royer. It had some old, almost bare trees (I think poplars) filled with Mistletoe. The stuff the druid used to make the power drink for Asterix and Obelix. I came back one evening for this quick impression.

Friday, 21 June 2013


Sketch of one of those strange tractors they have in these winedistricts like Burgundy.
With huge wheels so they can pass over the grapevines. It's Chardonnay territory.
Actually, the original village "Chardonnay" was only 5 km away. I thought that was just a name for a grape type, never figured the wine was called after a village.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013



Day 3 was for the post impressionists like van Gogh, and Cezanne. They did not only try to catch the light, but explored the way the act of painting (the strokes of van Gogh), colour (experiments by Gauguin and Seurat) and positioning of volumes (Cezanne) can stage a painting.
We concentrated on Cezanne, building depth by positioning volumes that are created by shades of colour.

In the morning I sketched this terrace with the little church of Brancion behind it.
I used it to create the above painting later that day, 50x60cm, acrylic on canvas.
I worked below a large tree, out of the sun, as I burned my neck the day before.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

More cows

Proceeding on the drawings & paintings I made on this French drawing week.
Each morning, starting at 9.30, we had to make sketches and exercises to get the feeling for the subject and "style".
These are a few of the sketches of the first day, the "realist" phase.
In the end I made a painted version of the bottom sketch, but I find this drawing to be far better than the resulting painting (which I will not show here).

Sunday, 16 June 2013


A short intermezzo from my France drawings/paintings. I made a short trip today, driving around Aachen and enjoying our new car. In the small and ancient village of Kornelimünster I drew this porch towards the church on the top of the hill. It was a beautiful day.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Our drawing week was structured around painting styles of 19th century France. Not so much copying a certain style, but trying to grasp how the different groups and artists looked to reality.
The first was "realism" (like the painter Corot). The sketches of the cows of the last few days were exercises that resulted in a realist painting. But it was not good by far, that's why I don't show that one here.
Monday was for the impressionists, like Manet. Trying to catch the light. Here is a sketch of the castle and the final painting that I made in the afternoon, 50x60cm, acrylic on canvas.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

La chapelle sous Brancion

La chapelle sous Brancion, a small village in France, just 5 kilometers from our lodging. And as the word says, it's located far beneath the medieval castle of Brancion. This sketch was made halfway the steep road down.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Cows at Chateau de Messey

Just returned from a painters week in Burgundy, France. I'll post more drawings and sketches in the next few days. This was the view from our breakfast table in our lodging, Chateau de Messey, in Ozenay, near Tournus.