Friday, 30 September 2016

Kasteel Terborgh

It seems the summer does not want to end. Another beautiful day, even though it's getting dark early.
I made this sketch this evening, just an hour ago, halfway office and home.
It's an old watermill in Schinnen called "Borgermolen". It's in front of a castle : "Kasteel Terborgh", which would be on the right side from where I am standing.
Just enjoying the Indian summer. Weather change will come soon enough.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

MG rally badge

Something else. A friend of mine is part of an vintage MG car club. They have occasional meetings, and wanted a club logo. I made this design for them.
At first I made some sketches and proposals, and eventually I made a vectorized computerdrawing using the program Inkscape (0.91). Totally different from the usual photoshop kind of programs like Gimp.
The trick of these vectorized drawings is that they consist of lines, which you can give properties. The lines are mathematically defined, not pixelated. So you can blow them up 10.000 times without losing sharpness. But it requires another way of thinking in lines and areas. An interesting exercise.

This is the vectorized drawing (remark: at this point I still had to align the text with the banner, but I hadn't found the way to do that within the program yet)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

One more Marrakech

I did not yet post the last of my Morocco sketches.
This was made on our last morning there. We walked the endless Souks of Marrakech, and eventually ended up on one of the roof terraces drinking sweet mint tea, overlooking the roofs of the Souks.

Even though it was already warm, these roofterraces are nice, there is shade and a little wind.
I took the chance and made this drawing of our view.

Tanja Liefers, one of the group also made an really nice Urban Sketch, see below.
Like a miniature sketchcrawl... :)

I attached a picture of her drawing below.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Antwerpen Koornmarkt

Antwerpen, on the Koornmarkt (I think). The last of my series of last week, our Urban sketching meeting.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

More Antwerpen

This was the Urban Sketching group in Antwerp, with participants from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The organisation did a good job to find nice central spots to draw (together). We finished the day in a little old square, sipping good Belgian beers and exchanging drawings.

This is a sketch of Marleen Dambrink. This is really funny, six years ago, in the summer of 2011 she was part of our tourist group to visit Indonesia. She saw me sketching back then, but only started drawing herself early this year. She didn't know I was part of USK as well, that was a nice surprise.

The coach was waiting for tourists on the central market place. The south African tourists sitting on top of the coach found me back later, to check what I had made.
Nice conversations.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Antwerpen USK

Yesterday an international Urban Sketching meeting was held in Antwerp. A joined effort of the USK groups in Belgium (both Wallonie and Flanders), the Netherlands and Germany.

We met in Antwerp, about 60 sketchers, and had a terrific time. So many friends and beautiful drawings in so many different styles.

This is a drawing of one of the many beautiful buildings in the city. A large megalomanic building, filled with numerous and intricate details. Too many to draw.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Record breaking September

This September (and all of the summer) was unbelievable, the last few days we had tropical temperatures (well over 30 Celsius). It has never been so warm, so late in the year since recorded history. Yesterday broke temperature records, and today even passed those.
I was sitting under the veranda this evening, making this little sketch of our back garden. Our walnut tree is ready to lose it's walnuts. Hard to imagine that we will be preparing for Christmas in three months.

Monday, 12 September 2016

La piscine des erreurs

Just another fantasy drawing. Called "la piscine des erreurs".
I have no idea why I called it that, itjust seemed fitting.

Saturday, 10 September 2016


In the souks of Marrakech, an old gate. We were there early (10 o'clock, that's quite early for tourists,,,), so the temperature was nice, and it was not too crowdy. While some of our group were doing some shopping, I was able to make this drawing. Unfortunately they switched on the light halfway the drawing (the gallery behind me opened the doors). It made me uncomfortable at painting the scene, the shadow/light effect that had attracted me had disappeared.
It turned out okay I think.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Zaouiat Cheikh

Zaouiat Cheikh is a small town somewhere along the road between Fès and Benin melal. It's in the plains of the middle Atlas mountains.
We had a little coffee break here, and I took the opportunity to cross the street and make this drawing (in 16 minutes).

As you can see in the real picture, I adapted reality a bit, the area was actually more  hilly than the picture suggests, so I changed the flat horizon for a slight hill.
I also changed a few walls in front, regarding colour and texture, because the drawing needed balancing.

In a discussion on facebook I made this analysis of the compositional properties of the sketch (the top vignette).
You see now why I choose to make the little hill, and why I changed a grey wall into red (on the left side).
The bottom vignette is an alternative composition that I could have chosen for that same scene, but I found the top idea to be more consistent with how I "felt" about the area.
The bottom sketch would have looked totally different.

While drawing, I did not have time to ponder about all these features. But before starting, I did take a minute to determine what I would draw, and how I would treat the scene. The rest came automatically. Once I started, the decisions were simply inevitable.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Morocco roads

Just a scene along the roads on the higher planes of the Middle-Atlas mountain regoins. I saw this scene while passing through a small village between Fès and Benin Melal, in the bus.  I drew this immediately after I saw it, straight from memory.
I found it very typical for this region: the overloaded trucks and men drinking sweet tea under the shaded canopies with worn tyres lying on top.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Day 3&4: faces

Morocco has perfect terraces with perfect coffee. These sketches were made of people I saw on those terraces. In Fez, cafe California and in Azilal, cafe bellevue.
These drawings were made in a few minutes. I used the technique of a renowned water colour painter, David Rankin. He wrote an article called: 5 minute recipe for drawing faces. .
Earlier this spring I had explored and trained his method a little, using pictures. And adapting it a bit to my own taste. But essentially it's all there. Check for yourself.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

day 3: Fès leather workshops

I had been looking forward to see this scene, I had seen pictures of it in travel brochures.
But reality was even better than the pictures: the leather workshops of Fès.
These are the open air pots where they drain and treat goat and cattle leather for weeks. Some of them where white of calcium (more to the left), the ones here were filled with dye.

To be honest, the guide told us about the workshop for a quarter of an hour, but I did not catch anything of his story. After we arrived I immediately occupied a side window with full view, drew out my gear and began to draw and paint frantically. I had no idea how much time I had. Eventually, the group had just left the room when I finished, and I had to run after them to catch up.

As it turned out, the area had just been renovated this spring, so it did not smell much. Others have told me they used to get some fresh mint to make the stench bearable.