A commission for a close friend, one that I know since primary school. A portrait of both her (late) parents, based on a photograph. It was the first time I made an oilpainting based on a picture. Difficult because compared to live painting the 3rd dimension is missing. Luckily the picture was very good, it had lively shadows.
But I was very unsure if I caught the essence of both their faces.
I should not have worried. Carina's reaction when she saw the painting this evening told me that I caught the resemblance very well.
Zeist, this weekend. Our room on the 4th floor of the Figi hotel gave view to the Zeist town hall across the street. I seem to be lucky with my hotelrooms lately...
Anyway, it took a few stolen minutes in the early morning, just before breakfast, to make the ink drawing. I did the painting at home: the weekend was meant for me and my wife, not for my sketchbooks.
My wife Gertie and I had a nice weekend in Zeist and Utrecht. We had the most perfect weather on Saturday, I can't remember these high temperatures so late in October. I made this quick sketch sitting on a terrace of a café on "achter Clarenburg" in the citycenter.
I bought a white coloured Posca Marker lately, but I hadn't used it so far.
Yesterday I made a scribble on a yellow post-it, and decided to improvise some more with other materials, like standard office red fineliners (non-waterproof), sepia pentel brush washed out with a nylon waterbrush, black ink pen. Later I added some white touches with the marker. Promising materials.
The results of the first hour or so, sitting along the river Maas.
Later we went to the market where I made the drawing of the last post.
On the top you see Agnes, Koosje, Jacqueline en Herman.
I organized the Sketchcrawl Maastricht last Saturday, and we had the most beautiful weather. Autumn; but still 19 to 20 degrees, windstill and a feeble sun. All we can hope for in late October.
There were 21 other sktechers, some from Limburg, but also from other parts of the country like Twello, Tilburg, Amsterdam and Eindhoven. And Annette from Hamme (Germany) was also there.
It was really enjoyable sketching together, first along the river, and later on the Market square. There is a nice old statue there of the "Mooswief". That translates as "vegetal woman", and commemorates the farmer women who would come from the neighbouring villages to the market selling their homegrown crops (mostly unions, leek and cabbage). People will sit around the fountain and eat French fries in large paper "tuute", from the renowned "Friture Reitz".
Handwritten letters, you don't get them nowadays anymore. But I recieved one this week from Delft, which has nothing to do with this drawing, except that the request in that letter reminded me of an unfinished drawing from our USA trip.
This sketch was not in one of my sketchbooks, but on a loose sheet of watercolour paper (Schut 300gr/m2), that's why I had forgotten about it. The paper has a vivid grained texture, I don't always like that. But the paper behaves well with the colours. You can see the unfinished version below. I finished the sketch yesterday evening.
It's an old rusty tractor of the brand Farmall, dating from about 1930. Type F20 (you can find anything on Google these days).
It stood next to some other carwrecks and old farmstuff at Ruby's Inn, where we stayed after our visit to Bryce Canyon, Utah.
That evening I took the opportunity to make some sketches, see also http://www.renefijten.blogspot.nl/2013/08/rubys-inn.html
And another series of my drawings was used for a website. This time for the local Carnaval website.
It's called Alaaf Gebrook.
I am not sure how to translate the word "Alaaf". It's typical for these parts, up to Cologne in Germany, and you use it like the spanish word Olé. To be used as greeting, exclamation or expression of approval or enthousiasm. But only at Carnaval.
Hortensia (Hydrangea macrophylla) retrieved from our own garden. We have a lot of them, at least 15 different ones. Beautiful plants, especially in this season, when the colour deepen en change with the changing weather. Yes, autumn started this week, with rain, cold and a lot of wind. A good reason to stay inside for drawing...
Back to normal office desk life. This is an old farmhouse in a hamlet called Hunnecum, near Nuth. I pass it every day on my way to work in Maastricht.
The farm is probably some 200-300 years old. The horizontal stripes are red masonry layers in between rows of yellow sandstone. The sandstone was hauled from subterranean caves in Valkenburg, nearby.
They did that layering because the sandstone was expensive and the brickwork cheap but not strong enough. So, this layering was an economical solution to a structural problem, and looking nice as a result.
Just wanted to share this picture, one that I made walking back to the hotel in Los Angeles.
It was made by pure accident, I didn't even know that I had pushed the camera button until the next day.
It has been my desktop picture since our return back home.
Well, so much for trying hard to make good pictures; sometimes sheer coincidence makes better ones.....
The live portrait and model classes started again. Like every year we start with charcoal drawings of the faces, just to get the proportions right again.
Quick studies, each about 10 minutes.
I tried to establish the three dimensional panes present in the faces.
It's good to do these seemingly simple basic exercises regularly. I found that while making detailed drawings and painting I often get carried away with the problems at hand. Like colour, strokes, shades, values, tonality etc.
Basic proportions are often overlooked in that process.
During our visit to the Folkwang Museum of Modern Art in Essen (Germany), our group happened to be present at an opening of a exhibition of the artist Thomas Schütte.
He makes a lot of huge objects representing abstractions of female bodyforms. Quite good actually.
I settled myself in a corner to make this drawing of one of the objects. At times it was more interesting to observe the public. Unfortunately they moved around constantly, making it hard to draw.
The Boston Museum "Institute of Contemporary Art" (ICA) has courses for young people to make art and films.
One of these students, Franklin Santiago, made a short movie, to commemorate the attack on the Boston Marathon, earlier this year. The two bombs went off at approx 2.50 PM, that's where the title comes from.
A drawing that I made of one of the victims, a young boy called Martin Richard, features in this movie.
You can find the original post of that drawing here: timeline-april-martin-richard
And the film on youtube here: