Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sinterklaas 2013

Like every year we have a tradition in the Netherlands, called Sinterklaas.
With Sinterklaas (on December 5th) presents are given to
children and family. It's what other countries do at Christmas.
When children get older, some families also exchange surprise presents, combined with elaborate poems, in which you are able to make fun of someone.

In our family it grew as a tradition that I do all the surprise presents. Here are the five for this year.
Mart: a toilet brush converted into a purple Christmas tree for his new house.
Brenda: a 12 page full spread glossy with fake articles featuring her: you can see her laughing at reading.
Rianne: a bird house with her new young cat (Sammie) in it.
Bob: a miniature lawn, to study gardening. Seeds were incorporated. They want to convert their paved backyard into something green next year.
Gertie: a coloured glass orthodontic set of teeth (set in lead). She may need braces next year.

So much for the presents of this year.  

Friday, 27 December 2013

Stolberg roofs

Last Saturday I took an afternoon to drive around and sketch. After the sketch of the trucks (see a few posts back) I tried to go to Aachen. But I had forgotten it was the last Saturday before Christmas, where everyone in Germany buys presents. Trafficjams. So I drove to Stolberg, hidden in the steep Eiffel hills. This is the view from the Castle, over the roofs of old Stolberg. The cold was bearable, as I stood covered from the chilly wind.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Best wishes

Best wishes for Christmas and the new year, from Gertie and me.

I made the above two drawings a few weeks ago in a collaborative project starting from Sketching Workshop.
Some 40 artists joined to make one or two 300x300pix drawings, which were assembled by Laura F. Vasques (Boston) into a Christmas card.

Internet makes for inspiring ideas!

Monday, 23 December 2013


Art class, (live) portrait painting of our model, Anke. We had to glue coloured paper at random, and use these surfaces within the portrait. All meant to learn to loosen up the use of colour and texture. Harder than it looks. Acrylic paint over coloured paper, size 50x60. Took me about an hour to make. Below a picture of the starting point.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Dodge 1948 schoolbus

At last, some time to get on the road and spend it sketching on location!
I found these old trucks on a parkinglot in an industrial zone in Heerlen (de Kissel). The owner imports them from the States and resells them to vintage car restorers. I chatted with him, and he told me these trucks are very hard to find nowadays.  The bus is a Dodge 1948 schoolbus. The truck is probably a 1952 Ford F2.
I had wanted to finish the left part of the bus as well, but my hands were too cold to proceed. I decided to leave the drawing this way.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Light in the dark

No time to draw or even to spend a lot of time on blogs and Internet. Busy, like always this time of year. I experimented a little with my camera, always hoping something interesting comes out of that. Hopefully more time next week.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

No Right Turn, Chapter 3: The Run

This Comic Noir that I strated by accident, is turning into something incredible. The book is already 21 pages, containing 17 specifically made drawings, from sketchers all over the world. London, Sweden, Tunesia, Argentina, Boston, Los Angeles, Malaysia, and I probably forgot some.

The fist chapter was "the yellow box", a dangerous woman keeping a yellow box.
The second chapter is "Chinatown". which ended in a samurai sword attack.
And now I started the chapter "the run" with Police car chases.
You can find the assembled and regularly updated comic here:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Slot Zeist

Here is a quick sketch of last week, one I didn't have time to post yet. Too busy with work, burglar aftermath, moving my son to another apartment, my wife's birthday and Christmas/Sinterklaas preparations. December.
I made this one in the dark, that's why I used black/white. I had no idea about the colour, but could see enough for the shapes of things. And all the time a little girl with a dog called Nielsson chatted with me. One of those little elements that I keep remembering when I look at the drawing.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Ricardo Frederiks, a 19 year old student from Heerlen, asked me to make a front for a book he is going to publish: "Een te grote pot voor een Asperger".
To be translated as: "a far too large jar for an asperger".
The book describes the life of a boy with the Asperger syndrome, a form of autistic behaviour.
Even though it's not strictly autobiographic, he has the syndrome himself, so he drew from experience.

He was very precise about what he wanted me to draw: the jar without lid, the shadowlike persons, the dark and stark urban buildings. He explained that he feels like being in a jar, and the rest of the world is behind the glass.
And it's not that he feels locked in or confided, but more like curious how life is outside that jar, without wanting to be there.

The only request I could not provide was drawing him much smaller, as a tiny person in that jar.
In that case I would have been unable to give him that expression of "feeling at ease", looking outside curiously (at least that's what I tried).

The page is how it will look like more or less, the graphic design is still on the way.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Robbed again

Our house was broken into again yesterday evening. These are the footsteps of the burglar in the flowerbeds in the back garden, that I found this morning.
A lot of damage, hardly any loot. The third time in 10 years, and they never ever got away with a much loot here.
When will these idiots understand we don't own expensive jewellery, bars of gold or stashes of banknotes.