Saturday, 31 December 2016

Animated Kathagen

A last shot of the old year 2016.
I tried something new, making a little animation of the scene I sketched a few days ago.
I made this in Gimp. I made 11 little sketches on tracing paper, on top of the original sketch.
Eventually I used 6 of them. Furthermore I made 2 background colour scenes. All in all the Gif now consists of 18 pictures. Painstaking work, but I really liked making this.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ebola vaccine and cure

An article in our newspaper, a few days ago.

Usually I can't disclose anything about the designs I make, due to secrecy agreements that I have to sign. I make most building and production line designs in very first stages of a project, and that is a period that the competition of our clients would be interested in any information they can get hold of.

Now the news about the Ebola vaccine is in the open, and I can proudly say that I did my contribution to the production line that will make this vaccine.
A nice thought around the Christmas days.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


Demolition of a few houses, for the construction of new ring-road near my home.

Made this afternoon. I had forgotten to bring my (water)brushes, but had a few watercolourpencils at hand. A bit saliva and a tissue works as well. A bit improvising.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Winter season

I made this during the workshop I gave at the USK Maastricht gathering, a week ago.
I tried how coloured inks work at on-location drawing.
That's why I show it here: it did not work, at least not for me.
You can't wash out the brushes, the pots of ink are not easy to handle (when you draw standing up). You end up with lots of paper tissues, and you are constantly worried the inkpots will fall or being tripped over. Advantage: the depth of colour is much more vivid.
I like working with inks, but not on location. I doubt if I will do this again.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas wishes

For all the readers of this blog: the best wishes for Christmas, the holidays and the coming year.
May it be a creative, successful, happy and most of all healthy year, for you and your loved ones.

We received the above beautiful Christmas tree as present from one of my wife's pupils, Isa. Her father works at the Tyltylschool in Maastricht. It's a special school for pupils with multiple handicaps. They make these objects in their activity classes.

Friday, 23 December 2016

25 years on the job

I have been working for 25 years at Tebodin. Actually, the milestone was the past 1st of January, but for several reasons it was celebrated last Friday. We had a good 5 course dinner for my family and close colleagues, in Kolentip, Maasbracht.
I received some nice presents: a beautiful glass piece, made by Belmondo glaskunst, and a frame in which all my close colleagues made an sketch of me.
Of course some of them refer to things that happened over the years; never underestimate the memory of your close colleagues.....

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

USK meeting Maastricht

Ruud Otten organized a national Dutch Urban sketching meeting in Maastrucht, last saturday.
A great succes, especially when you take our usual Dutch december weather into account.
There were sketchers from Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands of course.

I was not able to do a lot of sketching, as I gave a workshop: Urban sequence. I did that one before: 5 stages from drawing on the street to sketching a cornerstone. 12 sketchers took part.
The above sketch was made in our local bookstore, located in a former gothic church. It used to be  part of a convent, that's why iy's called Dominikanen.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Sinterklaas 2016: Mart en Gertie

Another surprise object that I made for Sinterklaas.
This one was made for Mart, my son. He was mighty proud to have that appartment with his girlfriend Lisa. So I made this piece: the king and the queen under their crown.
The crown was made from melted glass, in Paté de verre technique. Actually, this would have been a vase, but the bottom part fell apart due to kiln malfunctioning. This was July, the first attempt. (I am already at attempt 4 for this particular vase. It should have run in the oven this week, fingers crossed).
The crown was all that's left.
Below the surprise gift for my wife. I don't think it needs clarification. It's great to be grandparents.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Limburg an der Lahn

Another business trip, to Frankfurt. I had to rise gruelling early, the meeting would start at 9.00, and it's a 3 1/2 hour drive. When returning later that afternoon, I paused to get rid of my sleep, at an old beautiful city just off the Autobahn. Limburg an der Lahn. I made this one standing on the bridge, looking towards the cathedral across the water. I only coloured it half, I was getting cold. Finished it today at home.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sint: Lisa and Rianne

Like I old before I make surprise gifts for my family.
This glass and iron little dog was made for Lisa, the girlfriend of my son Mart.
Shortly after they moved into their new home, they had a little dog which they called Miku. It's a spaniel, also known as Papillon, also known as "butterfly dog". So that's what I made, a butterfly dog.
The other surprise hift was for my daughter Rianne. She can use a few extra hands in her household, with a child, a husband, a house, a daytime job and a Master study to be completed. The peak hour of their lifes, we have been there as well :).

Thursday, 8 December 2016

40s Chevy pickup truck

I had a factory visit this afternoon, which ended early. So I had a little time left before it went dark (at 5 o'çlock). I knew a business zone in Heerlen, where a restoration firm had a few of these vintage cars on their premises. Nice for a quick drawing. Always nice to draw rust.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Portrait in ink

Couldn't go out today, wanted to paint, so I searched for an interesting picture to draw.
This is an unknown man in Rajastan, India, original picture by Aniruth Agarwal.
Coloured inks in an A4 Canson Sketchbook.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sinterklaas 2016

December 2016, Sinterklaas again. That's Saint Nicholas day, the 5th of December, the day Dutch give presents to each other. I personally dislike giving presents with Christmas: not quite the way to celebrate the birth of Jezus.
Anyway, when kids are over the age that they believe the story of Sinterklaas, it's tradition to make surprise gifts for each other, accompanied with a nonsensical poem.
For some reason every year I made all surprise gifts. Already for about 12 years.
Above an example, for Bob, my son-in-law. He would like to buy a real skeleton (he is physiotherapist of profession), but can't afford it. And he is very good at barbecue. And loves Scotland. So I made this barbecue apron for him, combining all these items.

But here is another surprise, for the first time in all these years I was treated as well! Bob made a surprise gift for me. Theme: Grandfathers should stay active as long as they can. Making fun of my other hobby: running....

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

India, Orchha

Still playing with coloured inks. I like them a lot.
This drawing was based on a picture I once took in India, in Orchha.
I am using cut bamboo, dipped in ink and large flat brushes. All in order to get a more vivid, paintery drawing style.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Talbot racing car

Commissioned painting of a Talbot 26c Racing car.
The same as I posted some weeks ago, but that was a trial.
Here is the final version, size A4.
I understood that this birthday present for the owner of both the car and now this painting was very pleased.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Steinhuder Meer

Returned from a business trip to the Hannover area, Neustadt am Rüberberge. We slept in a hotel in an old fisher village next to a large lake "Steinhuder Meer". Now a tourist resort.
Sketching in winter is hard, as it's still dark when we get up in the morning, and pitchdark when return in the evening. I had to take my breakfast early, just to create some 15 minutes in the early morning light. Just before we would leave for the meetings.

I had to work quick, and it shows.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

A new sketchbook (2)

Testing the other sketchbook, Hahnemühle watercolour A4.
Like with the Canson one, rather smooth paper as compared to Moleskine.
Works nice, much like the Canson.
This drawing was made with coloured acrylic inks. Next step will be testing with watercolour.

Thursday, 17 November 2016


An imaginary city, I called it Cavarinha. (not a Italo Calvino place, but it fits in his world.
I started drawing with that person in the centre, standing alone under the arc. And just kept adding things and bridges and widows and stuff without a real plan. Maybe that's not completely true, as I started I immediately had the firm idea that the place should be an underground city.
I added the dark background digitally afterwards.
Here two detailed parts.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A new sketchbook

For >10 years I use Moleskine A5 and A4 watercolour sketchbooks. But the A4 (Folio) are hard to get. After several promises and more than a month waiting I decided to try other brands.
I wanted to get a Stillmann Beta series, but they could only be ordered though Germany.
So I bought a Canson 230 grams book (60 pages). And tried it out with this quick sketch in coloured inks.
I also bought a Hahnemühle watercolour book, but haven't tried that one out yet.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

I lost it

Here is an example how you can lose the painting that you want make, when you work too long at it.
Left you see the first stage, after about 3/4 of an hour. Size 50x60, all in acrylic.
It was pretty vivid. I should have redone the part under the nose, reworked the chin, and suggested the shoulders. And leave it at that.
But I kept on painting for another half hour, and totally spoiled it. It's not even very bad, but it lacks the vivid paintstrokes of the first one.
I wish I could say that I learned my lesson, but to be honest, it's difficult to find that good spot.
I know I have to pay attention constantly.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Election day

At the risk of offending all those who go with Trump for all the good reasons, I personally think its a bleak and grim day for the world. Not so much for his ideas (if there are any) but more for his unstable and virulent character.
I really hope that this day will not be one that you will read about in history books in a hundred years time.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Oldsmobile and more

Went to a vintage car meeting in Brunssumthis afternoon. It was pretty cold, and the rain threatened to spoil the meeting. The owners stayed inside with hot choco and drinks.
I could only made the drawing of this beauty, it was too moist and cold to paint: it would not dry.
Painted it at home.
The German owner told me it was an Oldsmobile 98 Holiday hardtop Coupe dating from 1954. 
I also made this ink drawing of some 4x4's, but this was a quick one, just before the rain set in.

Friday, 4 November 2016


Lunchtime doodle. Nothing special.
I saw a painting by Peter Stauder hanging in a art gallery in Cologne last weekend, that inspired me to do this sketch.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

More Schmallenberg

Another scene in the Sauerland (Germany). I saw the scene during a short stop while driving through the magnificent coloured hills. That evening I made this quick painting while waiting for our dinner to be served, from memory. Well, the scene is not really complicated, is it?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Schmallenberg (Dtsl)

We had a lovely extended weekend in the Hochsauerland, Germany. A very old town called Schmallenberg.
We visit Schmallenberg every few years, since at least 15 years or so. The Gasthof "Stoffels" has always been our starting point, good rooms, perfect food, very hospitable owners.
This is the early morning view from our hotelroom. The autumn colours are there in its full magnificent beauty.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Glass eagle

My latest glass object.
Actually, I finished it months ago, but I never had time to make the pedestall.
The bird is about 35 cm high on its cherrywood plinth.
All made of sheet glass, tacked together in the oven.
The colours are of glass enemals, pressed in between the sheets.
The wings are made of tiny strips of glass, vertically positioned and fused with the backing glass sheet.

It was a real pleasure to make this piece.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Sketching architecture by Liz Steel

A new Urban sketching book came out: sketching architecture. By USK sketcher Liz Steel from Australia. Filled with good tips and tricks how to sketch buildings quickly.
The book treats themes like how to make "basic volumes', easy perspective, capture crowds, shade, how to treat light, colour etc. All ideas and observations related to make quick urban impressions.
If you want to do precise drawing and painting in a studio, this is not your book.
And as a bonus: the book contains 2 of my own drawings: one of a very quick roofdrawing in Liège, and the view over Hells Kitchen, New York.

This is still one of my favourite drawings, filled with fond memories of our trip to New York last year.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Klimmen church

The things we do for art.

My wife sings in the church choir St. Caecilia in Hulsberg, and they sang the mass today in Klimmen, another small village near where I live.
When they prepared and rehearsed a little, I went out in the early morning chilly mist to draw the graveyard in front of the church.
There are some beautiful old graves there.
I detest the imported invention of Halloween (we have "all soul's day" later this week to honour the deceased in a serious way) but I admit this drawing is quite fitting for that occasion.

In the end I had quite stiff fingers of the chilly and wet cold.

Just before mass I made this quick sketch of the choir rehearsing the opening song.
Both drawing took between 10-15 minutes to make.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hands and portrait

 A study of a (live) portrait with the hands emphasised. Hands are very difficult to do.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Talbot #inktober 19

Talbot T26c, a racer from 1948. Made after a picture. Blue (and a little black) ink only.
As you may notce, I skipped a few days, too much other things to do.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Glass flowers and vase

 I finally had time to finish my glass vase and glass flowers. I made the vase in spring, and the flowers just before the holidays. But I still had to make the stems (copper wire, soldered together and painted). Well, here it is. It looks better than expected.

I took the opportunity to make an ink drawing of the vase, for #inktober, day 15.
But after 15 drawings, I know now that I don't want to keep up the pace.
The quality is getting less, and I want time for other hobbies.
So I will do the #inktober posts less regularly.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Fiber face #Ink day 14

Another experiment: I pasted a part of a thin sheet of fiber-tissue (I guess fiberglass) on a page in my large moleskine, and let it dry. Then I wetted parts, and painted with Indian Ink. The ink would flow quite uncontrollably, but hey, that would be the fun part wouldn't it?
It was difficult steering the linework where I wanted it to be.
Inktober day 14. 17 to go, I am not sure I can keep up that pace.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Elsloo, Pumpkins. #ink 12 and 13

Railroadcrossing in Elsloo. Made during lunchbreak, yesterday. The crossing was close to the office, and I needed something to take my mind of stressful work.
And another made at the dinnertable, a set of small pumpkins, made with ink and inktense pencils.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Yurt, day 10 and 11 Inktober

I finished the portrait on Monday, but decided to add another theme (the Yurt in the background) on Tuesday.

The inkdrawing was made with my falcon fountain pen and bullet black ink.
The colurful parts with coloured acrylic ink (Lukas).

I am not sure which one I like best. I probably prefer the B&W one.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Sumi-e, day 9 #Inktober

My feeble try at Sumi-e inkig technique. I lack the determinedness of making those confident brushstrokes, especially at the leaves. I know it comes from unending training to make these strokes (I once secretly observed a Chinese man in our Hotel in Hangzhou, making 5 training strokes on cheap paper next to him before turning to the proper sheet. It was genuine, he was alone, no audience). But hey, I'm western, I don't have that patience.