Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Starbucks Utrecht

I travelled by train to the Dutch USK meeting, I was an hour early, so I grabbed a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks. This guy was staring out of the window, sipping his cup of coffee.
Later that day I gave an advice to some sketchers, something I have read somewhere: "if you can't draw a foot, draw a little dog in front of it. If you can't draw a hand, draw some gloves. If you can't draw a face.... you've got a problem."
The point being, that if you're not good at perspective, find solutions to avoid it. There are enough alternatives.
The above drawing would have been a nice illustration of: if you can't draw hands.....

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Urban Sketching Netherlands

Last saturday I went to Utrecht, to partake in the first National Dutch Urban Sketching day.
Organized (very well) by Ruud Otten, Wiltfried Pathuis en Richard Veenema.
At least 60 sketchers were present that day, and even though there were a few drops of rain, it was a huge success.
I organized the only workshop that day: perspective drawing at Urban sketching. We assembled at the Mariaplaats in the middle of the city (a former convent). I gave the 17 sketchers who stayed behind tips and tricks on how to make and improve their perspective skills, while drawing in the wild.
For that reason I could not draw as much as I liked to, but that was okay, I think I fulfilled a real need.
The drawing you see above was the demo that I did on location.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Rome, room with a view.

A leftover from the Rome trip, a month ago. I had made this drawing when my wife was under the shower, it's the view out of the window of our Rome hotel room (hotel Galileo, near Statione Termini). I managed to fill the basic colours, but had to quit before I finished it.
Last Wednesday I as sitting alone in a restaurant waiting for dinner, so I had time to add some colours and details out of memory.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Urban sequence

My colleagues of the 'Master Model en Portrait Class" wanted to join me in Urban sketching.
So I organized a sketch sequence for them, the same exercise I give to my architecture students.
5 stages: they start in the street and make a sketch about what they observe. Then to a porch, the same thing. Then into an atrium, followed by a facade, and the last impression must be drawing of a rough stone in that facade. All max 20 minutes, that's hard work.
Next to giving instructions I managed to make a few sketches of my own, see above.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Unne Tèsj in Roame.

A little street scene in Rome which I hadn't posted so far.
The ladies wanted to buy a leather handbag (one of those things we men feel are a nuisance to carry around - that's why we have trouser pockets. But to women it serves as a vault with unbelievable contents). In our local Limburg dialect called "Unne Tèsj".
Anyway, in the time they choose the proper bag, negotiated and bought two of them, I managed to make this little sketch of the scene. Including painting it.
It was at a little street stall at Via Della Vergini, near the Spanish Stairs. And to be honest, they got a pretty good bargain at buying them.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, only 18 years old, won the Formula 1 in Spain last weekend.
First Dutch guy to win the F1, youngest driver ever, had only driven this type of car twice.
Hard to believe he received his driver licence just a few months ago (no joke).
What makes us very proud, is that his hometown is in Montfort, just a few dozen kilometers to the north from where I live. Actually, my family originally came from this village, but that was 3 or more generations ago.
Anyway, I am not a F1 fan, but painting something like this is always fun.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Checkpoint Charlie

Two sketches from Berlin.
Above Checkpoint Charlie, one of the worst tourist traps I've ever seen. You have to pay to get on a picture before this non-original shed with a few sandbags and actors in fancy military costumes. And you even have to bring your camera yourself.
Anyway, always good for a quick sketch.

And a less vivid sketch of the beautiful red "oberbaumbrücke" across the Spree.
I really had to work quick, only had a few minutes, as I made this while the guide was explaining its history during a stop in our guided bicycle tour through Kreuzberg.
These were all sketches I made in Berlin; I really enjoyed this trip with the church-choir of Hulsberg (my wife sing in this choir). So well organized, such a pleasant company.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Berlin Reichstag

No long stories, I just returned from a 4 hour drive from Bavaria.
This is a sketch of the Reichstag, made last weekend in the quarter of an hour waiting time before we were able to visit the famous and beautiful dome.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Florian, RIP

Last thursday, as I was in Berlin, I received the terrible message that Florian Afflerbach died in a car accident.
He was riding his self restored NSU "quickly", a small motorbike from the 50s, when 2 cars crashed into each other, and Florian was caught by one of them. Wrong place wrong time.

I worked with him several times, sometimes for days, sketching cars and talking about architecture, perspective and drawing.

I remember his softness, dedication and talent.
And I cherish the memory of one warm midnight in Liège, when we were fed up playing tablesoccer, and Flo said: I feel like drawing a car.
Lapi, me and a few others went to look for a car, and found this nice Renault 4 under the neonlights, and we all started drawing.
A curious neighbour even brought us cookies and tea.
Let's remember him by stories like these.

Berlin Brandenburger tor

Just returned yesterday from a fantastic long weekend in Berlin. (yes, lately I ain't home a lot).
My wife sings in a choir in Hulsberg, and they organised a 4 day trip to Berlin.
We had terrific weather, and visited a lot of sights. And had a lot of Bratwurst and Currywurst.
There are worse ways to spend a weekend.
I quickly made this sketch of the backside of the Brandenbuger Tor, while the group passed by, obviously there was no time to paint on location (I can't expect 50 people waiting for me). I painted it an hour later, while sitting on a nice terrace in the sun drinking a nice beer.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Accordeons in Rome

We were sitting in a restaurant in Rome, antica taverna, and this accordeon player was playing accross the street. He was tipsy and maintained his alcohol level by sipping his wine between his music pieces. But the misic was still okay. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Rome Via dei Fori Imperiali

Sketch of the Via dei Fori Imperiali, and the backside of the Capitoline hill.
I sketched it on location, but as we were travelling as a group, I could not finish it. I painted it in the hotel a few days later.
Still, I love these scenes with these beautiful pines.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Rome Trevi Fountain

We just returned from a nice long extended weekend in Rome, accompanied with some good friends.
For about 20 years we have this little group (originally family, but nowadays others are included as well). And each month we put aside some money in order to visit a city within Europe every few years.
This time Rome. A perfect place for a trip of this kind: a lot to see, a varied city center, walkable, good food, nice people and very nice weather. Soething we could use after this cold and wet April (see my previous post).
This is an impression of the Trevi fountain, a regular tourist trap.