Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Liège, USK meeting (1)

        Four years ago I was invited in Liège to make a 5 meter long strip of drawings of the city, together with a group of other Urban Sketchers.
It resulted in a very successful book, over 10.000 copies sold.
There was a reprise last weekend, some 200 urban sketchers were roaming the city. I just had Saturday, received my 2 meter long laperello, and managed to fill it with some 9 drawings, in about 7 hours.

Here are the first 3, Michael Dessin brought me to this place, at the Church Saint Martin, where I met Arnaud and Jean Christophe again. Some scenes here.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Grandfather/grandmother again again

Another big surprise. Our son, Mart, and his girlfriend Lisa are expecting a child.
Such a great news!
It means that before the year is over we will have three grandchildren (if everything goes well of course).
The sketch is about their little dog Miku, which is a Papillon dog (Butterfly dog). Because of the ears of course :)

Monday, 7 May 2018

Auschwitz Gaschambers

This is the most horrible of all sketches that I made. The remnants of the gaschambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Germans tried to erase the evidence, so they bombed the gaschambers.
There were 4 of these in Birkenau, and one in Auschwitz itself. 1.100.000 people died in the camps, 90 percent in the chambers like these. Hard to imagine what happened here.
I had to make this drawing quick, we were with a guide, and he stopped here for only 7 minutes.

This is a sketch of one of the guardhouses of the original Auschwitz camp.
I had only 3 minutes to do the sketch, just enough for the linework. I added the watercolourpencil later at home.

Still, I think it conveyes the desperate feeling of that place.

I am glad I visited the place; of the camps I've seen so far (Dachau, Mauthausen, Theresienstadt), this was the most horrible by far.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Auschwitz Birkenau (2)

The entrance to the concentration camp Birkenau.
The trains would pass this gate, and unload the victims on the platforms behind it.

Just a few minutes from their death.
Almost a million victims must have passed these gates.


As you can see, the original drawing was a bit different, the white acrylic marker didn't perform well, and the official guide was waiting.
So I adapted the drawing with gouache and ink into something more fitting.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Auschwitz chimneys

This may be the most horrible series of posts as of to date.
We had a nice long weekend in Krakau, Poland. And we visited the concentration camps of Auschwitz. Horrible.
In case you didn't know: Auschwitz consists of 2 complexes, the first camp near the town, and the larger camp Birkenau, some 3 km away. Especially the latter was horrifying.
An impression of rows of chimneys on the vast terrain, the only thing left of the endless barracks after they were set on fire to be burnt down.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Stockholm Espresso House

Sitting in an Espresso house, during our visit to Stockholm. Nice to be able to draw, while enjoying good fresh brewed coffee.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Stockholm: view from the boat

Kastellholmen, Stockholm.
I made his sketch in under 10 minutes, the time the ferry took to cross the strait between the islands (Ferryline 80, from Skansen to Gamla Stan). It's a small castle or outlook from a former military camp on the island. Or so I was told.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Stockholm: Skansen

Stockholm. Already two weeks ago.
We had tough times last weeks, my brother in law deceased last week.

Still, some sketches of our trip to Stockholm.
On the third day, that was the second day of Eastern, we went to Skansen.
That is an open air museum, where old buildings are rebuilt and preserved. Old traditions and crafts are kept alive, and there is a lot of infornation available on how Swedes used to live.
We visited and old farm, and the very nice guide gave us more or less a full hour of college of old building techniques.

I asked if I could make a sketch, which she allowed. She found out much to her surprise, that I included her into the sketch. The least I could do to give something back for their friendliness en openness.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Hague

Two sketches that I made during the Urban Sketchig Netherlands day, this time in the Hague.
It's our Political Capital. Above you see our house of Parliament, the little tower houses the working chamber of our Prime minister, Mark Rutten.
The bottom drawing is the "Ridderzaal" the assembly hall, where the parliament assembles for
official meetings. We had terrific weather (Spring arrived at last) and a perfect organisation. About 70 sketchers had a fine day!

Sunday, 8 April 2018


Busy days. No time to post much. Just returned from a nice long Eastern weekend in Stockholm.
It was very cold, but dry, I lovely city.
This is a drawing I made in the old centre of town, the Gamla Stan. The old fountain at the Storteget.
Probably the best known colourful facades of Sweden.

Thursday, 29 March 2018


Just a quick drawing (maybe 10 minutes). After a drawing by the French painter Soluto.
Black pencil and watercolour.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Sand quarry in Meers

On location sketch, this afternoon.
A quarry excavating sand from the river Maas. I have run a lot of times past this quarry, it's on one of my regular routes. Today I went there to make this sketch.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Waiting for the rain

Made this drawing out of nothing. And the title seemed fitting somehow.
Waiting for the rain.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Elsloo in spring

Lunchtime today. the snow and frost have gone, it's still fresh but the sun is doing its best.
I got out to make this drawing. It's in Elsloo, and hard to see but the village is on top of a hill. I am standing on the hill on the other side of a little stream. The gardens are winding down the slope to the stream.
At least with these bare trees you can have some nice see-throughs.
This what it looked like in reality,

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Where does inspiration come from?

I thought it might be nice to show where I get inspiration from.

I saw these 2 apple trees during my Sunday morning run last week, on the road between Amstenrade and Merkelbeek.
The right tree has been cantilevered for years, each time I pass it I always wonder why it hasn't fallen over yet, especially when it's in full bloom.


I made these 2 quick ideas the same day (BTW. I must have noted the wrong date, it was the 11th). The left sketch was worked out as a glass fusion item, which I may show later.
The right sketch served as idea for a larger painting.

This is the basis of the painting: cardboard and cement (for tiles), on a wooden board about 50x60cm.

I will paint over it soon. posts to follow.
The painting is supposed to be inspired by Jean Dubuffet.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

High speed train

Visit to Magdebug, Germany. For business. We took the ICE (German high speed train, at times they run approx 250km/hour). I had no time to sketch in Magdeburg itself, so I made this quick one, during a stop before entering some station. I forgot which one, somewhere between Magdeburg and Hannover. I barely had time to sketch the dominant shapes, the rest I did out of memory.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

2 Models

Model painting of Julia.
2 positions, each took one hour to make.
Acrylic, 50x60cm.
The left one looked good as preliminary sketch, but I overworked the actual painting.

Friday, 9 March 2018


A quick sketch of a shed in Stein. 10-15 minutes at most. Not an Urban sketch, I saw this scene during my weekly Friday run (only 8 km this time). A cowshed, on a muddy path near the canal. No way that you could get near this place by car of bike. And when running I don't carry sketch gear. So I took a picture, and drew it at home.

It's the grey season, the frost is gone, and you can smell that the nature is ready for the first days with temperatures of double digits. Can't wait.
On request by Michael: the picture I took.

Monday, 5 March 2018

2 portraits

I am still doing live portrait sessions on saturday mornings. The above is a portrait of Annemiek. I used contrasting colours: red and green, the opposite sides of the colour wheel. Mixed it becomes grey. Trying how far I could go with these colours.

Below a painting of Julia. The setup went pretty well, that's what I show here. Unfortunately the final execution was less convincing.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

2 random sketches

 A few random sketches. The weather is pretty bad: it's freezing, sometimes snow with a hard eastern wind. Not the weather to go out.

I made the left drawing at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. Famous for it's old Dutch Masters like Bosch, Breughel and Rembrandt. But also Dali, Malevitch and Ernst.
This is a small painting by Esias Boursse dating back from 1660.  I was fascinated by this painting, a rural scene of a woman washing clothes, a very interesting composition.

The bottom drawing is a lunchbreak sketch. It's a cryptic drawing, with a hidden meaning. A Dutch word with 8 letters. "paasvuur". Referring to local traditions to set fire to stacks of wood to celebrate Eastern.