Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Raven

Indian Ink, white and black gouache.
Inspired and based on a painting by Lindsey Kustusch (San Francisco).
I found the image on internet, it was really hard to find the original painter.
She makes a lot of inspiring work.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Hotel lobby Rotterdam

Travels to Rotterdam. A sketch made in the restaurant of my hotel, while waiting for the dinner to arrive. I did the figure first. Then, after dinner, when the guy was gone, I added the chandelier and painting frame.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Grandfather/mother again!

We had to keep it quiet for some time, but I can now post it: our daughter is expecting her second child, in early summer.
It's our second grandchild. We love it.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Tourists are early this year

Yesterday morning, being early for the appointment for renewal of my driving license, I had time to make this little sketch. Actually, it's a bit humouristic statue on the Geleenstraat in Heerlen.
At least he stood still long enough to make this.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Flat earth exploration

It was one of those days that I just had to draw something.
This is the Scientific Exporation Ship "Mondo Plano". Equipped to have a peek across the end of the world, back in the days when everyone thought the earth was flat.
I had a discussion on FB about the dangers of sea exploration, and how Columbus set out proving the world was round. So the thought crossed my mind: how would the vessel have looked if the Vatican would have wanted to prove their point?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Sinterklaas 2017

First of all: best wishes for the new year. May all dreams come thru, and may you live in the best of health.
Now, I had planned to do a lot of sketching and painting this holiday, but I just needed some switching off time. Fixing things in our house, running, binge watching Netflix series, reading Dan Brown, visiting Weihnachtsmarkten, family to attend. A full schedule as you can see.
Instead of sketches I show here a few surprise gifts that I made for my family. For Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas). Dutch children get presents, adults get surprise gifts. Somehow in our family the tradition grew that I make all of them.
Above the fused glass object I made for our daughter in law, Lisa. She is (still) a dedicated Pokemon addict, looking for "Shiny Pokemons".

My son, Mart recieved a leather bound book "the Big Book of Noses" in which I collected 60 drawings of different noses (not shown here).

For my son in law, Bob, I made this little "urban object", referring to the difficult concrete floor we had to make last summer.
And it contains a real little cast concrete floorpart.

For my daughter I made a real "Proefschrift" (in Dutch a Doctoral Thesis is called "proefschrift". The word proef means both "test" and "taste") So I made a "Tasting book".
With all kind of spices and special tasting stuff.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Glass postdoc object

I made this glass object for a few collegues of Rianne, the two girls who helped her during the presentation and organisation of the Doctoral presentation.
The themes that show in her thesis are also represented in this glass object (about 25x25 cm large).
That was an easy one for me, as I also made the bookcover itself.
The flowing colours represent the mass of biological data, the form represents a 3 dimensional grid that is the means to visualise and organize the data.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Sharkeye enters the pawnshop

Picking up the collaborative Comic Noir: "No right turn". The last few months I had little time to host it, but I decided to pick it up again. This is a panel where Sharkeye, the private investigator, enters the pawn shop where the femme fatale (Desirée) is held captive. The bad guys (Big Bad Boris and the Ninja Girl) just escaped through the tunnel to the harbour. With the Golden box and the diamond....

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Maastricht Grote gracht

A quick sketch of a little house, squeezed in between two higher buildings on the Grote gracht in Maastricht.
Took me about 10 minutes to make.
Last of the drawings of the Urban Sketching meeting on saturday 16th.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Workshop "living lines"

During the Urban Sketching day in Maastricht, I gave a workshop "Living Lines". How to train yourself in making confident linework.

These are the handouts.
I first did some warming up exercises.
Then I had the group experiment in making different types of lines.
My point was, that most sketchers are too busy staring at the subject, that they forget the means that they use.
Good line work, as with good colourwork, will enhance what you are trying to tell.

I had barely time to prepare for the meeting, I sat at a restaurant in a hotel in Rotterdam, and figured out that I had to make some examples.
So I took the subject in front of me: an ugly little Christmas decoration on the table.
I did different techniques:
1: Open linework, cross or break lines.
2: Colour and line independent.
3: Watertight ink: thick/thin lines
4: Non-waterproof ink: allow the water to bleed  the ink.
5: Chinese ink and bamboo pen: the line textured: from black to grey.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Urban Sketchers meeting in Maastricht

Yesterday we (well, mainly Ruud Otten) organized a USK meeting in Maastricht.
70 persons attended. I gave a workshop about making "Living lines". The theme was to make sketchers aware of how they use/draw lines when sketching. By using line properties like strength, thickness, dynamics, crossing, or breaking etc, you can improve your drawing, en enhance the story you want to tell. I had a very good group to work with.
The disadvantage is that you don't get to draw a lot. I could barely finish this little house of a lock, next to the river. And then it started drizzling. I left it that way, sometimes you have to embrace chance.
The group.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Rotterdam Maashaven

Made this drawing yesterday morning, looking out over one of the harbours of Rotterdam, the Maashaven.
This was the view from my Hotel room, in the very early morning.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Rianne Fijten, PhD

My daughter Rianne presented and defended her thesis yesterday.
As a result she had her Doctorship, PhD. We are both very proud parents.
The thesis was "Translational Research on Exhaled Volatile Organic compounds, from Bedside to Bench". A thesis about data analysing methods to determine the chance of having a particular diseas by checking exhaled breath.

I am proud to say she asked me to design and make the front of the thesis for her.
I will come back on that process later.

We had a terrific day yesterday.

Friday, 8 December 2017


 Monotype is a technique where you put ink (preferably bookprinters ink) on a glass plate.
Then slide a piece of paper on top, and you make a quick sketch on the back.
It's always a surprise what comes out of this.
These are four of the about 20 that I made in about 2 hours.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Braunschweig and Magdeburg

Gruelling weeks. Lot of travelling, a very heavy project and a training with a lot of homework.
It drains all my energy.
Still, a few sketches that I made this week, during my travels through Germany.
In Braunschweig, while leaving the trainstation, i saw this beautiful old steam engine. I had no time to draw the complete machine, So I sketched a detail.
The next day in Magdeburg, I saw this old lady begging for some money in front of the trainstation.
I did not have the chance to tip her, she suddenly stood up and left quickly (I don't know if that had a reason) just as I was finishing the drawing.

Sunday, 26 November 2017


I am running behind in posting sketches. Far too busy at work and in private.
These are two sketches that I made during my business trip to Rotterdam, last week.
One is the scene in the train, a guy absorbed by his smartphone.
The big one is the old grainelevator at one of the harbours in Rotterdam. The old grain-silos were just across the street from my hotel, at the Maashaven. This is the waterfront.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Chemical heat

I pass a chemical plant each morning when driving to work. This morning (it was still almost dark) the sky was lit orange above the plant, they were burning the contents of a chemical installation. They do that in case of an calamity, or when they are cleaning the Process installations for mojor maintenace. Anyway, it's a terrific sight, the flames are 10 meters high, and make a roaring noise.
So I stopped at a parking lot and sketched the scene looking trough the windshield of my car. then I drove on to the office. Took me about 20 minutes.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Jan van Els

Live Model drawing class.
These are two of four drawings I made this morning.
All with different materials and styles.
Above: watercolourpencil
Below: chinese ink with bamboopen, and watercoour afterwards.

Each took me about half an hour.
Luckily Jan was a patient model.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Goslar Liebfrauenberg

Business trip to Goslar, the project there is far from finished. But Goslar is a nice place to have a project: a beautiful old town, a beautiful region and very good restaurants.
Downside: it's a long way to get there, a 5 hour drive.
This morning I rose early to make a sketch, I wanted to do a watercolour. But it was cold, about 3 degrees C, so the watercolour would not dry. You can see the blobbing on the top part of the drawing.
Besides, the scene was probably too complicated, as I just had half an hour available before I had to return to the hotel for breakfast with colleagues.
I tried to improve on the drawing this evening, at home.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Funeral day

Today we had the funeral of my mother in law, Agnes Abbink-Peukens.
We celebrated Holy Mass in the old Roman Catholic church of Hoensbroek. The church she used to go to each Sunday. May she rest in peace.
I made this sketch of the small commemorative table in the nursing home, where she spent the last years of her file.
The little poem (the last sentences of a longer poem, about Alzheimer disease, by Anja Messemaker) goes like this:
"Please remember me how I used to be.
Then you remember that I still recognize you.
Please remember me how I used to be.
And not how I eventually became."