Sketches

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Liege, marche de puces

I noticed I forgot to post this drawing, made a month ago, during our little trip trough Belgium and France. The flea market in Liège, belgium. It was not very warm that day.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Utrecht Domtoren

Utrecht National Urban Sketching Meeting. I gave the "negative space" workshop, which means I only have little time left for drawing.
I managed to make this one of the Domtoren, which used to be the highest tower of the Netherlands.
I was sitting on the terrace of an Indian restaurant, which was pure luck, because it briefly rained. Short but strong. Luckily we were covered by a canopy.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Neu-Isenburg

Before I post the drawings of the Urban Sketchers meeting, here is a drawing that I made yesterday morning. Businesstrip again, to Neu-Isenburg (Germany), just below the flight path of the Frankfurt airport.
Stood up half an hour early to sketch this scene. Before I started I made a big coloured stain on the page, and made te drawing on top. Somehow it interferes with the drawing, which (sometimes) gives a vivid effect. A good way to loosen up the drawing style.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Utrecht, National USK day.


Last Saturday we had a national Urban Sketching day in Utrecht, with 100 enthusiastic participants.
I helped organizing it, my part was mostly organizing the workshops.
There were three: Christiaan Afman Veenema did "blind drawing and continuous lines", Julia Henze did Lettering of Urban Sketchers", and I did "Negative space".
The workshops were a huge success, not in the least because of the dedication of the participants. In my workshop they worked hard and concentrated, I did not make it easy.
Unfortunately I did not make pictures during the workshop, have to think about that the next time.
As teacher you don't have a lot of time left to draw, I only made 2 drawings. Will post them later.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Forgotten lives

I made this painting for the biannual exhibition and amateur artists competition "Inbeeld".
The theme was "silent lives".
It reminded me of about how we wiped out our shared history of the coalmines in this region. I said it before, there is nothing left but ugly scars in the landscape.
And the miners themselves (almost all are gone now), they kept silent about that era. If I remind correctly, back then they didn't even talk about underground. As if it were 2 different worlds, below and above.
I used fibreboard, put tilemortar on it, gessoed it, then an underpainting of acrylic. Finally oilpaint,
60x70cm.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Kitty

My last live model painting of this year. Kitty this time. We were supposed o work on this painting 2 saturdays in a row, but I was finished after 2 hours.

I kept the bottom half unpainted, the white is the gesso, to emphasise the head. The purple was chosen as contrast to her very white hair (the real background was bleak grey).
I was very pleased with the portrait, and so was Kitty.

Acrylic on fireboard, 40x60cm.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Zeche Zollverein

Before we visited the opera "Einstein on the Beach" in Dortmund, my son and I visited the old coal mines of Zeche Zollverein, near Essen.
This coal mine has stopped for years, and is now preserved as monument to Industrial Architecture.
It's fantastic, especially the part where they used to make cokes. This scene.
The coal would be heated for hours to 180 degrees in the closets on the right, and then dumped into the water and transported.
It reminds me of my youth: there was a huge coalmine around the corner, literally (Staatsmijn Emma), and I still remember that I could see the same kind of cokes-furnaces from the bridge crossing the railroads on the Akerstraat.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Einstein on the Beach, Dortmund

Yesterday my son Mart and I went to Dortmund (Germany) to see the Opera "Einstein on the Beach" by Philip Glass.
My favourite composer and my all-time favourite piece of music.
This was an exceptionally good performance. I saw the same opera in Amsterdam a few years ago, in original the 1978 and even the original perfomers. And that was really 1978.
This was contemporary, abstract, with computer steered visual displays (the background images pulsate, move and change with the actual performed music, so each concert is different).
It was 3 1/2 hours non-stop repetitive music. I would go again tomorrow if Dortmund wasn't a full 2 hour drive away. 
Above picture is mine, at the start of the concert, the bottom one from the site of the Operahouse Dortmund.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Montmedy and Tetaigne

I had a nice weekend in the North of France, last weekend. To celebrate out 28th wedding anniversary. Even though the weather wasn't all that good, we had a terrific time.
We stayed in Tetaigne, a tiny village near Sedan. Our former neighbours have a Bed & Breakfast & Dinner there, Lovely place to stay and dine. We exchanged many good stories of the old days.
On saturday we made a trip through the surroundings. Montmedy is an old military town, with a fortified citadel. The weather was good enough for a coffee on the terrace on the market square, so I had chance to draw this scene.
 This is a view of Tetaigne from our lodgings. More or less all of the village. :)

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Jake's song

I sometimes make music.
My Grandson, Jake, now 15 months old, was brabbeling away, and I used that soundbite to compose this song. Made with MusicMaker and Beatbox, I played most instruments myself.




Sunday, 23 April 2017

Germaïn again

The same model, Germaïn again. (I made a mistake with his name, not Jamin but Germaïn).
This time I took a simple sheet of plywood, and tried to paint subtle, trying to keep the wood character into the painting. Even though the resemblance is ot striking, I think it looks vivid. For a life portrait session I guess that accounts for something.
Acrylic on plywood, 50x60cm.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Hulsberg

The church of Hulsberg.
I made the sketch while waiting for the Easter mass to begin. As Gertie sings in the choir, they have to warm up their voices half an hour before the start. I walked around the church and made this fast little sketch.
Just added the background colour at home.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Germaïn


This is Germaïn, a very good model, which we had the pleasure to paint last Saturday during live portrait painting class. It was supposed to be a two mornings session, but somehow the painting worked out so vivid, that I decided to leave it at this. I had something totally different in mind with the red background, but somehow the red appearing in parts of the face, together with the gesso-white of the fibreboard just worked out fine. Acrylic paint on wood, about 40x60cm.
Here are the earlier stages of the painting, and a picture of Germaïn (I posted this picture without his permission, I don't know how to reach him, if there is any problem I will remove it).
I show it here to show which choices I deliberately made.

(editorial note: I made a mistake with Germaïn's name, it's corrected now).

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Klimt again

Pretty busy lately, it's often like that in this time of year.
One of the things I did the last few months is (re)working this painting.
I was not content so far. I changed a few things, like trees and skin. It's done now.
If you want to see last years version, see this link.
http://renefijten.blogspot.nl/2016/06/girl-reading-klimt.html

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Elsloo, view from my office

View from my office window. I was just in time to make this. The last few days the trees in front of my window start getting leaves, and this view will be obscured until autumn. Not a great loss.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Gertie in Delft.

Just another sketch that I made last weekend. It's Gertie (my wife) enjoying the sun on the "Beestenmarkt" in Delft. Even though I usually refrain from drawing family, I could not resist. And I must say, the resemblance is okay. Even though she usually does not look so serious. :)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Rotterdam Markthal

We had a lovely (short) weekend in Holland. First went to visit Delft (where I did my Masters in Architecture). Then a short ride to Katwijk aan zee, where we had dinner in a restaurant on the beach with a glorious sun sinking into the sea. In the evening we went to a fantastic musical "Soldier of Orange". Based on a autobiography of a guy who fought in the resiatance in WW2, and was personal adjudant of Queen Wilhelmina.
But the major feature of the musical is that the whole theatre moves and slowly turns, while the 8 stages are fixed and grouped in a 360 degrees circle. And it features real WW2 motorcycles, cars and a genuine original Dakota airplane. Fantastic.
On saturday we went to Rotterdam, where we had coffee in the Markthal, where I made this sketch.
I had forgotten my brushes: I made this with watercolour pencil, and a little water in a sponge.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Haarlem: het Spaarne

View over the Spaarne, the stream running through Haarlem.
if you want to see more sketches around this bridge, check this site of Roger Klaassen:
https://urbansketchers-netherlands.blogspot.nl/2017/03/hartje-haarlem.html.

A few pictures of the group, made by Marc Liefferinge.
Above Roger Klaassen en me, below the total group.


 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Dutch Windmills

The National Haarlem sketchcrawl. Actually, this is the second time I ever painted/drew a Dutch windmill. I am not looking for traditional or nostalgic scenes, but this was a beauty. De Adriaan, along the canal "de Spaarne".
 
I stood there with Roger Klaasen, who drew almost the same scene but is a totally different style, see here at the side. He is far better with linework than me.
















And then, while waiting for the watercolour to dry, I sometimes do experiments. Like with this little sketch: made in indian ink, drawn with bamboo sticks, in maybe 5 minutes.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Haarlem: St Bavo


Haarlem, yesterday. We had another national sketchcrawl in Haarlem. in total 70 sketchers met in the city, spread out and made numerous drawings.
I joined Roger Klaasen, together we found some beautiful spots to draw.
Even though there was a cold wind, it was sunny and nice.
The drawing above is the main Cathedral of Haarlem, the St Bavo. We were sitting on a terrace while drawing this.