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.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Abbey of Rolduc

Visited an exhibition in the abbey of Rolduc, in Kerkrade. It's a very old abbey.
There was an exhibition of art, very interesting. On my way back, I made this little one, rather quick, because it was quite cold.

Friday, 23 February 2018

SS Rotterdam

This a commision that I made the last few weeks. It's based on a 2014 sketch of the cruise ship SS Rotterdam. It's a hotel nowadays.

The original sketch was made on location, but I made it in a sketchbook (A5), not possible to tear it out.
So I made a new version on proper paper, and a lot larger (A3). I am glad to say that the client was pleased with the outcome.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Michael Lukyniuk, Jorge Royan

The comic "No right turn" is proceeding steadily. Again a few new panels, the first of chapter 8. As you may remember Desirée and Bob climbed the crane to check out the area, looking for Boris and the samurai girl. The first drawing is made by me, unfortunately a sketchers did not have enough time to make hers, so I jumped in.
The second is an adapted one by e late Jorge Royan. I added the silhouette of Boris into an existing drawing.
And the last drawing is by my good blog friend Michael Lukyniuk, from Ottawa, Canada, and his lovely drawing of the boat being lifted out of the harbour.

Thursday, 15 February 2018


Als een reiziger, na drie dorstige dagen trekken door stoffige vlaktes, eindelijk de poorten van de stad ziet, met daarachter de vele op elkaar gestapelde torens met kleurrijk versierde balkons, dan.......
.... ontdekt hij dat elke toren een eigen functie heeft. Een bazaartoren, een herberg, een goudsmederij. De bovenste toren herbergt de bibliotheek. Daarin ....
.... zal hij, evenzeer dorstig van de reis als hunkerend naar kennis, zich kunnen laven aan de boeken, de oude manuscripten, de in verguld leer gebonden folianten, de slordig gedrukte stencils, de half verweerde paperbacks, en naar oud parkament ruikende atlassen, zich lui vleiend in eindeloze kasten, verbonden door trappen en balkons, door bruggen en wenteltrappen. Maar als hij dan deze werken opent ....
.... die hem met een glimlach door de oude bibliothecaris zijn aangereikt ontdekt hij dat op de eerste bladzijde van elk boekwerk een afbeelding van een roos prijkt. Hij vraagt de bibliothecaris naar de betekenis daarvan. De man kijkt verbaasd en ....
.... zal zeggen: "Maar mijnheer, de roos, dat is toch het begin en het eind van alles?". "Waar U een boek ziet, zie ik de dicht beschreven bladeren van de roos". "waar U de zoete parfum van een jonge ontluikende vrouw ruikt, ruik ik de frisheid van de roos". "Waar U de stad .....
.... ziet, zie ik de compositie van de bloembladeren van de roos. Dat was ook het model waarnaar onze stichters deze stad destijds gebouwd hebben".
Hierna verliet ik welgemoed deze stad genaamd Rosamunda, benieuwd naar wat de volgende stad, Tulipa, mij te bieden zou hebben.

Verhaal door Rene Fijten en Clemens Maasen.

When a traveller, after walking three thirsty days through dusty highlands, finally reaches the gates of this city, admiring the many stacked towers decorated with colourful balconies, then...
... he will realise that each tower has a function of its own. The Bazaar tower, a guesthouse highrise, a goldsmith. The highest tower houses the library. There.....
... he will, as thirsty from the travels as thirsty for knowledge, be able to submerge in all the books, the old manuscripts, the foliants bound in gilded leather, the faded stencils, the worn paperbacks, the atlases smelling of ancient parchment, all lazily reclining in endless rows of cabinets, connected by staircases and balconies, catwalks and spiral staircases. But after opening these books....
.... which are handed to him by the old librarian, he will realize that each first page of each book will show the image of a rose. He asks the librarian to its meaning. The man looks genuinely puzzled and... 
.... exclaims: "but Sir, the Rose, wouldn't you agree that it represents the beginning and end of everything?" "Where you see a book, I see the densely lettered leaves of the Rose." "Where you smell the sweet perfume of a young budding woman, I smell the freshness of the Rose!". "Where you see the city"....
.... "I see the intricate composition of the petals of the Rose. That was the model after which our founders built this city." After this explanation I good humouredly left this town called Rosamunda, curious what the next city, Tulipa, would offer.

A story by Clemens Maassen and me. I started with the first sentence, and Clemens did the second, etc. It slowly evolved into a Calvino type of story, neither of us knew where it would lead.....

Monday, 12 February 2018

Optoch va Gebrook

The Carnaval Parade of Hoensbroek. This is the float of the group "De Druim" (the dream).

Themed on Alice in wonderland. It was freezing cold, and it was snowing in between a few sunny patches. Strange weather.

This what reality looked like.