Sketches

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sharkeye and son

I am still working on that collaborative comic: "No right turn". Proceeding slowly, but still proceeding. Chapter 5 is almost finished. Carlos Merlo could not continue with his drawing of the private investigator "Sharkeye", so I stepped in myself.
Sharkeye got beaten up by the cops; they wanted to find Desirée, the Femme Fatale of the comic. And Sharkeye let her and Bob (his son) escape.
A scan of the original sketch.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Zuyderland hospital, Sittard

The Zuyderland hospital in Sitttard. Only a few years old, state of the art.
It was so state of the art with new ways of technology, digitalisation and separation of patient, personnel and material (pharmaceutical) streams, that it was very, very expensive. And went bankrupt within a few years.

But even if bankrupt, and saved by the government (what else could they do), the hospital is there for the region to use.

This is the giant central atrium where all departments open into, and where all patients proceed towards the stations. On the exterior walls the corridors for personnel and medical devices are located. They ever cross.

I made this drawing while waiting for Gertie, to recover from surgery.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

KFC eating.

These two were sitting across my table, when I was having dinner at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Sittard. Not my usual hangout, but it's across the bridge from the main hospital Zuyderland in Sittard. I was there while waiting for Gertie, after she was recovering from some knee surgery.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Jake's painting

video

Last weekend my grandson, Jake, made a nice surprise painting for his Dad, Bob. For Fathersday.
Just imagine, he's barely 18 months old.
It was just great to see him working at it, with that determination that all great artist have..... It looks like creativity jumped a generation (haha).

In  the end the tape was peeled of.
You could hear him think: why did Mom destroy my beautiful abstract work? 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Terraforming


I haven't posted much drawings lately. I had a dip in inspiration and preferred reading books in the present warm spring weather under our walnut tree in the back garden.
A few days ago I started drawing an eye, (of the left astronaut) in ink. Slowly, and completely unplanned I made this ink drawing. The drawing evolved under my hands.
You can find it below. Then with Gimp I added colours and a background.
You can seethe result above. It's about astronauts making a remote planet into a habitable environment. No Aliens so far.
,

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Camaro SS

Not the best of my car drawings, but I loved making it, and admire the curves of this beautiful car.
A 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, as seen at the Cruise-in meeting for vintage US (and other) cars, in Brunssum.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Our Castle

Our town has a huge medieval castle, dating from the 13th century, and probably long before that.
It's not a good sign to have a castle like this, it means that there were a lot of wars and gangs roaming this region. You don't need a castle when there is no threat.

An impression of the total complex, the drawing represents the central part. You have to cross three bridges to get there,.

Anyway, I decided to make this drawing today, it was nice and sunny on the terrace across the moat.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Mila, with Cat-titude.

Quick sketch of one of our cats, Mila. Sitting quietly in our garden.

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.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Weilerswist (Germany)

On the road in Germany, returning from Frankfurt. I had dinner at the McDonalds in Weilerswist, below Cologne. This guy was enjoying a coffee and some chocolate cake: some McDonalds have a real coffee counter with good coffee nowadays. Starbucks made these chains improve.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Gaspard


Small portrait of Gaspard, a live portrait model.
The painting is only 25x30cm, in acrylic. Took me 1 hour and a quarter to make.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Election day

It's election day in the Netherlands. We'll choose our parliament today.
And it was beautiful weather: spring has arrived, soft temperatures and nice smells in the air.
During my lunchbreak walk I passed along the polling station in Elsloo, where some senior citizens were chatting with all the time on their hands. I had to return to office. Tsja.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Glass horse

After the mixed results of the last glass vases, I returned o familiar ground.
A horse head, sheet glass with mixed emaille colours, and small stripes of glass on top.

Yesterday I finished the base glass, added the colours, and made the horse's manes.
Here is an image of the design, the statue will be about 30 cm high.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Bad Camberg

Had to drive to Frankfurt yesterday, for a business meeting. I took a coffee break after a few hours driving. This business man was sitting on the next table, totally off the world with his Iphone.
Modern day communication. In the 10 minutes that I made this impression he did not even move his hand or shifted in his position.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Pate de verre vases

I made these two vases in "pate de verre" technique.
It's an ancient technique in which small glass particles are glued into a mold, and then heated.
It's very hard to make. I started with this technique in May last year or something like that.
This is the 4th trial of the blue bowl, and the 2nd version of the brown one.
And even though the brown one looks good on the picture, it has a deep cut in the bottom.
Keep in mind that each version cost at least 3 weeks (monday evenings in atelier) to make.
We found that the oven is probably not balanced enough for this type of heating.
I don't know if I will ever do this again.