Sketching a ship, part 2

Last night I made the background for the illustration of Cornelius Playfull's ship. About twenty years ago I was working as an assistant for a graphic designer. One of the jobs we did was a tutorial for schoolchildren about cycling to and from school. The brochure we were making had several illustrations planned. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to make them (at that time perhaps better regarding my drawingskills then!). The chosen illustrations were extracts of an animated film. I remember the first time I saw the originals in the studio, where I had to pick up the originals, that I was quite surprised about the backgrounds. Big strokes of mixed watercolors which proved to be very effective in terms of making the right amosphere for the actual drawings on flipover sheets.
When I worked on the sketch of Cornelius' ship I instantly thought of that kind of background for the illustration. I hope the final result will be as good as I picturized it in my mind...


A room with a view

As we entered our hotelroom we were quite surprised about the state it was in. Okay, it was clean, but the furniture was much, much older as we expected. Not to mention the bathroom.
First thing we did was opening the window with the intention to have a beautiful look at the lake. Now that was a bit of a disappointment. The window was next to the hotelsign, so we had to look around the hotelsign to see the biggest part of the lake. I am not to small myself, so when I stretched myself I could see almost the whole lake. My wife, however, is much smaller so she don't have that advantage. But we did have a lovely view at the south part of the lake. With a ough mountainside. At least a better view than we have at home, but if we only had a small window in the right wall of the hotelroom, things would be much better.

After a small talk about the pros and cons we climbed down the small staircase to arrange another room, but unfortunately all other rooms were not available due to bookings and/or renovation. If I understood madame Michelle well. As I mentioned before my French was still a bit rusty at that time, but we would have plenty of time to improve that...


Sketching a ship

Yesterdaynight I had plans to do a drawing excercise, but somehow my pencil had a life of its own. After a while this sketch came out.
I've read a book about tallships lately. The real stuff: big sails on big ships from times longpast when men were made of steel and ships were made of wood. Somehow that subject must have been stuck into my mind. I kind of like the idea that its an imaginery ship for Cornelius Playfull and some of his friends. That's why I also made some sketches of how his friends would look like. I think I'll choose for three boys and one girl. When I was young we also had such a group to shaken up our neighbourhood.
I'll keep you informed about the progress I make with this illustration, because there's a lot of things I want to add to it. More to come, so to say!


Memory lane, part one

I thought it would be nice to add some color to my blog. Recently I had to make some drawings for a publisher (not the one I'm working for as traffic manager). One of the drawings had to be about our daily bread. Sadly enough the drawings had to be in black and white. Normally I don't find that to much of a problem, but when it comes to bread -or any food in general- color makes it a bit more tasty.
Furthermore, my parents had a bakery back in the old days (they're retired now) and so I have a special thing with bread. So, as a hommage to my parents here's a colorsketch of the drawing I made for my recent commission. Bon appetit!


Our hotelroom

After checking in we went up to our room. Madame Michelle apologized for not being able to carry our suitcases. Which we fully understood. After all, as I said before, Madame Michelle was quite old and not much bigger then our suitcases. We found out later that she was running the hotel together with her son Christian, but he was not available at that time. She told us that he was delivering some goods, or something like that (my Franch is a bit rusty lately), but we think he was coming in terms with his hangover. A few hours after we installed ourselves in the hotelroom we saw him sitting in the reception, rather sleepy and with quite an odeur, if you know what I mean.
Our hotelroom was located on the first floor which we had to enter by using a very small staircase. There was no elevator. Frankly there wasn't much space for, either. The staircase had a very old and wornout carpet which must be pre-war. World War One to be precise. Stumbling up the stairs with our suitcases in a constant battle with ourselves for space we were glad not to have booked a room on the upper floor. Which we usely do to have a nice view. But because Hotel Croixville was beautifully located on a cliff on the shores of a very blue lake, any room would fit to get the so much appreciated view. We thought before we entered our room...


Up to the waterfront

Cornelius is trying to pick up the pieces after his deception with flying inventions. He thought it might be a good idea to stay a little closer to mother earth by inventing a boat. Maybe his good friend Tommy can give him some good advice. After all, Cornelius has Tommy's tennis racket already in his possession.


Madame Michelle

When we entered the reception of Hotel Croixville we were a little bit surprised by the size of it. I mean, as inhabitants of a small country we are used to have not to much amount of space, but as we were in France we didn't expect such a tiny, little reception. There were two armchairs (very old and worn, by the way), one table with four dining chairs (even more worn then the armchairs), several paintings with somewhat obscure sceneries and in the back of the room was the reception counter. As we were coming from the sunny outside into the dark inside we didn't notice at first that there was a person behind that counter until we heard a loud, crumpy voice saying: "Bonjour monsieur et madame! Vous avez une bonne voyage?" At second look we noticed a tiny lady. We then assumed she was sitting behind the counter, but later we found out that she must have been standing because she was about as long as our eldest son.
That was how we met madame Michelle. Owner of Hotel Croixville in France.