Kind of Blue

In my effort to make some "moody"-drawings, I made this one with an overall blue tone. We went for a short ski-holidaytrip to a little town in Austria, named Schruns. My wife knew that place because she has skied there before, long before I've met her. I must say, it's an excellent ski-resort. It has good slopes, not too busy and the town of Schruns has a cosy bar named The Hemingway-bar. Ernest Hemingway has spend some months in Schruns to write, I forgot on which book, but that doesn't matter. Just the idea that somenone of his kaliber had been there, makes it a special place, I think.
The drawing also turned out to be a little bit "special" itself. I still don't know what to think of it. Somehow it isn't bad, but on the other hand it didn't turned out to be good either.


Tuscany, part II

This drawing is a remake of the one I made about two months ago. That one was a bit dark, grey, cold, anyway far from the warmth one can experience when staying in Tuscany. I've tried to bring a bit more sunshine into this one. And made a few adjustments in the cut out and perspective.
Pen and watercolor on 300 grs Canson


Grocery store

An abandoned grocery store in the Cevennes, in France. This drawing is not made "on the spot'', but made from a photo I took back in 1993. It was in a little village of which I don't know the name anymore, but I do remember the old guy sitting in the shades of a big tree next to a War Memorial. When I sat behind him to drink and to rest a bit from the long drive in the boiling heat that day, he told me he survived the two big wars, WWI and WWII. By the looks of his face that couldn't be a lie. In my best French I tried to tell him that I've found that a big achievement, but he was more impressed when he heared where I came from. All the way from the Netherlands. On a bicycle! I can still hear him say: "Incroyable!" (unbelievable).
Of course my French wasn't that good that I could explain that I transported my bike by bus to the south of France. But that would have killed the wonderful story he could tell that day at home or at the local bar about the lonesome cyclist who came all the way from the north to their small village.
Ink and watercolor on 300 grs Canson, 30 x 40 cm.



"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein


Drawing exercise

It's a long time ago since I posted a drawing exercise I made using the great book 'Capturing texture' by Michael Warr. It's become my standard studybook the last few years. It's very inspirational and challenging. Not every result of an exercise is suitable to post on this blog, but this one I couldn't resist. It's a stippling exercise in pencil. The subject, bread, is very suitable for this technique because of the structure of bread. Apart from that, I'm the son of a baker, so this subject is something I grew up with.
2B pencil on white drawing paper, 24 x 16 cm.



Sometimes time seems just to be invented to let you know that you're too late. For instance last week time was apparently running faster. A good friend of ours missed the train she planned to take to get on time to our place. My wife and I were almost too late to appear on a television show and on top of that: I was too late to update my drawing for the weekly topic on Illustration Friday!
Hopefully the time-cycle will be repaired this week...


Farewell to Cevennes

This is the fourth drawing I made regarding my holiday in France, back in 1995. It's always relaxing to draw something you were impressed by during your stay. It sort of brings back good memories. Although I don't remember what part of the scenery impressed me most when I was standing on this spot. I guess the serenity of a little village in a empty landscape.


Common facts about worms, chapter 583

For worms with flying ambitions it's recommended to fly by strings attached to a balloon. Other forms of transportation through the air proved to be a failure.


IF - Packed

With the first showers of rain to prove Autumn is coming our way, the camping gear is packed and stowed away on the attic. Waiting for next years Summer. My wife has already picked a place where we might be going. A place with lots of nice playing spots for the kids and good conditions to cycle. It's even near the sea, so could one asks for more? Perhaps sunny weather, because this year we had numerous days to test if our tent was waterproof...


Cevennes revisited

Somehow the scenery of The Cevennes in France prooved to be a great inspiration for me. I don't know why, but after the first time ever I visited this part of France, I've said that I would come back. A few years after my first visit I did indeed and I had almost the same experience as I've had the first time. Although I traveled in a different 'corner' of the Cevennes, I had the feeling that I've been there before. Just as I had experienced the first time. And now, as I look back at the drawings I made then, just as the one you can see here, it all looks very familiar to me.
Pen and watercolor on 300 grs Canson paper, 30 x 40 cm.


IF - Clutter

Sometimes I sit behind my drawing board and wonder how on earth I can draw something, surrounded by the clutter. But last night, suddenly, I had a 'visitor' and I knew I had the answer for this week's topic in Illustration Friday right in front of me!


Somewhere in Tuscany

Lately I'm trying to draw cityscapes a bit more loose than I used to do. It's more difficult than I thought. Somehow the old technique in which I'm used to draw, slips in and makes it a drawing with a much more technical look than what I had in mind or how the sketch looked like. As for instance this drawing. The sketch had much more contrast between the colours, but the inking looks almost how I wanted it. So I'm making progress. A bit.
The subject is a little town in Tuscany, Italy, where I spend one day during a cycling holiday in 1996. Unfortunately I didn't make notes on the little sketch about the name of the village, so if anyone of you has any suggestions: you're welcome.
Pen and ink on 300 grs Canson.


IF - Memories

After I've driven my Citroën GSA for two years, see my previous post on the 6th of June, I decided it was time to buy a driver's car. The car of my choice became an Alfa Romeo Guillietta. It was a bit of a bargain, because the car came from a dealer who had to close his business. I paid € 5000 (more or less $ 5500) for this piece of real Italian car-engineering. Sadly enough it came with the little rust-devil included, but at least it drove like hell. Especially on wet asphalt! Such drifting fun: full throttle around the corner. I remember one corner just out of town in particular which was so much fun to take when it had been raining, that I often went for a drive in the middle of the night just to drift there. With no other traffic around, of course.
But finally I had to bring this car, just like the Citroën, to the scrapeyard too. Now I only have this drawing, some photographs and sweet memories.



For this week's topic of Illustration Friday I found a good example in my dusty archive. I made two drawings of sailing boats in 1990-1991. I only have this one left. I don't know where the other drawing could possibly be. I kept record of all my drawings then, whether I made them in commission or for my own pleasure or testing out a new technique. But those two drawings never made it to my little notebook. Luckily enough I found this one today.
I remember when making these two drawings I realised that drawing a seascape is very similar to drawing a landscape. I found it even more difficult. Apart of the chosen subject, for example a sailing ship, you have to carefully look how you make the shading and the atmospheric perspective. Especially when you're working with watercolors. There is not much room for errors. One stroke to many and you can start all over again.
Pen and watercolor on 300 grs Canson, 210 x 297 mm.



This week's topic of Illustration Friday makes me think about the sound you hear when you ignite the camping cooker.



Just to proof that it's not always raining when I'm having holiday in France...
Another piece I made back in 1993 or 1995. I remember I've had a rather scary moment when I made the sketch for this drawing. As you can see it's a peacefull, tranquille road deep in the heart of the Cevennes. Suddenly I heard a roaring sound, I guessed it was a car engine. On the moment I made that conclusion a big, fat rallyecar appeared around the corner and passed me by without even slowing down. It was a blue Renault, appearently testing out something. Within a blink of an eye the car disappeared around the next corner.
Technique: pen and watercolor on Canson 300 grs.



This weeks topic of Illustration Friday reminded me of our search during our recent holiday for fresh mushrooms. Although we were camping in France, we just couldn't find fresh mushrooms. Only canned mushrooms. And to top it, we didn't have a can opener in our luggage so I had to use my old armyknife to open the can. Of course that didn't work out well also, I'll spare you the details, so we were glad that our meal at least tasted as it was supposed to be.
And we couldn't find the wine we liked last year so much, either! Not to mention the weather. It was once again a remarkable holiday.



One of the (unexpected) advantages of my daytime job is that I can use dummies as sketchbook when they are no longer needed for presentation purposes for soon to be published magazines. I think that there are far to many magazines yet, but that's a totally different issue.
Anyway, above I drew a house which is located in Monschau, an old and pictoresque German city. Sometimes houses or buildings have a certain organic feel to me. For example this building seems to be pushed into the river, although it doesn't want that. I guess we all know that feeling.
I must admit that I made this drawing by photograph. Technique used: ballpoint on glossy magazinepaper.



It took me a while, but almost a year after I opened my website finally it's complete. Not until my recent vacation I knew what to draw for the last remaining page. As you can see it's quite a logical subject for an illustrators website, but sometimes you have to take a distance from it all to get a good view or clue what to do. Helicopterview, piece of mind, or whatever. Vacation can be such a revelation (in many ways...).
Anyway, on the way back home I suddenly had the lumineus idea to draw one of the tools which are used to make pen drawings. To be honest I must say that it was quite a pain in the ass to complete that section on my website, because I had completed the text almost two months ago.
You can see the result of it all here. I hope you like it as much as I do.


IF - Punchline

A tree is always a joy for every living creature. Even for a dwarf with a big axe.


Holiday sketch

I'm not sure I made this drawing back in 1993 or 1995. In those two years I've held my holiday in France, bycicling in the Cevennes near the borders of the river Tarn. I don't even kept a record in which town I made the original sketch. The only thing I know it's the river Tarn and that we couldn't sleep there because of the noise the ducks made at night! It's about the only time I was glad to leave a campingsite.
During the day we never saw a duck (nor many people), but we made sure that the next campingsites during the trip were located far from a river or at least on the borders of a streaming river. So that when the noisy ducks show up at night, they quickly float by: "au revoir, monsieur Canard!"
Technique: pen and watercolor on Canson 300 grs.


(Almost) forgotten

Last night I rushed out the door to bring a drawing to our neighbours. Just when I thought I've forgotten something, I realized instantly that I left my keys on the sidetable. I went back to our house, just to see our frontdoor being closed...
Luckily for me our neighbours also have a key of our house. Anyway, to cut a long story short, it reminded me of the topic on Illustration Friday this week.


Citroën GSA

After I had to sell my first car (a Mini) due to financial problems, it took me several years to buy another car. Because my brother drove a Citroën CX, I bought in the mid-eighties a 1975 Citroën GSA. It wasn't a very good car, in fact it was quite rusty, but it drove in a very smooth way. Very relaxing, I must say. Great design also.
I drove the car for two years and then gave it to my sister. She drove this car also for two more years before bringing it to the scrapeyard. It would have costed to much money to bring the car back in tiptop shape.


BBQ logo

It's almost summer and time to: B-B-Q! For the bbq in our neighbourhood I've made this logo. It was a bit of a struggle to fit everything in the somewhat tight dimensions in which it will be used for the final design. It's supposed to be used on the invitations in combination with the copy, which is always more than suitable. Especially when you're the guy who wants to make a big, tasty illustration.
As you can see I left the hamburgers out. After all, we can always go to our friend Ronald McDonald afterwards....


Wide pants

When I saw this week's topic of Illustration Friday the first thing that came in my mind was the wide pants we used to wear in the seventies. The time of The Osmonds, Jackson Five and The Bay City Rollers. Not to mention my favourites then: Slade, Mud and The Sweet. Those were the days!
When I was drawing the wide pants and the shoes with huge soles (yes, I had them too!) as you can see above, I remembered what David Letterman said a couple of weeks ago. I like to see his shows and the fantastic group of musicians around Paul Schafer! I'm glad they broadcast the show over here again after several years of abstinence.


IF - Electricity

For this week's challenge on Illustration friday I've choosen to sketch the electricity which can occur between two individuals who are attracted to each other. After all: spring is in the air! Technique used is once again pen and watercolor on somewhat obscure drawing paper.


Holiday sketches

The summerly conditions made me look for sketches I made on holidays I've had in the past. The sketch which most dated back, was the one I made in 1988, due to a vacation in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
I went by bus, a terrible way to travel: it took more than 27 hours to get to our destination! Anyway, the weather, the scenery and the company of some fellow travelers made it a pleasant stay. When I got home (again: after more than a 27 hours journey by bus...) I somehow managed to stay in the holiday mood and made the sketch above. Or rather: a sketched collage.
Technique: pen and watercolor on Canson 300 grs. Unfortunately the dimension of the original is to big for my little scanner, but I guess you get the picture (so to say) of what it is like in Istria.


IF - Wrinkles

I drew this sophisticated lady for a commission almost two years ago. At that time it was just a part of a lot of other drawings I had to make. The deadline was very tight and the weather was very nice, so I drew most of the drawings in a rush. But now I see that this lady has the chin of my mother and the eyes of my father and that pointed finger has also something to do with a phrase most mothers use:"Listen to me, my son, didn't I tell you that ..........". Recognizable? Spooky, isn't it?
Anyway, in about two weeks from now we can honour our mothers again. Or their wrinkles ;-)


Save, part two

The shoe on the sign gave me a bit of a headache. I just couldn't draw it in the right angle and made several sketches. It almost became an endless journey to make this drawing and I've had to make a decision what to do. I drew the shoe in the best way I could, but I'm not really happy with the final result of it in this illustration. But I think the message is clear: Save The Worms.


It's very important to save the first selfportrait your 4-year old son has made. Said the sentimental but proud father...


IF - Homage

As I'm lately mainly posting illustrations as a result of the subjects on Illustration Friday, you might expect that I would place an homage to that site. But in fact I'm doing that with every posted Illustration Friday-illustration.
Then what, you might ask. Well, I could place an homage to Rembrandt or the founder of internet or several other people who play a great role in what I'm doing. But then I thought of the reason I picked up illustration last year.
My wife and I were in a graphicbook store and there they sold, among everything else (for instance: thousands of graphic books!), big posters of illustrations. On one of the posters the illustrator had drawn a marvelous Citroën DS. Unfortenately that poster wasn't for sale. The owner of the bookstore wanted to keep it for himself, because he had sold the place and would close the store. My wife asked me on the way home why I didn't make an illustration of a Citroën DS myself.
One of the first sketches I made was a sketch for a poster, as you can see. So here's my homage to my own DS (goddess in French): my wife ;-)


IF - Pet Peeves

This week's topic of Illustration Friday is about little annoyances. Well, as a child I once stepped with my bare foot in a little piece of glass while playing soccer. That hurts. Enough to keep the memory alive until today. So, I've transform the subject to what a worm would experience when he or she has a close encounter with a piece of glass in the grass. I hope you like the drawing. It's been a while since I've submitted to IF, but we had a short holiday break so that's why I didn't update my blog.


IF - Multiple

Multiple leadership doesn't always work out succesfully


IF - Blanket

Somehow this popped up in my head about this week's topic on Illustration Friday. I don't even know if earthworms sleep at all.


IF - Tales and Legends

You probably all know the legend of the Dutch boy Hans Brinkers who saved Holland from flooding by putting his finger in a hole in the dyke. Let me tell you that it's not a true story.
In fact it was an earthworm who prevented the flooding. As you can see, I caught him in the act. It's about time that we give this worm the credits he deserves!


My first car

Back in 1981 I bought my first car: a Mini. The engine was originally designed for an Austin Allegro and was 1300 CC. Because of the relatively low weight of the car itself, this combination gave a tremendous power-weight ratio. With this car it was possible to make an U-turn with 70 km/h (50 miles/h)! Which I once did on a lonely road, late at night. It gave the same sensation as driving a go-kart.
Unfortenately I couldn't afford the car because a lack of income (I was a student at that time), so within a year I had to sell it. But the car gave me some good memories and a lot of fun to make this drawing.


IF - Plain

This week's topic was a real mindbreaker, because of the fact that the subject is so...eh...plain. After a brainstorming session with my wife this idea with the bookworm popped up.


IF - Stitch

For this week's Illustration Friday-topic I started with a needle and thread. But at the end the thread had transformed into a stitched earth-worm. Maybe because I've worked in our garden last weekend?


Land Rover Defender 90

Land Rover celebrates this year her 60th anniversary. After all those years the basic style of the first Land Rover can be seen in the Defender models. This icon of 4x4 cars is still going strong and keeps looking good. Personally I find them nowadays a bit too luxurious. I prefer the more basic Series III model.


Kidsweek Junior

As I mentioned a couple of messages before, some illustrations were about to be published in a Dutch weekly newspapers for 7 year olds. Last friday the newspaper arrived by mail and I must say that yhe result was beyond mine expectation. The designer had made a great effort to get rid of some 'blur' of the watercolorpaper which occured after I scanned the originals. Spot the difference between the original and the print. Nice, isn't it?