Happy New Year!


Whisky drawing


Ford Transit Mark 1

Just another van I remember from my childhood days: the Ford Transit. This version is called the Mark 1. It was quite a sensation when it was introduced, because word was spread it could tow a broken truck when necessary. I tried to find evidence of that on the net, but couldn't find any confirmation. Above that, according to the guys of Top Gear, the Transit was often used by criminals for robberies. It was spacious and had a lot of motorpower to make a fast runaway...
The Transit is still in production, although not in the same design I've drawn it.
Pen, ink and a slash of watercolor.


Whisky tour

At this time of the year I often develop an appetite for whisky. As does my father-in-law. We are planning to make a whisky tour in Scotland next year, not by our own car, but by bus. Looks a bit more sensible to us, although we're not notorious in our drinking habits. Just nipping is good enough.
To get in the mood I made this sketch, but I think it would be much better to make a ink and watercolor piece out of it.


Renault Estafette

What me intriguied most at the Renault Estafette was the sliding door on the driver's side. As a young child I remember the postal office used these vans as did several other companies delivering goods at my parent's store. The sliding door was a very practical solution, because the driver could get in and out the van without having to open the door everytime.
The engine of the Estafette was dramatically underpowered, so it was mostly used for quick deliveries rather for movements of large and heavy loads.
Pen and ink, washed with watercolor.



I was asked to draw a cartoon about measuring methods for bed sores in the hospital my wife works. It is not yet known if the method I came up with for this drawing will be actually implementated.
Pen and ink and watercolor on Fabriano 300.


Volkswagen Transporter

I'm a bit into delivery vans lately. It's fun to draw them. For instance this Volkswagen Transporter, build in the fifties. It's a Type 2 Volkswagen. Type 1 is the world famous Beetle and Type 2 is actually based on it. Enthusiasts call this Type 2 also "splitty"or "split screens" due to the fact that the front windscreen is split in two. I found a lot of pictures on the internet of this model, so I guess I'm not the only one who likes them.
Pen and ink and watercolor.



As I was inking the drawing of the Citroën HY an idea popped up in my mind about how that vehicle could be used. It can basically be used for almost any kind of work. For instance delivery of goods or transporting people from one place to another. Or, as I sketched above, a tool for two brothers working in the publicity industry. It was great fun making this. For me, not for the two brothers, who aren't having a good time at the looks of it.
Anyway, I can see some elements that aren't quite right yet. Some things are out of proportion or missing. There's a lot of work to be done. I'll post the drawing in a couple of days/weeks when its ready.


Sometimes history lies just around the corner. Take for instance this old church, destroyed in 1573, in a village not far from where I live. During the war with Spain the Dutch destroyed this church during the siege of Leiden, to prevent the Spanish soldiers taking shelter in the building during the cold winter. Since then the church hasn't been restored, making it a sort of war memorial 'avant la lettre'.
Pen and ink, 20 x 25 cm.


Citroën HY

The Citroën HY was produced between 1947 and 1981. There were more than 400,000 sold, in all different kinds. Due to the fact that engine, gearbox and steering were all situated in the front, many varieties could be made. For instance campers, delivery vans, pickups or snackcars. A typical example of 'Form Follows Function'. Source: Wikipedia.
Drawing made with ink and watercolor.


Sketched Citroën HY

As a result of this week's topic on Illustration Friday, namely "Transportation", I got inspired and made this sketch of an old van. It's the Citroën HY, which bring back good memories of childhood days.
Pencil sketch from a photograph.


Illustration Friday Transportation

This weeks topic of Illustration Friday is: Transportation. As it's also harvest time everywhere and especially at vineyards I thought this drawing of a Peugeot pickup stationed near two winebarrels would be a perfect match with the subject. It covers at least three of my favorists: vintage cars, wine and drawing.
We also have grapes in our garden, but each year they taste different. This year, for instance, the grapes taste very sour. Although I've added quite an amount of chalk to the soil this Spring. Perhaps we've had a shortage of sunshine this Summer.
Pen and watercolor


Pen drawing

Sometimes it's just fun to do a very detailed pen drawing. I saw this picture in a tutorial. The original is full-colour, but I gave it a little twist into a black and white pen drawing. I also changed the name on the lock into a much more known name: https.


Self promo

It's such nice weather outside, I thought it would be nice to add a colour and countryside-like drawing to my blog. In the technique I like the best: ink and watercolor. As a matter of fact I've placed this drawing also on the homepage of my website .


Sketchbook #3

A car and a lady, rocks and type.
Sometimes I sketch daily,
Sometimes at night.
Sometimes with pen
With a touch of colour,
But mostly in black and white.

(an illustrator is somewhat like a singer/songwriter, I think.)


Illustration Friday Atmosphere

In this sketch I've tried to catch the atmosphere of a sunny morning in a quiet French village. What you see is a little service station, with the Citroen 2CV AZU in front of it.



Last week I've read a short story about a little, grumpy, ugly man. It was a very funny story by the Dutch author Peter Schaap. Almost from the beginning of that story I've had a certain type of person in mind. After I've read the story I almost automatically drew this sketch in my sketchbook.



Some faces I've sketched, just to try out a new sketching-pen. It turned out to be a nice piece of equipment.



We went out for a short holiday-break. I packed my sketchbook with the intention to make sketches of people. But as often the case during my holidays, I didn't drew half as much of what I intended to do, nor something which came close to the subject. But that's also the meaning of a holiday I guess: doing as little as possible or at least nothing which look like 'work'.
This sketch in my moleskine is a quick one made of our mugs on the table in our little cabin. It's a bit of a coincidence that this subject fits this weeks topic on Illustration Friday. So, even when I didn't drew as much as I'd planned to do, I still can make a posting on my weblog. That's also a bit 'double', I think.



It looks like summertime finally begins: lots of sunshine and high temperatures. Time to pack your camping gear and hike.
Five years ago we bought our first family tent. We went out to Italy, with our two kids. Mostly it's nice weather in Italy, but not that time. We had very low temperatures at night and lots of rain at daytime. On our way back home we even had a snowstorm on the Brenner. In June!
At least we discovered our tent was waterproof, although it was very cold at night. Luckily our daughter was too young to remember how cold it was during the nights. All she wants nowadays is going to a campingsite. Allthough she rather go with a camper. Maybe that's a result of the weatherconditions we experienced than in Italy. You never know. At this moment we haven't made plans where we're going to this year. Our son doesn't care, as long there's a swimmingpool with a big slide.
I made this drawing when I used the tent at a short paragliding holiday in the Jura. I didn't use the sleeping cabin, which make the tent twice as big, because wife and kids stayed at home.
Pen and watercolor on 300 grs Fabriano.


Illustration Friday Satellite

Just too bad the French didn't recognize the full potential of the Citroën 2 CV.



I always like to watch the Tour de France, which starts again in a few weeks time. If possible you can find me alongside the course at some point to see the cyclists. It's not only them why I like to see that race. It's also the anticipation of the people around me standing on the street about what's gonna happen. Sometimes you'll wait for several hours just to see the cyclists pass by in less than a minute.
I remember back in 1996 it was a very hot and sunny day in the south of France when the Tour de France took place. I was on a cycling holiday and only my cycling mate and me had plans to watch the Tour. The other participants of that trip choose to cycle that day on their own and climb some mountains (Hautacam, Aubisque, Soulor). Just for fun.
Anyway, my mate and I took our bikes and drove to Tarbes, a little town in the neighbourhood of Lourdes. We arrived at about 10.00 AM and the Tour would pass around 2.00 PM. So plenty of time to look for a good spot. We thought that standing on a corner would be nice and after a long search where the Tour would actually pass (nobody we asked could give us a solid clue), we posted ourselves on the corner of Avenue Francois Mitterand and rue Eduoard Dallas.
After about an hour our waterbottles were empty, due to the tropical temperatures, so we had to score some water. A gas station with the name "Station St. Christophe" seemed to be the right place for us travellers to fulfill our waterly needs. Alas, due to the passing of the Tour de France the station was closed...
A guy across the street noticed us walking with our empty waterbottles and waved to us, asking if we want something to drink. He offered us wine, being a Frenchmen off course, but we refused kindly by saying it was a bit too early for us to drink wine. We'd rather had some water. After filling our waterbottles he asked where we came from ("Holland", we answered) and then he asked if we would like to drink some beer with him. A cold beer is always welcome, so we followed him to his fridge. It turned out he only had two bottles of beer and being with the three of us made it a bit uncomfortable for him. His looked a bit disappointed, probably because he realised that being the host he had to give his beer away to two strangers from Holland. We saw him being in some sort of indecisiveness and suggested him to fill out the two bottles in three glasses. After this enlightend idea and some poor jokes about Dutch treats we almost missed the passing of the Tour.



The Citroen 2CV was designed to ride across the French countryside. One of its goals was to enable the paysants to transport their fresh eggs to the market without breaking them during the ride on rigid trails. Not many modern cars can copy that nowadays!
Pen and ink and some watercolor.



A house somewhere in the middle of France, in a little village near Millau. I stopped by this house during a bicycle tour. It was hot, I was thirsty, and I've ran out of water. Luckily there was this house-owner who was so kind to let me refill my waterbottles.
Ink and watercolor.


Small car in an old barn

Just a loose drawing I made today from a photograph. Sometimes you still can spot them in the French countryside: old barns with old cars in them. Somehow the Citroen 2CV still appeals to me as a car made to be drawn. Unless cars made nowadays, which mostly all look the same. So I couldn't resist drawing this car and barn when I came across this picture. I believe it was on Flickr.com (great site btw), but I'm not sure.


Illustration Friday

This week's challenge on Illustration Friday is: Fearless.
The sketch of the drawing above was the first thing which came up in my mind in relation to this subject: a little pirate on a small boat.
Pen and ink with washes of black Schmincke watercolor.


Liberation Day

On May 5th we celebrate Liberation Day. Then we celebrate our freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion. We remember the people who gave their lifes, mostly young guys around 20 years old, for our freedom more then 50 years ago. Thanks to their greatest sacrifice man can give we now have the right for freedom, but also the obligation to respect that.


Illustration Friday Detective

A good detective allways focuses on little details


Little Pirate

Little pirates are always anxious for big adventures behind the horizon.

I was one of them when I was young. I still remember at the age of seven I made a wooden raft which didn't float at all. Disaster! I could never be a good pirate. Then I promised myself I would become a comic artist. Which didn't work out very well either...


Boy On The Look-out

It looks like winter is finally gone. Spring is here to stay, so the time has come for playing outdoors. This little boy is already standing on the look-out.

The perspective in this drawing looks promising to me, but I still have difficulties in finding the right dimensions in, for instance, the little boy's arms, head and legs. I'll have to practice a lot on that stuff.


Waiting For The Bus

One allways wonders what's the story behind a picture. Actually, I don't know. I was just making some sketches and this became the result. Who knows why this boy is standing at a bus stop with all that luggage...



Everybody knows: treasures have to be kept in subterranean hiding places!


Not an ordinary sketchbook

The time had come to buy a new sketchbook. After years using all sorts of sketchbooks, I thought it was about time to buy a proper sketchbook. A sketchbook many people talk about on the net. A sketchbook which has its own weblog. A sketchbooks with many admirers. Maybe more admirers then certain religions have. A sketchbook people might look at as if it is a religious object. A sketchbook which is more then just a sketchbook. A relic. An icon. My First Moleskine.
Now let us hope it improves my drawing skills. The first doodles are already made and are here in the open to be looked at. I made them with a simple black ballpoint pen. Just what came up in my mind, the old guy, or what I looked at: a window, a picture in a magazine.



This week's topic on Illustration Friday is: Brave. It reminded me of the time I thought it would be fun to jump parachute. Well, the first jump was fun, because you don't know what to expect. But then, the jumps after the first one! That's a totally different story. Then you imagine what can go wrong. So, you have to be brave to make that second jump. And then another, and another, and another.


Ink with watercolor exercise

This exercise should actually have been a little, wooden boat. According to Michael Warr's book "Capturing texture", that is. But I've drawn a boat two weeks ago, so I choose a subject which is a little closer to me than boats.
The exercise is about how you can put texture into an inked drawing by adding watercolor. In this exercise it also had to be a monochromic study. I like black and white drawings most, so that's what I've made. I think it has depth and a certain "breadness", although it's in black and white.



I usually had great problems with my cellphones: dust. I keep my mobiles always in the pockets of my trousers. Most people don't, I guess, because no one ever confirmed to me they have the same problem: dust in the phone. So you'll have difficulties making pictures are reading the screen in daylight, for instance.Untill I had a great brainwave: waterproof means also dustproof! So when my provider offered a waterproof phone for free in combination with a cheap subscription, the deal was quickly made. Now I'm dustfree calling, textmessaging or internetting. It even has a flashlight!



This week's topic on Illustration Friday is 'Adrift'. This was the first thing I thought of. Perhaps a bit empty on the horizon: should I have drawn a shore? Maybe it's better this way.



Hidden in a pile of old sketches I found this drawing in pen and ink. I made it several years ago, based on a painting made by the American artist Thomas Blackshear. According to the notes I made on the back of this drawing I've worked more than two months on it, with a 0.18 technical drawing pen.
I didn't find any print of Blackhear's painting I've based this drawing on so far, not in the pile of sketches nor on the internet. So I can't judge the result. I only know that I won't make much drawings like this one anymore nowadays. This technique is very time consuming and I don't have that much time/patience, let alone the fact that I was single back than...;-)


Happy Bags

Among many other time-occupying activities I'm working on a commisioned job. It's supposed to be an eyecatcher on a new website, build by a friend of mine. The sketches took some effort, because I had a bit of a hard time drawing bags with a funny and happy outlook.
Now I've inked it, it looks more promising then I expected. All I have to do now is colouring the drawing, in the exact same colours I've coloured other drawing about two years ago... Wish me luck.


Illustration Friday - Focused

My third camera ever, was actually the first one I really bought. My first camera was a price I won and the second camera I used was owned by my father.
At the age of twelve, thirteen I decided it was about time to buy my own camera. Due to a little hole in my hand I couldn't buy a really good camera, but the Agfamatic 100 was in mine opinion a good alternative. It worked well, using filmcassettes, flash cubes and a lens which stayed focused so every picture looked sharp. I remember I really made a lot of pictures with this camera.
It still works, actually, but when I look at the pictures with the knowledge I now have about how pictures should look like, I have to admit that they are more unsharp then sharp. But I had a lot of fun taking pictures back then and they bring back good memories of long forgotten holidays and events. And that's priceless.


Illustration Friday - Clumsy

...it mostly happens in the last stage of the drawing.


Agfa ISO-Rapid IF

It is difficult to imagine how pictures were taken in the pre-digital ages. For instance in the early sixties of the last century. The Agfa ISO-Rapid IF had no build-in flash, so when you had to take a picture indoors a flashbulb was needed. One at the time, manually putted in top of the camera and then manually adjust the shuttertime.
After you've taken the picture you didn't know instead everything would look in print as you'd imagined it. Only after developing the film and printing on paper you could see the result. It was better to take two pictures of the same subject, just to be sure. So you had to replace the used flashbulb, threw it away and put another on top of the camera.
Taking pictures then was an expensive hobby. Now I know why my father didn't use that camera very often. It sure helped to keep this camera in the excellent condition it is today, though.


Illustration Friday - Confined

When you want to make an illustration of a subject which is basically black with aluminium parts, you're automatically confined in doing it in black and white.
For instance this camera, which I drew with pen and washed it with black ink.


My First Camera

Things you find when you're cleaning your attic. For instance a box full of old camera's. When I was twelve years old I won my very first camera on a fancy-fair. I still know that I was somewhat suspicious about it, because I didn't expect it to work. After all, it was a price won on a fancy-fair and prices won there didn't had the reputation of being reliable.
It was the Agfa Autostar X-126, a plastic viewfinder camera for 126 (Kodapak) film cartridges. On top you can mount X-flashcubes. I don't know if these are still available, nor do I know what that camera actually costed back in the seventies. Nowadays on internet the asking price is around fifteen dollars.
I made a lot of pictures with it, although I see now on the few photo's I still have in my possession that they were all a bit unsharp. But what could you expect from a give away, eh?