31.10.13

A Gathering Of Redis

20.10.13

"Just keep on drawing, I say"

Some drawings seem to last forever just finishing them. This drawing for instance keeps on giving me headaches. Starting off I had some very good ideas, I thought. But when I started sketching most of those splendid ideas didn't turn out the way I thought they would. And now I've finished the inking part, I'm still not sure which colourscheme I should use. 

30.9.13

Drawing For My Website

After several months looking at the drawing on the homepage of my website, I suddenly realised why it doesn't appeal anymore. It was to pale, sloppy and lacked contrast. Furthermore it didn't tell a story. There was no action. So I've adjusted it a little bit. I used the same brushes of the drawing before, but added some more action into the drawing. Didn't use a white background, which didn't look 'classy' at all. Put some more colourcontrast into it, et voila: a new drawing was born! Same subject, different approach.
Pen and watercolor, 15 x 22 cm.

22.8.13

Citroën Traction Avant

After several black and white drawings I decided it was time to make a coloured one. This is the 6 cylinder version of the Citroën Traction Avant. A model build from 1938 till 1955. On a dry, sunny day they sometimes come out of their garages and  can be spotted 'in the wild'. Not only a beatifull car to see, but also nice to draw from almost any angle.
Pen and watercolor on 300 grs Canson cold pressed cellulose.

4.7.13

Close Encounter Of An Inspirational Kind

A few years ago I posted a cartoon of a Citroën 2CV. Yesterday I saw the Citroen commercial for the new Citroen C4 ( link ).
I couldn't help thinking that I've inspired in some odd way Citroën's marketing department. Or is this a typical case of wishfull thinking?

2.7.13

Old School Racing Pedal

When I drew the pedal of my road bike, see the post before, I couldn't help thinking back to my first road bike.
At the age of fourteen my parents bought me a road bike: a metallic green Peugeot. It was equipped with a luggage carrier, front and back light and mud guards. All this because I had to use it for my daily ride to school.
It had also toeclips, with leather straps, as you can see on this drawing. It took me quite a while to find a picture of a pedal with this kind of toeclip on the internet. Of course I'd rather drew it using my old bike as a model, but that isn't possible.
The bike was to be delivered at our local bikestore, just a few streets from our house. Finally the day came my bike arrived. Of course I told the shopkeeper I was familiar riding with toeclips. As you might guess I didn't made it to the end of the street. I had to stop to make the left turn, couldn't release my left foot on time and there I was lying on the pavement. Shame on me.
Luckily the bike felt on me, so nothing was damaged. Accept for my left knee, left elbow, my trousers and my jacket. As the guys in the Tour de France say: "cycling comes with falling".

17.6.13

Releasing The Foot On Time

Nowadays most every racing cycle has some sort of sophisticated toeclip. Adjusting the clip to the amount of force you use to get out of it, is essential. If you don't succeed in releasing your foot on time before you're stopped, it can cause an unpleasant encounter with the tarmac. Which may seriously damaging your bike!
To avoid extra costs because you have to buy another bike (those carbon frames break even looking at them), it's advised to practice relasing your foot. I mostly release only the left foot, having the right foot ready for action. In the beginning I thought it was also a very brilliant idea to release the tension a bit on the left pedal, but that turned into a bit of a painfull moment. One day I was standing on the pedals when suddenly my left foot skipped out of the pedal. Luckily enough I was able to keep control of the bike, but my manly parts weren't very pleased that day...

7.6.13

Jaguar XK 120

A couple of weeks ago I've spotted this car nearby, at the Zandvoort Circuit. It's a left-hand drive Jaguar XK 120. I didn't find the owner to make a chat with him about the car, so I've put his initials on the number plate. As a sort of 'thank you for keeping this car in this splendid condition'. Pen and ink.

30.5.13

GPS For Cyclists

Traveling is not only about exploring new horizons, it's also a way of leaving your normal daily routines at home. Perhaps that's why some people use GPS devices to get as quickly as possible from one point to another. One of the advantages of traveling on a bicycle is that the process of getting away from daily worries into relaxing vacation mode goes on a slower pace then any other travelling method, except walking. Luckily enough for some people there are good cycling GPS-devices to help them finding their way. I don't have one, because I like to use maps. They give me a better sense of where I am instead of being lead by GPS to any place without knowing where it's situated.

23.5.13

Comfort Zone

Pen drawing, 14 x 8 cm

15.5.13

The Bee Keepers Garden

Last week we've had a little vacation in Mayrhofen, Austria. We didn't do much: the children mostly wanted to swim in the nearby swimming pool. The wife and I mostly read books, magazines and the latest news on our smartphones.
Mayrhofen is a very quiet place after the snow has disappeared. Also a very neat place. I found it difficult to find interesting points of view for sketching. When everything looks so well organized it tends to be boring. The houses all look very tidy. Luckily enough I found an interesting view from one of the balconies of our appartement into the backyard of the neighbours' house. The neighbour turns out to be a bee keeper and I've tried to capture some bees in flight.
Black ink sketch with Visconti pen on Moleskine.

1.5.13

King Of The Road

Yesterday we had the Royal Inauguration of our new King. We also had fancy fairs throughout the country and on the one held in our village I came across a model of a car we really like: a Volkswagen Microbus.
This one is a scalemodel of the 1962 model and we are hoping to buy a real one, in the future. There are not so many good ones left over the years and the ones still riding are all a bit above our current budget. So I'm not sure we can get our hands on a model like this. But a more recent model will be quite welcome also.
Sketch made with my Visconti-pen this morning, right after breakfast.


25.4.13

Something To Think About

About a year ago I was cycling in Germany. It was an organised cyclingweekend, meant to keep in shape for the season to come. The weather was friendly, although a bit cold in the mornings, but temperatures were during the day comfortable enough to ride in cyclingshorts.
Our guide, having many years of cycling experience, told us that particarly these weatherconditions are the cause of many knee-problems racing cyclists suffer from. Because you think it's warm enough to ride in shorts, the knees are remaining too cold during the day which may cause rheumatic complaints in the years to come.
Keeping this in mind I actually bought a pair of knee-pieces, just to wear them while cycling in this time of the year when Spring just peeks around the corner.

14.4.13

Where'd You Think You're Going?

It's allways nice to know where you'd be going. A useful gadget to inform you about that while riding your bike, can be a bike-bell with build-in compass. In that case you can see in what direction you're going without having to stop and dig up your compass from somewhere where you thought you had it stowed away. Usually the last place you are looking in.
Is it usefull, such a bell? Well, when you are about to start your weekly workout tour and want to now from which direction the wind is blowing, it is. Otherwise, when your cycling a multiple days trekking tour, I doubt that, because in that case you've allready planned basically the route. But when cycling a daily tour starting from your home, it can be usefull to adjust your route to have tailwind on your the last leg back home.

8.4.13

Beating The Average Speed

Now it looks like Spring has finally arrived, I've started my usual weekly bike-training. I've only done three rides now about 50 km each and last sunday I finally cycled an average speed which gives me a bit of confidence about the shape I will be in this coming Summer.
Each year the starting of a new season is a bit of a mystery to me on what level my condition stand. I don't cycle indoors during Winter, so I have a bit of a set back in Spring to other cyclists who train on their spinning bikes during the cold months. I just try to ride as much as I can outdoors during Winter. Gives me more stamina and joy, especially when I can follow cyclist about half of my age from which I know they've trained all Winter in the gym on a spinning course.

31.3.13

Easter Morning

This year everything seems to be different at Eastern. First of all we had snow this morning. I can't remember I'd ever see it snowing on Easter. At least not where I come from.
Secondly my wife and I were the first this morning at the breakfast table. Normally our kids get up early on sunday's. We didn't really know what to do with the situation. We allready hidden the Eastern eggs last night so there was not very much to do after baking the buns. We sat there, looked at each other and didn't even had a subject for a nice conversation without the kids...

27.3.13

Spring will arrive soon, they say

When Winter has left, Spring will arrive. That happens every year... But when it exactly will happen is uncertain. Perhaps next week the temperature are reaching normal standards for this time of year. That'll be the day I finally can wear my usual bandana instead the winter hats I mentioned in previous posts.
I usually can cycle with the bandana at the end of February or at the beginning of March. I never had the 'pleasure' to go out cycling without wintergloves and winterhats at the beginning of April. It'll be a historic day, that's for sure.

15.3.13

Winter is still here

As I was looking if I would need new cycling stuff, which is somehow the case almost every year, I came across a helmet cap which I bought last year. I've only used it once on a very cold but sunny ride in January. The cap worked so well that after 20 km my head was all sweaty. It didn't feel very comfortable and I was glad I could take the cap off when I was done with my ride. Maybe the Dutch winters are too mild for this cap. I didn't use it since then.
Furthermore it looks like it was designed by the same guy who designed the caps for the Russian tankcrews, back in the eighties. Yes, you have to be of a certain age knowing how those caps would look like back then...

9.3.13

Functional and Warm

During the winter this is my loyal companion when I'm cycling. Earlier this week it looked like Spring had finally arrived, but it seems that we still be having cold and wet conditions for the next two weeks.
So it's not yet time to stow the warm hats and gloves away. We have to be patient and sit this out. Well, it's not the end of the world.

4.3.13

Woolen Hat

My daughter and I went to the library a couple of days ago. The visit became a typical case of: "Wherever I Lay My Hat, Then It's Gone".
Nobody had seen my cool hat, extra warm in winters because of the double layer. Why should they? It's just a hat.
But not every hat is just a hat. It becomes almost a part of your head when it feels comfortable to wear. Anyway, we had to buy another one and my daughter's choice won: a woolen hat. Nice, cosy, warm and cool, all for the price of... too much, in my opinion.
Pen and ink with Visconti.

27.2.13

Keeping The Head Warm

Most people won't use a balaclava on their bike. Simply because they don't go biking in freezing cold weather. Of course I have done that, otherwise I didn't put up this topic. But I must say that it became very sweaty under the balaclava. It didn't feel comfortable at all. Furthermore I've had a terrible odour afterwards. So nowadays I use an other sort of hat during freezing cold bikerides. The balaclava will only be used on, for instance, freezing cold hikes. I don't know how that works out, because I haven't hiked yet during freezing cold conditions. But I promise I'll keep you informed.
Pen and ink with Visconti pen.

16.2.13

Socks

Not only gloves will help keeping you warm on your bicycle during winter. Good socks will be helpfull too.
I have several types of wintersocks. Some of them made from wool, others made from mixed fabric. When it's extremely cold I use two pairs.
The pair I've drawn are warm enough to use when it's about zero degrees Celsius. Below that temperature I have to put on a second pair. Sometimes I even put on my neopreen overshoes. But only when it's extremely cold and windy and I've planned a long ride.

6.2.13

Gloves

Cycling in winter demands good gloves. This weekend I bought a new pair. As you can see the padding should be sufficient enough for nice long touring.
My old pair of wintergloves didn't give much protection against the cold anymore. My wintergloves last about three seasons. I use them on my racing bike and trekking bike. It's important to take good notice that you have to look for windstoppers instead of, for instance, gloves that you use for skiing. Those get much too warm when cycling and gives you wet hands. That's not a nice feeling while cycling. That's why I always buy gloves with good protection against the wind. So my ride at cold days to, for instance, my work and back home will be much more fun than working on the office.
Come to think of it: cycling will allways be more fun than working.
Pendrawing made with my Visconti.

3.2.13

31.1.13

Handle bars

There are numerous types of handle bars. Made from rubber, foam, leather, cork, you name it. The choice is yours. But what is most important is how they actually feel. So it pays out to go to a bikeshop where you can test several types.
When testing it's important how they feel. Ask yourself the question: "Will I have sour hands after a day's use? Will my hands getting tired quickly? Can I chance my hands in several positions during cycling?"
Last, but not least, the handle bars have to look good. Solid. Thorough. Reliable. Logical. Giving good grip.

28.1.13

Steering Bar

For riding a bike properly it's important to have a good steering bar. Above I've drawn the steering bar of my trekking bike. Originally the bike came with a so-called Butterfly steering bar, but that wasn't strong enough to hold for long. After about 3.000 km cycling it broke. It gave me the opportunity to look for a better alternative. I choose the flat bar of Bontrager, in combination with Ergon GP3 handle bars. They're just great. Although it's said that you have many positions to place your hands on a Butterfly steering bar, I don't miss that at all. These handle bars support your hands where necessary and when you want to change position you can use the soft grip bar ends. I recommend them to everyone who ask my opinion on this subject. You can cycle long distances without getting sour hands or tired wrists.
Pen and ink.

14.1.13

Bicycles and Classic Cars


With a new year ahead of us it's good to make plans what to do or draw. When it comes to drawing I've narrowed the choice of subjects down to two items: every drawing this year posted on my weblog has to be bicycle or classic cars related.
I also plan to make at least four bigger drawings then I usually make. The first sketch is already in the making: it's going to be an Austin Healey 3000. The final result can be seen on my webshop, where you already can find four examples of black and white drawings of classic cars.
Furthermore I plan to make one or two paintings. Subjects are not yet chosen, but that won't be the problem. My main problem will be finding time to make all this stuff.




7.1.13

Maps and Books

Throughout the years I've collected lots of maps and roadbooks. I also like to read stories written by travelling writers, mostly cyclists. In books or on blogs.
As much I like to read the stories and enjoy exploring the maps, best is to travel for yourself. But the usual obligations prevent that: job, kids attending school, lack of good travel gear.
Perhaps it's time to start first by orientating what you might need for travelling, for instance: a good bike.