It’s nice to be able to join Sketchcrawl again! Sketchcrawl 12.5Â ‘Draw in your home’ is supposed to be tomorrow, 28-01, but since I have other plans for tomorrow I decided to do it today instead. These are sketches of the interior of our flat.
1. View from the study room/Nor’s office
2. Nor’s desk in the study room/office
3. Study room/office, showing bookcases and cabinets
4. The bar/coffee corner/kitchen. We love our Kitchenaid espresso machine. Nor is a fantastic barista and makes delicious cappuccino.
5. The other corner of the kitchen; also showing part of the bar and living room.
6. The living room
…unfortunately the ink from the next entry slightly shows through this page…can’t be avoided as I used the small thin papered moleskine cahier.
Everyday Matters Challenge #100: Draw/paint a landscape. Typical dutch countryside.
We celebrated xmas at the Okura hotel, Amsterdam, yesterday. We dined at their restaurant ‘Yamazato’ and the food was wonderfully delicious! They used origami birdies as part of the presentation, and we got them as souvenirs. We will surely go back for more fantastic food.
A type of Egret (Grey Heron?), Ardea cinerea or de blauwe reiger (thanks wikipedia!). Many of them live inside the Artis freely. They come and go when they want and some even have their nests at the zoo.
Same bird, slightly different build.
Other visitors at the zoo were looking at the lions who were busy eating their lunch.
Three cubs were born last year. This one stole a chunk of cow rib from one of the adult lionesses. She was lucky that she got away without getting any slap.
I joined the Worldwide Sketch Crawl yesterday from Den Bosch (‘s Hertogenbosch). Den Bosch is located south of Utrecht and only 30 minutes by train. It was still quite cold yesterday, but the sun did show up in the afternoon. I think, everybody must have checked the weather channel the day before just to make sure the weather would co-operate. Loads of domestic tourists were there to explore the city by foot or by boat. One can go around (under) the city by boat, see sketch #2 below. So may be I’ll do that the next time I am there and I think a boat ride around (and under) Den Bosch at night time will be very cool! Click on images to enlarge.
1. Uilenburgstraatje, Den Bosch. A corner of ther street.
2. Uilenburgstraatje, Den bosch. Another corner of the same street.
4. Station Den Bosch. A person on another platform has had a great shopping day.
5. In the train on the way back, Den Bosch – Utrecht. A fellow passenger.
Easter weekend is always a long weekend. Today is Good Friday. And although it is not a national/bank holiday in Holland, my office is closed anyway. Then Monday is 2nd day of Easter, which is a national/bank holiday. After checking on the internet on how the weather would be in the rest of the country today, I decided to go to Den Haag (the Hague). They said that this afternoon it would be sunny there, and they were right. It was a beautiful day just to be outside. While sitting on a terrace of a cafe and waiting for my lunch to be served, I drew this church ‘de Grote Kerk’ which is located right across where I sat.
The interior of Restaurant Balkangrill Boro on Oudegracht a/d Werf in Utrecht. This was our table, when we were there for dinner a couple of days before Red’s death. I made a simple line drawing sketch back then, and used it as a reference for this pastel drawing I did yesterday and today. Although I am still learning to handle pastel, I think I like the medium. Using pastel makes me feel like a child again who is playing with her crayons. I also like the fact that I have to work less uptight with pastel.
Again, I followed another watercolor instruction book. And I love the result. It was about miximg complimentary colors to produce soft pastelly grey. And what lovely colors I got from the experiment! I can tell you that Amsterdam Zuid/WTC station has never looked half as good in reality. Hah!
I bought ‘the artist’ magazine march 2006 edition (UK) this past weekend. In the magazine, there is an article by John Lidzey on ‘How to build up a subject from cuttings and photographs’. It was a very inspiring article, and no wonder they put it under the chapter ‘Inspiration’. It tells you how to do a painting from various resources: photos, newspaper clippings, reference book, etc. You isolate the relevant subject(s) from each source and put them together in one painting. So it is similar to photo montage. I was so inspired by this that I decided to experiment. But instead of making a (real) painting, I did a sketch (typical me). I loved it! The technique and process certainly give new possibilities.
So here is my first try, based on several sources. And it got my imagination going, a nice side effect. This could be:
- my next vacation destination, with me reading a newspaper under the sun.
- my villa somewhere in Southern Europe (if I get to be filthy rich), with me reading the Wall Street Journal (oops, de Telegraaf)…
Yay! I have been using a brand new sketchbook since last week. And I am loving. The texture of the paper is slightly rough (handmade paper) and it absorbs watercolor fairly well. I absolutely love the graphic on the cover and the inside flap.
The printing on the front cover (top image) shows a map of 17th century city of Utrecht. The inside flap (bottom image) shows a map of 17th century Utrecht and its neighboring towns/villages. I just love old maps.
The dog is preserved and stuffed. He guards the entrance to the exhibition spaces faithfully. Contrary to the usual sign of ‘Niet aanraken (Don’t Touch)’, he has a sign that says ‘Ik mag geaaid worden (I may be petted)’, which encourages kids to touch him. I touched him to for a second. The coat felt real but it gave me a strange feeling, which I could not explain. May be the fact that it did not react to my touch and the lack of warmth. Petting a static stuffed dog felt certainly different than petting my neighbor’s always drooling dog (a real sign of life). Conclusion: Life really makes a difference.
I spent a day at the Natural History Museum (Naturalis) in Leiden last Friday. I used the visit to make many small sketches of preserved animals and plants. I considered it as a preparation before going to a zoo. The animals at Naturalis are as real as those in the zoo, only they are dead and therefore, static. It was a good exercise. And I think, I like the challenge of sketching different animals within a short period. The variation is refreshing. This summer, I’ll visit one of the zoo and see how I deal with moving animals other than my cats.
I had to go to a workshop last Tuesday evening in Amsterdam. So after work, I had to stay and wander around the city for a little while, before the workshop. I went to get something to eat at my favorite chinese restaurant in the city: New King on Zeedijk. Their food is always delicious. Here is a selection of the dishes listed in their menu.
Note: my RSS feed problem is still not resolved. I apologize to those, who have trouble reading my blog via Bloglines or other rss readers. I can’t fix it (yet) and I prefer to spend my time drawing rather than twiddling with gibberish php stuff. So it can be a long time before it can be resolved. Sorry!
After I drank a cup of cappuccino from HEMA, I drew this while sitting at one of their tables. It was busy there, but I was fortunate enough to get a table right beside the window. Therefore I could sketch the view across HEMA on Oude Gracht. It was sunny but really cold. The coffee really helped.
A sketch that I did on Tuesday last week, but couldn’t finish it until yesterday. It is of a train that is operated by the Dutch Railway (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). They operate several types of trains, and this is one of them. One of the older models, I think.
I was at the Naarden-Bussum station when I sketched this. I was waiting for another train, which would take me back to Amsterdam.
Personally, I think that the end result is a bit overworked. I did the colouring at home. Pen/Ink/Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (markers).
Below are my last sketches of Barcelona. It’s unfortunate that I am in my ‘doom’ period right now (see previous post), so I don’t feel like writing the story behind each sketch. My ‘doom’ period just got worst today, I think, when I thought it was getting better yesterday. Therefore, I don’t really feel like drawing or do any Blind Contour for tomorrow. I just hope that I will snap out of this not-so-fine time by Wednesday, next week. That way I might be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner at the Hilton on next Thursday night. If not, well it’s just bad luck this year!
Restaurant l’Economic, BCN. 3 course meal (lunch) incl. a caraf of wine for only 8 euros per person. You can’t get it any cheaper than this! The portion is generous, but the quality matches the price.
I might apply watercolor on the two pen en ink sketch above. Those two are crying for some colors, I think. I’ll do it when I have more time.
Yesterday was a busy day in Utrecht. Sinterklaas was coming to town. I saw a few kids with black painted faces and dressed as Zwarte Piet (black Pete) walked beside their mom to go the event. Other people were already busy shopping for gifts for 5th December. I was busy shopping too. I needed a new coat, had to go to Bigoli (a wonderful store that sells Italian food products), and needed to shop at Toko Centraal (a store that sells asian produce and other products. These two stores carry ingredients for making Pastitsio and ayam Magadip, that I made this weekend.
In between shopping, I stopped to sketch this building on Oude Gracht, on the corner of Bakkerstraat. It was pretty cold to just stand and sketch. The day was quite grey, but luckily it stayed dry.
I can’t believe that it has been a month since my wonderful holiday in Barcelona. And I am still not finished with my holiday story. I have been quite busy lately and haven’t been drawing as much as I’d like. But I think I just have to finish it a.s.ap. before my memory fails me. So here we go…
This is my sketch of Bar Salvador. We went there to get some breakfast on that Friday morning. It was our last ‘full’ day and we would like to use it to explore the old center. Yes we had been sort of walking around the old center everyday, but we had not really looked. So we started the day by visiting this bar, which we found out from ‘The Rough Guide’. Eventhough it is called a bar, it opens actually only from morning to late afternoon. It is not a place for late night drinking. But not to worry, they do live up to their name. Inside they have enough supplies of alcohol to last for months. It was an amazing experience. However, don’t really expect to be able to get what you want to eat here. There is not really a menu. We noticed that they had only one tiny green board on the wall with a very limited list of (what we suspected) food/sandwiches. Everybody knew what they wanted to order without the help of any menu. Now, we didn’t know what to order; we couldn’t understand the list; we asked but staff do not speak english. I decided to order what I had two days earlier from Cafe Dakmar. I remembered some words, told the waiter, and then it was just wait and see what I was getting. Well, I apperently communicated my order well. I got pretty much the same yummy sandwich.
Between sketching (with pen & ink only, watercolored later), sipping my cappuccino, and eating my sandwich, I did notice the whole space. We were the only obvious foreigners. We were drinking coffee/cappuccino, while the rest were having wine, cava, or even whisky with their breakfast at 10:30 a.m! Just fascinating. My only question was: would they be more productive and creative at work after breakfast with some alcohol?
NOTE: Click on the images for larger views