Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday - Life giving Lemons?

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday! All you need is a black piece of paper and two color pencils to create some awesome art - blackboard style!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sketching outside in Amsterdam

Summer is the best time in Amsterdam. When it's sunny, there's a wonderful buzz in town and so much to do and to see. You can choose to go to crowded places in the centre, or choose a quiet terrace and sit in the shade, look at the people passing by, the traffic and to listen to the bits of chatter around you. 
So that's what I do. I feel lucky and blessed to live in such a versatile city and to be able to enjoy it so much.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Sketchbook Exchange Project

A bunch of people who participated in my Awesome Art Journaling Class, started a Sketchbook exchange project. They made a list of people who participate, we all bought a small journal, filled a page and sent it to the next person on the list. When receiving someone's sketchbook, we fill a page and send it, and again and so on. This is one of the pages I filled - in the traveling sketchbook which will end up back at the owner who lives in Italy, and I know she's a coffee lover, like I am. Pretty obvious what to do with a page in her journal then:

This is another one I did for this project:

It will take while before I receive my filled sketchbook, but I am very curious and excited that it will be filled with art from all over the world!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amsterdam Sketches

Last Saturday, I met up with my drawing buddy Yvonne. We brought the husbands along - mine played the banjo, hers played with the kids. It was a very warm and humid day, but we sat in the shadows of the trees alongside of a water playground.
It felt like a holiday. In the jungle. An Urban Jungle, that is.

On Saturday 12 July, The World Wide Sketch Crawl took place on... um, yes, as the title implies, many places around the world. In Amsterdam, we gathered with a wonderful group of about 30 people to have a 9 to 6 sketching day.

To kick the morning off I sketched Amsterdam's largest Chinese Restaurant, Sea Palace. It is a boat with three floors. They have great dim sum by the way. Not that I had any that morning.
Then we fuelled up with coffee and a bite to eat at a cafe with a great peaceful terrace. On the right there,  you can see the concentrated way we all worked in, by just looking at the slightly hunched shoulders of Joke, who is a student in Sketchbook Skool and came over for a few hours of sketching with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter.

Joke and I looking at each other's sketchbook pages
We moved to the science Museum, which is in the harbour, and I sat down to draw the historical boats.

Great group of Amsterdam sketchers!
Sketchbook Skool students Frans and Alexa (she came all the way from Cologne, Germany to join us!) are comparing Skool homework

After taking a break to awe at each other's sketchbook pages and make a group photo we walked to the park, to join a hippie-like small festival, where everyone was invited to bring their instruments to jam, and their art supplies to make some art. So that's what we did, we made some more art. After a bite to eat, sitting in the grass and chatting to the other sketchcrawlers, I made this last sketch before heading home.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday - Rubber stamps!

Is your handlettering not pretty enough to your taste? Be smart! Use stamps for lettering and spice the letters up.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Are you ready to fail?

Do you ever feel that feeling of resistance to start something new or difficult? Do you ever fear failure? And more importantly: do you let the fear stop you doing it anyway?
Here's something I learned in the past years: if you're not failing every once in a while, you're not trying hard enough.
This works on many levels. But I'm not here to give you life lessons, and I certainly don't feel experienced enough to do so. But I do know this:
You like drawing and sketching? But maybe you feel intimidated by other people's art, or even by a blank page on which you don't know how to start. You feel fear. Fear that the drawing you make will come out wonky. Fear that you will be unhappy with the result of your efforts. Fear of disappointing yourself.
Do you let the fear hold you back from doing it anyway?
What is worse: 1)feeling frustrated because you're not trying, or 2)making a drawing that doesn't turn out as quite the masterpiece you want it to be?
Here's one of my favorite quotes, by Victor Kiam:
"Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward".
I think that hits the nail right on its head.
20140701 strawberries
If I would have followed my fears instead of following my heart, I would never have started my first online drawing course, 'Just Draw It.' or any of the online classes that followed. Yes, I encountered quite some failures along the way, but I learned from my mistakes and moved on. And then, the stumbling forward became a confident walk. Or at least, I feel proud every time when participants tell me about their aha-moments and when I see their progress during the 5 weeks of the course.
This is what Christel says about Just Draw It: "These five last weeks, I have tried several techniques that I would not have tried on my own. I like the way you approach each new subject, building up our skills step by step. You make complicated subjects simple and fun! And I loved the atmosphere in the class. "
Barbara's exercise page during the lesson 'Colours' in Just Draw It.
This is what Barbara says: "I expected to gain some fundamental drawing techniques. I did, but I gained so much more! Your lessons were clear and well-structured, and included just enough difficulty to stretch my drawing "muscles". But your greatest strength is in the conscientious way you followed up with every posting and every question, guiding each student to develop his/her understanding, and individual style. In addition, you facilitated the camaraderie of a lovely, supportive group of classmates which made the experience even more rewarding. This combination of teacher and classmates has enabled confidence in my abilities, a confidence that had previously eluded me. I am now finally using those art materials I'd stockpiled, and I'm no longer afraid to practice, practice, practice (with patience and perseverance, of course)"
When you're developing a (new) skill, you make mistakes. Or, as Bob Ross used to call them: 'Happy accidents'. Then you look at them, and learn from them. Next time, instead of fearing that failure, you tackle it and go forward. You make it a failure-feast and in the end, you gained lots of new skills and experience. Not to mention, the whole adventure you went through.
So, here's a question for you: Are you ready to go and fail at something?
Check out my online course 'Just Draw It' by clicking here. It starts August 4 and runs for five weeks. You can join and I'll be guiding you through those weeks for just $99.
I hope to see you in class!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WorldWide SketchCrawl this Saturday

This Saturday, July12, along with Amsterdam Urban Sketcher Dudley Svendsgaard, I will be hosting a Sketchcrawl in Amsterdam.
Are you in or around Amsterdam? Wanna join? Here's where you can find all the details and let us know you'll be joining:
We're gonna have a drawing marathon!

If you're in another part of the globe, have a look here, to find a Sketchcrawl to join near you: http://www.sketchcrawl.com/
(Click 'forum' at the top of the page, and then in the search field, fill in the name of your city or town.)

So this is what the program for the day will look like in Amsterdam:
Morning - for the hardcore marthon sketchers:
9:00AM we're warming up outside the Central Amsterdam Public Library
11:00AM at Hanneke's Boom, we'll hang out and have a cup of coffee (or two), and meanwhile: sketch!
12:30 Meeting Point: Nemo Science Center, at the Water wheel outside the entrance. We can scatter around and draw the harbour, the boats, people, climb on top of the Nemo Building and draw the view...
15:00 Meet back up with each other at the cafe on Nemo's roof. We can awe at each other's sketchbook pages and fuel up.
15:30 We take a bus (or you can take your bike) to The Animal Festival in Flevopark (https://www.facebook.com/events/668369853255245/). At this festival there's a lot of art going on: live music and drawing and painting. You can bring a blanket and a bite to eat as well. And do a picnic sketch.
18:00 We'll figure out a meeting point to share our sketches and then hit home, or for the ones who can't stop, sketch on!

What if it rains? Come anyway, we'll figure something out!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday: Handlettering

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
Here's a quick way to do Handlettering
Do you like my Draw Tip Tuesday Videos? You may be interested in more then: Head on over to my website, koosjekoene.nl to find out about the classes that I teach!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today's Recipe

This is a perfect recipe for a comforting but quick dinner. I prefer to eat it with a tomato salad or a green salad on the side. I've submitted it to www.theydrawandcook.com. You can find more of my recipes there by following this link.
This week, the participants of my online class on drawing food and illustrating recipes have been working on some wonderful recipes as well, as their final assignment. Would you like to do that too?
During the workshop, I help you through the fun process from doodle to final recipe, and you can submit yours to They Draw And Cook as well! Curious? It's $69 and starts August 18. Find out more here

Sunday, July 6, 2014

About art journaling and sketchbook keeping

Are you keeping a sketchbook or an art journal?
Ever wondered if there are any rules for doing that? Well, there aren't any. Unless you create them for yourself.
20140330 journal
Everyone finds their own way of journaling, sketchbook keeping, drawing, sketching, painting....making art.
To me, it doesn't really matter where or how - for some styles I need different kinds of paper than for others. Then again, a few years ago, I have committed myself to make a drawing daily, and I keep a 'daily drawing journal' for it. The entries differ and change in theme and subjects, which to me is interesting so I can see what was going on in my life at the time, when I look back at the pages.
But of course you can also create a journal by gathering favorite drawings that you did on separate pieces of paper, and bind those.
This has been a discussion in the previous run of my Awesome Art Journaling Class, and the only advice I can give is this: It may take some time to figure out what works best for you. And don't be surprised to see yourself change sketchbook habits either. It's an evolving thing. You may find different ways of sketchbook keeping and art journaling, different goals and purposes. It's all part of your artist's journey.
Scary to fill a sketchbook page, because it might not result in the drawing you've imagined it to be? So what if that happens? You made a drawing and you can simply go on to the next page. A whole new canvas for more creativity!
An art journal, a sketchbook, a creative journal, a sketch journal... Whatever you call it, when you start a creative habit by drawing, sketching, and journaling about your life, you're creating a wonderful way of documenting your life and keep vivid memories on your pages.
Speaking of sketchbooks...
I am so proud that the new semester of Sketchbook Skool started yesterday, and students are sketchbooking like crazy! There's a lot of energy going on in the klassrooms, and it's not too late to join! You'll be right in time for my klass, which starts on Friday.
You can join for $99, and will get 6 weeks of fun, with lessons from six diffrent sketchbook artists froim around the world.
Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday

Here's another Throwback Tuesday!
No, I'm not being lazy, I just got reminded by Jennifer, one of the participants in Just Draw It, of this video. And I think it's worth a rerun.
And, it's quite fitting too, because this Friday, the course 'Seeing' starts on Sketchbook Skool, and I will be teaching about self portraits, and how we see ourselves as artists. Will you be in skool with me?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek into Sketchbook Skool's second kourse: 'Seeing'
Last Monday I had a long day of shooting all of my videos. I was very nervous with a film maker hovering over and around with not one, but two cameras, but we made some great videos and the hand that's pointing at YOU here, is part of one of the drawings I make in klass.

So if you're enrolled... here's just a little taste of my klass! Aaaand maybe you could bring a friend in klass too!
Check out this short video about Friendship:
Danny Gregory and Tommy Kane have been best friends for decades, and because Tommy is one of the teachers in Sketchbook Skools kourse 'Beginnings', we're doing a give away!
If you sign up and bring a friend, you can win Tommy's drawing!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday: tools

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

This may be 'cheating'... and I hope you don't mind: I'm reposting a video today. 
So it's actually, um... Throwback Tuesday!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Selfie A Day

Almost there.
When I started the sketchbook I'm currently working in, without really thinking about it, I filled the first few pages with self portraits. That's when I unintentionally started a new project. Because when I flipped through those first few pages, they gave me an idea: I committed myself to make a self portrait each day in this sketchbook. I would still be using the book as an artjournal, so was still 'allowed' tp make all kinds of other sketches and drawings in it, but it would also become my 'selfie a day' journal.

There's just a few pages to go in my current sketchbook, and I will sure keep the habit of doing self portraits, but I have to admit I'll be kind of relieved, to not be committed to do one each day anymore when I start a new sketchbook.

Here's an update of some of the portraits I hadn't shared yet before.

Some are really to be proud of, some are rushed or uninspired. Some don't look like me at all, and others are fun experiments with new techniques or styles.

In the upcoming kourse of Sketchbook Skool, themed 'Seeing', I talk about how we see ourselves and about drawing self portraits.
There's an awesome line-up of teachers in this kourse:
Danny Gregory will show you how your eyes and brain can collaborate better when we draw.
Cathy Johnson will change how you see nature. 
Brenda Swenson shows you how to see your own life through your sketchbook's pages. 
Liz Steel will forever change how you see building and teacups. 
And Andrea Joseph will help you see more in-depth than you ever thought possible.
You can sign up for 'Seeing' right now by clicking here!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday - Sketching with colours

Today I'm sketching like a nut (well, what else is new?), choosing almonds to draw, and watercolours as my medium.

If you would like to draw food and/or illustrate recipes, you can still join my online workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot' for only $69. Click here to enroll today.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Madrid - travel journal pages

Life is sweet. Yesterday, I got back from a wonderful city trip to Madrid, Spain. 
I'm a lucky girl. My husband had to travel there for his work and we decided I could travel with him and to add the weekend. 
So on Thursday morning, we arrived at Barajas, the airport. My husband took a cab to the office, and my little adventure started right there. I love travelling, and when you're on your own, the experience somehow is even deeper. Taking the subway into town was an adventure and my senses opened up completely. It felt like I saw, heard and smelt things sharply, and even the warm air from the subway tunnels felt like it touched the hairs on my arms in a very special way.
I saw well short dressed and high heeled women, smelled freshly fried churros, noticed elderly men wearing pastel colours, their checkered shirts matching the colour of their pink, baby blue or lime green pants. I was still underground and could already see: I am in the south of Europe!

The first thing I did when I arrived in the city and ascended from the subway into the sunny streets of Madrid, was find myself a Cafeteria to drink my very first, very spanish cortado: a single espresso with a little bit of milk.

Then I checked into our wonderful apartment we found through www.airbnb.com, I worked for a few hours (the entrepreneur life does go on, you know, also when you're travelling!) and then headed outside into the sunny city life. Had tapas for lunch and drew my view from the cervezeria. 

Next day I visited the museum Reina Sofia and I was also told to go see the Atocha train station which is on the other side of the roundabout there. So I did and also drew it.

Early in the evening, I made this drawing while having tapas with my husband. Including greasy tapas stains:

And we visited the wonderful mercado de San Miguel at night, for a glass of Verdejo and... yup, more tapas!

I am still doing my daily self portraits, as you can see. There's just a few pages to go in my current sketchbook, and I will sure keep the habit of doing self portraits, but I'll be glad to not be committed to do one each day anymore when I start a new sketchbook.
On the 14th, we woke up to another gorgeous day and before heading out, I drew the view from our window.
Next day, just before leaving home, we visited El Rastro, the largest flea market in the world, held every week. Super festive. We walked and walked and walked, so I didn't sketch any of it. The only drawing I made was the one in the right corner, during lunch.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday - Have a cookie!

My Online Workshop on drawing food and illustrating recipes 'Draw It Like It's Hot' started on Monday June 9. You can still join and ketchup catch up!

Monday, June 9, 2014


At the moment, my online drawing course 'Just Draw It' is running with another lovely group of participants. In their introduction, some of them said they would love to get out on a sketchcrawl or do some urban sketching, but they're a bit intimidated by the idea of drawing in public.
So after a few weeks of drawing exercises and expanding their skills, I declared June 7 the Just-Draw-It-sketchcrawl-day. 
I invited all participants, whichever part of the world they are in, to join me and head out to draw!
Then afterwards, we would all share the results. Fun! These are my drawings of the day.

I visited my friend Yvonne. In March, she gave birth to her second son, and I hadn't even seen him yet! A beautiful baby boy. After a lot of catching up and chatting, we took out our sketchbooks and sat down in her garden (yup, sure, that also counts as urban sketching! why not?) and sketched. It was warm and sunny and it felt like summer. There was a certain quietness and zen feeling in the garden and we both really enjoyed filling our pages. 
Of course I did my daily selfie too. 

Back in Amsterdam, I sat on the terrace of a restaurant near by my house, to have a drink and dinner with my husband. Summer in Amsterdam feels like holiday - even in my own neighbourhood!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Ahhh... sitting down after an exhausting day to eat great fresh food, made and served by a lovely lady, was a huge treat already.
But taking out my sketchbook and drawing the deli was the best treat I could give myself. An hour of joy. With the taste of Turkish Mezze in my mouth, the sound of Turkish television in the background, and admiring glances over my shoulder from the hostess.... what else could I wish for?

More food drawing in my current workshop 'Draw It Like It's hot' now also, yay!
So check it out if you're a foodie, like me and click here to join me! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Food doodling my way around

Illustrated recipes has been a favorite way of creating for me now for a few years. Ever since I discovered They Draw And Cook, I realized I'm not the only crazy foodie-artist!

Doing illustrated recipes (even the ones I did quickly in my journal, to remind myself of recipes to cook) even resulted in commissioned work. This recipe for Zucchini Patties, ignited the design for a food truck, which I saw in action for the first time just last weekend!

The story behind it:
The guys who run Mac'n'Cheez, they had this idea for their food truck/trailer but hadn't built it yet. They found my illustrations online and the patties recipe above, was exactly in the style they were looking for. They asked me if I could create their menus in that same style. Also, they were going to apply for festivals and fairs, but the trailer still needed to be built, so they didn't have any photos they could share for their applications. So they told me about their philosophy and what their trailer was going to look like. They didn't have a logo either. So I started sketching and doodling having fun and using my imagination, and came up with the drawing below.

They loved it so much, that they took that logo and had it made just like that, blinking lights and all.
photo by Mac'n'Cheez team
Their classic Mac and Cheese dishes have 4 different toppings, and I created the menus for those, to eventually paint on the blackboards inside the trailer.

It's a rare and wonderful experience when work doesn't feel like work, because you're simply doing what you love.

When illustrating recipes, I'm simply doing what I love. Because I realize I'm not the only foodie out there, I developed the 4-week online workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot'. It's starting This Monday, June 9 and we doodle food (=foodle), draw kitchen utensils and work our way towards illustrating our very own recipes.

Why don't you join us?
There will be videos, step-by-step instructions, drawing prompts, and much more!
Class starts June 9, runs for 4 weeks and costs only $69.
Click here to enroll today