Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Amsterdam sketches

Last week I went out on a little sketchcrawl with my sketch pal Yvonne in Amsterdam.
This is what I drew:


Can you tell how good I feel when I can really take the time to do a selfie? 
Because I have been so busy I almost forgot how much I love working with just a simple HB pencil.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Fake It!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Don’t you love those cool hand lettering signs that you see pop up on whiteboards in cafes and on cool instagram feeds for example? You can do handlettering like this too! Here's a simple trick to 'fake' it in case you think you can't!

Monday, June 29, 2015

School's out!

Greetings from Amsterdam!

Summer is the best time here in Amsterdam. I've lived here all my life and have always loved spring, but summer was always best! Even when some of the Dutch summer days can be quite chilly, windy or even rainy - summer days remind me of when I was a kid. It felt like there was an endless stretch of free time to fill after school. Not just during the summer holiday, but also right after school.

When school's out

Random fact about me as a teenager: I wasn't great at school. Learning maths for example was pure torture, and now that I'm a grown up, I am soooo happy to have an accountant and bookkeeper these days because all I was doing was struggling during class and making a mess of my homework!
Luckily, there was art class to make up for it! Whatever kind of homework or assignments we would get in art class, I loved spending time on it and would look forward to the precious few hours of art during school.
Once summer vacation started, I didn't mind Dutch rainy summerdays at all. It meant that I wouldn't feel obliged to head outside and enjoy the sunny weather. I could spend time to make art.
If there would have been something like an art summer school, I would have signed up for it for sure!

Wouldn't you?

Fast Forward to 2015

It exists: Summer Skool! It's online, so wherever in the world you are, in July and August you can come out and play in Sketchbook Skool. There are two 4-week Kourses: "Playing" (starts July 6) and "More Playing" (starts August 3) , and they are filled with fun projects to do on your own or with your friends or family. You can take the projects with you on vacation, or do them at home. And you can share your art with a fantastic community of Summer Skoolers and Sketchbook Skoolers.
Oh and if it's winter out there where you live - of course you can come and join the fun too!

Don't miss it! 'Playing' starts in a week.

Follow this link to sign up today!
Let's play and make awesome art.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Healthy Recipe

You can hardly call it a recipe - because it's so simple. But seriously good!
And healthy too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Be Less Precious About Your Drawings

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Do you feel like each art journal entry need to be meaningful? Perfect? Pfff what a pressure!
Let’s not be too precious about our drawings.
Sometimes, just drawing what’s right in front of you can be very satisfying! Especially if you use several colors, the drawing can cheer you up.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Greetings from Amsterdam!

I realize time and time again that I am a real city girl. Sure, sometimes the busyness of the city and the rush the city is in and the impatience people have sometimes gets on my nerves. But mostly, I enjoy living in the city. And even in a busy city like Amsterdam, you can always find sweet, quiet spots that make you forget about location overall.
At least I don't need to worry there's nothing to draw, that's for sure!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: How To Hatch - part 2

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Remember how I showed you how to do hatching and cross hatching in last week’s episode?
I’ll do a quick drawing of a jar in my kitchen, to show you how you can use the techniques in your daily drawings.

Why don’t you try it yourself, with an everyday item? It’s a fun exercise to do and I’m sure you will make awesome art!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Perfection Is Not the Point

Do you have an inner art supply monster?

Whenever I visit an art supply shop, this is what happens: 
I forget the world around me completely and I feel the exact same way as I used to feel when I was little, visiting a candy shop or toy store. There is SO much to see, there is SO much I want to try and play with! Suddenly, time doesn't exist and all my focus goes into feeling the structure of sketchbook paper, smelling crayons, trying pens, wondering about techniques and endless possibilities. Sometimes I even start sweating a little just because of all the choices there are. I can't walk out of an art supply shop or stationary shop without buying anything. Even if it's just a pencil sharpener - I will get my fix! But usually, I walk out with a lot more than just a modest pencil sharpener...
20140622 AwesomeFlyingSketchbook2a
It's even worse when visiting art supply shops in different cities or countries. 
Finding brands that are hard to find in Amsterdam makes me greedy. 
When I visited New York, my suitcase was so heavy when I travelled back home after a few days: I had collected a huge stack of sketchbooks!
Recognize this kind of behaviour? I'm sure you do!

And then what?

Some people find it so hard to start a new sketchbook or art journal. All those sketchbooks need to be filled - and the fact that they are hard to come by and kind of precious because of that, could become a threshold to crack them open. 
Have you ever felt the fear of "spoiling" your nice journals? Or do you just dive in, and see each blank page as a new corner of your creative playground. To make some kind of art everyday, to experiment and to record whatever captures your attention that day?

Is an art journal supposed to be a book full of perfect pages?

20150531 Parijs7
Not much of a view during the 4-hour train ride - still I enjoyed myself thanks to my sketchbook
To me, perfection is NOT the point. Sure, it's great to have a collection of beautiful drawings, but my art journals reflect my days. They contain memories. They help me kill time when travelling or waiting. They help clear my mind. Even a crappy drawing of a fun moment is a well kept memory. Or the other way around: a fun drawing changes how you feel about a boring moment. Perhaps the not-close-to-perfect drawings even have more character as well!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: How to Hatch - part 1

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Today we’ll get back to some basics: The hatching technique.

Next week, I’ll show you a quick drawing, using the hatching technique
I hope this inspired you to make awesome art.

Monday, June 8, 2015

4 Simple Illustrated Lunch Recipes

Working from home has a lot of benefits. No need to suit up for the home office, and during lunch time, you can quickly dive into the kitchen to prepare some good stuff to energize for the rest of the day. Except for the fried egg sandwich, the recipes above are also suitable to pack for lunch though - it'll make your colleagues jealous. I've done it often in my cubicle-job-time!

These simple recipes are yummy, plus they are easy and fun to illustrate!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

More Paris pages

Here's a few more sketchbook pages I made during my weekend in Paris. Great memories!

people sitting alone are often playing with their mobile phones; that way they sit perfectly still for a sketch

this drawing took 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water and some perseverence
quick last sketches before catching my train back home

in the train back to amsterdam

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday - Personalized Birthday Card

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

I hardly had any time to make this week’s Draw Tip Tuesday, but since it’s my birthday today , I thought I’d do a real quick one, with a festive theme!
If you happen to have ran out of wrapping paper and need some, make it yourself y filling a whole page, or use this exercise to make a personalized card.

Whatever you do, Make Awesome Art!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Paris, je t'aime!

Oh lala, how I would love to trade my Dutch accent for a French one!

This weekend I treated myself to an early birthday present and hopped on the high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris. I hardly got the chance to answer my emails, listen to a podcast and do a couple of drawings - in less than 4 hours time I was brought to a different world: Paris!

Ever since I visited last year to shoot Jean-Christophe Defline's lesson videos for the Sketchbook Skool Kourse 'Storytelling", I wanted to come back to Paris, for pleasure. We shot fantastic footage and got a quick feel of the Paris atmosphere, but when doing production work like that - you're not really there with your full attention. Things need to be checked off; great filmic shots need to be made, video lectures need to be managed and art demonstrations need to be documented. All in a short amount of time. With great results, thanks to our camera man and the charming Jean-Christophe. Storytelling starts this Friday - you don't want to miss it - there is so much good stuff in there. To learn more and to sign up, click here

So yeah, finally this weekend I went back there.
And it was even more wonderful than I thought it would be.
Right after arriving I had lunch with Jean-Christophe and we went outside to do some sketching for Sketchbook Skool's summer kourse (yes, it'll be announced soon and I promise it'll be a fun kourse!).

What followed was a two-and-a-half-day sketching spree, between visiting museums. These are my toned paper sketchbook drawings*:


Can you tell I enjoyed myself?
I think I'll be buying myself (early birthday) presents like these more often.

*The toned paper sketchbook is from Strathmore. The white details are done with a white gelpen: a Uni-ball Signo broad.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I love the smell of crayons in the morning

It's so cool to have a whole wall of whiteboard in my tiny studio. 
It's a great way to add notes to self on, but also to draw on! 
Here's what's on the whiteboard today. 


To celebrate the start of the Sketchbook Skool kourse called "Storytelling" next week (Starts June 5th!) Sketchbook Skool is doing a Krazy Giveaway!

The brilliant artists in Sketchbook Skool's Fakulty have donated an amazing collection of their original art and signed copies of their books to the Skool, and you can win a gift basket stuffed with it! How? Simply by helping to spread the word about Sketchbook Skool in this raffle, hosted by Rafflekopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is an explanation on how to enter:
For each action you take in the raffle you’ll receive an entry to win a gift basket. You can do one action, or all six. The more you do, the greater your chance to win! Here’s how:
    • 1 Entry: Follow Sketchbook Skool on Instagram.
    • 1 Entry: Pin our image on Pinterest.
    • 1 Entry: Follow us on Google+
    • 2 Entries: Tweet about this giveaway.
    • 2 Entries: Follow Sketchbook Skool on Pinterest.
    • 5 Entries: Share on your blog, website or on Facebook
To view the Raffle widget and participate, join the raffle in the widget above!

You can sign up for Storytelling right now (and bring a friend, it'll be fun!) by clicking here

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday : Draw It Like It's Hot!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
Although this little video I made is not your regular weekly draw tip... I am sure you don't mind me sharing this to celebrate that my 4-week online workshop on drawing food and illustrating recipes is starting this Monday, June 1st!
Make sure you get yourself a seat in the online classroom, by clicking here.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Getting the hang of it

That brown paper background seems to work really good with black pen, a pinch of white, grey brush pen and a dash of 1 colour.

I enjoyed doing this drawing of people listening to my husband's band playing. It felt like my pen caught up the rhythm.