Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Art Journal Ideas

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Today I am not drawing, i just want to show you a few pages of my sketchbook to give you a few ideas on how to fill your art journal, because sometimes you will have little time and sometimes you will have a little bit more time, so I picked a few pages that I want to show you, to also show you my process, because I don’t always have a lot of time, and if I do, I really enjoy spending every single minute. But If I only have a few minutes, I can still make a drawing that is valuable to me and that does’t feel like it was rushed.

I hope you have fun - and if you want to learn more about art journaling, join my online workshop  Awesome Art Journaling! It starts september 7 and I will guide you through 4 weeks of art journaling to really get you into that creative habit and to get you a lot of ideas to start journaling and to keep journaling and to document your days.
I hope to see you in class! To find out more and to join me click here

Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer in Amsterdam

A few art journal pages I made in August, while enjoying summer in Amsterdam:

Sipping cool drinks on a bridge over the canal

My husband playing the mandoline lying down in the park

Pretty park people

Friday, August 28, 2015

A little Art Journaling Tip

Here's a little draw tip for you:

When you are keeping an art journal, you don't need to fill each page with a perfect drawing. You may not have time to fill a whole page in one go. And hey, telling yourself that the completely blank page should be filled with a fantastic piece of art seems high pitched and isn't very motivating if you just feel like putting pen on paper.
So that's what you do: let the ink flow and enjoy your pen lines on the paper. Choose to draw details of your day. If you do a few of them throughout the day or the week, your double page will be filled in the end.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Hatching With Colour Pencils

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Today I am not wearing my Blue Suede shoes. I'm drawing them.
To add colour, I'll use color pencils. The past weeks have all been about the hatching technique here on Draw Tip Tuesday, so that’s what I will be doing today as well: I will hatch with my colour pencils, and curve my lines along with the shape, to emphasize the shapes.
There's more where this came from! Follow me on YouTube by clicking here

Why don’t you pick a colorful subject today and try this? By choosing simple every-day items, you can make awesome art!
If you like this video, you will enjoy my online class Awesome Art Journaling a lot! It starts next week, so make sure you won’t miss it! click here to find out more and join my class today!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Why You Should Stack Habit Upon Habit

Do you have any daily habits? Maybe they even feel like little rituals in your day?
Like: making yourself a nice cup of tea in the afternoon, refreshing your brain with a workout, or kickstarting your day with strong coffee - to name just a few.
If you want to create a habit, it may help to stack that habit onto another good habit. For example: If you enjoy drinking your morning coffee, why don't you add to the ritual by taking the time to make a drawing?
It'll be a lot easier than starting a habit from scratch, when you link it to another one.
If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up about it. It's okay. Just make sure that the day after, you get right back into it again. The longer you wait picking it back up, the harder it will be. However, once your creative habit is in your system, you'll start missing it whenever you don't keep to it.
It's a win-win situation!
I hope this helps you to make awesome art!
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If you want more help: Join my online workshop  
Awesome Art Journaling in September. I will guide you through a month of art journaling to get you into that creative habit, and stick to it!
Click here to find out more and join me starting september 7!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Hatching Round Shapes

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Remember last week’s episode in which I showed you the hatching technique?
Well what if your subject has a rounded shape? Should you use your hatching lines differently?
First of all: there are no rules. There are many ways.

There's more where this came from! Follow me on YouTube by clicking here

Thank you for watching this video! I hope it inspired you to make awesome art!
If you want to learn more, head on over to my website koosjekoene.nl and join one of my classes today!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Travel Journal pages: Norway 3

Last year when I was in New York, I visited a couple of art supply shops and came back to Amsterdam with my trolley being super heavy because of the stacks of sketchbooks I found of sizes and brands that aren't so easy to get by here in the Netherlands. They are great souvenirs and will last quite a while too! 
One of the sketchbooks I found there was a Strathmore toned paper book. In the netherlands, you can only get them with a ring binding and a flappy front and back, this one is nicely bound with a hard cover.
I had been drooling over Miguel Herranz's toned sketchbook pages, and even made a little drawing of my coffee in Danny's grey toned sketchbook when we met in Amsterdam in 2013. Both of them had told me that there is quite a challenge in finding the right way to make good use of the toned paper and to keep at it until the very last page. Others too told me that the toned background is fun but tricky. 
So I knew it was time to try it myself. If you follow me here on my blog or elsewhere on social media, you will have seen many of these toned paper sketches in the past months.

I found that the brown paper background seemed to work really good with black pen and a pinch of white. I used a white gel pen for bright whites, but a white colour pencil could do too. Sometimes I would add a dash of 1 single colour with colour pencil. A grey brush pen was wonderful to add some shadows, or to create a bit of a 'blurry' background. Watercolours did not work at all, colour pencils however, gave a bright effect. I discovered though that in all drawings I should use a graphic approach and stay away from super realistic pencil or colour pencil drawings. Think black pen lines were mostly the best basic starting point.

And then, finally, during my stay in Norway, when I had hours of drawing time, I sat down at the small kitchen table to draw the kitchen. At first I made a black line drawing and added shading with hatching lines.  I was pretty happy about the result - but I wanted to get all the colours in too. So I grabbed my colour pencils and instead of colouring each surface evenly, I decided to keep on hatching.
 So finally, almost at the end of the sketchbook, Ifound the right approach for this toned paper background! Such a revelation!
I discovered not just the technique that worked best for me, but also the subject that works best: rather than drawing an object, I should draw (part of an) interior!
So I made another interior drawing, of the living room (in the back, you can see the blue kitchen table I made the kitchen-drawing at).
At the last day, I sat myself down on a tree trunk in the front garden to draw the cottage again and played around a little more with my coloure pencils.
Boy am I glad I bought another one of those sketchbooks: I have one with grey paper and I might just dedicate it to drawing interiors only. It'll take a while to fill it because these drawings are quite elaborate, but that's okay - it may be a great project for winter!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Travel Journal pages: Norway 2

These are the last bits and pieces from my travel pages I did in Norway. I am pretty amazed by how much drawings I made during just a one week vacation. It seems like the world without wifi has slower hours.
Thanks for stopping by to look at my vacation memories of this July!

We didn't mind that one day of rain: it meant we had a reason to start the fire place
The Jetty, where we also swam, at the Oslofjord
Random building in Gamlebyen
I started this drawing while waiting for lunch in Gamlebyen. I added some more details and the color later.

As I promised in an earlier blogpost (here), I will share a few more pages from this trip: the last pages in my toned paper sketchbook and what I discovered about it. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Forgetting everything around you - Flow!

Art Journaling is a great way to draw the world around you AND forget about it at the same time.

The other day I went to the park for a picnic with family/friends and of course I took my sketchbook with me. This is the page I drew during the picnic:

And this is what I looked like doing so:
Photo by Cathy Levesque

I am actually sitting with my butt towards everybody, totally consumed with my drawing, in the meantime listening to the chatter of conversation around me. Luckily, my company was very forgiving, and they all enjoy the creative process. See what I mean: I was completely in the flow of drawing and forgot about the rest!

During the picnic, we also had a blind drawing contour drawing (yes, even the people who never draw, joined in!) and got crazy signing our drawings using our feet.

In my online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling', you can join the fun too. I will guide you through 4 weeks of drawing daily and help you to start and keep your creative habit. Find out more and enroll by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Travel Journal pages: Norway 1

 Like I promised, here are a few more sketchbook pages I did during my 1 week vacation in Norway.
The summerhouse we stayed in. On the porch - the banjo man I always bring with me.

This doesn't look like my husband, but I don't mind

Even my sketches got lazy - I fell asleep right there for a little nap just a little after putting this drawing away.

A little narration to my drawings
These drawings were all done in a Strathmore toned paper sketchbook, with black rollerball pen and a white gelpen (uniball Signo broad)
The one on top also has red color pencil added.

I'd like to tell you about the aha-moment I had about how to use this toned sketchpaper best. It happened when I was filling the last few pages of my sketchbook.
It will take another blogpost though so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday - Hatching Shades

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Even though you may be familiar with the hatching technique, here’s a quick draw tip on how to use it. It certainly won’t do any harm repeating techniques!

Hatching is basically placing a lot of lines next to each other to fill a shape. If you have only pen and pencil, it’s a great way to color your drawings, using a variety of shades from light to dark. It’s also a way to draw shadows and to give shape and form to the subjects you draw.

I hope this video is helpful (subscribe to my YouTube Channel if you want more)- why don’t you try the hatching technique yourself today? I’m sure you will make awesome art!
If you want to learn more, click here to join one of my classes today!

Monday, August 10, 2015

3 Habits You Could Do Without

Do you like to create things? Do you, in fact, love it?
And does it make you feel good? You want to make art?
Believe it or not, that makes you an artist.
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 You may feel that the word or title ‘artist’ is too high aimed and you may find it hard to call yourself one.
It’s just a label. Allow yourself to be an artist. Therefore, you need to be a little selfish every now and so often.
As an artist, you need to make time to take time. To make art.
There may be a few habits that you could do without and it would save you time if you did.




Here’s a little help with that:

1. Stop thinking about what others may think about you.
Even though you may think you know what they think: as long as they don’t share it with you, it’s none of your business - so why would you waste any time or energy worrying about it?
2. Stop worrying about your artwork.
When you are worried whether your efforts will result in an excellent piece of art or not, it can be very hard to start at all.
Worrying about something does not change the outcome. So stop the self-sabotaging and just start. Make your goal to enjoy the process and you’ll be much more likely be happy about the result as well.
3. Stop taking yourself too seriously.
You’re an artist, after all! You need humor and a free mind to get inspired and to create.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Playing and Sketchbook Skool

This week I had a conversation over email with a student of mine. She has participated in several of my online classes as well as in Sketchbook Skool. 

She gave me valuable feedback about her experiences in the Sketchbook Skool Kourse 'Playing that ran in July.
A little explanation: The lessons in the Playing series (the 4-week kourse ''More Playing" just started this Monday - you can still join by clicking here if you want) have been quite different from our previous kourses in Sketchbook Skool. Before, in Sketchbook Skool we have offered 6-week kourses, in which we feature 6 different teachers and give an insight on their approaches to making art and a peek in their studios. After summer, all of these awesome kourses will still be available on www.sketchbookskool.com for anyone who wants to start or keep a creative habit.  
So anyway, in this email conversation she asked me about 'the future' of Sketchbook Skool. Since I've been asked this more often in the past weeks, I thought I'd share my thoughts about this on my blog as well:

The playing series is definitely NOT the last thing we produced in SBS. We are planning great things for January. Planning for the new year rather than for autumn,  will give Danny and me space and time to work on other projects too.We are still not exactly sure where we'll go with SBS, and in a business-sense that may not be smart, but if we look at SBS as an art project, it does make sense. We may try other things and get plenty new ideas that we could share via SBS at some point.

I believe that the initial idea of sharing all kinds of different approaches in one class, by different teachers from around the world is what makes SBS so unique, but that doesn't mean we should do only that. After all, we are artists and we like to experiment and develop and learn new things. Also, producing a Kourse each semester is not doable with a small team like ours and that's okay, especially since we want to keep making art ourselves and take up projects for ourselves. And the wonderful thing is that now we know for a fact that we have a very loyal Kommunity that will understand and forgive us for trying to find the right balance.

To finish this post visually: here's a little drawing I made a while ago.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Travel Journal pages: Oslo

Traveling is the best excuse to draw. A Lot. Especially when you're on a holiday and time is not an issue: there's plenty of it!
Here's a bunch of my travel journal pages of my visit to Norway. We first went to Oslo. I will share more pages, of my drawings at the Oslofjord later.

Sketching makes the wait feel a little less longer
Our AirBnB apartment in Oslo
The owners of the apartment are coffee geeks. Can you tell?

The girl in the back waved at me when she noticed me sketching and signaled if I could show my page. When I left, I went up to her table to show what I did - she loved it. The woman with the glasses (on the left page) was outside smoking a cigarette when I left and she too was curious. Turned out she's an artist herself!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Watercolour Bugs!

Watercolors can be rather unpredictable and that may scare you, but actually, it’s a lot of fun! You need just a tiny bit of paint and some water to start making art.
I created 4 little colorful bugs and could go on forever, but I won’t - I will leave you to it. You could create a bug pattern like this - you could let the paint dry and add more details or just leave them dry like this.

Whatever you do, enjoy the luscious colors and the magic of the watercolors mixing into each other, and make awesome art!

If you want to learn more, have a look on my website koosjekoene.nl and join one of my classes today!

   Want more videos? Subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Are You An Early Bird?

20150801 feathers
You know what they say: The early bird catches the worms!
In case you missed it: I am offering my online drawing course 'Just Draw It' again in October. It seems like a long time before it starts, and you may be wondering why I am blogging about this right now.
Well... it's because today is the very last day for you to take advantage of the early bird fee. For 6 weeks full of drawing fun, instead of $99, you pay $89!
Just Draw It is a popular drawing course full of drawing techniques. During the 6-week course I help you to get rid of 'I-can't-draw-that'-thoughts by taking things step by step in online videos, images and text. Together with your class mates (each in your own time zones) you will see a lot of development and growth in your drawings. 
This course is for both beginners and the more advanced.
So what are you waiting for?
To sign up and save $10, click here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hungry? Eat like The King!

After seeing 'The Fat Elvis' on the menu in a restaurant (which is a baked pie, inspired Elvis Presley's favourite breakfast -a sandwich with Peanut butter, banana and bacon), I HAD to illustrate this recipe!

Would you like to learn how to illustrate recipes? You can! I can teach you in 4 weeks - join my online worlshop on drawing food and illustrating recipes 'Draw It Like It's Hot!'!
It's $69 and starts September 21. Click here to find out more

Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Friday!

Just because it's Friday, here's a collection of yummy strawberries for you, drawn with colour pencils on a watercolour background wash.


...and an early morning sketch I did while soaking up some vitamin D in the early morning sun 
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Water Soluable Ink Painting!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Last week we made this sketch, and used this fineliner with soluble ink. Today we will need water and a brush.

   Want more videos? Subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Why You Should Always Ask Why

Life is all about learning. It doesn't matter what path you're on, whatever age you are, whatever part of the world you're in: experiences change us and make us smarter. And if you, like me, like to work smarter, not harder, you can learn from other people's experiences too.
20150720 why
If you'd ask me to pick two things I learned in the past year, then would be:
1. Time is valuable and you’ll never have enough of it.
2. (which is related to 1) Always ask ’Why?’
Asking this very simple question helps you get your priorities straight.


-You want to develop a creative habit.
Ask yourself ‘Why’. Because when I am creating, it makes me feel happy.
Perfectly solid reason.
-To develop your creative habit, whether it’s drawing, knitting, sculpting, cooking, painting or anything else: you’re going to need to carve out time in your schedule.
Why? Because otherwise life gets in the way and before you know it, time has gone by without you getting the chance to do what you truly love. And you will feel frustrated - over and over again.
-You might catch yourself doing something else that seems more important, and guess what? It takes up that single bit of time you planned for creating. Resulting in disappointment and frustration.
Why? Because you didn’t ask yourself ‘Why?’.
Why is answering your email right now more important than taking out your sketchbook and draw? Because there’s someone waiting for my reply. Are you sure about that? Would you rather work on other people’s agendas than holding onto your own? I’m sure they can wait for a little bit, and if it’s urgent - they’ll call you.
Close that email inbox and instead, work on that piece of art that is waiting for you.
Scratching your creative itch is way more urgent than answering emails, checking your Facebook feed, doing dishes or laundry and all other forms of distracting procrastination out there.
Why? Because when you are creating, it makes you feel happy. You said so yourself!
Ps. I don't want to encourage any procrastination, just a little inspiration in this 2,5 minute video starring a 4-year-old we can learn from, and C.K. Lewis: click here to watch it