Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dreaming for Draw Tip Tuesday

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Sometimes, it can be quite intimidating, to have all these fresh empty pages in your art journal, waiting to be filled by YOU, the Artist.
What if you don’t have any ideas about what to draw?
Well here’s a suggestion: Dream!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hatching and Sketching

Sometimes, at the end of the day when it's already dark, I get frustrated that I still didn't get my daily drawing done. So then I just sit down, put something in front of me, place a lamp beside/above it and draw. I made this drawing of a pair of shoes, while sitting on the couch, sipping a cup of herbal tea and watching a movie on tv with one eye. It was wonderful to be absorbed in the hatching. Done with a fountain pen (Lamy safary) filled with carbon ink:
More Hatching! I took out a good old black Bic ballpoint pen, and started drawing the condiments on the table of a Sechuan restaurant in the centre of Amsterdam, while waiting for my dinner companion, who called to say that he was running a little later. That gave me 15 minutes of drawing time. So I got the basics in, took a picture with my phone for reference, and later that night when I got back home, I sat up in bed and did the rest of the hatching. It was late, I was tired, and it was so relaxing, at some point I felt myself actually dozing off while hatching!!
The next day, I looked at it again and saw it needed a little bit of background or colour so I added the yellow watercolour:

There is ALWAYS something interesting to draw. And if you really want to - you can find and make time for it. Even a quick 5-minute scribble can be very rewarding.

If you need a little help, making time to do what you love, and to fill your art journal pages every day, you can still join my 4-week online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling' for only $69. I will guide you through those weeks and give you a kickstart on a daily drawing habit. 
Join me by clicking here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Art Journal Pages

 These are the art journal pages I did in Clermont-Ferrand last weekend:
The flight took about 1.5 hour, so I had a nice pocket of time to draw my surroundings. I felt the guy next to me eying the pages curiously, but he didn't dare saying anything. I wonder if he would have, if I had also added colour, pulling out waterbrush and mini watercolor kit... The flight was a bit bumpy at some points, so here and there the lines are a bit wobbly, which, in my eyes, adds character to this drawing.
Haven't worn any other shoes since buying these - I totally love them!

What a treasure, this small tea shop around the corner of the Cathedral! I came back the next day again to warm up after spending several hours outside, and chatted with the owner and her daughter. I Showed them my sketchbook and talked about the event 'Rendez-vous du carnet de Voyage', which I was there for.
Stopped for a quick coffee here and drew the people. When I left, I discovered the bar was called 'Bar Des Beaux Arts': Bar Of Fine Arts. Perfect for this weekend full of inspiration and art.

A quick drawing I did while waiting for my lunch. I used one of those multicoloured pencils, I found at a museum shop when I was in Madrid this spring.

I just had to stop to draw this cute cafe in the middle of Jardin Lecoq from the 1930s. There were so many bright reds there, that contrasted wonderfully with the green window frames. I limited myself to a red, green and blue pencil.

I hardly ever do this: take a photo of a building, view or street, and then draw from that for reference. But now I did. I had a lovely walk around town and took some pictures on my way. Then it started to get dark and wanted to enjoy a relaxed last evening in my hotel room. There, I used the photos for reference, and really enjoyed the different way of looking at shapes and shadows, then when drawing 'live'. I added the drawing of the door the next morning, in the train. Again, it was a bit of a bumpy flight, and it came out way wobblier than I intended.
...and a drawing on the flight back home to Amsterdam on Monday morning, where a pile of work was waiting for me!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Update

I am excited to share with you that Sketchbook Skool klasses will begin again in January — and that you can sign up today!
When Danny and I founded Sketchbook Skool about a year ago, our basic goal was to inspire people. To ignite them into a habit of sketchbook keeping that they never want to miss again in their lives.

Are we succeeding, you may wonder?
Well, I'm not going to bore you with a success story, or with an epic story about the ups and downs of the life of an entrepreneur, about following artistic paths, finding the way to keep creative habits, and balancing work, art, life...
Let's skip that whole bit. Because I am so passionate about it, and I want the whole world to know about it, I could talk for hours about Sketchbook Skool. But I won't.
Why not just simply show you what Sketchbook Skool Students have been up to lately?

So without further ado... Here's a bunch of examples of happy Sketchbookers

Lesley Hilson Bergen created a video about the homework she did in Danny's "Storytelling" klass:

Helen Leigh-Phippard, Student in "Beginnings" blogged:  

"So it’s the last week of “Beginnings”, my first Sketchbook Skool kourse.  I’ve done my homework and posted it in the klassroom, I’ve given my feedback on the last week of skool and I’m feeling kind of sad that it’s over.  But I’m looking forward to having some time to build on everything I’ve learned (and that’s a HUGE amount) and practice, practice, practice and develop some of those skills over the the next months or so.  And I’m also excited about moving on to doing another kourse in the new year – because one thing I do know is that now I’ve started I have no plans on stopping. I hope to be in Sketchbook Skool until I’m 100 or dead, which ever comes first!"

Find her blog here

Sketchbook Skool student Cathy turned her homework in "Storytelling" into an illustration job, it's published here
You can read about Liz's experiences in "Beginnings", in her wonderful Blogposts, Here.
Below, one of the sketches she made of her Greyhound Tanzi, after taking Roz Stendahl's klass in 'Beginnings'

A Sketchmeet in New York City on a sunny Sunday in October:

If you want to join the thousands of students drawing like crazy at Sketchbook Skool, sign up for one of the kourses at sketchbookskool.com

Travel Journal pages

Yesterday, I posted that road trip drawing I did in Switzerland. Here is a bunch of other drawings I did during my stay in Switzerland in October:
Sketching Family

Out for lunch in St. Gallen on a rainy day. The women who owned the place saw what I was doing, and she kept grabbed my Sketchbook (while I was drawing!), bringing it to the back of the restaurant to show her employees. It was very funny and it was lovely to see how impressed she was with this mediocre sketch.

The longer I looked at this church, the stranger I found its architecture, with unexpected corners everywhere.
My husband's feet and a pot of tea back home.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


At the moment, I am using a canson sketchbook. I often use Moleskine books, because of their wonderful quality, and because they are easy to find here in the Netherlands. 
But every now and then, I want an extra challenge, and when I find new sketchbooks that look and feel right, I buy and try them. 
In fact, when I was in New York a few weeks ago, I visited 3(!) art supply shops and came back to Amsterdam with a huge stack of sketchbooks, so I have a supply for quite a lot of months to come.

Back to my Canson sketchbook. I'm not too fond of it. The paper is a bit too thin, so watercolorus make the pages wrinkle. I don't mind that really, but somehow, the book and I haven't become the best of friends, even though often, when I try a new book, it takes a few pages of getting used to each other. this one: not so much. Maybe it's also because I've been in a rollercoaster of things happening in my life, and many pages in this sketchbook are filled with half-hearted drawings or hasty sketches. Which is a shame. 
On the other hand, it's a reflection of my state of mind as well...
And then there is this unwritten rule I keep: I need to fill a sketchbook before I start a new one. So I keep on going, taking the challenge.

Anyway, this drawing here, is my favorite drawing in this sketchbook so far.
It was in Switzerland. We (my husband, his cousin, and I) had a few hours drive from Bern to Davos. Road trippin'!
I requested to sit in the back ("are you sure?"), so I could retreat a little to do some work on my laptop without being anti-social, with a rewarding amount of time left, to make a drawing of my travel companions. Glad I don't get car sick! Lucky me.
 Done with a brown fineliner and a pentel brown ink brushpen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reporting from Clermont-Ferrand

Although I came back on Monday and now it's back to business as usual, I'd still like to report on my visit to Clermont-Ferrand.

Wait what? Where?
Clermont-Ferrand. It's in France. In the middle of France. Some say, in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by a chain of dormant vulcanoes, and in an industrial area, this city is a place where you don't end up accidentally. Every year however, a festival of travel art journals takes place here: "Rendez-vous du Carnet de Voyage"

I thought it would be a fun experience to go there and to get inspired by the sketchbook artists who participate, and by their art. At the event, there are booths for participating artists, where they display their work and where you get to actually hold their personal art journals and flip through the pages on which they document their lives. For example, you can see, feel and if you want, even smell the sketchbooks of great leading artists like Lapin and Miguel Herranz, but also find out about new artists, like I did by discovering the work of Titwane, Cendrine Bonami Redler and Benjamin Flao. And a lot of others! To name a few that stood out for me: Joel Guevara, Santi Salles, Lluisot, Lolmède and Gabriele Genini.

I was lucky to be in the company of Jean-Christophe Defline, my pal from Paris, and fervent Sketchbook Skool Student AND teacher (his lesson in 'Storytelling' is seriously amazing and fun). We spent 5 hours at the event, eyeballing all the fantastic art, pointing out drawings to each other and chatting with the artists in their booths. 
Our timing was perfect, because we found Lapin at the book signing department, just when he was wrapping up and going for a break, so we had lunch with him, his wife and super cute daughter, and Miguel.
Quite sheepishly, Miguel Herranz and I look into the camera. So happy to finally be meeting one of my heroes on whom I've had an art crush ever since I first discovered his blog.
Lapin draws Jean-Christophe Defline
Me getting nervous about lapin drawing me
Lapin eased my nerves by handing me his seventies kit he uses for night sketching

Miguel Herranz drawing Lapin drawing me.
I love how Lapin drew my freckles! (and was kind enough to leave out the pimples that had suddenly popped up in my face that morning)
Miguel then also drew my portrait. Afterwards, he handed me a button to make up for it, haha. Although I love the portrait, he was feeling a bit sorry.
Lolmède in his booth
I have been drooling over Cendrine Bonami Redler's drawings
The next morning, a bunch of SketchbookSkoolers met up for a Sketch Meet

We all struggled to capture that massive, black cathedral in our sketchbooks

And I miserably failed, but had fun anyway.

I actually like the quick warm-up drawing of the cathedral, in my mini sketchbook better.

...And the drawing I did of the statue opposite of the church,  in my mini sketchbook.

I hope you liked this little report! I'll share my travel pages of my trip later, in another blogpost.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday - A simple recipe

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
In my online workshop on drawing food and illustrating recipes 'Draw It Like It's Hot', the participants are having great fun making food doodles ('foodles'), and creating their illustrated recipes using composition tricks, colours, pretty lettering and combining materials. Some of them are great cooks and there are even professional chefs in the group, but most of them will agree with me that you don't need to be a chef to illustrate a recipe.
Neither do you need to be Van Gogh to Make Awesome Art. Be creative and keep it simple, and that will get you a long way.

It's not too late to enroll in my workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling.' 4-weeks long, together we'll be filling our art journal pages, and I will help you with fun tips and tricks, drawing prompts, exercises and assignments. You'll get a mix of videos and tutorials, images and step-by-step instructions to delve from and get a nudge, to make drawing a creative habit in your busy life.

Join me! It's only $69 and we started just yesterday, so you can jump right in. Click here to join.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nothing to draw? Look out of the window!

Art Journaling can be about ANYTHING.
You think you have nothing to draw? Look out of the window and draw.
My online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling' starts TODAY. Join me in 4 weeks of drawing fun and a little kick-in-the-but to make awesome art every day.

4 weeks. Tips, tricks, videos, supportive class mates, and personal feedback from me. For only $69
What are you still waiting for? Click here to enroll now

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ready for Take off?

Draw Tip:
No time to draw? Draw while you're travelling!

What do you do when you are on your way somewhere? Stare out of the window? Playing a game on your phone? Text messaging? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram? Great ways to spend your time, but why don't you consider taking your sketchbook with you when commuting? It's a great excuse for people watching, and to get some art journaling done. 

Just a 10 minute train ride can get you going and give you great practice. Long distance flights are perfect to really take your time to study shapes, gestures and forget about everything else.

I teach an online workshop to get you going on your daily art habit. "Awesome Art Journaling" starts TOMORROW, costs $69 for 4 weeks of videos, my personal feedback and support, and lots of tips, tricks and extras! What are you waiting for? Join me in a month of Awesome Art Journaling by clicking here

Friday, November 14, 2014

No inspiration? Sit down and draw!

So you have your sketchbook or artjournal with at all times, just in case. But then, you hear yourself think: "I have no inspiration." or "There's nothing to draw."

Well, think again. Or better yet: Sit down. And draw.
This drawing, for example, was done on a lazy evening when visiting family. Videos were playing, every now and then a music instrument was picked up and played on, we were laughing and chatting. I sat in the corner of the couch and simply drew my surroundings.
That's it. We need to stop thinking and just do it. Sit down. And draw.

With that attitude, you can create pages in your art journal that contain great memories that photos could never cover. In each page, you will learn new things and make progress. Some you will like more than others, but whatever the results are: your life is SO worth journaling about!

You can make it a habit, and in my online workshop "Awesome Art Journaling", I guide you through 4 weeks of drawing fun. You'll get tips and tricks, and a push to make awesome art every day.
It starts this Monday November 17. Warning: it's quite possible you will catch the sketchbug!
Join me for only $69 by clicking here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

No time to draw? Then MAKE time!

"I love drawing, but I just don't have time for it"

It's quite possible you say this, or a similar version of this sentence, every so often.
I will be the first to admit that I make a complaint like this regularly. As soon as I hear myself saying this, I tell myself to stop complaining and to just MAKE time.
It's not that hard. I get my daily drawings done during my lunch break, or when going out for a coffee-break.

And in weekends or evenings, instead of watching crappy tv shows, I will take time to make more time consuming drawings.
I'm just saying, do whatever you want with this. But I know you can do this too. You just need to be a little clever with your schedule and time.

If you need a little kick-in-the-butt to get that creative habit going, you can join my online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling'. For only $69 you will drawing for four weeks and get those creative juices flowing! It starts November 17. Click here for more info and to enroll now

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Draw Tip Tuesday - some basics

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
Just touching upon a few basics for you today.

If you want to learn more, you can still join my online drawing course 'Just Draw It!'
Click here to enroll.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It's small things that make life worth drawing

I really believe in those small moments, a dash of colour, a wonderful taste, a smell or piece of music... These are all things that make life worth drawing. 
 Of course, drawing the things around you takes a little bit of practice. But that's the beauty of it: while you practice, you're living the moment even more. 
And if you need a little help on learning techniques: well, just take a course. 

What a coincidence: I am teaching one!

"Just Draw It!" is an online drawing course in which you learn various drawing techniques that will push your skills to the next level. For only $99 you will have access to the course website: I am there for you during 5 weeks, with videos, step-by-step instructions and tutorials, and personal feedback on everything you post on the course website. In a small group of classmates from all over the world, you will see your own work improve, as well as theirs, and learn from each other too. 

We are starting TOMORROW, so click this link to enroll today!