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.

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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

Sunday, July 26, 2015

3 things NOT to do for your creative habit

So the other day I had a conversation with someone who loves to draw but doesn't seem to get into the habit. As with every habit, you may need to push yourself a little bit before it becomes something that you have implemented in your life or schedule.
Here's 3 tips for you to give you a little (and maybe much needed) kick-in-the-pants:
1. Don't make it any bigger than it is with thoughts like: "I want to draw. I really should draw. I should make time to draw. I should pack my drawing things and then go and draw".
That first thought: Yes!!
The ones that follow, though - boo! As soon as you feel the need to draw: do it! There's always a pen around -grab it! And even if you don't have a sketchbook lying around, grab something to draw on - it could simply be the back of an envelope! 
And draw.
2. Don't make the subject too important. Are you really expecting to sit down and make a masterpiece? Do you really have to find a very specific subject?
Honestly, I think you're simply procrastinating!
Simply draw stuff that's lying around. as soon as you feel that urge or have the thought: I want to draw: don't go look for things, just draw what's there.In the drawing below, I drew my husbands little black old suitcase that's filled with all sorts of stuff he uses for his music and instruments.

I had this other conversation with someone else, who said she caught herself being a total couch potato lately. Well I don't blame you if you show any of that lazy couch potato symptoms - we all have busy schedules and at the end of the day there's not much energy left!
But to nurture that creative habit of yours - you can still squeeze in a drawing. It's not like it's as hard as getting your butt off the couch and out to the gym or something... no it's a fantastic way to wind down and to relax!
3. Don't forget drawing is something you love doing
Whether you take just 5 minutes or longer - either way it's rewarding and very satisfying too.

Friday, July 24, 2015

You don't know me but I know you

A couple of weeks ago I was at a food truck festival. It had everything good you can imagine: Great food, beautiful old (and new) food trucks and caravans, music, and a nice vibe. Music was provided by my husband and his band, Dirt Road Music Band. (Like them on Facebook!)
That's how I got to the festival in the first place. He has gigs often and sometimes I tag along, but most of the time I don't. But when there's food involved and I feel it's a great opportunity to draw, I'm in! So I got in the car with him and we drove to den Bosch, just a little over an hour from Amsterdam.
While the band was setting up their gear and instruments, I walked around, tasted some of the food and found a perfect spot to sit and draw.
After putting down my first three pen strokes, a lady came up to me and said: "Koosje?"
I was surprised because I don't know anyone in den Bosch, and she explained: "you don't know me but I know you'". She has done one of my online classes and is a Sketchbook Skool student. She even started apologizing for not drawing that much lately, but now that she saw me sketching there, the itch to draw was coming back. She didn't join me though - her husband was patiently waiting for her to move on...
I can't help it but this unexpected meeting and chat made me kind of feel like a celeb, so I had to share it with you.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Allow yourself to make mistakes

So here I was, completely consumed drawing the velvet-y, yellow, orange colours of the blushing pieces of fruit in front of me, smelling their mouthwatering sweetness. Carefully choosing the colours from my colour pencil boxes, enjoying each stroke of my hatching and cross hatching lines. Then adding a fun piece of text.
....and apparantly totally switched onto a side of my brain that doesn't think - just create. 

...only after finishing, I realized I combined words that didn't match!
So I laughed and added another another small sentence at the bottom.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: A Quick Portrait Sketch

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Today we will use a fineliner. It can be just a cheap fineliner, in fact that's even better because we want the ink to be water-soluble!
Let’s draw a portrait today - Yes, you can do it... It’s like drawing any other shape.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Off to the beach

The beach! The smell of the sea, the sound of the waves and the sea gulls, the warm wind on your skin... staying out of the sun and in a shaded area, I could spend hours, drawing and enjoying thins place.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Yummy Summer Salad Recipe

Great news:
You can learn how to illustrate recipes, and to draw food in just 4 weeks! Online, from your own lazy chair if you will. My new online boutique workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot' starts September 21!
Seats are limited, so get your seat today by clicking here!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday: Lettering with 3D effect!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Remember Last week’s juicy watercolor exercise?
Well I promised you to add some lettering so here goes!
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Monday, July 13, 2015

3 solid reasons to share your art

I share my sketchbook pages on this blog. And you are here - thank you for that! - so you're interested to see what's going on. It's because my sketchbook pages tell a story. And we all love stories, don't we?
Your art tells your story. And your story is unique. It's you. That's why you may feel vulnerable if you show your art to others.
Sure, you can keep all of your art hidden in your art journal and under the radar. But when drawing and making art is something you love doing, then why would you hide it? Ask yourself: what is the worst thing that could happen if you open up your art journal for others to see?
20150204 JDICircle Debbe

Here are 3 reasons why you should share your art:

1. Gain confidence
If you show it to people (and do it with pride!), you will be surprised how great it is to get feedback on your art! Each time you share your art with others, you will gain more confidence about your art.
2. Inspire others
Others can feel totally inspired to try your technique or approach as well. They will most likely share with you what they made - which is very rewarding!
3. Reach out to the world
Would you like to do a show, or get a commissioned job? Don't wait for “IT” to happen. You need to take action. Share your art and brag about it too! Then people will be able to find you and appreciate your art.

Speaking of bragging...

A fantastic group of foodie-artists just finished the workshop on drawing food and illustrating recipes "Draw It Like It’s Hot!", and they made awesome art!
Karinas ButternutSquashSoup
Recipe illustrated by Karina Suarez Robertson, participant in "Draw It like It's Hot"
This link brings you to all published recipes from previous participants of Draw It Like It's Hot. I am impressed with them all. And they are mouthwatering!
I've been getting a lot of requests for the boutique workshop "Draw It Like It’s Hot!", so in September, it will run again. Seats are limited, so secure yours:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer in Amsterdam!

Summer in the city! Gosh we are lucky lately, with wonderful days of warm sunny weather. 
What do you do when the weather is so gorgeous? Head outside and draw, of course!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Today's recipe

Pickling things is so easy to do, and even though the waiting is the hardest part; it's like creating a gift to your near-future-self!

This recipe is published on - where you will find my illustrated recipes and many, many others!
Oh and did you already know that I have a book out with 30 of my illustrated recipes in it? Pretty darn cool!
In Europe? Get your copy by clicking here
In the US? Get your copy by clicking here
Anywhere else? Get your copy by clicking here

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Who needs a selfie stick anyway?

You see those selfie sticks popping up everywhere. It is so funny to see people get into awkward positions for just the right shot on their smartphone at the end of the stick...
But really, who needs that if you can DRAW a selfie? Drawing self portraits really never gets boring. Results are always different, and it's a great way to try techniques and tools too. 
This one is done on Strathmore toned paper with cheap gel pens and a white color pencil.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Draw Tip Tuesday - Juicy Watercolours!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
I’m not sure what the weather is like in your corner of the world, but here in the Netherlands I am enjoying summer. Not just the warm weather, but as a foodie-artist, I love the juicy summer fruit.
So today we’re going to fill a page with some juicy watercolours!


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.