Beardless Comic Strips

Well, as mentioned, I’m on the next SBS Kourse: Polishing

The first week is “comic strips” with Danny Gregory.

Before the week began, I decided to shave off my beard and ‘stache. So you’ll see some newer self-portraits here.

I tried (and failed) to stay up all night to start Polishing as one of the first. So I started drawing my bedtime espresso and chocolate muffin. I also watched a video with Danny and drew him for about 30 minutes.

Most of these pics are in my A6 Hahnemühle sketchbook with my Lamy Safari “F” nib and Lamy ink.

late night espresso and muffin
where’s my muffin?
conversation comic strip
My day as a comic
ice cream truck (2 minutes)
mirror image
me, from photo
view of Bonn’s skyline
Danny Gregory

Complex Patterns

Week 6 of SBS Seeing Klass. Ended April 7th, 2016.

Actually, I believe — in retrospect — this may be where all the trouble began (I stopped my daily gesture drawing, I gave up drawing for hours a day, days passed without me drawing at all).

This Klass with Liz really shook me up … analyzing complex patterns seemed to be so tedious and basically impossible for me to manage.

We attempted to draw nicely patterned teacups (of which I have something ranging from zilch to “non at all”) with ink and then paint them with watercolour.

Additionally, we went out and drew some buildings.

I took on an extremely complex topic of drawing my rococo style mirror (I haven’t got many patterned things … or perhaps I’m not looking properly).

I also decided on filling my A6 Hahnemühle sketchbook … taking watercolurs completely out of the equation (because of the paper in said book).

What I kept on noticing was that the non-analysis seemed to work better for me and I kept slipping into the well-known behaviour of just playing it by ear. My brain was refusing to compromise, denying myself to slow down, look, measure, compare. It was confusing and made me doubt myself.

But I have also been reading George Leonard’s book “Mastery”, where he describes that if you attempt to learn something new, you may perceive a drop in your skill level especially if you have been whiling away on a plateau for some time.

I’m slowing getting back into my daily gesture sketching, taking it in little steps. Perhaps only 20 minutes of 30 second gestures a day. I have also started drawing a slower sketch every day or two (I’ll drop a post here too with some of  those pictures soon).

So let’s not fret too much. This was the last week of Seeing and there was a lot to learn, so that I actually believe now that I should have taken a longer break before starting the next Klass … but I’m now on the Klass Polishing at SBS … some of that stuff coming up on a blog near you soon too.

analysis of view from bedroom window
View from bedroom window
View from bedroom
View from living room window, no analysis
Patrick’s Duplo
Cappuccino cup


Teacup and mirror analysis
Rococo mirror: analysis 1
analysis 2
after analysis
Rococo mirror
Mirror before any analysis
Building opposite bakery
Our house
neighbour’s car

biros biros biros

Week 5, SketchBookSkool, Andrea Joseph, … biros and sketchbooks.
What do you need to make art?

  • paper
  • biro
  • something to draw

Did I miss something? … probably not …

So this is what I’ve been up to with a biro since Easter Friday.

  1. something blue (jeans)
  2. something new (Lamy Safari)
  3. something sweet (hedgehog … practice for a birthday present)
  4. a remote control
  5. my first 5D pic (my studio)
  6. my second 5D pic (watching an Ukrainian film on telly with wife)
  7. Life Drawing Class with a biro! (the text says: Lighthouse1917)

And this is only half of what I’ve been up to …


birds birds birds

SBS (SketchBookSkool), “Seeing” Klass, week 4 with Cathy Johnson.

Have you ever tried to sketch a tit? A starling? A sparrow? Wow, they are so fast, why can’t they stay still? But … one moment … they are doing the same 5 things over and over again. Bingo, squiggle here, curve there. Just … let … me …. … ok … bit of blue there. Wow, there’s a robin in the magnolia! Is that a pidgeon up there on that tree 200 metres from here? Oh, the lawn is crowded with blackbirds, how did that happen?

So, now I sketch birds in 5 seconds and give them a bit of colour based on memory. And I try to find out what type of birds they are, and I was never interested in birds before … well not this type anyways.

Today I sketched the birds on the spot. On the first day, I took photos of “my backbird” and drew from the photos. On the second day I looked out for birds, and the ones I saw, I drew from reference photos of The Internet. Then I tried to draw from memory (birds I’d seen one hour earlier).







Watercolouring w/ Brenda Swenson, Part 2

Ok, last day of this kourse, but I still sat down now (9 pm) and last night to fling some paint onto those watercolour sheets. It’s getting hard to find still life objects … I thought! These have all been drawn using a Lamy Safari “F” nib with water soluble, royal blue ink. The lines are continuous-contours. There’s just a break for the ring and the book. These were really great exercises and I’ll try to keep up with them.

Watercolouring w/ Brenda Swenson

Into the 3rd week of “Seeing” at SBS (, my second kourse there. Watercolouring over water soluble continuous contour lines.

This is the latest painting (Tuesday night) (about 10 minutes), going with the flow:


This was Sunday night (the date is wrong on the pic) (20 minutes), keeping those whites free, letting the paint roll:


Sunday morning (30 minutes) … very exact … using glazing, letting things dry:20160313-0830

Saturday night (artificial light), seemed messy to me, but now it’s one of my favourites, the shading, the messiness, I’m sorry, I think it’s gorgeous:20160312-2201

Stuart in b/w

Ok, before I overload the previous blog post, here are the collected results of another week at SketchBookSkool (join it!). This is the second week of the “Seeing” Klass with Koosje as teacher. We are all making selfies. And as I am currently working with Alphonso Dunn’s “Pen & Ink Drawing (a simple guide)” (buy it!) … most of my results are in … pen & ink.

Lanzarote, February 2016

Or, “How much can you sketch in 1 week?”

I was on Lanzarote in Costa Teguise for 9 days and took along 4 sketch books.
I used 3.

  • 1 Hahnemühle DINA5 sketch book soft and rough paper (good for biros and colour pencils) 40 pages (10 sheets), I think it cost 1.99€
  • 1 Moleskine pocket size watercolour sketch book, 60 pages (12.99€)
  • 1 Moleskine DINA6 journal (cahier pocket), 96 pages (three for 6.90€)

I had a travelers’ pack of watercolours (12), a mixed hair paint brush, waterbrush, colour pencils, biro, Derwent Graphik Line Maker 0.1.

And I drew and drew and drew.

A Brace of Models

Stuart: Oh, look we have two models tonight!
Torsten: No, she made a mistake, it’s ok, she’s going now.
Female Model: Hi!
Stuart: Hi, Female Model! Great, two models tonight!
Female Model: Yeah, I don’t mind. But it’s too expensive.
Stuart: Well, if it’s only about the money … we have enough.
[Stuart approaches Torsten again]
Stuart: She’s willing to stay. We can afford it, can’t we?!
Torsten: Hmm, but some of our artists already have enough on their plate with one model.
[3 minutes later, Female Model is undressed on the little stage]
Stuart: Hey, Female Model, you can thank me for this!
Female Model: Yeah, you can call the poses!

Oh, I love my Life Drawing Classes, but tonight was my last one for months. I haven’t registered for the next course, because SBS and “daily” gesture sketching is taking up enough of my precious time.

But here are the results of tonight’s “brace of models” and also a sneak peek into my second week at SBS.

So, what’s this with the paper … looks like a calendar. Yes, it is a half price Moleskine weekly calendar. I wanted something that feels and looks great, but is not too “precious” and can still, just about take watercolours (it was still expensive, for half price: 10€) .

One last pic tonight in a small, absolutely lovely Moleskine watercolour booklet (10 minutes):


OK, this is the stuff I took to Life Drawing Class tonight:


Oh, look, there’s even a picture of me in there.

Now to SBS. Well, I am absolutely blown away. I can’t believe how much of my hidden creative seam has been mined in these 12 days.

I’ll just give you something of mine to look at from this last Klass with Jill Weber … it’s all about telling stories and making books.