Yesterday evening was ‘model thursday’, a weekly gathering with colleques around a model. The model was great and she wore a wonderfull but challenging dress. As it was yesterday you often think, better yet, you know that when the light areas are warm the shadow parts are cool. Its one of those ‘laws’ of light so to speak. But sometimes those warm vs. cool parts are so subtle that you think your eyes play tricks. It makes it even harder when the fabric has a warm colour and messes around with the coolness in the shadows. I often find it very helpfull to just walk away and come back a little later. Your sight has been resetted after which I make a quick decision of the distribution of the warm and cool parts. A little bit disappointing then to see that the camera doesnt really registers the subtle colours…

When left alone wall climbers can take over complete buildings. Just this saturday I was making a little biketour and saw a shed in somebody’s garden. A climber had taken over the roof and it looked like the little shed had a full head of green hair. However when maintained they can look amazing and add something extra to a building. Just had to make this weekend-scribble….I was exhausted and even lost my flipflops.

Sometimes a model walks in and you think:  ‘how on earth am I going to get that colour?’. With the cool purples in the light and the warm orange purples in the shadows. I was struggling with cadmium red and ultramarine, when suddenly a colleague put some permanent pink (magenta) on my palette. I mixed it with my ultramarine and tadaa like magic the colour appeared. Added some white for the light areas and some cadmium orange for the shadows and I was all set.


Do not ask me why…its just because I can and I just love those scene’s where you think: why?, what happened here?, what is going to happen now? Situations that let your imagination go wild and in every direction possible because you dont know the answer. Like those newsphotos that appear weird and strange because you dont know the exact context.

Last evening I found myself quilty of creative escapism. Wanted to wander on my flipflops on some deserted faraway tropical island. Did just that and it felt good. Building up a scene from scratch is really cool to do because it is like a sandbox and you can do everything you want, no limits. It is a simple scene though but playing with the form of the clouds and trees is great fun. I kept the guy rough because in the landscape he is tiny, but I added the bigger sketch.

Drawing and painting from observation is great but drawing and painting from indirect observation is even greater to do because its a bit of being in personal unexplored territory. The subject is no longer right in front of you but somewhere floating inside you and while its travelling towards the canvas its exposed to all kinds of experiences, feelings and technical skill (remember the coffee pot!). Its no longer the subject like everybody can see it, its now YOUR unique subject.  A couple of mornings ago I was bringing the kids to school by bike and we were just passing some birch trees. Which is not very spectacular because we live in the country side and there are lots of trees around. But the sun was still low and it lit up the leaves of these birches in a warm yellowish-gold light as if it was autumn and the leaves are almost ready to let go. However it is spring, the leaves are bright green and still soft to the touch because their brand new. I watched for a while…didnt make any sketches or photos and after dropping the kids I went to my studio and start sketching from memory. Today I worked out the sketches on canvas and these are now my birches.