Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Teaching drawing and sketching

This is my class; 6 architecture students hard at work to sketch the built environment in Maastricht.
Next to my regular job as an architect, I also gave a course of drawing and (hand)sketching for the Academy of Architecture in Maastricht (part of the Academy of Arts). It's a 4 year course to get a Masters degree in Architecture, 2 evenings and a full day a week.
I taught them the principles of linework, hatching, perspective, isometric and axonometric drawing, hand drawing, visual drawing and sketching as method of design. And more.
I finished the final session (of 7) last evening.
Very tiring but also very rewarding to do! Here you see them enthusiastically drawing a grey stone wall at 1 meter distance. It was real nice to find a new surprising challenge every week... haha.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid made a design for a fire station on the Vitra terrain (Weil am Rhein). A fantastic building.
This is not the exact representation of the ground-floor plan, but an abstract analysis of it, made from recollection. Tried to capture the motion within the building.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Frank Gehry in weil am Rhein

Two views of the Vitra Design museum, by the architect Frank Gehry. Hard to believe that these two drawings ware made on standpoints only about 30 meters apart.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Lörrach from Vitra haus

The village Lörrach as seen from the top floor of the Vitra haus.

As architects we cannot pass the area without visiting the Vitra design centre in Weil am Rhein, with an array of fantastic buildings by: Herzog and Meuron, Frank Gehry, Jean Prouvé, Buckminster Fuller, Alvaro Siza, Peter Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid and Tandao Ando. I probably forgot a few.  Now I cannot help but wonder why I never visited the area and the site before. This is the new visitors centre, a really fantastic building with some superb furniture at display.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Basel (Switzerland)

I just returned from Switzerland, on an architecture trip to Basel.
Basel and its surroundings (including Germany and France) has a lot to offer on recent top of the bill architecture. I'll post some architecture sketches later.
But let's start with a sketch of the view across the river towards the Basel Altstadt. Made while sitting on a nice terrace in the evening sun, enjoying a good Weizen beer with some colleagues. I think the church is the "Basler Munster".

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Dog house or house dog

A random doodle during a boring meeting led to this sketch.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Maastricht: St. Matthiaskerk

Quick lunchtime sketch of the St. Matthiaschurch, in the Maastricht city centre. It was good to be out sketching again; we have good weather presently, even for the final days of September.

Sunday, 28 September 2014


An emotional week.
My daughter Rianne married with Bob.
And on monday we got the message: our beloved cat, Yana, was found dead in a busy street near our house. Probably she was overrun on saturday.
We had her for almost 7 years, since January 2008. Here is a link to the post when she was a tiny kitten:
I will miss her her hungry eyes peeping under the windowshutters, whenever I started to open them in the summer mornings. We will have to find a new companion for Marsha.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Bridal bouquet

I did not want to run around the wedding with my sketchbook. But want to record my memories in some way. So I drew the bridal bouquet.
At present it is hanging to dry in front of our kitchen window, until my daughter and now son-in-law return from their wedding holiday to Scotland.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Wedding sketches

This is the only sketch I made of the wedding and its preparations. We had the hairdresser and beautician at home for the bride, our daughter Rianne. At 11 o'clock she was picked up by our now son-in-law Bob to be taken to the ceremony.
Like the French say: partir c'est mourir un peu.
But we had a beautiful day: full of sun, joy and festivities. And some tears.
A wedding like a dream.
Let's hope it's a good sign for the rest of their lives together.

I guess I am getting sentimental at old age.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Isn't she lovely

The wedding of Rianne and Bob, yesterday. What a day it was.
This is the moment where Bob called on our door to collect Rianne for the ride to the wedding ceremony in the little castle of Terworm.
A happy couple. And happy parents.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


My daughter Rianne is going to marry her friend Bob next Saturday, September 20th.
A happy moment for her, a bittersweet day for her father. That's me.
My wife and I notice that now, in the days before the event, there is a moment of reflection, of looking back. How it started, how it went and where we all arrived.
When rummaging through old stuff I found this old drawing made by Rianne. It must have been at the age of 4, the first few days in the first class of school.
Well, she is now up to a new phase in her life, with Bob, the cats and a new house.
A great thing to see both my children, Rianne and Mart, growing up like this. I am a proud father.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

USK Liège: in the papers and on TV!

I had a tough week. But what a week!
Like I said in the last post, I just returned from 4 days of sketching in Liège, on invitation by Gerard Michel and an organisation called "Emulation". We as a international group of European sketchers had a great time finding our way in Liège and drawing, drawing and drawing.
We each had to fill 5 meters of drawing, to be shown at the exhibition in the "Theatre de Liège", yesterday evening. A huge success.
The next picture shows the opening night.
Also interesting: we were interviewed by the Belgian Television, check the report in the link below.
You can see me draw, standing on a tiny balcony at least at 50 meter height, and interviews of Lapin, Michel, David and Luis.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Liège with USK

Busy days! At present i am in Liège with 11 other urban sketchers. On invitation of  Gerard Michel. Sketching around town on a 5 meter long strip of paper. Until next saturday. With Fabien Florian Luis Simonetta Imma Miguel Antoine Rolf Lapin David  and Corinne. I'll Keep you updated.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

More Body World

I have some leftover drawings of the Body World artist day in August.
Not the best drawings, but it was interesting to do.
I experimented with different materials, in the end the watercolour pencils worked best, like I showed in an earlier post.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Some years ago I made a design for a station for the local firebrigade. It was never built.
As the station was located on the terrain of the coal mine "Emma" (now totally demolished and gone without a trace) I wanted to get the idea of burning coal or cokes across.
The basic idea was a massive black concrete block, with on the elevations the imprint of fossil ferns (in the old days we could find those everywhere on the mining hills).
And in the centre a round patio, with stained glass walls in red and yellow. Yes, like coal which is burning inside. A fitting image for a firestation.

I was doodling around yesterday and suddenly the image was there. I decided to use the drawing to experiment with digital colouring in GIMP. And here we are: the original sketch and the digital result.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Moving to Meers

We had some tough weekends lately. Our daughter Rianne and her soon-to-be husband Bob (the wedding will be in three weeks......) bought a house in Meers. It's along the river Maas, near the Belgian border, some 20 km from our house.
That was a lot of work: the house stood empty for 2 years before being sold: the garden was full of weeds and the house was full of debris and dust.
Last weekend Bob and I laid the laminate floors, and even though the house is far from finished, it was fit enough to move in yesterday.
A small step for mankind, a big step for dad.
I was exhausted, fell asleep above the newspaper at 9 yesterday evening.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

More Tarbes

One evening in Tarbes I wanted to go out and draw something. Anything.
I found this quiet spot in a small sidestreet, and worked with my watercolour pencils.
It was some old, now deserted workshop from the early 20th century.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Utah beach

Two leftover sketches from the invasion beaches of Normandy, these are from Utah beach.
There are a lot of ancient WW2 tanks, boats and planes at display, in museums and set up as monuments.
The Sherman tank was at display on the invasion beach itself, just as if it had conquered the dunes on D-day.
The plane is a restored DC3 Dakota, in the museum of Ste Mère Eglise.

It seems weird to draw war machines in these troubled times, when wars seem to flare up all around us.
At least on this D-day it was clear which side was the good guys.
Who can tell today? 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Tarbes foodmarket

It's difficult to draw people without them realizing you do it. I usually set myself up quietly, with my back against a wall in the shade or something like that. Then I wait a few minutes before I unpack my stuff. It gives time to observe and look around, and to blend in.
This is a local foodmarket in Tarbes (France), held every morning next to the exit of a multi-story parking.
I think these are private farmers, because they sell only small stuff: 10 tomatoes, a few flowers and a box filled with peaches, garlic or unions.
It was next to the hotel I used to go a few years ago with a huge building project. I've drawn here before.