Sketching at NDSM

Sketching at NDSM on Saturday with the Amsterdam Urban Sketchers—just like in the good old days of 2014-5. A chance at least to catch up on Dudley’s hair, and hang with some sketchers. But I realised just how rusty I’ve got at sketching. When I lived in Amsterdam, I wouldn’t think twice about whipping it out. With sketching, the more you do, the easier it gets to do.

Exam sketches

Exam sketches. Maybe it’s not a great sign that I have time to draw the other students in my Dutch exams. Maar wat kan ik doen? I just get a bit fidgety. They’re real quick ones though. Writing is probably what I do best in Dutch. Listening to it, and actually trying to speak it, is a different story.


A print of Westhoek at 15×7″ on its way from Etsy to Alicia in Washington. (Thank you Alicia.) Printed on 230gsm Olmec fine art paper by King of Herrings @kingherrings.

Painted in ink, plus pencil and black biro. This is the view of the Oudebildtdijk from the sea dike at Westhoek. No one who isn’t Dutch can actually pronounce “Oudebildtdijk”. It’s impossible. But it’s the longest street in the Netherlands, and where I live.

Ballpoint pen portraits

I’ve wanted to draw something with a Bic biro for ages—that indigo blue kills me. Then I found that spraying a bit of isopropanol makes the ink run, and you get this great watery effect. (Though it seems to be only the magenta pigment that runs. The cyan doesn’t seem to run much).

Drawn on 300g brilliant white Clairalfa inkjet paper.

The Bob Mortimer (the bottom one) was the first I tried with the isopropanol. It looks OK… but there are probably too many lines going on. Less is definitely more when you get it right. The drawings above Bob are a lot more like it.

Bob & Dylan

Bob and Dylan. Dylan and Thomas.
This is No.3 (so far) in my series of pub evenings with people I’d like to meet but obviously never will. I’d ask a few questions, but mostly I think I’d just let them do the talking. Or if they don’t want to talk, that’s fine too. Nothing wrong with just sitting and looking at one another.

Portrait of Morrissey

Thursday is pathetic—a portrait of Morrissey. Possibly with bigger hair than he actually has these days.

I wasn’t keen on Morrissey when he first appeared. Then I really got into him. I got him. Then I went off him again. Then I got back into him again. Funny how it goes. I think it’s his uncompromisingness that keeps appealing.

Monty Don [print]

A print of Monty Don at 12×12″ on its way from Etsy to Ajae in Portland. Thank you Ajae. Printed on 230gsm Olmec fine art paper by King of Herrings @kingherrings.

Drawn in pen, gel pen, pencil, crayon, colour pencil and charcoal.

Monty says place them two to three inches apart. Don’t you just love Monty Don? I do. He’s the most reassuring, calming person you could watch. Like Bob Ross, but for gardening. Total Zen. I’ve never had reason to see a urologist, but if I ever do, I hope it’s Monty Don putting on the rubber gloves.