Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ponte de Arrábida - Memories from Portugal

There are more bridges in Oporto, but this one has a view towards the ocean. 
What appealed to me in this sight was the fact that the horizon was visible through the structure of the bridge. And with a lot of sunshine the white bridge is a special thing to see.
The reference pictures were made by my daughter Mariska, from an open spot in the gardens of the Palàcio Cristal. We were almost at the same height as the bridge. 

More information about this painting (size, colours used) can be found on

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Von Gimborn Arboretum - under the trees

The Von Gimborn Arboretum is located in the middle of The Netherlands and it is really worth visiting, even if you do not intend to paint it.
A collection of trees is always interesting, in springtime it's mostly green. 
Lots of shades of green! 
And yet there is still space for sunlight coming through the branches, so the ground is already covered with greens in all possible varieties.
Here we found a nice corner, inviting me to paint it. My daughter made me a few reference pictures and here is the result!

More information about this watercolour (size, colours used etc.) can be found at

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sakura - and Watercolour Markers

There is something new in watercolour - world to have fun with: Watercolour Markers! 
My daughter gave me a box with 6 colours and I had to try them as soon as possible. 
As described in the instructions I found on the internet, they have two tips, a sharp one for precision and a brush type tip for filling in larger spaces. 

I tried all that of course, with and without water, with and without added paint.
This is the result of half an hour fun and experimenting - I did not have much more time.
For the subject of my test run I also got inspiration from my daughter: Sakura flowers!
I kept my composition simple so it would be easy to copy, for I wanted to try all those possibilities and compare the results.

This was fun and I will definitely try out more... I like this stuff so: thank you very much Mariska for giving me this box of wonders!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lane in Miramar - even more memories from Portugal

There are many lanes like this in the world, this one is in Miramar, Portugal.
We were there on a nice sunny day last December, so there was a lot of shade with bright spots. Not much foliage in the trees of course, but still the gardens behind the walls were showing green bushes. This lane reaches almost to the seaside.
The place felt like an open invitation to paint...

The reference photos were taken by my daughter Mariska.

More information about this painting (size, colours used etc.) can be found on my website 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Heather in bloom - Kalmthoutse Heide

Last september the heather was in bloom and the weather was nice, so we went for a walk in the "Kalmthoutse Heide". This is a natural reserve overlapping the border between The Netherlands and Belgium.
That place is a favourite of mine and I have already painted many parts of it. This one, with the blooming heather, is special to me, for we do not always get the opportunity to see that.

More information about this watercolour (size, colours used, etc ) can be found at 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

My first great white egret!

About four years ago I saw my first great white egret - in the wild in a natural reserve in Belgium. Nowadays they are more common in our Dutch landscape, but that was really a special moment for me.
We were standing high in a bird watching tower and I had my little sketchbook with me. The egret was so kind to perch there up in the bushes as long as I needed to sketch him (or her) and the shapes of the bushes and trees it chose for a resting place.

It took a while until I could decide how to paint the bird in its natural habitat.
Paintings like this have been done before and sometimes I like to do things a bit different.
Then suddenly I realised that this approach, with white gouache, watercolours and a black background would make my painting a bit more interesting. And challenging too, for I'm still exploring this technique. 
So here it is: my first great white egret!

more information about this painting (size etc.) can be found at