Thursday, 28 April 2016

Lough Corib - looking over the green fields

Last year in the springtime my son and his girlfriend went on a short trip to Ireland. They visited a lot of touristic sites and brought home a lot of pictures - of course.
They both made a series of pictures at a spot overlooking Lough Corib and I chose this view for a painting. The reference picture was made by Claudia, my son's girlfriend.

It was not really easy to give depth to a landscape that looks almost monochrome green but the walls in the fields helped a lot. 
The tree in the foreground was starting to get its foliage, but it was not complete yet. That gives a nice view of the shorelines and the islands of the lough.

What attracted me in the series of pictures I chose this one from was the feeling of continuity, those fields and walls are there from a long time ago and will still be there a long time from now.
I really hope I have conveyed this feeling in my painting.

More information about this watercolour and the others I made after the Ireland pictures my son and his girlfriend made can be found at 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

View to Cuijk

Two years ago we were on a short vacation near the town of Nijmegen to celebrate some birthdays, a wedding anniversary and of course to have fun. Some of the days we split up in smaller groups to do what we liked to do and not bother the others with that. Some of us went for a walk in a one part of the area and my children rented bikes to go riding in another, more challenging part of the area. 
It was still April so not all the trees were covered with leaves yet and because it had rained a lot in the previous days there was a foggy atmosphere. 
At some point my son Martijn took the reference picture for this painting. 
Looking over the fields towards the towers of the church of Cuijk that were almost disappearing in the fog. 

The reason this picture took almost two years to get painted is mostly because of all the bushes. It is hard for me - using a wet-in-wet technique mostly - to paint bushes as they should be. This time I really took the time to make a sketch with all the shadows in it for reference while painting. And I let my paper dry completely and work on that dry paper for the dark shadows. So I had to be patient - but it worked out better than in some paintings I did before.

More information about this picture (paper and colours used, size etc) can be found at my website 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Renggchäppeli - a mountain chapel in Switzerland

The reference photo for this one was taken by my son Martijn, as he walked in the area of the Pilatus mountain (Hergiswil, Switzerland) last winter. There is even a Christmas tree in front of the chapel! He gave me the name of the mountain, the pass and the village where he had been walking. Looking on the internet made me find the name of the chapel and that there has been a chapel on that spot since the year1567.

Showing a fence and some paths, the composition of the picture needed no modification, I only cropped it in order to get more emphasis to the chapel. 
As it was winter, the trees and bushes are bare, only some fir trees are still green. 
The scene is dominated by the birches and their fallen leaves that are giving a nice orange-brown colour to the mountainside in the background.

Painting this scene was fun! As I am not so very familiar with mountains, I thought it would be more of a challenge to me but I did not encounter great problems with this one.

More information (colours and paper used, size etc) can be found at my website 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Sunset - rediscovering Indigo

Last winter my daughter Mariska traveled to Germany for a week to visit a friend. 
Somewhere in the last hours of the journey the sunset was beautifully visible from the train and she took some pictures with the idea that I might be able to use at least one of them.
In this scene the clouds are very feathery which is one of the attractions for me. I do not often get the chance to try to paint that kind of sky, we usually have clouds that are much more impressive.
The sun setting behind the trees is also really nice - and quite a challenge to get it believable.

For this painting I decided to make a small size and try to work with Indigo. That colour is perfect for evening skies, but not always easy to work with. When diluted too much it gets a greenish shade which does not fit in a sky - unless there is a thunderstorm approaching of course.

For more information about this painting (size, paper and colours used, etc) I invite you to visit my website 

Monday, 4 April 2016

The Gate.... now in a daylight version

The gate also deserved a daylight version, so here it is. I changed the shapes and the size of the gate a bit just for the fun of it.
I used a balanced palette of three colours here, a combination I used before and I like very much.
With these three basic colours I can mix almost all the colours needed in a landscape. 
To keep my painting clean and transparent I just have to avoid mixing all three together. 

This gate - and the versions I made earlier - is based on a gate we saw a few years ago in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. The 'real' gate was at a piece of land with only weeds and small stones in it. 
No buildings or ruins, no signs of a garden or the remains of it, no burial grounds, no factory, just a mystery! 
That is exactly why it appealed to my imagination and I am not really sure if this is the last Gate I will paint - I don't think so.

More information about this watercolour (size, colours used, etc) and the other Gates I painted can be found at 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

My first Art Fair

Yesterday I participated in an Art Fair in Dordrecht, just across the river from the place I live. The announcement appeared in a local newspaper and I decided to give it a try.
This was a learning experience!
As the Art Fair was in a community center for elderly people, most people were only looking, not buying. The comments I got were nice though. People liked my art but could not afford the money to buy, or they paint themselves and do not need to buy art.
I made some contacts that may prove very valuable and the atmosphere was nice, so we had a nice, relaxed day.
Here is an impression: