View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Johan Derycke

Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7]

11 November 2009, 05:25 PM
Hi Johan, taking a peek at your Sketchbook; wonderful work and most important you do a lot of it. I especially like birds of prey and gravitated to your quick eagle sketch above.

11 November 2009, 06:55 AM
Hey Johan,
You've been busy. Nice to see your work from school. I love this SP.

And I also love the little digital painted tree. It's so important to find things you enjoy doing as well as hitting the academics. I also think you can progres quite far without going to any acredited school. You have the drive, you will achieve your artistic goal. Keep on posting with enthusiasm, it's a pleasure to see this SB grow.

11 November 2009, 09:39 AM
Thanks Dorothy! Still a lot of practice needed though ;)
Birds are awesome. The way they are formed in function of their existence is nearly perfect... and hey, they can fly!

Hey! Your comments are always taken to heart.
I think I am at the start of a long process in terms of drawing and painting more expressively, rather than going for accuracy alone. The accuracy is still important though and will always be important. But it won't be the main focus anymore in a few years from now I think.
I think this will be a process parallel to moving away from the academic approach.

That being said, I am reading a book about Pierre-Auguste Renoir. I must say that ever since I learned about the Impressionists, I've been really fond of some of their thoughts and their work has something magical about it. I am surely interested in learning a lot more about Renoir and his friends.

Here's a quick sketch I did of my son 2 days ago.
He is about to loose his upper front milkteeth, so his face is gonna change soon.

The quote I wrote down:

A painting should be something to love, something joyful and beautiful, yes, beautiful! There's enough unpleasant things in life already without us adding anything.

11 November 2009, 03:13 PM
Some of last weeks sketches from life...

12 December 2009, 06:18 AM
portrait of your son is fabulous and few of your life study sketches are really nice-Johan :)

12 December 2009, 03:47 PM
Nice stuff going on here, Johan. How long did those life drawings took? I'm not sure if I've seen any long poses from you. Do you only do short ones at the school? Just asking because we started long poses here at the academy after one and a half month of studying.

12 December 2009, 01:18 PM
Thank you!

Most of these life drawings are 2-5min. Some are 15-20min.
We usually do these quickies the first hour and then the model does 2 poses of 45 minutes each. Sometimes it's twice the same pose so 90 minutes is the longest posed drawing you will see here. How long are those long poses you are talking about?
Thanks for your visit mate, always appreciated!

Some baby steps into pastel usage, 2min on black A3:

And some longer ones (max 45Min)

Love the pastels but as you can see it's gonna take a lot of practice to get some decent results... so plz bear with me!

12 December 2009, 01:35 PM
Someone who can really do pastel work is Daniel E. Greene. There was a girl here at the academy who did an oil study after one his works, really great! The long poses here now take two weeks. 23 minutes of drawing and 7 minutes for the model break and this goes on for three hours, every work day. And all this time is not enough to get to a finish, because it should be two and a half weeks. I'll be more ok of spending more time on an image once I get back :D

12 December 2009, 05:08 PM
keep up the good work! :beer:

12 December 2009, 09:13 PM
Hey Johan,

I like the blue shades in your pastel work!

One thing which made pastels feel really different and much easier for me was to sort the pastels by value instead of colour. I mean, think about it, it's what we did for years by now: work out the values first, don't bother with the actual hue!

The thread I stumbled this trick upon in is here (scroll down to the greyscale pics):

I did a self portrait which has structural issues (as always), but I basically grabbed randomly for any pastel near the value I needed and it worked wonders for the flow of the whole thing:


12 December 2009, 11:55 AM
hey johan,
nice effort on thing i see is that you really dont put much structure under your life that done on purpose?
keep up the hard work :thumbsup: :buttrock:


12 December 2009, 05:17 PM
your life drawings show huge improvements in your drawing abilities! really great job

12 December 2009, 12:25 AM
Hey there NR43, you got a very nice thread over here.

My only crit would be: keep practicing!

I like your traditional work a lot, keep up the great job :thumbsup:

12 December 2009, 12:33 AM
Hey Johan! Wassup? Love the pastels and the life-studies!:thumbsup:

12 December 2009, 10:34 PM
Hey buddy, great figure sketching going on here! I see you're trying it with pastel. I hope I can one day use it well, 'cause I like it very much. A good pastel painting is very impressive to me. Maybe an easier way to get there is charcoal and white chalk on toned paper, I think. Anyway, I am looking forward to see your progress with this medium. Keep up the good work my friend.

01 January 2010, 03:26 PM
This Mr Greene has indeed amazing technical skills. Most of his subjects I don't like though (CEO's in suits, yuk). However, if I would be asked by a "VIP" to paint him, I'd do it too and I would charge 30000USD for a portrait too if I could... (that's more than I earn in a whole year)

Gord, thanks!

Mu, I ordered my pastels per value now as you suggest. The results keep waiting for them though... must be a skill issue :shrug:

TC, yes... try to limit my life drawings to pure observation... my arm is the plotter of my eyes, that's the idea anywayz... think the plotter needs more voltage LOL

Funny that you mention this because I was going through my complete sb today and ok, there is some progress, but to call it huge... that's a massive overstatement ;)
I'm not even gonna post the latest ones becasue they are so bad I am simply ashamed to show them.

Vladion Thanks! Yes, 2010 will have less moments of slacking than 2009 I hope!

Anand Thanks man! Gonna do some more pastels soon! (Will have to if I want to improve, right?)

siiilon Yeah these soft media (pastel, charcoal,...) are somehow a lot harder to control. One would think otherwise because due to the softness of the medium, one can be more subtile. It's all about technique I think...


Not much worth showing as I am in my annual mental crisis. Can't get much worse than this so I'm climbing out of it...

Enough self pity!
Let's work!

01 January 2010, 11:01 AM
2B pencil on A4, after Antoon Van Dyck, who was Rubens' best pupil.
I wonder if he ever had mental breakdowns...

01 January 2010, 01:50 PM
Great work dude! It's really visible how are you feeling while drawing. It's good to let yourself prepare before drawing begins. It something like a calming down, remembering what's important and let for example music to put you in the right mood. And also it's good to treat the first drawings as a warmup, which you really are not obliged to show, and prolly you shouldn't. I don't show what I feel could cause any kind of further depression.
"I wonder if he ever had mental breakdowns..."
- I am pretty sure they had. After so many years of performance only the best works survive and you might have the incorrect feeling that is what they do for a breakfest, or that they can't draw worse than that. I personally think that in the study of anything (whether painting or science or whatever) the only obstacle are your feelings. Learning to control them, that's what I've been doing some time already.
Your drawing skill is really good, work more on your feelings, don't let them entangle you.
CU buddy :)

01 January 2010, 03:24 PM
Hi Johan, good to see you posting again. I also had these periods when I thought things weren't working. But it's probably the time when you start noticing your mistakes. And that is a necessary (allthough painful) phase you have to go through. It's the trick to keep studying and one day you suddenly feel that you have reached a new level. Keep going!

01 January 2010, 07:03 PM
Your drawing skill is really good, work more on your feelings, don't let them entangle you.
Easier said than done but that's exactly what I should do.
Thanks for confirming that Michal.

Ups and downs... Xmas time = garantueed misery inside my head every year so yes, it will pass. Not to worry ;)

I bought ArtRage 3 Pro a couple of weeks ago but I hadn't seriously played with it yet.
Here's a portrait of my mum in an attempt to handle the AR oil brush.

01 January 2010, 10:02 AM
totally love the start on the second Van Dyck drawing, Johan!

The portrait is quite saturated, but I don't know if AR offers colour control sliders sou you could check wether to continue with a dimmed down saturation?

01 January 2010, 01:33 PM
I really like the two pencil drawing.

Definitely see a lot of improvement from last year.

01 January 2010, 04:36 PM
awesome stuff mate.Your faces are extremely good,:applause:
Keep up the great work.

01 January 2010, 10:46 PM
your annual mental crisis... I have those too, though a bit more often than once a year :) Hope things are looking better these days!

The pencil studies are beautiful, especially the Van Dyck ones! Artrage, I've heard great things about it, and seen some cool stuff, but I'll never leave my Photoshop... ;) I think the portrait is off to a good start but there could be a bit more subtlety to the skin tones, things are looking kind of flat and saturated. Also try working some of the green from the background into her skintones to help tie the painting together - this might help a lot in the shadow areas, which are the weakest parts.

Are you back in your studies?

01 January 2010, 06:00 AM
i looked up for this little link on planes of head which you might want to give a try.if you want let me know i have a small pdf for it as well.

01 January 2010, 08:56 AM
Hi Johan,

Great job on the pencil studies! As for the AR portrait, I suck at painting skin, but what the others said sounds good. :D It's good to see you working on stuff again. Hope to see more soon.

01 January 2010, 04:11 AM
Lovely pencil work! Your mum looks a bit like my neighbour. I think the shadows on her skin need to be darkened to add more depth. :) Have fun playing with ArtRage!

01 January 2010, 07:11 PM
Mm, ArtRage is a great programme. I've tried a demo once, liked it, but decided to stick with Painter and Painter only :) Speaking of that, it would be interesting to try and make something very painterly in Painter, which is quite easy in ArtRage, with its neat brushes. Looking forward to seeing what you'll create next.

Hope everything's ok at your place, mate :)

01 January 2010, 08:51 PM
Mu Thanks buddy. It's also the end of that one... don't ask me why... I just felt I had to stop at that point. Will see if I can fix that portrait if I find the time.

Betrayal Thank you!
xsiyou :) glad you like 'em!

Del Thanks for the crit. Studies... I'm assuming you mean my time at the academy? Yes, I never miss class unless I'm sick. It's just life drawing sessions really these days. Great to keep the routine alive. Will post more life drawings soon.
AR is difficult for me because there's no brush opacity (at least I've not found it)... so I'm gonna be hitting that wall with my face a lot if I want to learn colors :)
I like AR because of it's extremely inituitive workspace and workflow, but I still prefer Painter.

killermachine Thanks for that link!
Wes thanks for the encouragement mate!
Tessa Thanks. I need to fix that portrait, don't I? Colors are so hard to get right.
razz yeah I still love Painter the most as well. AR is nice to play with once in a while though.

Here's some digital sketches.
The girl on the left is inspired by the amazing DANKA.
Y'all give him some love in his thread now! (


01 January 2010, 07:32 PM
Today's pencil sketches

01 January 2010, 10:50 PM
Hey there!
Really cool sketches, specially the 5 min drawing one.
In the ArtRage portrait, I think it could use some stronger shadows, it looks a bit flat. Other than that, it's looking really good , anatomy wise.

01 January 2010, 07:58 AM
Colours can be mean sometimes - specially on screens. ;)

Aww, there's a couple of broken links in your second last post. I like the wispering girl. :)

01 January 2010, 10:33 AM
Hey Johan! Very cool pencil sketches, nothing to say about them.. but for the digitals I suggest you to not use lines to mark the shadows. You are really more skilled in digital than me, but that little thing is the only one that "plays out of tune" in my opinion.

I really like the sketches of the man on the blue background

Waiting for an update^^

01 January 2010, 05:09 PM
Voodoo-Mama Thanks for the critique.
Aviva Just gotta learn by doing. Such things take time, especially with me ;)
Cisc0 Hm I'll think about it. I like hatching though :D

Here's a real quick digital one in Painter...

01 January 2010, 10:07 AM
I'm really depressed.
Not only is our financial situation far from comfortable (we've had just too many bills of multiple thousands of Euros the last couple of years, and another one coming up for a stupid fence), which is really preventing us to rebuild our savings back to an assuring level, artistically, things are really lowlevel too, as you can see on below sketches.
I know it's just a matter of believing and optimism, but man... it just doesn't stop.

I had some comments that my colors were too saturated, so I tought I'd re-calibrate my monitors again. After all, it had been a while already since the last calibration.
So last night I sticked my Huey Pro sensor agains my screens again, but what happened? After calibration, there is now this green color cast all over my screens, both of them. My mouse cursor has turned pink iso white... ARGH! I re-calibrated in different lighting conditions, daylight, just a bit of evening light, complete darkness, etc... I even uninstalled/reinstalled the software, but nothing seems to help.

I found out that the sensor is probably broken (it seems I'm not thie only one having these issues), so I contacted Pantone. According to what Pantone says on their website, the unit will be replaced. Let's hope this will happen. It will probably take weeks if not months before I can do anything digital now though... GRRR

I'm frustrated!
Spring better be here soon :(

kids fashion studies:

And some crap from imagination:

My god, 4 years of anatomy studies and still so frigging noobish mistakes.
It seems I am just smart enough to realize that I'm stupid.
That seriously sucks!

01 January 2010, 12:30 PM
Hey Johan, I can tell you there is nothing bad about your drawings! And about the money - enjoy more the things you have and not those you don't. The depression might not derive from your financial situation nor artistic, so try not to conclude things according to it. In those drawing, you're talking about repetitive mistakes, and I think it's most probably because you're not calmed down enough before you start drawing. One of the best methods are to switch your hands; then we use to put only necessary marks on the paper, we get away of many bad habits, and get ourselves to another path in our brain. So then, when you feel you calmed down, you can switch back to your prime hand and try to keep the ease you gained. And whenever your bad habits return, repeat it. Try to change your habits, like where you usually draw, the order of actions, the time, anything. Sometimes we are in a dead end and need to open the window to let fresh air in.
And on the top of all, your progress is visible, only try to remember your victories more than your failures.
Cu buddy!

01 January 2010, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Michal.
I'll try to keep my chin up, even though bad things keep screwing up things a bit.
Today, I heard I will probably have to keep working until end of june, before getting sacked.
Why complain? I hear you say! Well, I really wanted to follow Robert Chang's 8 weeks course that starts in March:

Becoming a Better Artist – Critical knowledge and techniques for today’s artists (

I think following this intense course would give my skills a serious boost and a giant step closer to where I would like to have been by now. However, I can never combine this intense program with my family, my school and my daytime job. There just isn't enough time. I already sleep only 5 or 6 hours per day. I can't pinch off another 3 or 4 hours of that, can I?

Anyway, as I said, I will try to think positive again. Another chance will occur sooner or later...

Today's imaginary crap

Supper time and then I'm off to school!

01 January 2010, 09:52 AM
Hi Johan,

I am sorry to hear about the financial situation and also about the monitor. Hopefully things will turn around for the better soon. I am enjoying your pencil sketches for the moment. Perhaps you should stop calling them crap? ;)

That Robert Chang class sounds really really good. Wish you had the time for it. Just reading the course outline made me want to sign up, lol.

01 January 2010, 12:03 PM
Sorry to hear about your financial situation Johan. It's a very difficult not to let the stress of it effect all aspects of your life, but hang in there. Hope things improve real soon.

You should take your computer problems as an opportunity to work on some traditional things. How about a pastel piece, or acrylics? Least the colours you use with them will stay true ;)

Maybe I should show you how bad a real noob's human figure work from the imagination is :p All the studies are paying off. Keep going! :)

01 January 2010, 07:56 PM
Wes, Tessa, thanks for the support.
That's life eh... we always get over it ;)
I remembered Bobby Chiu's words: This is a test to see if I can pull through... and I will.
No pastel or acrylics yet, but here's a quick pencil sketch I kinda like.

01 January 2010, 09:08 PM
Good job Johan! I like the face and the rendering of the clothes, especially the snow glasses.

01 January 2010, 08:16 AM
Spring will be here it's already pushing close. I SO, know about finances & the never ending tug on our wallets. But just as time never stands still, so this moment will pass. Hang in there.
I've just replaced my own computer. With a newer version of the same model!.. : \ Now, just to hope that it will poke along for a couple more years. I, so, long for a machine that won't stall when I paint a stroke in Painter........
I agree, with the computer downtime idea. Now's when to hone down the figure studies. Figures are not bad at all. What I do see is the need for structure to be more solidly evident.
I don't have as extensive an experience as R. Chang. (Wow. pretty intense & great info in this class) but, I can help you in the figure arena.
If you like, I can PM you some visual notes from my class, to get your thinking processes started and a specific path to walk thru. Anyway, I can explain my own way of seeing, doing, if you're interested. Let me know.

01 January 2010, 11:27 AM
Thanks mate. Need all the support I can get. :)

Wow thank you for your encouraging thoughts.
I will accept your offer with the greatest pleasure. Please PM me whenever you have the time.
I am in serious need of in depth critique because I feel I've been staggering and not making much progress, even though I never give up and keep drawing. The problem with the academy is that there is no structured tutoring. It's just life drawing and we do our thing while getting an occasional comment or suggestion. I guess for 180€ per year one cannot complain about that.

Perhaps the lack of structure in my learning process is attacking my confidence when drawing from imagination, perhaps it's the lack of consistency in practice (some days I don't get anyhting done at all), etc. All this has made me decide that I will switch to painting class as from september, because that is the goal of my learning efforts, to be able to paint. I've been advised who is the best teacher to follow (I think I mentioned this already), so I will enrole in Mr Luc Oeyen's class, who is the perfect man to teach me all about painting techniques.

Anyway, even though I've been sick in bed all week this week (missed class on monday and tuesday because of that too :( ), not all is bad. I received a new HueyPro monitor calibrator from Pantone for free, only 2 weeks after my complaints. It's awesome to see the correct colors on my screen again.

Ironically, here's a portrait from imagination in greyscale.

My heads from imagination seem too stereotype for now. Lack of mileage I suppose. Well I've started to save my files for quick exercises like this one (this was about 1hr work) with the date as a name. I hope this will motivate me to keep practicing and not giving up when painting is a struggle.
For example, I think I walked away from my screen -thinking it totally sucks- about 7 or 8 times during this last one. Particularly in the first phase, when blocking in, when things don't go the way I want them to go, my confidence drops immensely and I literally run away from my work.
How to get that self esteem back up?

01 January 2010, 01:18 PM
:twisted: You will never find perfection,...but with enough practice, ..perfection MIGHT find you..:D
DARE to DARE, ..FEAR....of inperfection.:)

01 January 2010, 03:14 PM
Hi Glenn!
Great to see you here :)

I'm not looking for perfection... just for a bit of decent skills LOL.

another head from imagination, done in Painter

01 January 2010, 04:32 PM
Good work - In esp. like the hunter/trapper - beautiful sensitive pencil work

01 January 2010, 09:02 PM
Hey Johan, pretty good invented heads. And you're right. Having a solid understanding definitely leads to confidence. I know all about that, too. You have the will that's more than 1/2 the battle.
For portraits ,what I used to do is plane out everything (similar to an Asaro planar head) with straights. It will train your sense of solidity. You can soften later.
It'll force you to really understand the front, side, back etc. and what feature on the face belongd to what plane. I highly recommend Vanderpoel's book The Human Figure. If you find you have time, this will teach you much about this and give you confidence in understanding what you are seeing. Another book I'd recommend is

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton - Look it up at Amazon.

it explains and diagrams a lot of what I took classes for. There is alot you can do without being in a class. Actually, drawing in a workshop is for practice, but the place you will correct your drawing issues is with home study. I'll be PMing you soon. Keep your focus on the prize..

01 January 2010, 09:09 PM
Hi Gord.
Thanks for the encouragement!

Hey Esmeralda,
Will look up those books on Amazon immediately.
I'm gonna focus on heads a bit for a while I think. Because portraiture is something I want to become really good at.

Here's another one from today (without ref)... struggle struggle, especially when I am trying to avoid using lines.
I guess there is no other way huh :)

EDIT: I can't seem to find the Michael Hampton one on Amazon UK, but I found the Vanderpoel book. 1out of 2 aint bad eh :)

01 January 2010, 11:41 PM
hi Johan,

there's an exercise I once read in Shawn Martinbrough's book (IIRC) about drawing the shades in faces of people in the far background of crowd photos.

There's no detail, but you can recognize individuals by the very rough distribution of shades (eye areas, under the nose, corner/mouth).

For example, draw a few faces of the background people in photos like these:

Add no detail.
This will help you tremendously to be aware of the little variations in shading the forms that will increase credibility and individuality of your faces from imagination.

And it's fun, too..


P.S.: in Firefox, use the ctrol+mousewheel zoom to decide which face to draw and to refer to all the fuzzy absent details...:D

01 January 2010, 03:31 PM
Hey Mu that's an excellent idea!

I'm gonna do this more often:
These are faces painted from reference, I think they were around 10min each. I'm forcing myself not to get into detail too much (which is really really hard for a detail freak like me ;) ) and to think in terms of planes and shapes. Some are a bit wonky, but for a first, I think I did alright, no? It sure is a lot of fun doing this type of exercise.
Perhaps if I do a lot of sheets like this, I'll be able to construct my heads when painting from imagination as well. That is where my very problem is... as soon as I work from imagination, all I learned about constructing heads, figures and so on, seems to be forgotten...
More mileage needed!
Thanks Mu! you made my day ;)

Critique needed!

01 January 2010, 03:45 PM
Hey Johan the first of the 3 grayscale portraits it's fantastic! I love the expression, also the old man is good (maybe there's something strange with the shoulders), but in the structure of the last one there's something wrong. I like the studies and I have a question: how do you proceed drawing\painting heads?

01 January 2010, 04:38 PM
Wow! Love these little head studies! I'm gonna do some too! :)

01 January 2010, 08:13 PM
Yes, lots of issues... need more mileage, a lot more ;)

Always nice to see you here mate!

Well I'm calling it quits for today...
Will have a hectic day at work tomorrow yay

01 January 2010, 08:46 PM
Man, the little head studies came out great! Very much expression!

If you want to discipline yourself about the details there's an easy way out: use two values only... black and white. I have seen your wonderful longer studies and we both know (this includes you, too... admit it to yourself) that you got a solid grip on handling values. So take it easy and eliminate them for the sake of identifying the main shade areas of a face which form a character/personality.

Here's a good starting point for this exercise:

02 February 2010, 05:35 PM
great studies there, Johan! that page of heads is really fun, well done too.

Have you decided about the R. Chang course? I am looking at it too, and undecided... money and time are the big factors, as always.

02 February 2010, 10:09 AM
Hey Johan, I really like the latest sketches!

I am reading part two of Creative Illustrations by Loomis on tone now, and I would like to suggest that you read it if you haven't and reread if you already have. The beginning of the section talks about planning your image with simple tonal arrangements using white, black, and light and dark greys. It's so simple a concept yet it was a big eyeopener for me. Now I am seeing these patterns everywhere, not just in art. Looking at my desk now, I see that it is dominated by a light grey of the desk surface, my tablet is dark grey, keyboard is black with white accent strip at the bottom.

Now I see your last few images and they are mostly greys. I think you could spice up your values with some white and black. If they are not appropriate on your figures, then maybe incorporate them into the background as design elements. That's another thing I am trying to get inside my head, that I am the designer, not a mindless copying machine. I will quote Loomis for the lack of better words (first paragraph on page 106 of the pdf or 112 of the book):

"There is really design, either good or bad, whenever we put areas of variable tones together. It dawns on us as painters that the effect of the arrangement of such tones is really more important pictorially than the subject or the things we are painting."

Be mindful that you are designing with value and patterns even when you do a simple sketch, and suddenly everything you do has a purpose! I think it was through this purposeful design that Loomis was able to paint a better picture than his reference photos.

I really hope that you will be able to find some time for the Robert Chang workshop. It took me a while to make up my mind, but I enrolled because it sounded just too good to pass up in the end. I know that you don't have a lot of spare time, so maybe you won't be able to complete all the assignments. But since you will have access to all the course material after it is over, you should be able to go through it again on your own, spending as much time as you need to on any given topic.

02 February 2010, 11:08 AM
nice studies bro..liked the heads..

02 February 2010, 03:34 PM
Thank you. Great idea about the 2 Value studies. Will do some asap!
That post on Gurney's blog was quite interesting btw!

Chances are I'm gonna wait for Robert's 2nd time. I really don't have time to do half the drawing and painting I'd like to do as it is already. (Same reason why I've stopped joining the cg challenges etc).
Don't want to spend so much money if I'm not going to be able to make the efforts required. (which is kinda tight right now as we have some huge costs on our house, car and what not).

Thanks for the help mate. I actually downloaded all Loomis' books again yesterday after I read your post in Robert Chang's thread so I'm defenitely going to read them. (I only read drawing the head and hands). You're right, I need to widen my value range... that's the trap I am falling in time after time... we all have the tendency to stick within the middle tones (as explained in that post on Gurney's blog).

Thanks mate!

It's so great to get such valuable feedback. Thanks guys, you ROCK!
I have so much work to do! On with it!

Some newspaper sketches done at work today.

02 February 2010, 04:12 PM
Had a really calm day at work today (technical problems so we were forced NOT to work ^^ ), so I started reading Loomis' Creative Illustration book. Man, I really can't believe these books aren't published worldwide today. It's such a shame... would be so nice to hold a nicely bound copy of these books in my hands. I just read the first 85 pages of "Creative Illustration" while writing down the essential stuff. Still gotta do all the exercises though... that's gonna be a LOT of work but it's so needed.

Here's a quote I like from the book:
"Draw continually. When you do it, you gain momentum. If you cheat at it, you lose."

I've not posted any life drawings in a long time. I'm working more on larger size at school so I leave a lot of my work there in my sketch drawer, and I've also been too lazy to take pictures, resize and put them on my server :p

But anyway, here's a couple from this week:

02 February 2010, 04:55 PM
Nice Johan nice! Have you ever tried charcoal? I think it could be cool using it for your studies

02 February 2010, 06:45 PM
Have you ever tried charcoal?
Yeah sure but I usually work on larger sized paper with charcoal and it's kind of a hassle to bring my drawings back home. It's much easier for me to leave them at the academy and bring them back home all at once in the summer, once the schoolyear has ended :)
Besides, I'd have to take them back to school anyway because the judges need to see our work.

Thanks for taking the time to visit me here!
Here's some more from a while ago

02 February 2010, 04:09 AM
nice studies buddy..keep it up..

02 February 2010, 04:09 AM
nice studies buddy..keep it up..

02 February 2010, 05:20 PM
pen drawings are awesome Johan! so clear, can you upload more of them?

02 February 2010, 07:41 AM
Thanks guys
This is just a test to see if this freehostia system works remotely.

Can you see the above image?
If not, pls let me know.

02 February 2010, 09:15 AM
I can't see it

02 February 2010, 01:33 PM
Hi Johan, good update son the figure drawing! Remember to keep constructing the figures.
Freehostia doesn't work here either... I use imageshack for my thread.

02 February 2010, 05:00 PM
Hm I guess Freehostia doesn't work then :(
250MB of free webspace without adds would have been too awesome I guess.

Acrylics on canvas. So much to learn omg. So CRITIQUE PLZ!

Oh... I couldn't wait any longer, I ordered Alla Prima by Richard Schmid.
Can't wait for it to arrive! And I'm so looking forward to September, so I can start painting with guidance.

02 February 2010, 06:03 PM
Nice boot painting. Have you tried Golden Open Acrylics. I really like them, and they do stay open for a decent amount of time as long as you properly prepare your painting surface.

Alla Prima is an amazing book. I bought and read it a few weeks ago, and many of his teachings have been revelations to me.

Cheers and God bless.

02 February 2010, 07:47 PM
great stuff man, those last figure drawings and painting looks terrific :). I'm not good enought to give you constructive criticism on it , so i just give you my encouragement to keep doing it :thumbsup: :arteest:

02 February 2010, 08:18 PM
Oh... I couldn't wait any longer, I ordered Alla Prima by Richard Schmid.
Can't wait for it to arrive! And I'm so looking forward to September, so I can start painting with guidance.Begin dan al maar met uw color charts te maken (kleurenmengelingen + per mengeling een gradueel toonverloop van de basiskleur naar bijna wit). Op die manier ga je veel leren over de kleuren die je gebruikt. Als je tijdens het mengen het gevoel krijgt dat je de waanzin nabij bent, dan ben je goed bezig ;) Succes.

Ik heb uw schilderij eens bekeken in grayscale, value range ziet er al goed uit.

PS : Talens verkoopt ook gel-medium in een tube om acrylverf pasteuzer te maken, bv.


02 February 2010, 02:42 AM
I love the figure studies! :thumbsup:

02 February 2010, 10:29 PM
great stuff man, those last figure drawings and painting looks terrific :). I'm not good enought to give you constructive criticism on it , so i just give you my encouragement to keep doing it :thumbsup: :arteest:I was going to say exactly this! So keep it up :D

02 February 2010, 12:38 PM
Hi o/
After long time no? XD
Excelent evolution, excelent color mood in your art
Fantastic ^^

02 February 2010, 11:21 PM
Hey Johan,

I think Dropbox has a public viewing capability which you might use.

It is a 2GB auto synchronize webspace service. Check it out.

02 February 2010, 12:11 AM
Your stuff's looking great now and is such an improvement over the start of the thread. Really enjoying the life drawings and your proportions are looking good. Do you measure up at arms length or just go by eye.

The lines are long and fluid which gives energy but have you tried slowing down when drawing the lines so you can capture the subtle undulations of the skin ? It might not be something that helps but it's something to play around with.

02 February 2010, 07:59 AM
Nice figure studies man..keep up the great work !

02 February 2010, 11:38 AM
Gisaiagami Hi there, how are you? Keep drawing every day! ;)
Mu Thanks for the link. I have a similar thing I use for backup reasons, not quite ideal for webspace though since those synchronized tools are kinda slow. I took some extra webspace at my host to solve the problem.
Tonik I start shaking when I draw slow LOL
shyamshriram Thank you! Will do!
AJ Thanks!
Anand Glad you like them! Do you ever get to do life drawing still? Would love to see some :)
wmv Hey hey, back from the dead eh :twisted: Not sure if color charts are useful things to spend ages on, since color is influenced by it's surrounding colors and they never appear on a painting like they do on a color chart. Acc to this book I'm currently reading "Mixing Colors" by Helen Van Wyk, it's better to keep a simple palette and experiment within the composition you have planned. That's how I'm doing it now and I'm having loads of fun. Will show another still life soon.
Collings Thanks man! Coming from you, that means a lot!
Blenderfan Yeah I can't wait for the book to arrive! Thank you!
So I was thinking about what Loomis says in his book "Creative Illustration" concerning Tonal Plans. I really want to learn how to simplify things as much as possible, for I think he is right to say that the simpler plans usually are good for the best illustrations. Anyway, paintings don't always have to be based on the simpliest composition to be beautiful. I came across the work of a painter called John Stobart and I made some thumbnails to search for the compositional tools and plans Loomis talks about so elaborately. This is fun to do and I hope it will increase my overall grasp on composition.

02 February 2010, 11:50 AM
Liking the thumbnails. I often wondered how strange it is that you can tell so much with so little detail.

02 February 2010, 02:04 PM
I agree with Mu. those sketches are wonderful because they make you "feel the situation" with just few pencil lines. Keep them up please

02 February 2010, 08:50 AM
Mu, Cisc0
The reason why these thumbs look beautiful is not because I drew them, but because John Stobart's paintings, of which these thumbnails are quick notes, are so well composed. It is here that Loomis' theories on values are proven to be true. I am beginning to realize that there is much power in his words; "If the design doesn't work, you can paint all you want to, but your final product won't work".
The importance of thumbnailing is beginning to come clear to me.

On a different note, I was painting in color again this weekend.
I was reading this book by Helen van Wyk ( god, I named her van Dyk here and there, I'm so ashamed) on mixing color and she has a really interesting approach. Also some of her thoughts on painting are quite striking and putting me with both feet on the ground.

Some of my favourites:
Beginners should stop wanting to paint reality. One can only paint an interpretation of one's reality.
There are 4 questions that need to be asked constantly when mixing colors:

What's the basic hue of the subject? The answer is always one of the following 6: yellow, orange, red, violet, blue or green.
What's the value of the color? Answer: light, middle or dark value in comparison to it's environment
How intense is the color? Is it very saturated, middle or low saturated?
What's the color's temperature? Is it a warm or a cool tint?

Showing this still life I painted this weekend in acrylics on canvas.
I started off well by making a pencil sketch and rearranging the fruit until I was satisfied with the composition. Then I made an underpainting with only white and black. I got into trouble right away when painting the colors and it took me more than 3 hours to do that, because I was following my gut and not thinking about the 4 questions I just wrote above:

I saw the wrong colors.
I did not paint the background "in" the subjects", which is why my edges are screwed.
I didn't think about the value of the colors I was mixing, which is why the forms are screwed here and there.
I didn't think about saturation, which is why some parts look dull and others look oversaturated.
I didn't think about color temperature, which is why my shadows are totally screwed.
I didn't thnk about the light and it's influence on the forms, which is why the core shadows are screwed.
I instantly was in trouble because I did not think enough about what colors I want to create and what colors I need to mix them. I must learn the color wheel inside out, as for now I'm not making too much of it.
I'm assuming that I will be making these mistakes a hundred times more. If there is anything I overlooked, even though I'm doing much better at critisizing myself than I'd expected, please let me know. I will try to remember for the next painting. :D

02 February 2010, 11:34 AM
Well.. I probably don't know nothing about using colours (I always go by feeling :banghead: ), but I will fix this soon (I still have ALL to do). The only little thing that I can say to you is to write those rules on a big sheet of paper and hang it in front of your painting position.. or near it. Are there "only" those rules to know? Well done: practice and practice and practice and practice.. I can't tell more :blush:

02 February 2010, 11:46 AM
oh no, you pretty much summed it all up...:D

I do think, however, that the same "you" would have done a much better job in digital. Because for me, figuring out hue, saturation and value (and temperature which is indeed a great reminder) is only one part of the job.
With oils, e.g., I could never get the right colour, because I couldn't figure out how to properly desaturate the full pigment blast I got out of the tube.
Or I would mix in titanium white for getting the right value, but the white pushed the colour temperature over to cool at the same time which drove me mad (I got myself a different kind of white which is said to be better suited for glazing and not shifting the temperature too much...)

Now, in digital I have my HSV sliders and just adjust each aspect the way I want it.

Not that my digital colour pieces look actually right...:D

02 February 2010, 12:16 PM
Heh yeah this is just the beginning of a long journey into a whole new world for me :)
I do think the 4 years of concentrating on learning to draw without focusing on color was a good choice, however, I shouldn't forget about values now that I'm into colors.
Thanks for the encouraging words mate!

Desaturating can be done by mixing your color with grey (out of white + black). You can mix a grey with the same value of your color and then mix those. The more grey, the less saturation.
Use Ivory Black only because it's the most neutral black there is.
About temperature, I think if you mix any warm color with white it will become less warm, simply because it will become less saturated with warm pigment, and any cool color will become less cool when mixed with white for the same reason.

Digital color is indeed much more convenient to work with if it comes to mixing colors. However, there are some issues there as well.
Here's a portrait from imagination that I painted last night (which I wasn't going to show at first) using Oils and Palette Knife in Painter.
I am trying to paint like I paint traditionally in Painter, meaning at 100% opacity and mixing colors in the Mixer Palette and starting with colors like "Yellow Ocre" etc from the default Painter Color Set.
These basic colors are far too saturated. That is a major issue. Also, the colors don't always seem to get the desired result when mixed together. For intsance, when I mix red and green, I should get a neutral brown/grey, but I get a very saturated orange instead that looks like the raw umber color from the painter color set. When mixing skintones using the Zorn palette, I had to use the saturation slider every time and desaturate the colors a lot. I guess I will have to develop a different mixing behaviour when painting digitally. It's only now that I am beginning to realize that there is a huge difference between traditional color and digital color.

02 February 2010, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the explanation.

About temperature, I think if you mix any warm color with white it will become less warm, simply because it will become less saturated with warm pigment, and any cool color will become less cool when mixed with white for the same reason.

Then how do you get, e.g. a high value warm colour in oil?

I must say that I had much less trouble getting the colours I needed in watercolor. I did a mastercopy only using red blue and yellow. Everything else I mixed. When I mixed complementary colours I could easily desaturate without the use of a grey colour at all. Same goes for darkening. The drawback is that you have to work from light to dark.


02 February 2010, 01:21 PM
Hm... good question. I guess you have to start from a high value pigment. As from september, I'll be learning all about oil painting (allthough this applies to acrylics and gouache as well) and I'm sure it will come up sooner or later in class. I'll let you know my findings then. ;)

Here's a tattoo design I created for a friend of mine a while ago.
She wants me to put a butterfly in this somewhere but to be honest I've not a clue where I should put it to avoid the balance being destroyed.
EDIT: Actually, I managed to add a butterfly quite easily :D

Created in Painter using the Caligraphic Flat brush, after I made several designs in pencil on paper.

02 February 2010, 08:19 PM
Here's another tattoo design, one that didn't get approved, but I still like it

02 February 2010, 07:02 PM
Some quick life drawing I just did while the kids were watching tv.
Note to self: don't draw in the dark, you can't see shit.

My Win7 RC will expire soon.
I might not upload things for a while... will see how reinstalling the retail and restoring goes...

02 February 2010, 04:05 AM
You do some mean figure studies dude! I would suggest trying to be more getsural and simplifying the forms, so that you can work quicker. Burne Hogarth helps a lot with that.

Thanks for stopping by my sb!

02 February 2010, 11:47 AM
:wavey: Hi ..Johan..:)

I like the direction your going in with those little composition thumbnail studies..:thumbsup:
A good habit to get into, is to make yourself a couple of little pocket sized carboard picture with about a 4 by 6 inch rectangle opening to look through, or whatever size will fit in your bak pocket..should have a 2 inch border to block out the outside of composition elements not needed or wanted in the composition..and another one with a circle or maybe even an oval cut out....The idea is to carry them at all times, like your wallet,..then when you see something that interest you, you just hold the matt out in front of the scene, and compose what's inside of the little window that your looking through.
It's a tried and proven method used by alot of the old and new masters, and is a great way to train your eye for good composition..:) ..Just thought I would mention it, just in case you were not aware of it..:)

02 February 2010, 07:40 PM
Thanks mate. Still loads of room for improvement though ;)

Hey thanks for visiting!
And yes, Loomis said this as well in his book "Creative Illustration", so I had made one of them mini windows in cardboard and I was walking around the house with it already but not finding too many interesting compositions. I'll try to remember and take it with me when I leave the house. :)

I came across
Everyone that loves looking at plein air landscape paintings MUST check out that website!

Here's some exercises in ink as Mu suggested.
Did these with a Fabre Castell Pitt Artist pen, which has a brush tip. It's not as good as it sounds though. I'm not too fond of it, but I don't have ink yet... will see if I can buy some soon.
I should do a thousand more of these sheets because I suck at inking

02 February 2010, 08:55 PM
cool work Johan! I like this type of rendering.. it's very funny to do in my opinion

02 February 2010, 07:25 PM
I think your stuff is competent, but could be improved more by a change in your mindset, rather than giving you technical advice.

Work like you're already a master. This level of confidence will translate into the strokes and marks that you make. If everything you do is filled will self-doubt and hesitation, that will show. Conversely, if you try and make marks like you're Michael Jordan, going up for a dunk, that will also show.

Good luck!

02 February 2010, 07:20 AM
Hey Johan,

Wonderful job on those pencil tonal sketches on the last page! They are simple, but very effective I think.

For the two tone exercises, I like the ones that you simplified the features instead of defining them with lines, like the bottom left one. I think what will help is trying not to think that you are drawing individual features. Don't think, I am drawing an eye, this is a nose, etc., but instead try to see the planes underneath. Much easier said than done, lol. Maybe start with a small size where you couldn't possibly add all the little details? Like the faces in the background Mu talked about.

02 February 2010, 03:08 PM
Hi Johan!
I haven't been here for a while so it's been a nice journey for me to go through your sketchbook! It's very inspirational to see how dedicated you are and to see that reflect in your work :D
I'm not in any place to give crits or whatever, however I do feel like your pen studies seem more confident than your pencil studies?
The pen studies seriously blew me away man :D :D

03 March 2010, 03:22 PM
Francesco Thanks. Yes, still practicing to get more control of this medium
PixelColada I've been thinking a lot about what you said. I've also been reading a lot lately, one of the books being Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. He too speaks of confidence and how it is reflected in our work. Your comment has started something inside my head... something that makes me approach my paper different from before when I start drawing. So thanks for the sound advice... I'm gonna kick ass now LOL
Wes I am making progress now. You will see in the drawings I am posting below, that I am trying to see the shapes, rather than the forms. I am deiliberately trying NOT to think while drawing. If I do think it is in terms of shape, tone and edge rather than anatomical features. I am hoping this way the knowledge on anatomy I've gathered will help me to put the correct shapes, tones and edges on paper. This is the step up I am trying to make since a while now. I hope it is starting to show in my drawings.
Thanks for the feedback mate, always appreciated!
Lili Thanks for dropping by! Keep us posted of your progress =)

Unfortunately, my longer charcoal/pastel studies are all on the large sized paper I am keeping in my drawer at the academy. I will be able to show them after the jury has seen them, so probably in june or so.
Here are some of my recent quick studies in various media:

Vine Charcoal on A3

Black Marker on A3

Pencil on A3

03 March 2010, 03:24 PM
More life drawing...

1 minute poses, Bistre on A3 with a brush

03 March 2010, 03:32 PM
Wow, all of these look very confident and show a much better... flow(?) that your previous work with the first posted study in 1596 being quite the eye-opener!

03 March 2010, 05:13 PM
Hey Johan, the ink studies are fantastic! I also like the charcoals. These posts show that something is really changing. Keep up improving :D

03 March 2010, 10:23 AM
Thanks guys! I'm really enjoying these life drawing sessions and I will surely miss then once I switch to painting class (no living models the first 2 years).

edit: is it just me or is the CSS of the forum seriously screwed up since "the new version" is up?

03 March 2010, 11:21 AM
Hmm, haven't noticed, it's different for me since I switched to Google Chrome.

Nice studies, I especially like the one minute poses :thumbsup: I see you're using both sides of paper? I tried it with pencils but all got smudged, so I draw on one page only. But maybe with less smeary mediums it's possible, I find leaving empty pages a waste of space.

03 March 2010, 11:33 AM
Missing the life drawing sessions...STEP #2...Time to put to use, and practice what you have learned in those life drawing sessions..Challenge yourself...Draw your inspiration from real life...Will test your memory and imagination, when your subjects are on the move, and have left the scene before you have finalized them.. :eek:..Always something new to and you shall find.. :D

03 March 2010, 11:53 AM
I really like the biro/pen type sketches. Good luck with the painting class - you'll have to keep on sketching people out on the street to keep fresh! :D

03 March 2010, 09:03 PM
sirielle It's thin paper from my A3 sketchbook (you can see the next page through it).
Glenn heh yeah I meant I will miss life drawing when I'm not in painting class. I think I'll be too busy learning other stuff in painting class to miss the drawing classes ;) But you're right, every day brings new learning possibilities.
AJ Thanks, it only starts in september though and I still have to apply (and get accepted, but that should only be a formality)

Well I'm busy painting my color charts and really taking my time for it too. It's a very basic but thorough exercise in patience and determination. Every square I paint is a learning experience though. It's amazing to see what happens when mixing pigments together!
Color charts are taking up most of my free time outside school so there's hardly time to do anything else. Sorry for the lack of updates!

03 March 2010, 01:45 PM
lovely lifestudies friend... can really sense your improvement..

03 March 2010, 07:21 AM
Life drawing seems to do you good - well done on these

04 April 2010, 03:56 PM
Hi Johan :)

Goodness it's been too long! I am popping in to say hello and wow you've made progress! Awesome to see! Thank you for your support and your gentle prod a while back, I haven't forgotten and I am working towards finding more time ;)

Your life-drawing is coming along really well, great to see the variety in mediums you're using, I think it's a great way to absorb form [begin mumble:] through exploring each medium, which has it's own unique quality, you end up having to solve different issues with each one, and through that you end up with a broader understanding of form and translating what you 'see' on to the paper [end mumble] :) :thumbsup:

Hope all is well up your end of the world

cheers and take care

Annette :)

04 April 2010, 08:33 PM
love your recent life studies, Johan, especially the ballpoint and ink ones, very fluid and expressive! You seem to tighten up a bit too much with the pencil ones. Looking forward to seeing what you do with paint!

04 April 2010, 07:08 AM
Hey, Johan! Good to see you're still at it. Great variety of media in your life drawings, they are getting better and better. I really envy you doing all the work traditionally :) How are the color charts going? And how are you and your family these days?
Wish you all the best!

04 April 2010, 06:24 PM
Jaisan, Mark, Annette, Del, Razz
Thanks for your visit and your nice comments!

This is what has been taking up most of my free time the last few weeks. (
I can assure you, it will be used well in the future!

04 April 2010, 11:12 PM
Jaisan, Mark, Annette, Del, Razz
Thanks for your visit and your nice comments!

This is what has been taking up most of my free time the last few weeks. (
I can assure you, it will be used well in the future!

It looks great. I need to do something like that. I also noted the children... i assume are yours... I am sure time goes to them too. I know it does with me!

04 April 2010, 03:00 AM
wow, those studies look amazing! truly inspiring!
Good job on the easel, it looks like it is very hard to make.

04 April 2010, 07:13 PM
Hey Johan,

That is one massive easel! I can't wait to see the paintings you do. :)

04 April 2010, 05:18 AM
Pretty awesome life drawings you've got there Johan, love them.

04 April 2010, 09:45 AM
Wow, that's one impressive easel! :D

I've been doing some colour charts too, but with coloured pencils. It's a time consuming, but very informative process.

I look forward to seeing the paintings you'll create on your shiny new easel. :)

05 May 2010, 09:27 AM
hi Johan,
nice life studies man! keep improving.:beer:

05 May 2010, 04:52 PM
Johan, you've been steadily marching along!
Oh no! Just remembered I was supposed to send you something! Time got away from me.

A tutorial? Yes?

05 May 2010, 05:21 PM
Hey guys!
I'm really sorry for my absence lately!

I'm currently quite busy setting up my studio in my basement, which requires a lot of the rougher work like painting the walls, adjusting the electricity and collecting and fixing 2nd hand furniture to use.

I'm also working on another big project but I can't talk about it yet.
The only thing I can say about it now is that it's a project in dutch and it will hopefully bring Flemish and Dutch traditional and digital painters together. I feel there is some serious need of this in the Dutch Language Area.

Esmeralda, if you can spare the time to teach me, please do! I embrace every kind of critique!
Thanks all for the encouraging words!

05 May 2010, 07:16 PM
Hi Johan,

without much ado: I would like to let you know something which is better or more comfortably handled with e-mail.

Could you send me your e-mail adress? I didn't look if I have it already, so if that is the case, let me know.

I might have a little surprise for you (oh the joy of making vague hints)
Fastest way to let me know is of course to send me an e-mail to


06 June 2010, 09:35 PM
hi Johan,

PM should be working by now


06 June 2010, 07:03 AM
Hi Johan :)

I know it's ages ago you prompted me to get myself back here - and I do thank you for that :) I'm still struggling to find time (and the time-lords are ever so non-relenting), but I do want to pop in here and say hello and hope that you're busy painting on your FABULOUS easel! :bounce: Happy waves from a winter chilled yet sunny land down south and I look forward to your next updates (following your blog as well ;) )

cheers and take care
Annette :)

06 June 2010, 05:05 AM
Hey all,

sorry for being so very very absent here, but I've got such a busy schedule it's hard to find time to even draw, let alone scan/photograph the drawings and post them online.

The good news is I managed to enlist in the oil painting class with this particular instructor I was talking about earlier in this thread. We had an exhibition at the academy, where 3 of my drawings were shown so my drawing instructor was quite happy with my work.
Me, however, I hate to say it but the last time I overlooked my work from this last schoolyear, I found that the overall feeling I had was disappointment in my work. This only means I need to work harder if I want to become better, so it's not as big of a deal as it sounds ;)

Right, now that I got that off my chest and I'm here anyway, I thought I'd ask a few things:

When exporting an image I created, I just can't get the background of the exported .png image to be transparant. It's either white or a color I gave it, but never transparent, and I need a transparent background!
Does anyone know how I can do this? (not been able to find a solution online)

Also, I've been studying a lot on web programming dynamic websites with php and mySQL.
I'm still quite novice so I need a lot of practice. If anyone knows a good online source with good exercises and assignments for php coding , please let me know through pm?
I'm not looking for tutorials (got plenty of those and some great books), but more for real exercises that will force me to use my grey cells to come up with my own solution ;)

Mu, YOU ROCK MATE!:buttrock:
Annette, that is probably the nicest way anyone has kicked my butt to work harder, your so sweet! I've only used the easel to varnish the wooden chair parts I've been building (I'm fixing our living room chairs) so far, but it's bound to be used for more creative things soon!

07 July 2010, 10:21 AM
Hello everyone,
im new to here..
i love inkscape. . i have some drawing experience but using this software is fairly simple and i think its a better idea to start using it.

need your comments

07 July 2010, 03:40 PM
HEY Johan :wavey: :)

Just stopping in to say HI..and to thank you for stopping by my thread and expressing the thought that you expressed this morning..:thumbsup:

A couple of links back at you :) ..I think you will enjoy them.

TAKE CARE Johan, and HAVE A GREAT ONE..:thumbsup: :)

07 July 2010, 08:00 AM
Thanks for visiting my thread.
I'm not sure what you meant to ask?

Thank you! Lot's of truth and sense in these timeless songs!
My son Lars actually likes the John Lennon song as well, because he was asking what it is about, so I told him expressively :D

My latest project, which was the cause of my lacking in updating this sketchbook, is "Het Vlaams Kunstschilders Forum". It's an online forum for dutch speaking painters (traditional and digital), which will hopefully grow into a nice community over the next few years. It's in dutch so those of you that speak that language and are interested in painting, please take a peep at ( and if you like it, you can register for free.

Thanks to a very good friend of mine (he knows who he is), who was so kind to give me some AWESOME oil painting gear, I started my first experiments with this medium.
I created an abstract painting that now functions as a header image for above mentioned website.
Here is a picture of the painting in full:
Tussen Zand en Zee (Between Sand and See), Oil on panel

Good news on the studio. It is practically finished. I'm just waiting for these fluorecent lamps I ordered to use for lighting my still lives, and we're good to go. One of these I will get me a good large mirror as well so I can start painting selfportraits etc in oils. Can't wait!

07 July 2010, 09:03 AM
ah you went for the flours then, good solution, supposed to be the truest to natural the impasto.....


07 July 2010, 10:51 PM
I'm drooling over your life drawings from the past few pages, they look fantastic no matter what technique you use :)

Those tips on observing color (the 4 questions) will surely come handy.

07 July 2010, 07:23 AM
Hey mate! Nice stuff going on here, happy to see things are going well, at least the artistic ones. Will we get a view of your studio? Interested to see where the magic is going to be happening :D

07 July 2010, 08:20 AM
Hi dude, you're doing very well with the figure drawings. I see some repeating shapes within your drawings, that make me feel you draw more than watch. Overall look very good, it's just a bad habit you might consider getting rid of.
Cu buddy :)

08 August 2010, 08:39 AM
Pff jesus I've not posted here in ages!
Sorry guys. Life is pulling my strings these days :)

Been busy learning to paint with oils. Not too much paintings to show yet (doing more basic, technical stuff like color charts etc). Oil painting classes start in 10 days though so I'm eager to learn it the proper way! As from then I will probably be able to show more of my stuff as well.

Here's a portrait of my father I just finished.

The studio has been flooded twice this summer already due to heavy rain, so is still a bit messy but as soon as I've cleaned it a bit I'll post some pictures (don't worry, I'll paint with my boots on if I must :D )

thanks for the encouragement!

Not sure what you mean with "repeating shapes"?
Can you elaborate a bit please?

Thanks for the support buddy!

08 August 2010, 10:21 AM
Hi Johan :)

Nice to see you back posting... I do know what it's like when life pulls strings (more like ropes :surprised :scream: ). Sounds like a nightmare with a flooded studio! Hope it was only floor that got wet...

Look forward to seeing you post paintings from your oil-painting classes, should be lots of fun! I like the colours in your impasto, and the portrait of your dad has a nice quality about it :)

Thanks too for your post in my thread (ages ago I know), I went away for a month and came back to find I've been a terrible hostess... :cry:

cheers and take care
Annette :)

08 August 2010, 11:50 AM
"Not sure what you mean with "repeating shapes"?
Can you elaborate a bit please?"

Your facial features for example are all the same, mostly it is visible on mouths. That make me think you draw more from memory than what you actually see. We all have this tendency, so I would really recommend you to switch drawing hand and draw upside-down from upside-down reference photo. Just for fun, you warm up yourself and and you can switch back to normal and you'll see the difference. Build habits and then break them. Those good will survive, those bad will be pushed away.

cu and good luck :)

08 August 2010, 01:31 PM
Hey Annette
thanks for your prompt reaction!
Apart from my drawings from school last year, nothing else was damaged by the water.
But that was just practice of which I wasn't too happy anyway so it's not that bad.
A month away eh... wow! Hope you had time to sketch during your trip!

Ah ok. Well there were only 2 models (apart from the occasional new model) all year.
But you are right, when I draw from imagination, the heads end up looking very similar.
I'm trying to break that habbit, but I think I just need to expand my visual library a lot more.
I'll really try to sketch more.
Thanks for the good advise!

Here's a B/W oil painting I recently did as a value exercise. At the same time, I was getting to know oil paints, medium, using different types of brushes to see the effects etc.

Untitled, Oil on panel 25cm x 20cm

08 August 2010, 04:55 AM
Hi Johan,

Great job on the last painting. The metal texture is really well done.


09 September 2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks mate. It's not metal though, but the top part of this ceramic jar was lacqued, hence the strong reflections :curious:

Pencil on A4, after Bouguereau

Pencil on A4, after Bouguereau

09 September 2010, 01:22 PM
Oh mate you're starting to scare me with how good you're getting!

09 September 2010, 04:41 PM
Yup, better and better :applause:

09 September 2010, 07:10 PM
Man, that last Bouguereau copy drawing is outstanding! Such a delicate shading!

10 October 2010, 04:45 AM
Hi there Johan :)

Agree completely with Mu, Sirielle and Razz: that last drawing is awesome! :arteest: Lovely shading and beautiful detail! Look forward to more updates from you and hope that your term back at school is proving to be inspiring and positive!

a. :)

10 October 2010, 03:38 PM
awesome work on that Bouguereau dude :buttrock:


10 October 2010, 04:52 AM
Oh and hello again Johan :)

Just found out in Glenn's thread that you have some pretty exciting news on the way :beer:
Just want to say that's awesome and all the best to your whole family! :wavey:

a. :)

10 October 2010, 07:00 AM
razz, sirielle Thanks for the confidence boost mate!
Mu Yeah I thought I had to go as delicately as I could if I didn't want to dishonor the man :)
Annette Oh yes, school is awesome! And so is life. The baby should be here somewhere around the end of november. I will probably have to miss some classes at school but if a newborn baby isn't a good reason to take a break, I don't know what is :) Thank you!
Kris thanks mate, it seems when I take my time, I can get closer to what I intended at the start.

Still not much to post. I will post my painting class experiences and thoughts on my blog ( ), so if you are interested, just follow me there ;)

Below are some quick studies. I try to go through my anatomy book once every couple of months, but I usually don't get much further than the first part. I need to study legs and pelvis area a lot more.
So these anatomy sketches are a lot more about functions of the body, rather than esthetics.

Thanks guys!

10 October 2010, 02:33 PM
Nice work with the anatomy studies! This stuff is so helpful to learn, it'll really pay off when you work on the figure.

And I had no idea about your upcoming news! :) Congratulations, how exciting!

10 October 2010, 12:48 PM
Oh, congratulations on becoming father again, soon!

10 October 2010, 01:11 PM
Congratulations from me, too - great news! :thumbsup:

11 November 2010, 03:00 PM
Thanks all! We were quite busy preparing ourselves for the baby's arrival, but we're all set now :)

More stuff on ;)

11 November 2010, 08:43 AM
Your drawing is becoming very solid dude! And the figure study looks very thorough, which is good if you asked me. Looking forward to see more and congrats to your happy news ;)


11 November 2010, 03:11 PM
Hey Johan :wavey: Just popping in to say, hope all is well with you and yours..:)

Also wanted to say..OUTSTANDING job on that Bouguereau piece..:arteest:
Really also like that guy weilding the sword..Nice controlled energy and technique expressed in that one..can feel the action..:thumbsup:
Take Care Johan

11 November 2010, 10:50 AM
Michal thanks mate for the encouragement!
Glenn Thanks for visiting and the wishes! All is great here in Belgium. We've just had one of the nicest periods of the year, those 2 weeks when all the trees are gold and red. I really regret not having had the chance to capture anything of it with paints, but I will try again next fall for sure.
The man with the sword, Mr Howard Pyle did the hard work for me, I just copied it ;)

I've been collecting the cardboard from the cereal boxes we use (our kids are corn flake monsters!) and I'm using them to attempt drawing my family from life and such.
Drawing kids is extremely challenging to me, for one because they never sit still.

Here's a few of the sketches that weren't a total failure. I've hightened some with white chalk but the effect isn't as visible as I would have liked. Perhaps I will get me a pen and fill it with white ink (or if anyone has a better idea?)

Thanks for watching.

11 November 2010, 04:11 PM
cute pen drawings, kids and pets are very challenging....keep up the good work, Johan.....


11 November 2010, 04:29 AM
nice nice.....:)

11 November 2010, 04:03 PM
Thanks Chris and Jaisan :)

Here's a pumpkin I painted in class (you can see some more at my website (

11 November 2010, 08:24 AM
My latest work of art (which is actually a WIP and I still have about 20 years of work on at least :D)
Actually, it's my gf Elisabeth that did all the work sofar, while I just take the credit o.O

His name is Elias and he weighed 3720g when he was born last friday, and measured 51cm.
My other son Lars called him "a cool guy" already, so I think he's accepted by the rest of the family :D

Bringing him and his mum home from the hospital today woohoo!

11 November 2010, 10:25 AM
Greetings to Mr Elias! :)

11 November 2010, 10:59 AM
congratulations, Johan, another boy to join the gang...:thumbsup:


11 November 2010, 11:25 AM
A Masterpiece if ever I saw one...:arteest: :bounce: :applause:
Congrats...Elias and family....:thumbsup:

As Always...TAKE CARE :thumbsup:

11 November 2010, 11:29 AM
Thanks Chris, Glenn and Karolina :D

11 November 2010, 12:02 PM
Congratulations, Johan! Best wishes to you and your family :)

12 December 2010, 01:07 AM
Fantastic and complete realistic work of art. :-)

God bless you and family.

12 December 2010, 11:01 AM
congratulations Johan! the "basic sketch" looks great, good luck :D

12 December 2010, 04:10 AM

How exciting to "meet" your new family member :applause:
Happy wishes to all of you and hope you have had a fabulous
Christmas together and gearing up for a
Happy New Year 2011 :) :) :wavey: :beer:

cheers and take care!
:) Annette

12 December 2010, 11:37 AM
Hey Johan:wavey: ...MERRY CHRISTMAS..:thumbsup: and looking forward to seeing you around in the New Year..:)
TAKE CARE Johan :thumbsup:

01 January 2011, 06:52 AM
My latest work of art (which is actually a WIP and I still have about 20 years of work on at least :D)
Actually, it's my gf Elisabeth that did all the work sofar, while I just take the credit o.O

His name is Elias and he weighed 3720g when he was born last friday, and measured 51cm.
My other son Lars called him "a cool guy" already, so I think he's accepted by the rest of the family :D

Bringing him and his mum home from the hospital today woohoo!
Beautiful Child!!!

01 January 2011, 06:21 PM
ooh, what an adorable piece of artwork! He's beautiful, and look at them long fingers. Congratulations to you and your family

01 January 2011, 06:32 PM
Congratulations! Great work;) the second photo we can see a serious Elias thinking about the future of humanity, universe origin and other important things.

Congratutlations again man.

01 January 2011, 04:16 AM
awwww very cute! Congrats to you and the family on your new member - enjoy!:)

01 January 2011, 05:02 AM
:wavey:Congratulations ! and have a great new year.

01 January 2011, 05:25 AM
Wow! Congrats on the baby :) Blessings to all of you. It's great that with kids you still find the time to do your sketches. That's so good.

Dear hubby and I are also having our own little work of art in July, thank God. And drawing is so meditative while pregnant, it's amazing.

Good luck and keep up the good art.

01 January 2011, 01:46 PM
He is a cool guy alright!:thumbsup: Congratulations, Johan!

02 February 2011, 10:07 AM
Thanks all!

I've been neglecting my thread for so long now I feel really bad about it.
And I'm not sure if I will be able to change that in the near future :cry:

I'm thinking of making a short art/study trip to Rome, Italy in the summer.
Anyone know of places I must absolutely see?
Also, any practical tips etc are also welcome, please pm me? :)
Big thanks in advance!

I have some sketches from life and alla prima oil paintings but not had time to scan yet.
Will try to do this soon!

02 February 2011, 02:06 PM
Ohhh! I totally missed out on your new family member! I'd be very much surprised if you managed to get anything done at all, not to mention upload it, hahaha.

Congrats, man!

02 February 2011, 06:56 PM
Hey, thank you for all the great advice you just keep giving me!
I feel ashamed I never bothered to leave something behind.
You've some great life drawing skills which are really inspirational
and of course not to forget CONGRATULATIONS on your third child.

You're an amazing guy, don't stop inspiring people (especially me).

04 April 2011, 03:55 AM

06 June 2011, 02:56 PM
I'm still alive, believe it or not o.O

Open Door show at the Academy (SLAC ( started today.
Come say hello, I'll be there on Sunday afternoon :D

Here's a painting I did during the schoolyear.

I posted more on my blog (

06 June 2011, 04:36 PM
Here's a still life I finished last night.
My dad painted this crazy man 40 years ago or so. I always admired the little portrait for it's humorous appearance. The painting, somehow, got lost but he always kept the postcard he used for reference, so I decided to paint it too when he recently gave it to me.
Lost Marbles - Oil on Panel 40cm x 60 cm

06 June 2011, 08:28 PM
Hey Johan..:)

Really likeing these still lifes..Nice composition, color, and brushwork...:thumbsup:

That character in the last one is a spitting image of the actor and comedian Robin Williams...Can't be him though, because he would have been too young when your father had the card and painted it...Maybe it's his father..LOL..:scream:
Anyway, Keep up the Great progress..:thumbsup:

Hope all is well with you and yours over in your neck of the woods..:)
As Always..Take Care Johan

06 June 2011, 04:44 AM
Thank alot, i can learn many thing about lighting.

11 November 2011, 11:08 PM
Hi Johan :)

Hope all is going well your end - sorry it's been so long since my last post (boohoo they've even closed my thread :cry: :cry: ) - it is always great though to pop back and see what you've been up to here :)

Great colours in the blue painting with the bottles :thumbsup:

I love your latest painting - and the story that went with it, what a great way to pay tribute to a childhood memory and something treasured! I did laugh though - looking at that guys face and then seeing the title.... "Lost Marbles" I'm thinking the funny old guy has the marbles in his mouth... :curious: (maybe I'm being really 'doh' - perhaps that is what we're meant to see...?)

cheers and take care
a :)

11 November 2011, 04:03 PM
cool still lifes, Johan....


12 December 2011, 11:08 AM
Omg I am so neglecting this thread! Shame on meh!
If I'm not carefull my thread will be closed too :banghead:
I've been painting though ;)

Had a break from painting at home for a couple of months and was limited to painting at the academy for 2 nights a week with the baby demanding much care and (especially) attention. But now I'm back at it since the beginning of december. When I look back at 2011, I've made a good 20 paintings at home of which I am quite happy with the result (I used to dislike my work when it was finished) and I plan to double this at least for 2012 (actually 52 good paintings would be nice!).

I'm mostly updating on my blog, hence the abcense here (otherwise I spend too much time in front of the pc, rather than using my limited free time for drawing or painting). If you want to, you can easily subscribe by email or follow, then you are automatically notified when I update.

Anyway, here's one of the latest

Kris, thanks slowly but steady moving forward
Annette, hey it's great to see you active here again!
nosisme so can I :D
Glenn Thanks for the encouragement!

Have a good year y'all!

12 December 2011, 03:00 PM
Nice to see an update here:thumbsup:. If my monitor is displaying it ok, this last picture it feels (to me at least) like those raw photos without the exposure curve applied to bring the information and detail (or just light) in shadows. As the raw photos, in your painting there is no something wrong, but that could use some fine tunning or adjustement. Honestly, i wouldn´t change the painting, i´m commenting this in case you are not fully aware of this.

post more often man.

12 December 2011, 07:18 PM
Thanks Juan.
I'm not sure what you mean with your comment though. The last painting has very dark areas -alizarin crimson with phthalo green or phthalo blue make a really dark black- which was perfectly intended. Anyway, it looks ok on my hardware calibrated monitor. The real painting does look better though, but this is always the case... a photo never does justice to a painting.

Well, this year is ending in a few hours.

Happy New Year to everyone!

12 December 2011, 08:01 PM
I´m seeing it in another monitor and the difference is unvelievable. I was not talking about the bg though, is just that the other monitor wasn´t showing a lot of the middle tones in the overall darker areas.

Have a good year you too!


12 December 2011, 10:00 PM
Your studies are amazing, keep up the awesome work :D

01 January 2012, 01:58 PM
Post 1680 on the previous page in here....Great...:bounce: :applause: Luv the vitality in the brushwork and beautiful use of color....Great rendering of light/shadow/shade also...Congrats:thumbsup:

Hey..Happy New Year by the way my friend..Hope all is well with you and yours..and Best wishes for the year ahead.:) :thumbsup:

As Always Johan ..Take Care..:) :thumbsup:

01 January 2012, 01:56 PM
Happy New year too Johan :)
Nice happy flower painting - did you end up unwrapping it? I like your goal of 52 paintings this year, wish I could do that! Drawings definitely, but paintings seem to take me a lot longer to finish - it is an inspiring thought though :)

All the best for you and your family :wavey:
a :)

01 January 2012, 01:12 PM
Hey, Johan! How are you doing? I've visited your blog (must confess, it's been a while) and, man, you've gotten real good! I follows this artist's ( blog and seeing your stuff reminded me of him. Take a look at his work if you haven't seen it already. Small paintings of small things, beautiful stuff, mate! Congrats :)

01 January 2012, 03:17 AM
I am liking these still life paintings :thumbsup:

02 February 2012, 08:24 AM
i love the concept of the flower piece, it just makes you look really hard at what is going on there.

CGTalk Moderation
02 February 2012, 08:24 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.