Portrait of Spijker, a Golden retriever

25 02 2015

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

This was commissioned from the Netherlands, but I was in Dallas so had to make do with photo’s. If at all possible I prefer to makes sketches from life. But I will take commissions using photographs.

And the internet makes it easy to send photos, make sketches and share them, and discuss the final painting.

The style was to be somewhat 18th century, a real state portrait! I used oils on marouflé, painting board, covered with Belgian portrait linen, this makes for a very stable panel, of very fine quality.

The final pencil sketch:


The painting in progress


The finished painting!


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At the Dallas Aquarium, the finished oil painting!

25 02 2015

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

At The Dallas Aquarium or why you should stop playing with your smartphone and pay attention At The Dallas Aquarium
or why you should stop playing with your smartphone and pay attention

So this is the real thing, I brought a HUGE canvas, it’s 2 meter by 1,5 meter. That’s 80” by 60” in inches.

I usually start of with a grisaille base painting.

At the Dallas Aquarium sketch At the Dallas Aquarium sketch

For lack of an easel, (my stuff had not arrived yet) I hung the painting on the wall. Not ideal, but it worked. I had different sizes of steps to reach different parts of the canvas. Luckily I didn’t fall off any of them, although there have been some close calls! Unlike the water color sketch I now started out with working on the Water world. This is because oil paint is a different medium,  so requires a different approach. I really wanted the colors to stand out, and of course the foreground had to stand out…

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the life-changing magic of tidying up: the japanese art of decluttering and organizing

22 02 2015

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

A long title for a brilliant book!

So: the super excellent life-changing magic of tidying up… Here’s the gist, the writer, Marie Kondo, is a professional organizer, who goes around Japan to help people get rid of clutter and organize what’s left of it. If you think all Japanese are all minimal and zen, think again! They are just as messy as the rest of us. And they have even less space. That is, until Marie has visited. She doesn’t sell storage solutions, she wants you to have so little you don’t need storage solutions.

Marie is Shinto and so thanks all her stuff when using it, after using it and when throwing it out. I thought it was brilliant. I am not a Shinto animist, but I am ”barking mad”, and one reason I cannot get rid of stuff is that I feel sorry for the stuff that gets…

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Dallas Aquarium, the color sketch

21 02 2015

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

Look at this fun development of the color sketch!
The thing was to find out if I could get this juxtaposition of light right.
(See the black and white sketch here)

There are two worlds overlapping here. There is the world of water, where color is subdued into a greenish bluish palette, and everything is diffuse. And then there is the world of air with sharp contrast, also in the lighting, warm lamps and stark shadows.
Só fascinating!

A white piece of water color paper and the figures of the world of air.


The fish and rocks are sketched in,


The water world is colored in. I thought it worked.


Next installment will be the preparation and the base painting on the gigantic canvas!

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Synchronised Fridays

20 02 2015

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

So, over at Basenotes, the perfume forum I am a member of, today’s synch is about ”Your first ”investment perfume”…”

Balmain Perfume miss Aafke art painting

Hum, I don’t ”invest” in perfumes, I use them! But I did ”invest” in a few extra bottle of Balmain de Balmain (by… guess who? Pierre Balmain) when I learned that this gorgeous perfume is going to be discontinued. I found a seller on Ebay with a very good deal too.
It’s sad though. All good perfumes are discontinued by now, and that’s because the ingredient which makes all my favorite scents, ”Oakmoss” has been banned ostensibly because somewhere, somebody, sometime, had a slight tiny bot of irritation when exposed to a dollop of the stuff. I think in reality it is because it’s an expensive ingredient and they want to move on to more synthetics. I base this opinion on the fact that alcohol, is far…

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Nous sommes Charlie

18 02 2015


This really has to be posted on this site as well.
And, I now have a diary. I am making one drawing of Mohammed every day.

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

A pencil is:

Stronger than the sword

Stronger than the guns

Stronger than the gods

Charlie Hebdo S

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Antar and Fly Ball

18 02 2015

Originally posted on Aafke and Art:

So our RSPCA rescue Antar is now a flyball racing dog in training. We are part of an excellent team: No Big Woof Flyball. I never realized that Fly Ball is an extreme sport where you can incur some serious injuries, My new Fly Ball friends have shown me some horrendous effects of the following mistakes which will happen if you:

  • Hold the tug toy in front of you instead of as far as possible to the side
  • let your safety glove slide and the teeth pierce your hand anyway

So I decided to design a more safe outfit for our team.
Here it is :


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