From the monthly archives:

April 2007

Tortillon (Drawing: Intersecting bottles)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday April 30, 2007

in Personal

In primary school I ones had the assignment to draw a branch of mistletoe. At that time I didn’t yet know that I mainly look at details and how I should deal with that. So while I drew the details of one side of the branch I didn’t look at the other side. When I drew the details on the other side I didn’t see the one side.

The result was that the branch got wider and wider. I didn’t like that drawing very much. My teacher did.

After that I only drew this kind of pictures. Save pictures that weren’t supposed to look like something. Back then I only used two colors.

Intersecting bottles
Intersecting bottles

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On the Click show a site was featured where they showed how to draw portraits of famous people. One of the technique he shows was the use of tortillons.

Tortillons are conical shaped pieces of pressed paper that are used to blend colors.

I drew this picture to play a little with the tortillon and so see what I can do with it.


Phew (Drawing: Boy in swimming trunk bust)

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday April 29, 2007

in Personal

(After I posted the story about my anxiety attack at my work my manager called. He had used all his negotiation skills to get me to the specific department that Promen and I agree upon. He is one of the few decent managers at Promen. Thanks Herman.)

A while back I wrote that I usely need about a quarter of an hour to finish a drawing. Not this time. This drawing took the better part of a day.

Boy in swimming trunk bust
Boy in swimming trunk bust

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At the moment I only see the details that are faulty: Only after drawing the mouth I noticed that the face is tilted. The mouth is not. I’ll have to wait a day or two before I see the big picture and judge how good or bad this drawing is.

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Strange way of drawing (Sketch: Ai ai)

by Henk ter Heide on Saturday April 28, 2007

in Personal

Yesterday I enthusiasticly searched for a dozen picture of people to draw. A picture of a boy in a swimming trunk in a shower of some swimmingpool didn’t look to difficult so I started with that one.

But me being me I can’t just start with the big picture. I have to start with some detail and…

I’m not sure what will happen next. I thought that I might draw a lot of pictures of details and then work my way up to the big picture.

But it seems that I’m going to zoom out.

Layering of colors gives a very nice result but it is a very strange way of drawing.

Yesterday I started with a yellowish brown as back color. But that turned out to be to dark. Which means that the darker parts of the face get to dark.

This time I started with a yellow. But as you can see this yellow is to sharp. It hurts your eyes.

Ai ai
Ai ai

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I’ve started a new drawing with a less brightyellow.

At first I thought that layering would mean that I’ld have to draw the picture dozens of times with different colors. A bit like what you would expect of silk-screen print. But that is hardly possible. That would mean drawing the nose in yellow next to the cheeks in yellow above the mouth in yellow.

How would I see the difference? If I can’t see where the nose ends and the cheeks begin how would I draw the next layer? So I decide to lay a foundation of yellow and draw the next layers.


I had a panic attact at my work last week Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday they gave me other work then I’m used to. Well  actually the same work but in a different room with different people. It caught me off gaurd.

For some reason I reacted very strongly but without recognizing my own reaction. I didn’t treet people very nice.

Thursday they gave me back my my own work. But I felt very anxiet so I took some sick leave expecting that it would pass. But it didn’t. Last Tuesday I felt fine until entered the building were I work. I felt some strange sensation in my throat and on my chest.

It took me nearly two hours to recognize it as a feeling of fear.

It took me a few days to figure out why I felt fear at my work and why I’m still feeling fear. It has to do with the agreement I made with my employer.

As an autistic I need al lot of structure. I need to know what will happen to me and what kind of work I will do and where I will do that work.

I’ve been working with Promen for the last seven years and I found them to be a very chaotic. Over the last couple of years I have had several times that I was reprimanded for doing exactly what they told me to do the day before. Then the next day they changed there minds again and again reprimanded me for doing what I was told to do. Then the they would change there mind again, and again…

You can expect the same kind of trouble when you enter in an agreement with them: The person who is responsible for transportation won’t bring me to my place of work because I didn’t tell him that I had to go there. He doesn’t even seem to realize that it is not my place to tell him what to do. Next they called me to ask me whether I would agree to changing the agreement because it would be much easier, on them, if they didn’t have to do what we agreed upon.

According to the agreement I would get a secondment with the company Lemkes and if Lemkes didn’t have any work for my I would go to a specific interal department.

Actualy Lemkes isn’t a very good workplace for me. It’s a very nice small company with a varying workload and a varying amount of temps. Which means that it isn’t structured. But even with the varying workload and varying amound of temps it’s still more structured then Promen.

Working with Lemkes was kind of an escape from Promen. It’s kind of strange that someone with a disability would need to escape from the company that is set up especialy for people with disabilities.

Now I’m at the mercy of Promen and that’s a fightning prospect.

Boy in swimming trunk partial portrait
Boy in swimming trunk partial portrait

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More sticks (Sketch: Scinny)

by Henk ter Heide on Thursday April 26, 2007

in Drawing

This is the fourth attempt at drawing a man. (You can find the other two at my Flickr account by clicking the picture.)


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This time the proportions of the body are more or less correct. The hands and  feet aren’t. Now I’m going to try it with colors


Drawing people (Sketch: Stick men)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday April 25, 2007

in Personal

A few weeks ago they renovated my house which, apart from a lot of dust, left me with a lot of memories of workman doing interesting things with heavy equipment. I wanted to draw them but as you can see I can’t draw people.

Stick men
Stick men

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This pictures is a first scetch to see how I stand. I’ve tried to get at least the proportions right. But as you can see I haven’t succeeded.

The arms including the hands should reach the top of the legs but the legs are to short.

Time for some study.


Layers (Sketch: Nice lips)

by Henk ter Heide on Tuesday April 24, 2007

in Technique

A while back I discovered that if you put several layers of different colors on top of each other you get a very nice variation in colors. The only problem is that contrary to painting when using pencils the colors are a bit unpredictable.
Yesterday I found that if you layer colors with different tones the result is much more predictable and you get that feeling of depth which is missing when you only use one color.

Nice lips
Nice lips

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In this study I’ve tried both techniques. Using blue to darken the shades isn’t working out. But I’m especialy proud of the mouth. In both lips I used a layering of three colors. In the upper lip one orange and two reds and in the lower lip an orange, a red and a purple.

I’m just wondering if I didn’t mix up the shades. Shouldn’t the lower lip be the ligther one?


Family ties (Drawing: Hole in the world)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday April 23, 2007

in Personal

My father called a weeks ago to tell me that he had been ill for two weeks; nausea, diarrhoea, tired. Probebly some virus that is going round. He has gotten some pills from his docter and things were going better.

Last Friday I called him for some problem but before I got the change to talk about it he told me that he was still sick. This is the third week of the two week flu. It has me a bit worried.

Probebly everything is alright but he is 76 (or 78 I keep forgetting) and although he is generaly in good health he isn’t fit. He Couldn’t run the 100 metres if his live depended on it.

Every now and then I think about what would happen if my father would die.

Hole in the world
Hole in the world

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I would lose all my ties with the family. My mother and sister died 18 years ago. I have some cousins but I have hardly any contact with them. My father has. So if something happens in the family I hear it via my father.

In some sence I would also lose contact with the world.

I don’t have a great need for contact with people. So I don’t make many friends. I talk to my colleagues and up till a few days ago I talked to the people in my pub. But they aren’t my friends.

After the fight in my pub I did some thinking about why I go there. I feel like I have a limited dose of energie to spent in talking with people. If I spent it talking to people I don’t like I won’t have anything left to talk with people I do like.

I’ve decide not to go to this pub anymore. Hopefully it will give me the need to talk with people I do like.

But for the moment that means that apart from my father I don’t have any contact with people I like.

So if my father would die in the next couple of weeks I would lose all my ties with the world.

And then there is the financial problem. Doing unskilled labor I don’t make very much money. So when I’m in a jam I go to my father.

When he dies I inherit a lot of money. So I’ld have to manage that money or find someone to do that for me.

But going to some finacial adviser when you’re in a jam isn’t the same as calling your father.


Anger managment (Drawing: Beating them)

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday April 22, 2007

in Personal

It seems that a lot of what I’m doing the last couple of months is relearning things I knew as a child and trying to loose things I’ve learned in the last twenty years. But I’m also learning some new skills.

Like most autistics my thinking process is very visual. Thinking about something is like watching a little movie that is screened in my head. When I think about what I need (shopping list) a stream of pictures pops into my mind.

Until a few month ago I didn’t know that this was a strange way of thinking. It suits me and I never gave it a second thought.

The only thing is that thinking in pictures gives you a disadvantage when you want to say something. “A Picture Is Worth One Thousand Words” is very treu. The problem is that it’s very difficult to think of those thousand words the moment you want to say something. So as a child I didn’t talk very much. Usely not much more then five or six sentences in a week.

But as an adult you are bound to run into a lot of problems if you don’t talk. Many people think it’s very funny to abuse someone who doesn’t talk.

About twenty years ago I learned to talk in my mind. In the beginning I practised for situation I was expecting in which I had to talk to people. But it never was enough. I allways had the feeling that I had to practise more. The last few years I was allways practising. 98% of the conversation I practised never happened.

But all that practising was exhausting.

The last few months I’m learning to stop the talking in my head.

One of the thinks I never managed as a child was how to deal with anger.

Most neuro typical curse and yell when they are angry. I have tried it but it doesn’t work for me. Talking when I’m angry just gives me the feeling that I don’t understand myself.

But I’ve found a solution. I have found a large block of something in my mind. Tied it with a rope ( I think) and bash it in to things. Probebly it does a lot of damage. But mostly it’s a relief to feel all that anger be released.

Beating them

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Fight in local pub (Drawing: Explosion)

by Henk ter Heide on Saturday April 21, 2007

in Personal

Yesterday I had a fight with the owner of a local pub I have been frequenting for the last ten years. He bought the place nine years ago and soon after that started to make strange jokes: When I came in he would tell me that he would be glad if I left. When I’d leave he’d comment that I overstayed my welcome etc.

Being autistic I have a hard time judging whether somebody is making a joke or not. But most of the time he was a nice man who didn’t bother me. So I assumed that it was some kind of joke, an anoying joke but still a joke.

But a few months ago an other costumor reacted insulted after hearing this joke. She told him that see didn’t like him making this kinds of remarks to me. So it clearly wasn’t a joke.

The last few month I’ve been asking him to stop making this jokes. He didn’t. Yesterday I lost my temper. There were a few other costumers in the place who took my side. The owner told me that I was no longer welcome in his bar because I didn’t like his humor. To which one of the other costumers reacted by saying that he wouldn’t visit this place any more. This angered the owner even more and he told this costumer he wasn’t welcome either. Then he told me to leave and never come back because, as an owner, he had the right to insult and abuse his customers.


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I’ve been thinking about why I go to this place. Twenty years ago I used to go to a pub called “de Paap” (an old Dutch word for monk). It was a nice pub with a lot of young customers with whom I didn’t have much contact but I liked watching them and listening to what they were saying. But sadly it went out of business after a few years.

“Borsolino” was my new favored watering hole. The crowed in this place was much older. I wasn’t really interested in the things they talked about but the character of the place was nice. A bit like a big living room. It radiated a kind of freedom.

Ten years ago, after working there for sixteen years the owner decided that she wanted to change her life and stopped with the business.

Which left me without a favored pub. After some searching I settled with “de Passage”.

I don’t like it there. I never have. I don’t like the owner very much. Some of the customers are nice people but I hardly see them. Most of the time the place is empty. (I never understood how he earned his money).

The owner is filthy. He drools. Not all the time and when he started out nine years ago it was much worse then it is now. But he still does it. Even in the kitchen while he is preparing diner for customers. (I don’t order diner if his cook isn’t present).

This cook is a nice fellow who has a nice dog he brings to the job ones in a while.

The trouble is that the only place where he can house this dog is in the scullery. Which means that the dog runs back and forth through the kitchen which isn’t allowed by Dutch law because of the hygiene.

I think I’m going to call the health and savety expector next monday. Let’s see what he thinks of my jokes.