From the monthly archives:

August 2007

New box of color pencils (Study: Christening)

by Henk ter Heide on Friday August 31, 2007

in Drawing

Horrible colors

The last few days I’ve been mixing colors. Although the technique didn’t seem to be very difficult the resulting colors where horrible.
After consulting my drawing book I concluded that the problem might be that the colors I used weren’t pure enough.

Pure colors

That presented something of a problem.
I have a 72 piece color pencil box that comes with something like 10 reds and 10 blue’s and 10 greens etc. Which one of those reds is the pure one? And how do I find out?

I solved the problem by buying a new color pencil box. This box has the 12 basic colors in the most pure form.
According the shopkeeper of the art suppley shop the quality of these pencils is such that you can put five layers of color on top of each other and still see the diffirence.

Drawing panic

Five layers of color sounds as though you can make a lot of different colors with it. It’s been a while since I had math but I think that means that I can make several thousands of colors with this pencil set.

Where to start?

For a while the sheer number of possibilities had me frightened. Then I remembered an advise that I gave a few weeks ago: One way of drawing abstract is just to draw what is right in front of you and extend the lines.

You’ll probably won’t recognize this but this drawing started out as the pillows on the chair I drew a few weeks ago.


Beautiful colors

I must say. These colors are truly beautiful. And these are only a fraction of the number of the number of colors that are possible.

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Going to the movies for a change. Not the flavor of the day but an almost 8 minute showing of a lot of the paintings by Picasso.


Prove of concept (Sketch: Could it be)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday August 29, 2007

in Drawing

The main objective with the drawing was to try whether it is actually possible to draw something with mixed colors.

Could it be
Could it be

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The sky is build up out off different hues of grey and blue. Every tree is a different combination of green with a blue’s and red’s. Even the grass is a combination of greens and browns.

The drawing is horrible but it does work!

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I don’t think I will every be in the list of 65 worlds greatest paintings.


Creating new colors (Study: Mixing colors)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday August 27, 2007

in Technique

Cloud colors

After doing a lot of sketches it’s clear that I’m doing something wrong. None of my clouds look like real clouds. After studying them some more I realized that there was something wrong with the colors I’m using. It’s seems that I don’t have cloud colors in my pencil box.
That means that I will have to make them.

Mixing colors

It is possible to make new colors by mixing the colors you already have.
To try the concept I started out with mixing some red’s and blue’s…

Mixing colors 1
Mixing colors 1

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and got this.
I didn’t like this very much. It seems so grainy.

Drawing book

A few days later I came accross a book about mixing colors with color pencil.
It seems that you have to blend the colors you’ve mixed.

I mixed some more colors this time using a piece of toilet paper to blend them…
Mixing colors 2
Mixing colors 2

and got this. Looks a lot better although still a bit grainy.

Purple music

Reading a little more in my book I found that you can use hues of grey to make a color darker or lighter. Since I’m still looking for a method to do my drawing “Purple music” I tried some pinks.

Mixing colors 3
Mixing colors 3

I don’t like this. It’s more of a grey/black then pink.

After thinking about it some more I realized that I probably put to much pressure on the pencil when I was coloring grey.
What would happen if I used a little less grey and a little more pink.
For this study I used a little darker hue of pink.

Mixing colors 4
Mixing colors 4

This is better.
The first four are mixes of black and purple and very dark grey and purple. The bottom row are mixes of light grey and purple. Alternating one layer of grey and two layers of grey.

Playing with blue

I also tried some blue thinking that it would be a good idea to have an other go at drawing a starfield.

The left most blue oblong are actually two hues of blue and two hues of grey. The top half consists of dark blue with light grey and the bottom half of dark grey with light blue.
I wanted to know whether it is possible to get the same hue using different combinations.
It is possible!
That could be handy to know.

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Would you like a bit of fun?
Court Jones draws caricatures of famous people.
Be sure to also visit his sketchbook!


Failing clouds (Sketch: Clouds 6th and 7th sketch)

by Henk ter Heide on Friday August 24, 2007

in Drawing

I’m in trouble

Clearly something isn’t working with my clouds. I like the colors that I’ve used in sketches 6 and 7. But they don’t look very natural.
I’ll have to do some thinking to figure out what it is that I’m doing wrong.
Clouds 6th sketch
Clouds 6th sketch
Clouds 7th sketch
Clouds 7th sketch

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I’ll admit. This site has nothing to do with drawing other then that it shows something else you can do with pencils. 🙂


Don’t blend your clouds (sketch: Clouds)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday August 22, 2007

in Drawing

Painting with toilet paper

A few months ago I made a beautiful drawing in which I used a blending technique that seemed almost like painting.
Usually you draw some color on your sheet and rub it either with a tortillon or a piece of toilet paper. This time however I drew the color on a seperate piece of paper and pulled onto my drawing.

Gray on gray

In an attempt to get the shapes I see in the clouds above my head I wanted to try this technique. But a few minutes after starting with the clouds I realized that it wouldn’t work.
With Nova I used a bright yellow color as foreground and the white of the paper as background. But here I wanted to use gray both as foreground and background. You just wouldn’t see it.

Argh! Those clouds are turning out to be a whole of a lot more difficult to draw then I thought.
Clouds 5th sketch
Clouds 5th sketch

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Ian Francis does very expressive paintings of people.


Cloudy week (Sketch: Clouds)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday August 20, 2007

in Drawing

Heavy weather is drawing near. Luckily it isn’t happening in real live but in my drawings.
Over the coming week I will be showing you a few sketches of clouds. Hopefully they’ll get better.

Clouds 4th sketch
Clouds 4th sketch

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Robh’s paintings and drawings of landscapes are as beautiful is his indoor scenes.


My very own ad

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday August 19, 2007

in Blogging


The last 18 days I’ve been watching Ed Dale of the Thirty day challange, who is teaching people a little bit about marketing and ways to atract traffic to your website.


In that spirit I’ve written my very own ad.
Have a look and tell me if it’s cheesy enough.


How to draw abstract (Drawing: Shifted)

by Henk ter Heide on Friday August 17, 2007

in Technique

Save drawings

Before I realized that photographs and drawings aren’t supposed to look alike I did like to draw. I just was afraid of the end result.
So to taste the joy of drawing without having to be afraid of the end result I drew a lot of Intersecting bottles. But there was only a limited amount of joy I could get out of drawing intersecting bottles. When it bored me I’d try my hand at some abstract art.

Shapes and feelings

I tried but never succeeded. I ran into a few problems.
I didn’t know what shapes I should draw. Is it abstract if you just draw a few colored rectangle? Apparently since Mondrian did it. But I didn’t know that as a child and thought that drawing rectangles would be boring.
Somewhere I read or heard that abstract drawings should be about feelings. But how do you draw anger or falling in love? I could draw two people fighting or kissing but that wouldn’t be abstract.

My abstract drawings

The last few weeks I’ve been doing some abstract drawings. The funny thing is that I never set out to draw abstract. I just drew a few pictures that came to mind.

  • Trying to perfect a technique I drew Mask.
  • Not ready to admit defeat, I tried what a spoiled drawing could have been and produced Patched.
  • While trying to draw a colored river I drew Tentacles.
  • Trying to fight my fear for drawing unstructured I made Who’s afraid of yellow, red (and blue).
  • A piece of carpet on the BBC show Click (of all places) remembered me of something that looked like Sideways.
  • While being bored to tears I close my eyes and saw “Shifted”.


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The rules

After doing a few abstract drawings I’ve found that there are a few rules that make it much easier to make abstract drawings.

  1. Drawing abstract isn’t a short cut. All of the above drawings took me several days to complete. Whether the portrait you draw is any good or not, it will only take an hour to complete.
  2. It’s very easy to find a shape to draw because anything will do. Use the shape of what ever is in front of you. If you don’t like that shape add a few line (like I did in Intersecting bottles).
    A technique I often use is just closing my eyes and using the shapes and colors I see at the inside of my eyelids. (It helps if you face a dim lamp while doing this).
  3. Drawing abstract has everything to do with feelings but that doesn’t mean you can chose to draw an emotion.
    Abstract is about the emotions you feel while your drawing. Your feelings will influence the colors you chose. If you’re feeling depressed you’ll chose darker colors then when you’re happy.
    When I was drawing Tentacles I had the eerie feeling I was putting an invisible message into my drawing.

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A fitting site for an article about abstract art. I don’t think I would ever have thought of this but you can even use leftover paint to produce very nice abstract paintings.
Be sure to also read the rest of the site. Anne-Laure Djaballah does very nice abstract paintings.


Translating from memory to drawing (Sketch: Clouds sketches)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday August 15, 2007

in Drawing


In the Netherlands we have a game show on television called “Lingo”. In that show people have to guess a six letter word in six turns. After every turn they are told how many letters of the word they guessed where good and how many letters were in the right place.
I look at this game show every so often and I find it a very difficult game. Guessing a six letter word knowing that the second letter is an “l” and the last a “s” is not something I’m very good at.

Lingo experts

Once or twice a year they have a contender who’s very good in this game. What I’ve noticed is that those people don’t take the known letters in account when guessing the next word. They come with two or three wild guesses and then with there fourth or fifth guess they know the word.
They suggest words that have a lot of different letters. So after three or four guesses they know all the letters. A six letter word containing these letter (o, l, c, d, u, s) is much easier to guess. Especially when you know that the second and last letter are in the right place.

Looking for help

One of the hurdles I had to take when I started drawing was the realization that drawing and pictures aren’t supposed to look the same. The subject matter can be the same but a drawing will never look exactly like a photograph.

When I try to draw clouds I run into a very similar problem.
Having a photographic memory means that I have a whole range of clouds in my memory. But I can’t draw them because the pictures in my memory have a structure that can’t be drawn.

In the hopes that it would make the process easier I’ve been studying picture of famous paintings. So apart from pictures of real clouds I now also have pictures of painted clouds in my memory.

Sadly paint has very different properties then pencil. Using oil paint it’s possible to paint white on black or grey. With pencil that isn’t possible.

Imagine a drawing

I have to go back to basics. Which means that I’ve have to imagine what a drawing of clouds will look like. Just like I did with the trees when I first became aware of this problem.
Only thing is that clouds are a little more complicated then trees.

Clouds 2th sketch
Clouds 2th sketch

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Expert mode

I find myself playing Lingo with clouds.
I try to imagine what a drawn cloud would look like and get a vague picture which I draw. With the next drawing I imagine I get a little help from my last drawing so the next drawing could be marginally better.
This way I could go on forever without ever getting it right. So I’ve opted for the expert mode. I’m drawing pictures that don’t necessary look like clouds but that, hopefully, will help me to imagine drawings of clouds.

Clouds 3th sketch
Clouds 3th sketch

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Andre Weis beautiful drawings are Deeper than words.


Changing weather (Sketch: Clouds 1th sketch)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday August 13, 2007

in Drawing

Summer in the Netherlands

We are having a strange summer here in the Netherlands. Usually we have fairly cool tempatures with a lot of rain untill early Juni. Then a few nice hot days. Then it gets a bit cooler again and in late August early September we again have some hot days.

This year is very different. In May and June we had exceptionally warm days. Much hotter then the usual summer. After that everbody expected the summer to be very hot but it isn’t. We haven’t had this much rain in years.


The rain is also very much different then what we are used to.
If it rains in the summer we ussual will have rain over the whole of the Netherlands and in will last for a few days.
This year that isn’t the case. Instead we have very strong rain at a few square mile radius and a few kilometers futher its dry.

You can literally drive out of a shower.

drawing weather

The nice thing about these small showers is that it gives a very nice sky. A bit of cumulus in the foreground and thunder clouds in the background.

After having found that there is no technique that’s both easy and practical for the drawing of light colored details against a dark background I thought this was a nice change to do quit sketch of white clouds against a blue background.
Clouds 1th sketch
Clouds 1th sketch

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At least that was the plan. But when I tried I found that I didn’t know what clouds looked like.

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Wesley Burt has a few nice drawings of people