From the monthly archives:

April 2010

connecting tissue

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday April 18, 2010

in Personal

I started this color hatching sketch. It was meant as a kind of top view of a road through the forest. But as I was drawing it soon became clear that something was very wrong with this drawing.
I just couldn’t figure out why I was doing this. Drawing something of which I know it’s wrong.
But cycling to the fitness center to do my weekly workout it dawned on me.

When I tell people that I have a photographic memory, they often think that means that I never forget any thing. But that’s not the case. Never forgetting any thing is called a Eidetic memory. I do forget things.
I call it a photographic memory because the pictures in my mind have a photographic quality to them.

But as I am finding out. They are not complete.
It’s like I have these photographic plates in my mind that have to be exposed to an object to get a clear memory. But if I don’t look long enough to some detail of that object I don’t have a picture of it in my mind.

It’s like studying for an exam.
While you’re reading the book you feel like you know it by heart.
But on your exam you find that you have forgotten a few details. Usually the details aren’t very important. But sometimes they are the connecting tissue you need to make your argument.

In the same way I have a lot of pictures of tree trunks in my mind. Which isn’t strange. While cycling I get to see a lot of tree trunks.
I have several pictures of leaves and flowers in my mind. But I have hardly any pictures the point of the tree where the branches grow. That’s not the most interesting part of a tree. So I assume that I don’t look at it very much.

You know the feeling of needing a word that you can’t quit remember but you have it on the tip of your tongue? People suggest words but although you still can’t remember the word you need, you know that the suggestion is wrong.
I have something like that while doing a sketch like this.
I know it’s wrong, but I don’t know what I should change to correct it.

color hatching sketch
color hatching sketch



by Henk ter Heide on Saturday April 17, 2010

in Drawing

Sometimes I get reminded of all the stupid things I was taught when I was a child. Things like it’s better to quite an activity then not to finish the project you’re working on right now.

The purpose of this sketch was to find out if it’s possible to get these nice color mixes with color hatching while at the same time retaining some control over the color.
As it turns out, that is possible.

Because it’s easier to color between the lines I had helped myself by drawing some random lines.
But by doing so it felt as though this was supposed to be a real drawing.
So after I had colored a few panels and felt that I had nothing more to learn from this sketch and I wanted to put it on this site and move on.

But then I heard the very angry voice of my mother in my head. “You never finish anything!”. “You should finish what you start!”. “You are always procrastinating”. And drawing lost all of it’s fun.
That was how it used to be some 40 years ago.
At one point I took up dancing. Which was fun apart from the fact that I was the only guy present. (Which is fun when you’re 16 but not when you’re 13 and all the girls are better dancers then you are.)
You wouldn’t believe how mad my mother became when I announced that was going to quit.

After Mr. “nobody’s” comment I started thinking again and remembered that this sketch only has a limited goal.

Thinking about this some more I did realize one thing though. What is missing from my current way of working is speed. Since my best drawings where kind of accidental there is not much purpose to my thinking about what I’m doing on a drawing by drawing base.

I do realize that figurative drawings would sell much better then abstract. Drawing abstract is a way of experimenting with techniques without having the straight jacked of having to draw objects that are prospectively correct. (If nothing else I’ll always be a perfectionist).
I do want to go back to drawing more recognizable shapes. But only if I can find a way to draw the complicated world in which I’m living.

color hatching sketch
color hatching sketch


Selling shoes

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday April 11, 2010

in Blogging

As the regulars among you will have noticed. I have changed my layout and started promoting my art.
Both are things I’ve been dreaming about.
Changing my layout for months. Promoting my art for years. 🙂

To see my new layout there’s no alternative to visiting my site.
But in short I have cleaned it up.
I’ve created a basic layout that showcases my art without all the clutter to encourage people to visit other pages.
If you are interested you’ll find the tag cloud, categories and history of this site on the “archive” page.

How to promote my drawings. Or even, if I should promote my drawings is something that I’ve been doubting for years.
If I compare my work to that of people like Van Gogh or Rembrandt how would I even dare to promote my drawings.
But an article by Seth Godin (he advises entrepreneurs) pointed me in the right direction.

A shoe salesman only has to prove that his shoes are better then those of his competitor.
My job is a little more complicated.
I don’t have to prove to you that my art is better then that of other artist.
I have to get you to buy art.

That job turns out to be far more challenging then you would think.

Everybody who reads this site regularly knows that they need art.
That is why they read this site.
The problem is that they don’t know how much art they should buy.

It’s easy when you are very rich.
Someone like Bill Gates buys art as an investment and gets to enjoy it to.
But what about us regular people?
How much art do we need?

Godin advises to just take an arbitrary figure. Something you can maintain.
So I’m assuming that you are a about the same as me. I have my good months and my bad months. But I could spend 1% of my income on art and enjoy it without having the feeling that I’m robbing myself of something else.


Colored stripes

by Henk ter Heide on Friday April 9, 2010

in Drawing

Very soon after starting this drawing I realized that I was doing something else then I had planned. But even so it seemed like fun to finish the drawing the way I started to find out what would happen.

This afternoon I looked back at all my drawing because I’m making a page with my best drawings. It turns out that the drawings that I like best are the result of mistakes I made.
Mistakes that led me to ideas.

And indeed while I was doing this drawing I thought of something I’m going to do tomorrow.

Colored lines
Colored lines


Color hatching 1

by Henk ter Heide on Monday April 5, 2010

in Drawing

It does seem to be possible to control the colors while I’m color hatching and still get some interesting colors.
Of course this drawing is only a proof of concept. Doesn’t look like much, does it.

Turns out that there is a way to get the colors to interact. I can use either the lightest yellow or the white pencil to blend colors.
If I use yellow to blend blues I get a lot of green colors.
If I use white something happens. Not quite sure what.
I have to do some more experimenting to find out.

Color hatching 1
Color hatching 1


Love and fear

by Henk ter Heide on Sunday April 4, 2010

in Drawing

My fountain pen is gliding over the paper. Up, down, up, down.
I love to watch while the black is slowly consuming the white paper. I could do this all day.
But I won’t.
If I just paint the whole paper black there isn’t much to look at.
But I would want to…

Then comes the hard part.
Although the colors I get with this color hatching technique are beautiful. They are also completely unpredictable.
I don’t like things that are unpredictable.

The shorter the lines, the more colors I use, the more unpredictable and beautiful the result.
Or I can begin with a layer of some color and then place a few lines on top. That’s far more predictable but not as beautiful.

I’m mostly fearful of my next few drawings.
I want to try to make kind of a landscape using my new color technique. But I’m not sure how.
If I can’t predict the colors how can I get them to interact?

Get a print of this drawing

Love and fear
Love and fear