Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas is Love

Today is Christmas. Let us celebrate it with profound love
to our family, neighbors, friends and others.

Thank you very much blogger friends for everything. 
I learned a lot from all of you.
Merry Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone. 
I just made this very quickly a while ago to send my holiday
greetings to you all. Thank you bloggers for your attention and comments.
My wish for all of you is continuous good health.

This watercolor sketch was inspired by Barbara Fox's painting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quick sketch of our pink hyacinth

Hyacinths are popular these days. Our neighbor family gave us pink and blue hyacinths when we arrived from our long holiday last month. The flowers started to come out last week and now we are enjoying their lovely full bloom flowers and their nice smell. Yesterday while drinking tea, I made a quick sketch of the pink flowers; so here is it.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I photographed this sunset early in the evening last summer. I was standing then at the parking area somewhere in Blauwe Hand looking over at Belterwijde lake. These places are between Giethoorn and Belt-Schutsloot in the northern part of the Netherlands. This small painting is in acrylic on cotton canvas. Watercolor is my favorite medium; however, sometime I felt I want to have some variety that is why once in a while I also try to use acrylic or pastel.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing with bright colors

Pears are easy to sketch, that's why whenever I do some testing or experimenting, they are my prepared subject. I played with my bright colors (cadmium yellow light, cadmium orange, cadmium red dark, etc.) in my palette this afternoon, and I got this very red orange pears. I like the colors.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Acrylic on unwanted watercolor painting

This is an old piece which I've done in watercolor. Because I didn't like it, it has been kept with "other never mind pieces." However, when I used acrylic to see what will happen with the painting - a sort of an experiment, I got a result that gave me some courage to show it here. I think it is not a bad idea to use acrylic to improve our unwanted watercolor work.

Note: I don't remember the source of the image where I based this work, so if somebody recognize this as their own, kindly notify me. I only used the image for my painting practice, and have no intention to sell this painting.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rose in pencil sketch

I have not been doing much on my painting lately, even after returning from a long vacation. It is not because I lack motivation to paint, in fact I have a lot of it. I have so many things in my head which I want to do. I think planning and prioritizing are my problems here. I have to set aside some time for the things I want to do. Anyway, this morning while I was taking my breakfast I grabbed a pencil and a drawing paper, then I sketched one of the shining yellow roses in a glass vase that is standing in our living room. So when I finished my breakfast, I also have a flower sketch. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Farmhouse

Watercolor, 30x40 cm
I wanted to throw this piece but decided to keep it together with my other 'to be improved' works. I tried to improve it and the result is this image. Perhaps I'll make another version of this.
This is a farmhouse of the cattle business 'Ferme des Plaines' in Saulieu, France. I based this from my own photograph I took in the winter, I think two years ago. During summer time those stems on the concrete of the house are full of green leaves and they turn reddish in the fall. To give you an idea, below is my recent picture of one of the windows of the house.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Kiwis

I'll be away starting tomorrow for three weeks. I'll be somewhere in Champagne and Morvan regions in France. For some years now, I am a frequent visitor of France. I hope to see beautiful autumn colors there. But I leave you all with this rough painted kiwis which I did the other day. I'll try to visit your blogs if I'll get internet connection.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Three Pears

This is a small piece I did this afternoon, just a little practice for my hand. These are called Doyenne Du Comice pears. They are now cheap in the supermarket and very sweet. I like them when they are just becoming to ripen. This is in watercolor, size 12x18 cm.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A few days ago I started to wear thicker clothes because I began to feel cold. For me, this signals that christmas is coming very soon. Feeling this way I thought of painting this poinsettia - one of the most popular plants during the season. I wanted to paint this loosely but it turned out differently from what I wanted to. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nuenen's little church

Watercolor, 24x30 cm
This is a Dutch reform little church in Nuenen, The Netherlands. I was there last August this year and took some photographs of the church and other sceneries in the city.  The building was founded in 1824; and the father of Vincent van Gogh was a pastor here from 1882-1885. Vincent had himself painted this building more than once. Check for more on the history of the city and van Gogh family. While entering the city, a visitor will be welcome by a board with a written ad "van Gogh village." Indeed if a visitor will follow the designated 'walking path,' he/she will see not only green sceneries but also places where Vincent painted some of his famous paintings. See below some photos from the city.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Open tulip

Did this tulip this morning as a practice in watercolor. I based this work from the image I found from the Yves Rocher's magazine. I did not do preliminary sketch for this, just my brushes with watercolors directly on the paper. I hope I'll finish soon what I'm seriously working on at the moment.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

tulip acrylic practice

I'm improving with my use of acrylic. Here is another practice I've done with the medium on acrylic paper.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pear in acrylic

 A day before yesterday I painted this small pear on acrylic paper. I used the medium just like watercolor. I need to practice more on this medium. Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Last month we gifted our friends with phalaenopsis orchid. While the plant was standing in their living room I took two photographs of the flowers and then used them as inspirations for this painting. Its background  is the outside view seen from the window of the house. I decided for the time being that this is finished. However, I would appreciate comments if you think there is something that needs to be improved.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

mini rose sketch

There is a mini rose plant in our balcony which has been giving us some joy everyday. The plant has some colorful orange flowers which we enjoy to stare at while sitting in the living room. I took some photographs of the flowers and I hope I could do later some better sketches from them. This sketch was obviously inspired by those flowers, although here I used pink color. Have a pleasant day tomorrow. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today's little exercises

Made some little exercises today with my brushes and watercolors. They were done on my watercolor paper left-overs. I try not to throw them. I based the second sketch below from a birthday post card I received recently with an unnamed source. Here are what I produce today:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Practice on rooster

This is a practice on rooster that I had done a month ago. I directly sketched the rooster using a brush with watercolor. I 've noticed lately that I'm becoming interested in loose style of painting. I seem to enjoy working  with this way. I hope I'll improve in this aspect. This is from my own photograph. I used here Fabriano watercolor paper, 300 grams cold press.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Red berries and Van Gogh lodging house

I have not touched my paint brushes for a week. And the reason is that I was in the city of Groningen in the northern part of Holland. After a couple of days discovering the city, we left on Friday and on the way back to our place, we stopped in Menkemaborg in Uithuizen to see the old castle there. While at the parking lot, I saw lovely red berries and picked up a little branch full of them. I let the branch stand in water, and yesterday afternoon I was able to make a rough sketch of the berries - see below.

Menkemaborg castle
 We were also able to see the house where Vincent van Gogh stayed in New Amsterdam. It is now being used as a restaurant. And nearby the house is a Van Gogh center with a museum.

The house where Vincent van Gogh stayed.

The house where Vincent stayed and a Van Gogh center with a museum.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My try on Vickie's cone flowers

These sketches are based from Vickie's way of painting white cone flower which she shared in her blog. The link to her blog is HERE. The first one was really my firt attempt but I like it more than the second one. My version may not be as good as that of Vickie's, but I had some fun doing the whole process. Thanks Vickie for sharing what you know. I noticed that my cone flowers seem something like daisies. I need more practice I think.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Onion try-out

I thought of using apple for my painting practice today, but suddenly I changed my mind and tried white onion instead. My first try was not successful and the funny thing was that I was following someone else step by step demonstration of painting onion. I'm not saying that there is something wrong with the demo. Being challenged, I grabbed a scrap watercolor paper and used the other side to sketch my own onion based on the actual one and on my own way - see above sketch. Next time I'll try this on a clean watercolor paper. I'll continue doing this exercise of painting simple subject because I believe this is one way of improving my technique. And of course I'm also learning a lot from you, my blogger friends.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Strawberry try-out

 I felt an urge to paint today but I was lazy to make any pencil sketch. So I decided to pick up one piece of our strawberries in the kitchen and sketched it in watercolor. I had some fun doing those small seeds on the outer part of the fruit. They were not so difficult to do but I have to do it piece by piece.
I think I have to practice more on making shadows, that one above is not really good. If you want to see some lovely strawberry paintings, you can check Christiane Kingsley's blog, she had painted a few.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An orchid

I don't know how this orchid flower is called. It was not labelled when I took its photograph, and I forgot to ask the lady owner of its name. Next time probably I'll get the name.
This is done in watercolor, its size is approximately 24x30 cm or 9.5x11.75 inches. The original painting has much brighter colors and the background is much darker than what is shown here. Do you have any suggestion on what to improve further in the painting?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mother and child

Last year when I was on holiday in a farm in Saulieu, France I witnessed the birth of a young cow or calf. I saw how the mother cow underwent a caesarean delivery. This was done since the mother cow could not deliver her baby naturally. While the mother cow was standing, the veterinarian made a cut vertically on her stomach, just enough for the calf to pass through. After some seconds I saw one of the feet of the calf coming out from the cut. The calf was pulled out from the mother's belly and was laid on the ground full of dry grass straws. While the veterinarian was busy stitching the cut, the farmer took care of the calf. When everything was put in order and the mother cow began to move to the direction of her baby, I wondered what she would do. After some minutes, I saw her giving a gentle touch to her child. What a marvel to see how the mother cow showed her love for her baby. It was so amazing and touchy scene. I was able to take some photographs of the scene and I used one of them to work on the above painting.
My intention in this painting was to represent what I had seen between the mother cow and her child. The painting itself is not remarkable, but what is important for me this time is what it represents. I know I need to improve it or perhaps paint a new and bigger one. This painting is only 18x24 cm or 7"x9.5".

Thursday, August 4, 2011


This is Orly, the sweet and cute dog of my nephew. I love dogs but having one in the house is a big no for me. But when I met Orly, that attitude I thought changed. He is so lovely and clever. He is friendly to everyone and very loving dog. He shows us why we should care and love him. 
Anyway, this painting is not yet finished. I stopped working on it since I became doubtful as how to proceed further. I planned to paint it loosely but it turned out not. I find his nose not really good and I have to darken further the area under his ears. I also want to paint a light violet background, but not sure yet if I'll do that. I plan to paint the background just around the painting and not in the entire background space. Maybe some of you can give me advice what to do next. This is my first attempt to paint a dog.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Outing at Belt-Schutsloot

Last week, my painting group had an outing in Belt-Schutsloot, a popular watersport and camping destination in Holland. Every summer one member of the group spends her time there together with her family. They have a motor boat and a camping cottage there. She always likes to invite the group to have picnic together. Last week was my first time to be with them since I joined the group just recently. We were fortunate that the weather last Wednesday cooperated with our outing business. We sailed on two motor boats along the canals, and later on the open lake. Here are some pictures of the landscape of the area where we were.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Rooster

This painting is the result of my desire this afternoon to paint loosely. I had some fun when I was working on it. I thought I'll just make some strokes, play with colors, and that's it. For inspiration, I used my own photograph.

Dit schilderij is het resultaat van mijn wens om los te schilderen. Ik had veel plezier tijdens het schilderen. Ik dacht alleen enkele streken te maken, met de kleuren te spelen, en dat het is. Ik heb hierbij gebruikt gemaakt van mijn eigen foto.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A practice in wet and wet

I paint usually in wet on dry technique. Wet and wet technique for me is a little bit tricky. So to be comfortable with this technique, I think I need more practice. The above image of an active volcano in Asia is a little practice I did last weekend. It is not totally a disaster, I thought. I noticed that if I want to have good result from wet and wet technique I need to work fast. My experience in this exercise was that some section of my paper was already drying when I was still working half way in the painting.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Simple tulip

My blog has been quiet for some days now. It was because I was on a short vacation in Germany and also busy with other things. We drove along the places that are located in the so-called 'Fairy Tale Road' (see in Germany. The road goes along the upper part of the known Weser River. The places we've visited were Hamelin, Bad Karlshafen, Bodenwerder. Bad Driburg, Rinteln, Osnabruck were also among the places we've seen. I enjoyed very much the sleepy beauty of Bad Karlshafen. It is worth discovering the place. The other places however are also charming, touristy and have their own unique beauty.
Today I managed to use my brush and watercolor paints to sketch a simple tulip shown below. This was really a quick practice. Hope everybody is enjoying the weekend.

Monday, July 11, 2011

White calla lily

Another flower but this time calla lily.  My cobalt blue background could hardly be seen. I also thought that dark shadows under the flowers could have been better. This is a small piece of 16x24 cm.
I stopped working with my large piece because I don't know how to go further with it. Maybe in a few weeks time I will check it again and see what I can do with it. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Practice in acrylic & Documentary about Vincent van Gogh

This afternoon I felt I wanted to do something different from what I usually do. And that was instead of using watercolor, I engaged myself with acrylic. I have not yet discovered the secrets of acrylic that's why I struggled somehow when I was using the medium. I had chosen again my favorite flower (rose) as my subject. I used Winson and Newton acrylic and a cheap cotton canvas.

Over Vincent van Gogh documentary
I have just watched a documentary about Vincent van Gogh at BBC 2. It was pure accident when we saw the program. The documentary was about the life struggles of Vincent when he was living with his parents, while in England, somewhere in Belgium, in The Hague, in France particularly in Paris, in Arles, in St Remy, and in Auver where he shot himself and later died. It was really a sad and tragic story. He felt alone and suffered loneliness. I have shed tears while watching the entire documentary.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roses in 20 minutes

I did this in a hurry today because I'll be going to my weekly sport activity. While waiting for the time to drive to the sport hall, I decided to pick up my brush that was lying on the table. So in 20 minutes I produced these pink roses. This time I have no photo to look at, only my thought of climbing pink roses.
I remember sometime ago I read an advice from one blogger that if you want to practice often with your painting, you must see to it that your brushes are standing in a corner where you can always see them. Otherwise you forget to use them. In my case, the blogger is right.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yellow Hibiscus

I've done this a week ago as an exercise. This is from my own photograph which I took from my previous trip in Asia. I've not done much with my brushes this week, just some reading on painting techniques. This is in watercolor.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lidice rose 2

Watercolor, 18x24cm
This work is not yet finished, I just wanted to post something here today. I based this from a photo of a rose I took from Lidice memorial park in Czech Republic. The park was mostly planted with different colors of roses when I was there in 2009. See also my other post in this blog titled Lidice Rose to know more about the park. I made that first Lidice rose when I was just learning to paint with watercolors.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yellow water lily

Watercolor, 27x35cm
This is my first try on water lily. I based this on a photo I took in the summer of 2007 when we were walking in the 'Haagse Bos' in The Hague. There I saw a small lake covered with water lilies and other water plants. There are hard edges in this piece particularly in the background, and I'm thinking to let them just like that. The shadows are not very visible in the flower, I think I will make them darker.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Orange Rose

Watercolor, 16x24cm
This is another try of painting without doing first a sketch. Rose is my favorite flower that's why it is a frequent subject in my work. Hope everyone will not get bored of it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Purple Iris

Purple Iris
Watercolor, 12x18cm

I'm trying to paint without making a sketch. So this Iris flower was done in that manner.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Church ruins

Watercolor, 30x40 cm
 I normally don't use the flash from my camera when I take picture of my painting, so that could be the reason why the color in the picture is much softer than the original. Just like in this church ruins, the color is much livelier in the original. Numerous volcanic eruptions in 1814 buried this church in southern Philippines. And what remains was only this image which became one of the famous landmarks in that region. This is based on the photo by Donald C. Tapan published by NBS 2010. I still want to improve this painting.