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Drawing the essential

A blog about illus­tra­tors and artists cap­tur­ing the essence of their subject

Essence and the Whole

Essence and the Whole

There is a very charm­ing and hon­est video inter­view with Carl Cneutt, illus­tra­tor of ‘the Witch Fairy’ and ‘the Gold­en Cage’, where he says:Once I get to the point of sit­ting down, then usu­al­ly I get into some kind of pan­ic and I don’t quite know what to do, so…

Broaden the horizon

Broaden the horizon

I asked some of my friends to send me an illus­tra­tion that cap­tures essence well, and to try and describe how they thought the illus­tra­tor does that. Of course they sent stuff I nev­er would have thought of, which was a real­ly nice way to broad­en my hori­zon. Fig.1:…

Powerful playful ink

Powerful playful ink

In my search for illus­tra­tions that cap­ture the essen­tial real­ly well, I looked at many bril­liant illus­tra­tors. It is impos­si­ble to dis­cuss them all, but in this blog I would like to talk about two I espe­cial­ly like because of the way they paint with ink: Sarah…

Focussing on essence

Focussing on essence

In this blog I would like to show you some results of anoth­er assign­ment for my mas­ter illus­tra­tion, ‘prac­tice 1’. The assign­ment is close­ly relat­ed to the blogs I am writ­ing, because I am mak­ing a series of draw­ings start­ing from the key­word ‘essence’. The most…

Quentin Blake’s friends

Quentin Blake’s friends

I went to see the expo­si­tion ‘Quentin Blake’s friends’ at the Meer­man­no Muse­um in the Hague. It was a delight to see the col­lec­tion of his illus­tra­tions and sketch­es for Matil­da, the BFG and many oth­er works. But most inter­est­ing to see were his more ‘seri­ous’ works…

Angry Arthur

Angry Arthur

Angry Arthur is a pic­ture book by Hiawyn Oram, illus­trat­ed by Satoshi Kita­mu­ra. The sto­ry is about a boy that gets very angry because his moth­er tells him to go to bed when he wants to watch a West­ern on tv. While his rage gets big­ger and big­ger, his moth­er, father,…

Drawing upside down

Drawing upside down

I am exper­i­ment­ing with draw­ing upside-down — copy­ing draw­ings while look­ing at them upside-down so the image becomes unrec­og­niz­able for the left side of your brain. This is an exer­cise described in ‘Draw­ing on the right side of the brain’ by Bet­ty Edwards. It is…

Essence and playfulness

Essence and playfulness

‘The main evo­lu­tion­ary sig­nif­i­cance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quick­er than any­thing else’ (John Cleese, 1991) ‘One can spend weeks on a mar­velous paint­ing of a rab­bit, accu­rate to the tini­est detail — and yet still miss its…

Goethean observation

Goethean observation

‘Knowl­edge alone seems an inad­e­quate instru­ment to answer many of the world’s com­plex glob­al crises, as its ten­den­cy is to frag­ment and to approach issues iso­lat­ed from their con­nec­tion to the whole’ (Frans­es and Wride 2015, p.339) I was talk­ing to a friend about the…

The Green Ship

The Green Ship

In this blog I will dis­cuss ‘the Green Ship’ by Quentin Blake and how the illus­tra­tor cap­tures the essence of the sto­ry in his draw­ings. Quentin Blake always knows how to move me with his draw­ings; the way he han­dles seri­ous and dif­fi­cult themes (for instance, in the…

Rembrandt’s love of the line

Rembrandt’s love of the line

When I was eigh­teen I stud­ied in the States for a year and dis­cov­ered draw­ing. I was meant to explore dif­fer­ent sub­jects to find a field of study for the future, because I hadn’t a clue what I want­ed to ‘be’. Draw­ing was one of these sub­jects. Although my parents…

Capturing Essence

Capturing Essence

  I have always admired illus­tra­tors who can cap­ture the essence of some­thing with a sim­ple line or a seem­ing­ly spon­ta­neous­ly drawn ges­ture; or on the oth­er hand, with an intri­cate com­po­si­tion that some­how brings to life the indi­vid­u­als in the draw­ing and how…