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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...