Here’s to the Rocks in our life.

For today’s ramblings, I’ll let you in on a little well-known fact. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a deep respect to those who are willing to commit and help others. I’ve had the privilege to meet a few kind souls already in the time that I’ve walked this planet, but for some reason I can’t seem to help but to point them out from time to time. If you know me a bit, you’ll probably expect to see someone’s name popping up here any time now. But actually, I’m not going to. In fact, I would like to point out that I’m talking about the driving force behind every good artist here. It can literally be anyone, in fact. And it doesn’t have to be an artist per se, but for the sake of it, let’s stick to what I know best for the moment. “So why bring this topic up?”, you’ll wonder..


All right, here goes. Since a couple of weeks now, I’ve been listening to someone I have a great deal of respect for. I’m talking Bobby Chiu here. You might remember how I’ve already covered a London Schoolism workshop here and how I once worked on a painting based on his work. Well, lately he’s been doing all of us artists a favour by restarting his weekly (!) #Chiustream. Now remember how I said I wasn’t going to name anyone in particular? Well, I’m not, this is just the most recent example I have in mind. And it just so happens to be about a very well-known artist. Just pure coincidence people, nothing more. On this weeks Chiustream though, I heard something that gave me the idea for this article. It was so quick and yet so sweet. It made me almost immediately realize how special a connection with someone can be. At a certain point during his talk, he got a question by one of the listeners; it involved what he was afraid of. Bobby, being taken back a bit by this question, didn’t knew how to respond immediately. So all of a sudden Kei Acedera (his wife, who was silently listening as well), whispers something and Bobby goes on with his talk (for the curious people amongst us, Bobby isn’t particular keen of hights, as it turns out to be). The fact that Kei knows him so well, and jumped right in to give him an answer, struck me as the one person who knows Bobby best. She’s the rock behind Bobby, weather he knows it or not, and that one gesture inspired me to create this small painting you see here. At one point or another, every artist, every person has a person standing behind him/her to just be there for him/her, to support and help one another. And the fact that we were all there to witness that brief, sweet moment made me realise this.

And that’s why I wrote this small post, to help you remember about the rocks that support us. Here’s to them.


Switching Blogs: Part I

Heads up everybody, in the future, I might be promoting a few people here. Don’t worry, it’ll still be about Art. It’s easy, I made a deal with the devil (force of habit, sorry ’bout that) a few artsy people from #Blogpraat (a Dutch group concerning blog talking) where I write about them and they, in turn, write about me. Getting to know each other a bit better in the process and all that.

For me, there’s another reason to it as well. You see, it might come as a surprise to you, but there are actually creative people everywhere. Not just in art shows, galleries, exhibitions, art talks about creativity or in expo’s, that’s where you see us presenting our work. No, I’m talking about your colleague sitting next to you, the janitor down the hall or even your boss preparing for the meeting scheduled in 15minutes. That colleague next to you might be having an entire attic full with paintings he did. That janitor? He could well be writing his sixth novel about someone’s love interests. And your boss might be unwinding with a small sketchbook as she’s drawing the people in front of her, on her train homewards. I’m saying, there could be so much people around you, leading a secret, creative life. “All right,” you say, “now what?”

Well, I’m here to tell you about those who are known as a creative person in a selected field, or maybe even those who got a few jobs already, or even posted their work on a blog or their own website, should they be so bold already.

Switching Blogs

One such person that I know to be a creative one is Jenny Luco.
Jenny is a perfect example of what I was just talking to you about. She’s an employee at an online marketing/business company by day, but the moment she’s headed home, her sketchbook becomes her best friend. Do not let her normal looks fool you, she’s just as much a geek as I am. When you take a look at her facebook-fanpage, you’ll stumble from one piece of fan art into the next, all with a very playful style. From the top of my head, I still remember her take on Gizmo, Merida, Elsa & Anna, Loki and Korra. And those are *just* the ones that stuck with me. Apart from that, she owns her own illustration blog over at, and seems to know her way well around anything fluffy. It’s why I decided to redo a small sketch from Jenny in my own style. It seemed like the perfect thing to do. Right, Jenny?

So you see, there are probably plenty of shy creatives in your immediate surroundings, who might be the next artist in your local art show showing of their stuff.


Change can be good, right?

For some time now, I always found myself to be bothered with my artwork, every time I posted a new painting online. Mostly because I’ve been trying to incorporate everything I know into it, and probably missed one silly little thing. Sometimes it’s worse, because I managed to completely mess something up and didn’t notice it until it’s too late, and sometimes it’s just something I wish I’d done entirely different altogether.

In this aspect, I’m probably like any other artist. Never happy with my own work the minute I call it “done”. This time however, I played it smart. I wrote everything down I wanted to incorporate into the painting, and when the time was there to revise it, I found myself to be perfectly on schedule, so to speak. So that’s why I present to you -with a small amount of personal satisfaction- my latest commission for @DJCookie, a very sweet fantasy & DnD-fan.

I tried my best to give it that unique vibe she wished for and to add every little detail that makes her DnD character so unique. She’s supposed to represent an Aasimar. What that means is that they look like humans, but they’ve got these shiny eyes instead (amongst a few other features). She’s supposed to represent a healer with a very deep hate for anything undead. Hence why I couldn’t help but to add them into the background. I’m so considerate, aren’t I? Anyways, should Miss Cookie be reading this: “I hope I didn’t let you down, hun”.

Now for something entirely different.

For those who are regulary visiting this place, you’ll notice that something has changed. Every once and awhile, I get fed up with my current ways of working, or just feel the need to change things. Mix it up, if you will. Keep it loose and all that. So that’s why I decided to join an ever-growing group of people with a responsive layout design for their blog/website. This way, you and every one else who views these articles on their mobile devices or any other way than on their computer, will be able to read them in a fancier way then before. I chose this particular theme, because it has a more serene feel to it than the last one.

So, have a look around and let me know should you hate/love the new & improved look.

Right, time to end this shameless self-promotion and to get back to my drawing board.


The Grand Army of the Republic Wants You

Here’s a question to all you budding artists who are reading this: “Haven’t you ever wondered how your art will look like in about five or so years from now?”

Well, a couple of years ago, when I was trying out various styles, I had that same question. Nowadays, nothing has really changed, I’ll have you know. Though I can say I made some vast improvements on various levels. Anatomy being one of them. Or.. well, at least I hope I have. That’s more for the experts to decide, really. Anyway, a couple of days ago I decided to do something I normally never do; to redo a painting from a couple of years ago. I chose to do this particular piece, because (in contrast to the happiness level I had reached about it, back then) I never “really” was fully happy with it. Something felt “off”. Either it was her mouth, her build or the way she was standing. Or maybe it was the way I had painted her skin .. something (or all of it combined) felt very wrong.

So after various amounts of tweaking and eventually leaving it to move on to other projects, I decided to rebuild this one from the ground up. I only kept the pose and outfit and gave her a completely different style, look and attitude. She now looks more like what I had in mind in the first place. My inner demons were pleased when I finally finished the new, improved version. And only then do I truly know that it’s “done”.

Because I love to help you guide through the entire process, I created a small work-in-progress version as well, showing you how exactly I came by to this final result. Let’s go through the entire process with the usual four steps, which you might remember from last time, should you have read it already.

Just as last time, I’ll begin with a simple line trace for Step #01, the hard (please-let-this-be-over-quickly) work of every drawing. If you (or your clone) made it through this part in one piece, we can step over to the next part.

Step #02 is still gruntwork, since we’re adding the basic colors and shadows at this stage, though I’d like to adress you that you pay strong attention to the light here, since you don’t want your subject to look unrealistic. I didn’t want to emphasize the light and shadow this time, so I kept it light and fluffy for once.

Step #03 is the where the jolly part kicks in and where I take it over from my clone; the detailed coloring of the subject. This is where my reference material kicks in as usual, especially for those “detailed” specifics in this instance -hum- ..

To end the process, we have Step #04, where the icing of the cake happens. The magic. The good stuff. My all-time favorite, the small details, the textures, every bruise, scratch and dirt spot has to be taken care of in this process. Everything to make your painting just that bit more shiny. Usually followed up by some/a few/a lot of corrections since I’m going very micro in this stadium. This is normally the point where you best mirror your paint or take a step back, just to see if and where you went wrong. Though, I’m no expert in this, since I *still* need to remind myself of this a bit. If you did something wrong big-time, then it’s usually back to Step #03, get past start and earn yourself a quick 200$ on the way. Or does that only count for Monopoly?

A comparison between the old and new version of “Join The GAR”

And oh yeah, here’s a comparison of the old versus the new result. What do you think? A lot better, right? I hope you guys found this as fun and informative as I had making this. Now, onto the next one, shall we?.


Don’t Let All The Bling Blind You

How To & Not To Treat Clones

With the internet being so vast and almighty, there is always someone, somewhere, out to get me. I am, of course, referring to my addiction for art. Back in the days, before the mighty era of the internets, I had it easy. There were only two places I considered a place of weakness for me. The local bookstore around the corner and the library a few blocks away. Yeah, I had it easy as a kid. I saved practically all my allowance for that one special moment, where I was taken to the bookstore, to chose a good ol’ comic out of the never-ending wall the owner had in his store. And in between those moments, I devoured every book I could get my little hands on and was aloud to loan from the library.

Even back then, at the age of 7 or earlier, I was hooked solid on stories. Adventures in space, riddles in the dark, cowboys fighting of hordes of Indians.. it didn’t matter. As long as it was taking me away from the boring reality that school was for me. Nowadays though, it’s a whole different world. Nowadays we have fora, online comics or social network sites where cartoonists or illustrators from all kinds post their work on. We are being overwhelmed with every sketch, paint and drawing they can produce. Not by a detour via their agencies or whatnot, mind you. I’m talking straight from the illustrators even! Ah, the wonders of modern society.

It’s enough to make me stop all my activities. Unfortunately, I’m not even exaggerating here. I’m not too proud to admit that I too, have had many a days, where I’m just surfing from one portfolio to another, gauging my eyes out, staring at the screen, where a vast supply of art after another is being thrown at me. I like to call most of those days a moment where I suffer from “Depresspiration”. Allow me to quickly explain this term in my own made-up latin:

“Depresspiration”; (Latin Depressīōnem (nominative: depressīrātiō), Looking at the art of someone really talented that makes you want to draw more and quit at the same time.

It’s basically a combination of the term “Depressing” and “Inspiration”. I like to use it when I see art that inspires me because it’s so good, yet makes me want to quit at the same time, because it’s at a level that makes me realize I still have a *lot* to learn. So at some point, I revert back to my inner child. The kid who didn’t knew any better, and just started creating after he devoured yet another comic. Back then, I was so inspired I didn’t care at what level I could draw. I just did it. And that’s what I’m trying to say here (admittedly, through a very long detour), don’t let all the bling blind you. Don’t let yourself become so down you haven’t got the energy to pick up your pencil. Just grab a sketchbook, or whatever you’re most comfortable with, and start drawing/painting again. Create.

That’s why I decided to follow Sketch Dailies, a twitter account that posts daily character inspirations. Apparently, a lot of people seem to have chosen this path as well, since my timeline receives a now staggering amount of art. Which in turn, ironically, feeds my addiction for art even more. And so, dear reader, we come to a full circle. Addiction feeds creativity feeds addiction. The life of an illustrator in a nutshell, as it were.

All right internet, bombard me with your art.


Cover design “Hush”

The Cover for 'HUSH'

Monsters exist.

Today we finally have proof. As today marks the day where I can finally tell you all about how I’m proud to say that I got to design the cover for the first book ‘HUSH’, of the book series FIRE AND STONE by A.J. Coulson. Not only do I have the privilege to call this person my good friend, he also wrote a great novel for which I’m stoked already to read it when I’ve got some free time to spare.

For a while now I’ve been dying to share this great piece of news with anyone, and since the book is out now, I believe I finally can. Though I was only responsible for providing the cover art, I did try to do my job as good as I could, by creating the right atmosphere for this commission. Honestly, it did took me a while to give it ‘just’ that dark feeling but I believe it turned out all right in the end. Now don’t come asking me questions about what you see here though, that you’ll have to figure out for yourself by actually reading the book.

And since we’re getting fairly close to the holidays, I’d say to treat your beloved ones with some great literature and read for yourself what it’s all about. In case I sparked your interest, you can always find the novel back on Amazon.

Right, that’s enough promotion for now. Time for me to get back to the drawing board.


Thank you, Maui Jim!

Aloha folks!

Today is a glorious and radiant day. Today, I came a little bit closer to completing my dream of ever spending my time on a sandy beach somewhere in the pacific Ocean. From as soon as we’ll be so fortunate to see any form of sunshine, I’ll be able to bask in the glorious feeling that Maui Jim just provided in the form of these shiny sunglasses. Honestly, I cannot express the gratitude I have for this company, not only did they provide me and my friends & family with a great selection of gorgeous looking sunglasses, they do it in a very stylish way even. I’m talking about a gorgeous presentation of quality materials here people. Comfy cases for handy transportation, reversible cleaning cloth pouches and a certification of my prescription for my modified sunglasses. As I said, pure quality.

I cannot for the best of my possibilities, come up with one negative item about this. So with that in mind, thank you Maui Jim, and I wouldn’t dare not to thank one special person (who went out of her way for me to fiddle with all the administration details), I’m talking about my good friend Izzie. Thank you hun. A lot.

Alright, time to go make some few good people very happy in the upcoming minutes. Christmas might’ve just come a bit earlier for ‘m!


Maui Jim Sunglasses

Maui Jim Sunglasses