Thursday, 23 June 2022

Abandoned vehicle, Northern Cape

Acrylics on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


I have been tinkering with a new story, but in the meantime it is fun to paint a bit again. Perhaps not the kind of subject matter everyone enjoys, but to me, this kind of slow decay, as nature gradually reasserts itself over the works of man, holds a certain magic I can't quite verbalize. And thus, I paint it.

This work is for sale. Contact me at brianvds@gmail.com.


Monday, 13 June 2022

The Crow Brings Daylight

 I have started a whole new series of children's books, this time dedicated to folktales from North America. The first in the series, titled The Crow Brings Daylight, is now available. It is a delightful folktale of the Inuit people that tells the story of how the perpetual darkness of the far north ended when the crow brought daylight to these regions.

Here are the first few pages:









Sunday, 29 May 2022

Winter landscape near Potchefstroom

 Acrylics on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


SOLD

It has been a while since I have managed to get around to some painting: I am rather busy with a new illustration project - watch this space; it ought to be done in a week or two!


Saturday, 30 April 2022

The Crab and the Crane

 A new book in my Folktales from Africa series is now available! You can read the free online version below, but if you enjoy it, please consider buying a copy, or making a donation of your choice by clicking on the donate button in the panel on the right.













If you enjoyed this, please consider buying a copy or making a donation of your choice by clicking the donate button in the panel on the right.

Or go check out my other books.


Saturday, 23 April 2022

A minimal sketch kit

 I strolled around in a local nature area, trying out what I think of as a sort of bare-essentials sketching kit:


It consists of the following:

1. Small sketchbook, about 10 x 15 cm. I like working small anyway, but such a small sketchbook has other advantages. It is relatively easy to sketch standing up, so I don't have to lug a folding chair around. 

Furthermore, I have long been uncomfortable with sketching in public, where a whole crowd soon starts to hang around, looking over one's shoulder and making remarks (I swear if I ever again have to hear the question "Why don't you just use a camera?" I'll probably commit murder). With such a small sketchbook one feels more secretive! People walked right by me, apparently not much interested in what I was scribbling.

Last but not least, making such small sketches absolves one from the pressure of feeling that one has to produce a big masterpiece. This makes it more likely that I'll actually get around to sketching something instead of walking around trying to find "suitable subject matter" - with a small sketch, the entire world is suddenly replete with an embarrassment of riches for the quick sketch aficionado.

2. Gel pen. A roller ball will also work, or anything else that easily delivers its ink. I enjoy sketching with a ballpoint, but one needs to put some pressure on it to make a mark, which is difficult when standing with a somewhat floppy sketchbook in hand. With more liquid ink, the ink will easily flow onto the paper. Also, it prevents my perpetual sin of fussiness: there is no way to make very light, tentative lines, so it forces me to be more bold, decisive and expressive.

3. Watercolor pencils: primary colors, for obvious reasons, to which I added a green and a mid brown. I have a more complete set, but I find it difficult to juggle all the colors. With this minimal set I can achieve a reasonably broad range of color and tone. 

4. Water brush for wetting the pencil marks. One can of course use a water brush with watercolor pans as well, but I find it a bit difficult to work that way. 

5. Craft knife for sharpening pencils. 

And that's it. Perhaps somewhat limiting, but also very easy to carry around in a satchel, and can be whipped out on short notice for a quick five minute sketch of whatever catches my eye. I find that in this way I actually get more done than when I carry around more complete and sophisticated equipment.

Some of today's mini sketches:





Saturday, 16 April 2022

Small watercolors

 Every so often I go through a mania for watercolor painting. Did a bunch of ACEOs etc. When working in watercolor, my preferred technique is line and wash. ACEOs (i.e. 2.5 x 5.5 in, or about 65 x 90 mm):


                                     







And a small picture of 10 x 15 cm (= about 4 x 6 in):


This last one is for sale; contact me at brianvds@gmail.com.

Or go check out what else I get up to all over the web...


Monday, 28 March 2022