Thursday, 28 May 2015

It's the little things

I'm at a point in my sketchbook where I still have a few pages to fill but not enough to take it with me on a trip anymore.

Call me obsessive, but I don't like to have a few pages about the same trip spread over several sketchbooks.

So I'm slowly filling it with drawings of various little things from everyday life, trying out compositions, colours, techniques.

Wonky contour drawing and play with writing...

The wonkiness makes it fun
...illustrating a quote from Fabio Consoli from Sketchbook Skool...

Quote Fabio Consoli, SketchbookSkool
Who doesn't like a good plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce?
...keeping a memento of delicious treats from Strasbourg.

Oranges et pain epices
I'll have to bring more next time.
It's the little things that fill the sketchbook.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A hen party

Last weekend I attended a friend's hen party.

Her matron of honour told us that she had requested 2 things for her hen party: that we had a pic-nic and that there be a pink princess cake.

The plan was to surprise her in the morning, dress her up in a pink tutu, a princess tiara and special t-shirt  and, little twist to the story, take her to Strasbourg for the weekend.

The bride-to-be in her outfit for the day

After we arrived and left our luggage at the hotel, we headed towards a parc where we had a nice pic-nic with the star of the show, the princess cake.

I have to say it was really pretty and I think the matron of honour did a great job finding it. Plus it was quite yummie, so alltogether well done.

A princess cake for a princess bride
A princess cake for a princess bride

After the pic-nic we went for a walk during which the bride-to-be had to distribute candy and small toys to people.

It was fun to see some people wave at us from the distance when they understood what was going on. The pink tutu and crown were a dead giveaway for sure.

A ride on the carousel on place Gutemberg finished the princess part of the weekend and we had a delicious dinner at a Brazilian restaurant I can only recommend, the Rio's.

The following day we strolled around some more - this time the future bride didn't have to wear the tutu -, bought some souvenirs and had lunch at Flam's, a place specializing in tartes flambées (or Flammekueche), before heading back home, tired but satisfied with the weekend.

Lunch at Flam's, Strasbourg
Eating Flammekueche, miam!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A Bee commission

A while ago, I was challenged to post 3 of my drawings every day during 5 days on Facebook.

On one of these occasions, I posted a selection of my portraits and a contact of mine, Kristen, asked me if I took commissions. She wanted me to make a portrait of her little daughter, Bee.

To be honest, I never seriously considered earning any money with my drawings, even if, of course, it is a bit of a dream of mine, so I was hesitant at first.

Not so much to make a portrait on demand, but more about getting paid for it. I'm no professional, so it seemed a bit preposterous and I had no idea how much money to ask for it anyway.

However, I overcame these qualms and took on the challenge and made a comprimise with Kristen (and with myself): I would make the portrait (it was good practice anyway) and she would take it only if she liked it.

There were many cute and cheeky pictures to choose from, so that was a bit of a challenge in itself, and I settled on one that I found both a bit complicated and showing a bit of the girl's personality.


Kristen and Bee liked the portrait and it has now arrived safely to Switzerland. It is now part of a collection of Bee portraits, of which I am pretty proud.

It has certainly been a growing experience for me and I am grateful to Kristen for nudging me in this direction.

We are a long way from opening a business from this, but I am now a tiny bit less daunted about selling my work.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sketching at Kaale Kaffi

Last Sunday we had our monthly sketchcrawl meeting in Luxembourg-city. We were hoping to go on the Vauban trail around one part of the fortress. Unfortunately, it was raining the whole afternoon, so we did the next best thing: we went to Kaale Kaffi.

Kaale Kaffi is a peculiar and very interesting place I first discovered during a sketchcrawl with Leen. It is a mixture between a coffee shop, a second-hand shop and an antiques shop.

From outside it looks like a regular second-hand shop, but when you look closely you discover that you can go in and spend time surrounded by a variety of old objects and clothes.

Most items can be purchased, which is why the inside setup changes on a regular basis.

So the rain pushed us to go in and we ended up spending over 2 hours there with Leen, Carlo and Aniela.

@ Kaale Kaffi with Carlo and Leen
Carlo and Leen busy sketching. Aniela was on my left side

There are so many interesting things that the most difficult part is to choose what to sketch. I think I could fill a whole sketchbook with this place alone.

As an example of the variety of objects you can find there, I was sitting next to a mannequin set up in a running motion, standing by a table with an old candelabra and picture frame (complete with the old sepia picture) on it.

@ Kaale Kaffi
Run, Forest, run!

Next time I will try to make a sketch of the place as a whole. I think it will take me at least 2 hours, but it would definitely be fun.

If you are wondering where exactly this place is, I can only say that it is in the old part of the upper town. They don't want to advertise themselves too much and I must admit that I don't want it to become too crowded either. I have a feeling it might become our sketching headquarters in time.