Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sketches from Holland

Text has been updated on Sunday, 7th Oct. '12.  Sketches from a recent, short trip to The Netherlands; Displayed in no particular order, and including some  'non-human' figures as well... All are on 11" x 9" cartridge; Media used - conte and watersoluble crayons/pencils.

Please click to enlarge and view in proper magnification.

From one of Frans Hals' civic guard paintings ; Frans Hals museum, Haarlem

Same as above. This was the first of the Hals studies, and sketching as I was from a low sitting angle looking up at these giant works, it took me time to adjust to the perspective distortions. The Dutch being very discreet and polite, silently sat next to me, or stand behind me, watching me work. Only when I had finished working did they offer a word of appreciation. However, there were tourists from other places who were less so :P and some kept going to and fro the painting and me, commenting on which particular face I was drawing! I was of course, enjoying all of it... the ambiance, my work, the people, and the master works.

Same as above

From  Hendrik Goltzius' Hercules; Same venue as above. It was kind of a shock for me to suddenly 'discover' this huge painting... looming above and in front of me, as I walked into the room. I was already quite familiar with it, but had no idea Frans Hals museum had this painting. 

Also a Goltzius study (As I stood sketching, my sketchbook precariously balanced in the crook of my elbow, a nice gentleman... museum staff, asked -'would you like to have a chair?' We then dragged in a  huge red-topped bench from the adjoining room :) )

The Rembrandt sculpture at Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam. It was raining quite heavily, and I had to flee to the transparent shade of the adjoining tramstand and sketch from there. Hence the sideways view.

Unknown bust (to me, i.e... forgot to record the details) at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. In the end, I became a spectacle as well... the crowd was quite heavy and people also started to stand around me and watch, and some were shooting vids/pics of the process. Who wouldn't want to record an extra 'event' at such a museum :P

Same as above venue

Same as above venue, at the top of the wooden stairwell. The figure painted on the left, in the image below was on one of the walls around this sculpture.

The figure on the left was a study of a painting (again, I failed to record the origins, ugh!), sketched from another room, viewed diagonally through the door. In the end I gave up sketching as too many people were passing through. The one on the right (Rembrandt's 'Jewish bride', of course!) was sketched in similar crowded conditions - its fascinating to watch the popularity of such timeless masterpieces. Rijksmuseum was so kind in allowing me to sketch in there. One of the guards, who surprisingly spoke little english (for the Dutch are very proficient in english) greeted me with a wide grin and 'Ahh... Mr Artist!' when I visited the museum the next day. 

I had fun sketching this Rembrandt SP... I could only see momentary glimpses of it, sitting from the sofa in the middle of the room, as heads of people continued to eclipse it frequently. 

A touch of India in Holland. Still life of wooden elephant - heartiest thanks to the owners for allowing me to sketch :)

Fish stall at Zaandvoort aan zee, which is on the North Sea coast to the west of Holland. A windy but brilliantly lit day. A young Dutch historian had informed me that 'The Japanese are not the only ones who eat raw fish, we do it too!' :D And true to his words, raw herring, glistening in some kind of oil I guess, was being sold here. I'm not a fish person at all, but in order to experience some essence of the place, ordered a plate of fried fish and chips. I did ask beforehand if they would be too fishy, to which the stall-owner broke open one of those finger sized fries (in a crumbly brown jacket) and reassured me 'Oh no no, these are like half potato, and half fish'. Indeed, they were delicious.. notwithstanding the smell of fish in the air. Loved it!

He/she patiently modeled for me for close to 10 mins as I sat softly whistling and sketching. There was another kind of black, crow like bird (although with a much shorter beak), very restless and agile... hopping around. 

Bust of a young Dutch intellectual, sketched in failing daylight. Heartiest thanks to the owners of the bust :) and the sculptor.


  1. Loved seeing your drawings like this , fab stuff to treasure always here me thinks!! make this wannabe artist cringe at your ability but mostly at your skill I think ...ah

  2. (( shakes head )) @ your super-extravagant comment :) On the contrary, it is I that wants to start all over again when I see your ipad sketches and recent figure gestures! Sandra, thank you so very much for dropping by :)

  3. Your Welcome you Darling Man !....from my heart deeply !

    I always feel your around me ... in spirit I guess...:)

  4. Drawings extraordinaire! each one a gem! From these beauties one can sense the immense pleasure you derived out of this trip ! Thanks for sharing Prosenjit!

  5. GS, so glad to find your comment here! No doubt at all, @ 'immense pleasure', who wouldn't... at the company of such amazing masterworks :) Thank you so very much!


Thank you for your thoughtful opinion :)