Summertime in Amsterdam

Summertime in Amsterdam! People are out and about, enjoying drinks on the terraces, or soaking up the sun in the grass. All great opportunities to sketch!20160827_park



Fun Project

Drawing buildings. Years ago it was such a big challenge for me – I can’t even remember what my fear was back then, but I just avoided it whenever I could. Then at some point I just tried it, starting with the corner of a random rooftop, and discovered it wasn’t scary or even that hard – it’s just like drawing anything else: find the shapes and draw one, then add another line, and another, following the contours of what you see. No need for perfect perspective, because a wonky and wobbly drawing is actually a lot more fun to look at!
Ever since, I enjoy drawing buildings, or parts of buildings. They are part of our surroundings and even just a few pen strokes to indicate a shape, makes a big difference in our sketchbook pages. I can’t even imagine my sketchbooks without any ‘urban sketches’, which aren’t necessarily focused on drawing architecture, but they give context, for sure.


So, I was thrilled to be asked to draw a series of 4 drawings of architectural monuments in my neighborhood. In the Netherlands, on National Heritage Day, many buildings are opened for the public to take a peek inside. There are guided tours around the cities and inside the buildings, and all kinds of lectures and activities. Just around the corner from where I live is this fantastic building, called MidWest, that used to be a school and the former classrooms are now used by many creative businesses and entrepreneurs. For this year’s National Heritage Day, the building is open for the public, and the owner asked me to make 4 drawings that would be blown up to 4 huge canvases to hang on the facade.

It was a fantastic project to work on, just hanging out in my very own, familiar neighborhood, enjoying the architecture, and capturing the vibe of the ‘hood’.





And now, they are attached to the facade, for this weekend, but they will stay there for a while, as the owner of MidWest loves to give some exposure to the local artists.20160910_cabralstraat6


It’s so cool to see my drawings as blow-ups!


When they got printed, something went wrong initially, but that first version serves a purpose now too: it’s a huge coloring page! Isn’t this awesome?

Pictures above by Frans Koene, pictures below by Anita Groenink


If you’re in or near Amsterdam, ‘Open Monumentendag’ is this weekend – for the schedule, map and tours, click here

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Welcome to my blog20150601_selfie kopie

My name is Koosje Koene. I am an illustrator, art teacher and online entrepreneur.
On this blog you’ll find my latest drawings, journal pages, sketches, inspiration and draw tips!
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