WIP on Wednesday (on a Thursday)

Working on my second painting in art school, part one of a small modern ironic triptych/house altar on a wooden panel. Very frustrating as usual.

In class I paint mostly women, at home it’s the other way round. Paintig gear was still in the atelier until yesterday so didn’t paint. Made some sketches after Dürer for fun plus some anatomy studies. Evenings were spent researching BSCC (bat shit crazy Charles) and paintings of him. I didn’t find too many modern or contemporary versions but a certain Jean-Xavier Renaud, who has a pretty wild style, did some watercolours of Burgundians which were interesting. The one of C is not so great, though. There is also a pretty bizarre 1900ish painting  of C by Henry de Groux.  Looks more like the Phantom of the Opera, but never mind.

I have some prepared wood panels lying around and one is more or less the right size and ratio. On the site of the English National Gallery I found a document with a lot of information about the work method and materials of van der Weyden and his studio, including the colours that were used. A lot of these are quite hazardous (lead white etc) but there are good alternatives. The panel I have is poplar wood which is more Italian than the traditional oak, but it will have to do. I should definitely go and have a look at the original Anthony again in the coming days, he wears a similar coat plus same ridiculously dramatic necklace. All that remains now is to copy the image of the original portrait. Not sure yet how. I could do it freehand or try to create a camera obscura. Or maybe just the plain old holes and charcoal method. Or shall I cheat and just simply project the image?

While collecting old pictures I came across this detail of a rather worn old miniature on Wikipedia. It was supposedly painted by Rogier van der Weyden or his studio. The miniature depicts – I think – the presentation of the manuscript of the Hainaut Chronicles (they made a whole fuss of handing over a book in those days. Quite a difference with how they are thrown at you from the back of a van nowadays) . In the little scene below are some unknown men attending the ceremony. Even with the terrible haircuts, it’s absolutely amazing. Look at the man in grey. That face…

I’ll leave you with some music. Yesterday while I was reading about the battle of Nancy, one of the songs suggested by Spotify was this one.

Quite appropriate.








Wednesday update

Just a quick midweek update as I won’t have time on Sunday.

Art school: almost finished the portrait I started last year. Just need to add some finishing touches and a glaze in a few months time. Not entirely happy with it, there is much room for improvement, but, hey, that’s what art school is for. Started something new, a more contemporary triptych. We’re not supposed to share pictures of our work in the atelier so no pictures of it, sorry (or thank heavens for that).

I have uploaded some pictures of The Flagellation of Christ by Caravaggio and Michaelina’s paintings (Sanguine and MAS exhibitions – see earlier post) on separate pages. They are listed in the Expo menu. For the record, I am not going to upload pictures of every exhibition or museum I visit in the menu, just the ones that stood out.

Drew another sketch/study of Charles (It’s the last item under WIP>Burgundia). Not just there yet. Maybe just one more before wasting a panel. I could just trace or project the image, but hey, where is the fun in that? Three paintings in rotation per location is enough so no other paintings in progress than the ones already mentioned before.

And now I leave you with a medieval picture of Jason and Medea that I found on Wikimedia Commons while I was looking for something cheerful and uplifting:



Short update


[Virgil – study of a study of Degas for Virgil and Dante, in some kind of charcoal pencil and watercolours – messed up the arm]

Short update. First painting classes of the new year are over. Those first days are always chaotic: select a spot, get your gear organised, catch up with everyone etc. The rest of the time I worked on a portrait I started painting during the academy’s demo day at the end of June. It’s almost finished.  Not sure what exactly the next painting is going to be but I have ideas. The preparations will be done at home in the coming days.

The rest of the time I’ve been hanging around in Burgundy.  The pile of books on my desk has doubled in size and I have temporarily deactivated the earlier posts about it, as I need to rewrite them.

That’s about it for now.




Varkentje wassen

Wekelijkse update. (Als het lukt, want de site is een beetje onwillig de laatste dagen en ik weet niet of het aan de hosting ligt of aan  de wifi.)


Familiefeest overleefd. Schetsboek in orde gezet en er verder in gewerkt, vooral experimenten in stripstijl.

Doek met varkentje aan de kant gezet na de recentste laag verf want het wil niet drogen. De watergebaseerde olieverf laat zich blijkbaar niet makkelijk overschilderen. Ik ga nu verder werken aan drie andere al begonnen doeken die allemaal een gelijkaardig kleurenpalet hebben. Dat werkt makkelijker en de verf op het palet  (eigenlijk een stuk glas) heeft dan minder kans op te drogen tussen de lagen door, ook omdat ik met de gewone verf verderga.

Volgende week is het Bourgondische bloempottenhaarstudieweek (zie eerdere berichten). Ik heb van overal  materiaal bijeengezocht/geleend/gebedeld. Het is een hele stapel geworden die nu op de hoek van mijn werktafel ligt.


De portretten waarop ik me wil baseren hangen in Duitsland volgens tinternet dus die kan ik niet snel even gaan bekijken. Ik ga op hout schilderen zoals toen gangbaar was, denk ik. Er liggen nog ergens geprepareerde panelen klaar. Overschotjes van de HdH’s vele door YouTube-geïnspireerde knutselprojecten.




The Sword in the Stone – Part I: A knight’s tale

This is an updated/reworked version of the original post, dated 08.09.2018

In the past years I’ve drawn and painted a number of versions of the portraits of Anthony of Burgundy and Philippe de Croy by Rogier van der Weyden.

When I was struggling with Philippe’s portrait a couple years ago, I decided to take painting lessons at the local art school, literally a stone’s throw away. I know now that my mistake was that I tried to paint those portraits with acrylic paint.

Anyway, right after our trip to Bruges (see earlier post), I was browsing through Wikipedia looking for a Primitive painting to copy as an exercise and I came across a portrait of Charles, the half-brother of Anthony, also painted by van der Weyden. I realised that a) I had never painted him as part of the series and b) I could not remember much about those days from my history lessons at school and uni. The lessons were always utterly boring, just endless, meaningless lists of dates and names, dry as cinnamon. After quickly refreshing my memory on the ever untrustworthy internet, I decided to dig a little deeper in other sources. All I wanted was to compare a few portraits before I wasted a panel but the little hole quickly became a giant pit and the pile of books I gathered from here and there became bigger and bigger. The original text of this post isn’t relevant anymore. It’s a pretty grim story.

So, next to painting the portrait(s) in the coming months, I am going on a road trip in my hand-dug dark pit. I’ve already booked a tour guide ( and no, it’s not Virgil :).

[A drawing by Gustave Doré for Dante’s Divina Commédia (Source: Wikimedia)]

“It is another path that you must take,”
he answered when he saw my tearfulness,
“if you would leave this savage wilderness;


Those who want to know more about it, know where to find me.


First test sketch: