Mermaid at Sunset

mermaid1


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My First Oil Painting – Old Dutch Sail Ship

When I want something, I simply want something. No further explanations needed.

Being a bit too proud of my latest acrylic paintings and my new skills, I’ve decided it’s about time to feel bad once again, in order to motivate myself to improve even further. As acrylic and oil painting are so different, and from what I understood, it’s harder to paint in oil, I’ve decided to upgrade.

Buying my first oil set was a special moment. The only thing I could have in mind, was: my first painting has to be an old sail ship at sea. Why? No idea, but I wanted it.

As one of my friends said: “Why make it easy, when you can make it complicated?“. Most people start with a simple flower, but no, I have to start full speed, all engines running. No flower for me, unless is sitting on a sail ship. 🙂

First contact with oil paint was strange, to put it mildly. No more looking for water to quickly rinse my brush, no more finishing a painting in one go, no touching it for at least a few days. Even so, something about it fascinates me. The things you can do with oil, you simply can’t do with acrylic, and that alone is worth it, even if it means retraining myself on how to paint.

After painting one painting in 3 days, because of the different drying times, I must say I learned a lot, but what I’ve learned most of all is patience. You can’t do it all at once, but you can wait for the right moment.

And so I did, and with every brush stroke, I realized my first oil painting, isn’t a complete disaster, how I expected it to be, but it’s turning into something amazing.

old dutch sail ship

For a first try, I amazed myself, and I realized I was right all along to choose a ship at sea, instead of a simple painting. Painting something I really wanted, made me even more motivated to do it right!

Sails up, engines on and full speed ahead into more unknown waters!


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The Self Portrait Challenge

In my entire career as a painter, nothing was ever harder than painting portraits. For some reason, I can’t get pass the human, in order to focus on colors, shadows and shape, like I usually do, when paintings landscapes and animals.

This makes is extremely hard, and it’s the main reason which kept me away from ever getting myself into trying to paint humans.

As in the past year I took a few challenges in order to become a better painter, why not giving portraits another chance?

Even if not exactly a self portrait, but more of a portrait, I’m happy I gave it a chance. With a bit of guidance, the shapes and shadows are definitely on the right track, and I’m confident some more practice would definitely get me there.

self portrait

Ok, it was a lot of fun, but I must admit, it takes a lot more than this, to get me out of my favorite type of painting: nature and animals 🙂 Still, for a first try, I’m more than happy with it!


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Sunrise at Sea – Light Challenge

Light and shadows are always a challenge in a painting. Located in just the right spot, light either makes the painting realistic or, if placed in the wrong spot, ruins it. Light puts life into the canvas, and tricks the eye into seeing an unrealistic image, in a very realistic way.

Considering this, when you also add the sea into the equation, it can only get more complicated, because of the dynamic nature of water. Water is a mirror for the sky, a very complex one, especially when it’s on the move.

After months of practicing I am very happy to see the results I was hoping for! The right reflection, the right amount of light and even more very well places shadows, in a combination which projects an amazing sunrise at sea!

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul, in colorful shades of warmth

sea sunrise


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Winter Hikes and Painting in Nature

One thing the Netherlands teaches you is to make your own weather. Considering that over here it rains almost every day, if you wait for the perfect weather, you’ll spend the rest of your life indoors.

Knowing that summer lasts for only one day, and is usually in July (last year it was on a Thursday 🙂 ), if you’re passionate about nature, you have to learn how to fight natural elements and go after what makes you happy, regardless of the high number of clouds present on the sky. It definitely toughens you up, which is not a bad thing at all!

With that being said, why not hiking during winter? Nature is beautiful all year around, so if you really want, you can find a lot of unique places to visit and breathtaking landscapes.

Equipped with hiking boots and curiosity, I went on a few 15 km long hikes, in the very green Dutch landscape. I must say, the mix of sand, earth, trees and water always leave me breathless. It makes you feel like it’s almost not possible to have them all in one spot, and still, it works just fine! What can be nicer than seeing the dunes, the sea and the beach, even on such a cold winter day?

netherlands hiking 1netherlands hiking 2

Hiking is wonderful but something I always wanted to do, is paint in nature, and I think there’s no better way to start the year, than with some fresh air, and a bit of creativity.

One thing is for sure about painting outside during winter, on a foggy day: if you don’t lose any fingers on the making, you have to hurry and finish the painting, as the fog eats one tree at a time, removing it from your landscape. Even so, I never had more fun doing it 🙂

painting in nature

Time flies by when you’re having fun, so I was sent home earlier than planned, because of the ‘unexpected’ sunset. The panting is still work in progress, but the amazing landscape is still very much alive, deep inside my memory.


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