Amsterdam 1983

Amsterdam 1983 blog

Amsterdam 1983 (A4 ink and watercolour pencils 2016)

For the past few weeks I’ve been following an online Sketchbook Skool course called  Polishing. It’s a useful way to pull yourself out of your comfort zone.

The exercise for the second week was an urban sketching project with Dutch illustrator, Koosje Koene. At the time I was in Germany where it was raining steadily and I didn’t really feel like venturing out. In an old album I found an image of a house on an Amsterdam canal that was actually four small photographs pasted together to produce a strangely disorienting perspective.

I took the original photographs one Saturday afternoon in winter on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. I’d always intended to draw the building and retain the stretched perspective so, more than thirty years later, here it is. It captures a moment when my then girlfriend – later my wife, later still my ex-wife – put her foot in something rather unwelcome. In those days it was risky not looking where you were putting your feet in Amsterdam.

15 thoughts on “Amsterdam 1983

  1. This is a charming illustration. I like the quirky pose of the figure as it complements the stretched proportions of the buildings. I have not been to Amsterdam for over 20 years but I still have fond memories of wandering the streets and enjoying the architecture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Amsterdam 1983 – Rewind Selector

  3. It really does look like a beautiful stage and the beginning of an intriguing story. How are you liking “polishing”? I thought about taking this class but I finished another sketchbook skool class earlier in the year and thought I would take a little break and let all the new techniques sink in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cathe. I have mixed feelings about Polishing if I’m honest. I thought there might be more interaction and inevitably the lessons depend very much on the approach of the individual tutor. I thought Nelleke Verhoeff and Koesje Koene were very interesting and I’m looking forward to Matthew Midgley at the end of this week.I’m not sure I would have called it Polishing myself – rather Different Directions or something.


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