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Sketching with friends

Posted by Koosje Koene in ArtJournal, sketchbook on April 12, 2018

Sketching with friends is awesome. Especially when they are sketchers too. You learn from each other. You encourage each other. It’s inspiring.
The only risk is that you might be spending a lot of time on chatting about art supplies and flipping through each other’s sketchbooks, while you could actually be drawing.

At the Amsterdam Central Station, there’s a Grand Café, and a sketch pal invited a bunch of sketchers to spend an evening there with our sketchbooks. The interior is great for drawing, and so are the people:

A while ago, watercolorist Ian Fennely visited Amsterdam, and I organised a sketch meet-up, so he could meet some Dutch sketchers, and we could rub shoulders with him. He did a 2-hour drawing and we could all watch, and ask him questions – it was great.
As you can imagine, I didn’t get much drawing done, as I was hovering over Ian’s drawing, and socializing with the group – but I did manage to draw the view, and then filled the white space with one of the sketchers and some random people. (actually, I wish I hadn’t – it distracts from the drawing on the left. oh well):

Then a couple of weeks ago in Amsterdam, there was an ‘Open Tower Day’. It meant some towers in Amsterdam were accessible for the public, which was why a sketch pal invited me and 9 others to come and sketch from the top level of the tower next to the Central Station.

The view was amazing! And I hardly ever really draw wide views like that. But I decided to dedicate an accordion sketchbook and take my time to make good use of the 360 view. It was quite the challenge and I definitely was out of my comfort zone, but as they say: outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens:

I would have never done this project by myself, and felt encouraged by my friend who invited me. The whole thing took me almost five hours, but the time flew by!

Koosje Koene

Hi I'm Koosje. I'm an illustrator and art teacher in Amsterdam, where I was born and raised. I went to school to study graphic design, then worked for ten years as an award-winning professional photographer. But eventually my love of drawing and painting took over and I became an illustrator. My illustrations have been published in many Dutch magazines and in 2011, I began blogging and started developing and teaching online art classes. In 2014 I founded Sketchbook Skool, which is a flourishing community of artists from around the world of all skill levels.