impressionist landscape graphite pencil dawing

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Clingendael – 31-08-22

A Welcome Change

Today, the last day of August, I went to Clingendael with my dear friend Michelle. It’s a welcome change from drawing art deco models, such as the last one. We were out there to take some landscape pictures and to do some drawing. Quite nice weather I must say. It’s still summer, no wind and plenty of sun although not as hot as last week. Perfect for outdoor sketching. However, when I arrived at the estate I realized I forgot my camping chairs. Those are unconfortable to transport by bike anyway. The only option left was to find a suitable bench in the woods or tree trunk to sit on. Condition number two is to have an interesting motif in front of your eyes. Spotting artistic motifs outdoors is an art on itself. You’d better walk because finding one on bike or in your car seems almost impossible.

Atlantic Wall

Basically we were walking to and fro with no great sights in view. Then we came to the anti-tank wall, part of the Atlantic Wall and remnant of Word War II. It’s a promiment feature in the park covered by trees and a dense carpet of moss and grass. In front of it there are straight aligned water canals. The wall itself rises some 10 meters upwards and creates wonderful diagonally cast shadows. Luckily there were some abovemeant benches and we had a great view on the head side of the canal.


Immediately I thought of Gerrit Berckheyde’s view on the Herengracht in Amsterdam. He painted consecutive rows of light beams shining through empty slots between 17th century houses. I saw something similar happening with regards to light beams between trees in front of me. That’s always a highway to tonal success. You have to know a dense forest can look amorphous. That’s why it took sometime to find a perfect spot. This was the one.

Changing Light

Live drawing is the best, always! It enables you to see more and the presence in nature, sitting for 2 hours in one spot, is simply mesmerizing. I was curious to test my new pencils and Ingres paper outdoors. I must say it was very comfortable. I was able to hatch up the paper in a jiffy. Hence they enable me to make more artistic considerations along the way. With regular pencils and Bristol paper that is much more difficult because hatching paper consumes lots of time. Consequently I was able to capture the every changing light very quickly. Therefor I cherrypicked the most attractive leafy places throughout the timespan of 2 hours and put them on paper. With thanks to our German friends who built the lovely wall 80 years ago. Danke schön.

Pitt Graphite Matt pencil (Faber-Castell) drawing on Hahnenmühle paper (24 x 31 x 0.1 cm)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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