impressionist urban colored pencil drawing

Leiden – 14-09-21 (sold)

The Herengracht

This colored pencil drawing depicts the Herengracht in Leiden, Netherlands. The canal with its beautiful houses for the rich stands out in its grandeur compared to other minor ones. The drawing

was commissioned by the same collector who bought ‘Schiedam – 09-10-21’. It therefor is executed in the same style. Furthermore, Leiden is well-reknowed for its little canals and back alleys. Not catering foreign tourists as much as Amsterdam it mostly retained its original character . Is more intimate and offers some great museums as well.

Foliage or Not?

The aim was to put the focus on the houses in the centre of the drawing. As to these, there was a difficult consideriation to make. Depicting the foliage in full would block the view of the houses and their specifics quite a bit. The initial thought therefor was to do a winter scene. After a first attempt I was not satisfied with the result though. It looked too clean and I missed an organic look, counterbalancing all things straight and man made. The thing is that I always was fond of seeking out such contrasts. You can see them in my graphite pencil drawing ‘Schoonhoven 22-02-16’. Consequently the choice was made to depict both trees in leaf but skip some branches and reducing the density of the foliage a bit.

The Lourisbrug

Another request was to depict the Lourisbrug at the left. There was a risk that it would draw too much attention but I think I got away with it. Beware of the tonal difference between the quay and its shadow and the highlighted area in the middle. It draws the attention towards the midsection quick enough. The saturated greens of the trees are striking as well. By their subtle cast shadows on the houses the stress is put on the latter eventually. For the same reason the alley (Groenesteeg) at the left is worked out less from a tonal point of view. It shows quite some details though. Last but not least, I kept the sky as simple as possible. The result is that stronger blues contrast less saturated colors in the architecture and water. Such takes care for a nice balance between them.

Colored pencil drawing on Talens Mixed Toned Color paper (21 x 29.5 x 0.1 cm) – A4 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers