impressionistic cityscape graphite pencil drawing of Rotterdam

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Rotterdam – 23-07-19

Hotel New York, Rotterdam

In the dead of summer I find myself in Rotterdam in the midst of the outdoor sketching season. To be specific I am right in front of Hotel New York in Rotterdam. I did not complete this one on the spot. The invention of the basic composition and plane distribution were done at Katendrecht, Rotterdam though. The vista is directed at Hotel New York that nowadays looks almost encapsulated by skycrapers. I was there long ago but the cityscape almost was inrecognizable. The watertaxi was done in my studio because they keep on moving all the time. Nevertheless a new typical sight in swinging Rotterdam.

Old versus New

Fascinating to see how change affects this town that has been beat up and battered around in the past. Hotel New York is a reminder from the past that stands proudly between modern sky scrapers. If you search for them there are still some old gems to be found in the centre of Rotterdam. Not all have been bombed away in Word War II. However, nowadays Rotterdam is known for its modern architecture. Also fascinating but whenever I am in Ro’town I must admit I am glad that I can leave. The very scene that is depicted here expresses that feeling.

Impressionistic to Make It Big

Although, the drawing seems rather detailed I kept it quite impressionistic. Moreover I faced a hefty dilemma because tall and distant things can look rather fractional and petite. Details often make objects smaller too because of tonal variations in segments like a skyscraper put in too strongly. The trick however is to only suggest a lot of details and keep them within a very small tonal bandwith. In the front the tonal bandwith can be wider. Sheer suggestion does the rest and the spectator experiences an abundance of objects that actually are not there or drawn. The style resembles my drawing ‘Rotterdam – 14-05-19’ a bit.


Graphite pencil drawing (Sakura 0.5 mm, 3B) on Winsor & Newton paper (10.5 x 14.8 x 0.1 cm – A6 format)


Artist: Corné Akkers


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