impressionist urban graphite pencil drawing

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The Hague (Halstraat) – 12-03-15

Nothing Particular

An impressionistic view on the Halstraat, a small street in the centre of The Hague, Netherlands. I was fascinated by the blocked in light column. The street displays lots of depth in front and back to the St. Jacob’s Church in the background. Nothing particular is there to be found and it used to be the back of the Maison de Bonneterie.. Netherless am I attracted to this kind of back streets and alleys because of the imtimate, almost tucked away character they ooze out. It is like they need to be noticed too. There are plenty shopping streets with agressive demonstrations of advertisement. Not my cup of tea for artists like me.


No Baudelaire Needed

As to this I do not concurr with Baudelaire’s cry to portray daily life. Nowadays such is dominated by logo’s of retail chains and franchised stores. But hey, I am off topic now. I’d better accentuate the positive.


Inspirational Source

The drawing was directly influenced by my admiration for Gerrit Berckheyde’s oil painting ‘Gezicht op de Gouden Bocht’ of 1671-1672. He depicted some empty slots in Amsterdam’s most prestigeous part of the Herengracht, the so-called ‘Golden Bend’. It is not the invention of something great but rather the recognition of the tonal rhythym (light-dark-light-dark). Personally I think only great artist can see the implicite order behind matter. Others only will see houses and empty space between them where nothing has been built yet.


One Single Horizontal Beam

Another thing I was attracted to was the horizontal stripe of light in the back on the pavement of the Hoogstraat. The light is low in quantity but high in quality because it stands out amidst dark tones around it. Thus the horizontal is in balance with the verticals. I like balancing out these qualitative and quantitative aspects in a work.


Graphite pencil drawing (Pentel 0.5 mm, 3B) on Canson Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm – A4 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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