Amsterdam sketching

The best thing about the days in Amsterdam is that they are long! In fact you lose your sense of time here because the sun sets so late in the day. That means lots of time to draw. I’ve been sketching with friends for the past few days, and preparing for my workshops and demos for the Urban Sketchers Symposium, which begins this evening.

On my first day here it rained so we sketched from the steps of the Maritime Museum.

With this crowd, sketchbooks come out during meals, so this one of the canal houses was done during dinner.

The flower market is a pretty crowded spot but we set up our stools against the wall and found a view of the stalls. It’s not tulip season, of course, but there’s still plenty of colour to be found.

My workshop location is in Amsterdam’s historic harbour, so I started by doing some small brush pen sketches in a little sketchbook.

More workshop prep, this time in full colour…

My workshop is titled “Barges, Schooners and Trawlers: Sketching Amsterdam’s Historic Harbour”. It’s about drawing and painting all the details on the boats and also capturing their reflections. I loved all the rusty details in this scene!

I sketched this last one from Rembrandtplein, looking up the street towards the Muntorren tower.

That’s about all the quiet sketching time I’ll get in before the symposium starts. I’ve heard there will be 500 registered for the event and at least that many more who have come to sketch in the city. And with the temperature going up to 35C this week, it going to be steamy sketching madness. More soon!

28 Comments on “Amsterdam sketching”

  1. Rooi says:

    I love how urban sketchers take people to all sort of places and subjects and terrains and scenes and nothing is a challenge to my Shari. Just wish I could be there

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy Sopher says:

    So many lovely paintings. The second of the canal house fascinates me. The color in your painting compared to the photo of the house is amazing. Was the color that vivid in real life? I envy you and all of the people there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy, the canal houses are not that colourful but I always add a bit more pigment and saturation than I see. The only elements that are really colourful are the orange tiles roofs.


  3. Thank you for sharing. I love the boats….I love all of the sketches …especially the strong colors in the building sketch. Wear at hat in that heat and sunscreen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carmel, thanks for writing. I always wear a hat but the real secret to surviving the teaching experience was to drink sports drinks to replace the salt. That helped so much in keeping my energy level up.


  4. Good Afternoon dear friend Shari,

    The last sketch drawn from Rembrandtplein is simply superb but not ignoring all the above that.

    Superb works, the beauty lies in your creative work, as viewed with your eyes and with an idea in the mind to draw them.

    Applauds, regards and blessings.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol Cooney says:

    Shari, The last comment by Uma, say it all. The Rembrandplein piece took my breath away. Your work is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bernadette says:

    I am fascinated at how you capture distant trees and buildings with few details….that is something I need to learn to do. What is most important is detailed and background suggested. You work is so inspiring and educational. Thank you for your excellence in explaining…..and teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anne Evans says:

    Just love how clean and direct your paintings are – with such lovely light. No fuss or fiddle. So much to be learnt from your beautiful sketches. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hélène Wermenlinger says:

    Love the one done in front of the Maritime Museum .
    Great work !
    Hélène W

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa Mastorakos says:

    All are fabulous, Shari! Hope you are loving Amsterdam and are having a great time. A very scenic place for sketching.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Doug Moench says:

    Superb collection in this blog post alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Barbara Tibbets says:

    We were there last fall in late September. Beautiful weather and only one day of rain.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Denise says:

    Hi Shari! Amsterdam is a smorgasbord of sights and subjects to paint! You have magically satisfied my appetite with these pictures. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful Pics, 35C must be rare for Amsterdam. Its been very hot here also in Eastern Ontario, and a lot more 30C days to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Y.B. De Ridder says:

    Good time as any to look at your blog from Amsterdam. Love how you reduced the details of the houses to something very recognizable but manageable to sketch. Makes me want to go out today and try to capture my neighborhood! Thank you & wish I had been sketching back then!


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