Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Day at Kasteel de Haar - colored pencil drawing on black paper

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"A Day at De Haar"
Colored pencils on black Stonehenge paper
8"h x 4"w approx.
August 2012 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.


Kasteel de Haar (De Haar Castle) which is located in the village of Haarzuillens, in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands, is a "fairy-tale like" castle that can trace its roots back to the 12th century, but the current structure was built in the 19th century. Commissioned by Baron van Zuylen van Nyevelt (who married into one of Europe's wealthiest families: Rothschild), the castle was designed by the famous 19th century, Dutch, architect: Pierre Cuypers. Cuypers also designed some of the Netherlands' most noted landmarks, i.e.,  Amsterdam's Central Train Station and the Rijksmuseum (also located in Amsterdam).

With its moats (complete with swans), drawbridges, gargoyles and towers, Kasteel de Haar is truly delightful. Many couples have their wedding pictures taken on the grounds, with, of course, the castle as a backdrop. If you've never been to Kasteel de Haar, taking a guided tour of the castle is highly recommended as the guides will tell you fascinating stories about the origins of the castle, interesting anecdotes about the van Zuylen/Rothschild family and offer an intriguing look into "aristocratic life" in the Netherlands during the 19th century. 

While the castle is now owned by a Dutch National Trust, the current heirs of the van Zuylen-Nyvelt family do reside in a part of the castle during the month of September - during that month, the castle is closed to visitors. However, the interior of the castle is absolutely gorgeous and really shouldn't be missed! I particularly like the music room with its magnificent, genuine, parquet floor and walls that are covered in rich tapestries. Another of my favorite rooms is the kitchen with its massive 19th century cooker and a very  impressive collection of copper cooking pans.

If you've taken the interior castle tour before, or would rather not do that tour, a stroll around the extensive grounds is another option. With its centuries-old trees, lakes, gorgeous flower beds, rose garden, manicured hedges and statues, the castle's gardens and grounds are a visual treat anytime of the year - even in the winter! 

My drawing above is of one of the many lovely sculptures found in the gardens surrounding the castle, with a view towards one of the castle towers - the figure is holding a mass of grapes on its head. :o)

For this drawing I used:
Prismacolors - reg. colored pencils
Faber-Castell Polychromos - reg. colored pencils
Lyra Rembrandt - reg. colored pencils
Black Stonehenge Paper

This drawing is part of a series of drawings I'm doing of this castle's grounds & buildings. 

Here's another drawing (on black paper) of a stone sculpture, from Kasteel de Haar, that I did in 2011: Stoneface at Kasteel de Haar

Link to the website for the castle : Kasteel de Haar (english version)



tot ziens,
Judy
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Water Lily #1 ~ colored pencil drawing

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Pink-Purple Water Lily #1
Colored pencils on Stonehenge paper ~ 5"h x 5"w
August 2012 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands
drawing copyright 2012  Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

In the summer months, the small canal behind our house is often filled with water lilies. They are mostly on the side across the canal and mostly white. Sometimes though, there are pink water lilies in the canal! We only have small yellow lotus flowers (knob shaped and never open) on our side - which is OK too, but not my favorite. 

I took some (err, maybe a great deal) "artistic license" with this one, which was originally pale pink, and made it more pinky-purple in color. :o)

For this piece I used:
(All regular colored pencils, not aquarelle pencils.)
Derwent Coloursofts
Caran-d'Ache Pablos
Faber-Castell Polychromos
Bruynzeel Full-colors (a discontinued brand, alas).
Royal Talens Van Gogh 
Sanford Prismacolors (lots of white!)
And a  little Zest-it solvent in some areas.
Stonehenge Paper


The Pencils, lined up for their *photo moment* ... 
apparently, my indigo blue pencil didn't want its picture taken...



:o)
tot ziens,
Judy
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Sacha Napping - sketches in Moleskine and a Happy Birthday to Her!

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Sacha (the kat in klompen) Napping!
pen & ink, watercolors, colored pencil in moleskine sketchbook
August 2012
copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
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Today, our cat Sacha is 8 years old.
She's still the princess of our house. :o)

Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag, Sacha!
(Happy Birthday, Sacha!)


:o)
Judy
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ijsjes in Utrecht (Ice Creams in Utrecht) ~ Drawing: Pen & Ink with Colored Pencil

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"Ijsjes on Maartensbrug"
(Ice Creams on Martin's Bridge)
pen & ink with colored pencils on brown paper ~ 5.5"h x 7"w
July 2012 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.


On a warm, very sunny, day in Utrecht, this cute pink & yellow Italian ice cream truck is a welcomed sight on Maartensbrug (named after Saint Martin).  The bridge crosses over the Oudegracht (old canal) from Zadelstraat (saddle street),  then onto Servetstraat (napkin street) which then leads up to (under and through) the Dom Tower to Domplein (dom square).

The ice cream truck seems to always be at this particular spot on the bridge; I love the happy colors of the truck! :o)



tot ziens,
Judy
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