GUEST ARTIST: Food & A Touch Of Noir

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Tim Soekkha of chicken ottolenghi - #doodlewash

I am Tim Soekkha, an illustrator and draughtsman from the Netherlands (Follow me on Instagram and Facebook!). I studied Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. After my graduation, I tried to pursue a career as a painter. Back then, I used to work with oil on canvas. Next to making art, I worked as a freelance graphic designer, desktop publisher, and a set painter to make a living. I had some exhibitions, sold some paintings but could not live from it.

Then, In 2004, due to circumstances, I completely stopped making art and enrolled at Erasmus University to study Law in the evening. It might seem a strange move but I learned a lot in University and could put my creativity at work in law in a different way. In the daytime, I then worked as a producer/manager of the Royal Conservatory Big Band and at Leiden University as a coordinator for the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts which is part of the Faculty of Humanities.

In 2013, I decided to give up the securities of and employed life, quit my jobs and took a break to find out what I really wanted. Trying to make a living, I traded in arts and antiquities, curated some art shows and worked as a freelance para-legal advisor as well as in construction. Somewhere in between, I picked up drawing again and it became a more regular practice over some time.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Sketch by Tim Soekkha of cat on bed - #doodlewash

I started with just drawing what was in my surroundings like my pets, food, the interior of my appartment etc. Somewhere the watercolors and washings came in.

After I began posting ‘just for fun’ illustrations of recipes on websites like They Draw and Cook, Facebook and Instagram, I was asked by “eten uit de volkstuin” and Hungry Husband to draw illustrated recipes for their blogs and websites. I got more and more positive feedback. EmptyEasel featured my work as well as ArtHunters. People now tell me I am a better drawer than I ever was a painter.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Tim Soekkha of Pasta alla Norma - #doodlewash

It’s only this year that I decided definitely to ‘restart’ my artist career as a draughtsman and illustrator in a more serious way.

The noir series I started recently is a new development. One day I just started drawing a figure in a room but somehow the image was missing something. I then wrote text which just came up in my head, put it on Instagram and got a lot more likes than I was used to. That’s when I realized I was on to something…I’m trying to create some kind of surreal edgy noirish stills with a graphic novel appeal from which the viewer can distillate his/her own story.

A conscious effort to make my work as appealing as possible coincided with my favorite way of creating images: I mostly work with pen, ink and watercolors. I deliberately try to keep my line work vibrant and energetic to provide an organic feel.

I have my own style, but like to keep all my work attractive, radiating and captivating in terms of technique, colors and concept.

Tim Soekkha
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

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21 Comments
  1. Teresa Robeson 8 months ago

    I’m a total sucker for food art…following Tim on IG!

  2. jupitermagic 8 months ago

    Love your art and also your inspiring journey into it

  3. MAGNY TJELTA 8 months ago

    Amazing drawings, the “illustrations of recipes” is a lovely thing, my mom is a great “food and recipe” artist, some years ago she made a very popular cook book. I think pople love this kind of illustrations . The drawings are so full of life and joy so you want to cook because it looks like it is going to be fun and ends up as the weeks lovelyest meal.

    • Thank you Magny for your very kind and inspiring words, makes me feel I’m doing the ‘right thing’ ..;)

  4. emmaleeshall 8 months ago

    I love your story! I had a similar journey from art to nursing and now I am back to art. I love hearing other people’s stories of how they are drawn back to art from some other career. I hope this works out for you, your drawings are amazing!

    • Tim Soekkha 8 months ago

      Great to hear there are others which have gone through the same journey. Thank you emmaleeshal for your compliments, to be honest I never expected to be drawn back to art but I’m more confident now that it will somehow work out eventually. Since you had a similar journey how did it work for you ?

      • emmaleeshall 8 months ago

        Right now I am working on building up my freelance graphic design business. It’s a long journey, but I’m excited to see where it leads.

  5. SHARON HASCHALK 8 months ago

    Hello Tim, your drawings/paintings are great. The noir ones are very cool – very mysterious looking. I like the idea of drawing food, it seems like it wouldn’t have so much pressure on you as something that needed to have more sharpness or exactness, like a building or a boat for instance. I have only used watercolors but never tried pen/ink and or wash, and I wondered what you use for the drawing/ink part of your work? Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful artwork. Greetings from Sharon in Florida.

  6. Thank you Sharon. drawing food is indeed a lot of fun to do and also challenging. For the drawing/ink part I use muji gelpens and pigma micron pens for the foodies. For the noir series I use indian ink, a dip pen, small brushes and sometimes also a fountain pen. I’m curious about your watercolors, is there a place online where you show them?

    • SHARON HASCHALK 8 months ago

      Hi Tim, thanks for the information about the pens/inks that you use. No, I don’t have my work online anywhere. Kind of at that stage where I don’t know if it’s good enough to show, but I am practicing as often as I can. I still struggle with drawing and do a lot of erasing, but I think I’m finally getting a little better (hopefully). I checked out your website and I loved the cannoli with the noir picture and the comments, that really made me smile! Thanks again Tim!

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    Tim, your work is indeed captivating and radiating. I love your style, especially applied to the noir graphics – very compelling, and a bit surreal, perfect for the current world’s craziness. You have an impressive academic and career background, and are a very accomplished person.

  8. Tim Soekkha 8 months ago

    Sharon, Thanks for your kind words and compliments. Especially your views on the noir graphics as I still try to comprehend those myself..;) I don’t think I’m a very accomplished person (yet) but more like on a ‘life long learning’ ..;)

  9. thinkchloe101 8 months ago

    Your art is beautiful, as always 🙂

    • Tim Soekkha 8 months ago

      Thank you thinkchloe101…’as always’ indicates you know my work.. did you also see my it somewhere else? 🙂

  10. RB 7 months ago

    Hello, I really enjoyed the post and the way your story is built into the layout with the great drawings. Thank you so much and hope to see more! ROSA

    • Tim Soekkha 7 months ago

      Thank you so much, ROSA, for your compliments..:-) If you want to see more; I post regularly on IG and FB. Flavorwire magazine published an article about the noir series last week.

      • RB 7 months ago

        awesome 🙂

  11. Deepak Das 6 months ago

    Your art work is so beautiful. The post is a good read and inspiration to follow dreams. I loved the water colours, the texture and the colour scheme. The Noir and Food illustration both are amazing.

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