GUEST DOODLEWASH: Urban Sketching in Amsterdam

Doodlewashes by René Onclin

My name is René Onclin (follow me on Instagram). I was born and raised in Amsterdam. I live in the southern part of Amsterdam, along with my wife, Marian Gravemaker. Together, we have three grown up children.

I trained as a teacher of arts and crafts, but due to the crisis in the 80s, I’ve never taught those subjects. In the daytime, I work as an education manager at the educational academy of Amsterdam. For years, I neglected my creativity. Several years ago, I happened to see the blog of Danny Gregory. His work, under the title Everyday matters, inspired me.

So I started drawing again, combined with writing in a journal.And after all those years, my passion for art and architecture reawakened. I admire the work of Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Mondriaan and Chuck Close, but the works of the older Dutch painters like Rembrandt, Breitner en van Gogh are also dear to my heart.

As for design and architecture, the designs of Bauhaus, Rietveld and Modern Movement architecture are my favourites. Thanks to Instagram I have a lot of inspiring contacts with other artists.  Most of the time my subjects are based on the city and my surroundings and on my allotment.

Doodlewash by René OnclinFor some time, I have associated myself with the Amsterdam Urban Sketchers. I use several types of sketchbooks. I have just finished a bookbinding course, so I plan to make my own sketchbooks from now on. I usually put my drawings in pencil, after which, I continue my sketch with Staedtler pigment liners, and then I colour my drawing with watercolor paint – Van Gogh from Talens.

On a regular basis, for instance, during my lunchtime, I make quick sketches, in 5 or 10 minutes. For this work I use pigment liners or alcohol markers. My dream is to still have the opportunity to give drawing classes… the future I had envisioned years ago.

René Onclin
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Marcus 7 years ago

    There are a LOT of gifted artists out there in the world. The fact you keep finding them in itself is an awesome feat, since I’m fairly certain they’re not emailing you out of the blue and asking you to post about them …

    • Author

      Nope! Hehe…takes a lot of work and I usually have 20+ artists at a time who’ve said yes but not sent me anything. But it’s worth it! I keep trying to get them all! Hehe

  2. Kari 7 years ago

    It’s wonderful to see so many fantastic artists finding their way back to art after years of real life. The illustrations are beautiful! I will be following on IG!! 😊

  3. thepaperbaker 7 years ago

    How do you find such highly talented artists every day!?! Fabulous sketches 🙂

  4. Alok Singhal 7 years ago

    Your work above is amazing. Truly gorgeous!

  5. kim881 7 years ago

    There is a lovely lightness of brushwork in these illustrations. I like these very much.

  6. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Wonderful warmth to these. (K)

  7. Ana's Learning Lab 7 years ago

    Yep, the sketches are as beautiful as Amsterdam itself. I love the one of the central station square!

  8. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    I love your botanical paintings.

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