Postcrossing card: Plato & Sophia

plato and sophia postcrossing card

I made this digital painting for my good friend Elise, who likes Postcrossing. For her birthday, I gave her a set of postcards with a painting of her two cats, Plato and Sophia. I tried to mimic the Asian paintings I like so much.

(And ta-dah, here is another entry for the 26 animals project… C is for Cat!)

Sumi-e animals: bear and weasel

Today I was reading the wikipedia pages about Chinese painting and sumi-e, or ink wash painting. As you all know I’m a big fan of traditional Asian art, so when I got home I felt inspired to fiddle around for a bit with Indian ink and my much-neglected watercolour pad.
After trying out some doodles, I ended up with two sketches in pencil and I decided to paint them. This is the result. I started with a sketch of a weasel/stoat/ermine for a friend of mine. Later I came up with the bear. I’m thinking of making sketches of other animals as well. Now I need to find a decent scanner…

bear in sumi-e style

hermine in sumi-e style

Since I don’t have one of those funky Chinese signature stamps, I drew the signature by hand with one of my beloved Letraset Promarkers.

I guess these count as the B and W for the 26 Animals project, right? ;)

Handlettering course on Skillshare

In January 2014 I bought access to an online course on Skillshare. I started with the course on hand-lettering in January but couldn’t continue because of exams. Then when the summer holidays began I could start right where I left off.

Practice for the course on hand-lettering
Practice for the course on hand-lettering

For those of you who don’t know about Skillshare: it’s an online learning community, a bit like Coursera, where you can take online classes on different subjects. Where Coursera specializes in academic courses from universities, Skillshare mostly caters to creatives and entrepreneurs. Some examples of courses you can find on Skillshare are calligraphy, logo design, entrepreneurship, creative thinking and writing film scripts.

a screenshot of the skillshare website
This is what Skillshare looks like if you’re taking a course.

You can either pay a monthly fee for full access, or you can buy access to specific courses, which is what I did since I don’t always have time. Once you have paid for a specific course, you can always access the course materials.

The course I bought is called “Lettering 1: The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch”. The teacher, Mary Kate McDevitt, gives short video lectures and exercises and shows us tips and tricks on handlettering. It’s really cool and for 25 dollar for the whole course it was an absolute bargain.

I’ll keep you guys up to date about my progress. I’m having loads of fun drawing all kinds of funky letters and practicing fancy handwriting. For those of you who can’t wait for blogposts: you can take a look at my project page on Skillshare.

Postcrossing – set 1

The first batch of postcrossing cards is ON ITS WAY! :) I’m quite happy how they have turned out.

Alpaca postcrossing card

Bike postcrossing card

singing in the rain postcrossing card

It might be a while before I make new ones, because I have problems with printing the cards. That’s why it took me so long to finish them — I don’t have a printer at home. I used to go to the DIY copy shop at the university campus, but since a year or so they have made the copy shop “more efficient” (it’s also no longer DIY) — which means they replaced the two kind old ladies that used to run the place with ten students and a lot of old-fashioned equipment. It now takes 50 minutes and two employees to print one A4-sized paper in full colour and cutting it to the proper size. :(

If you know a good (on-demand) printer in the area near Nijmegen, please let me know!

I will take requests for postcards, by the way. If you want a hand-drawn card as well, leave a message in the comments, or send me an email. :)

Project: 26 animals challenge

I’m spending most of my days working on abstract things like type theory and category theory for my master in computer science. Since I wanted to start drawing again, I was looking for a one-drawing-a-day-challenge that wouldn’t take too much time, but would provide a nice distraction from my obligatory daily dose of mathematics.

I used Jill Wignall‘s project as inspiration. I’ve always liked her today I saw project. She had postcards made with the text “Today I saw…”. Once a day, she would draw something nice and noteworthy on the card and then send the card to family, friends or readers of her blog. This way she combined her snail mail hobby with the wish to draw regularly. For more information, check out Jill’s blog.

Today I saw… card by Jill Wignall

My project will consist of 26 drawings: every drawing features an animal whose name starts with a letter of the alphabet (I get my inspiration for animal-names here).


  • Traditional media only.
    Digital tools are not allowed — I will probably stick to pen and paper, since I have that in my bag everywhere I go.
  • Drawing shouldn’t take more than, say, 30 minutes. I want to make it easy to draw regularly.

Wish me luck. :)