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amsterdam sketches and photos

I had a great time pottering around Amsterdam for three days with my sister and Stuart. My sister and I did a lot of general goofing around and we did a lot of walking in the freezing cold. Here's a photo she took of me in a coffee shop. (No, not that kind of coffee shop.)

We stayed in a hotel that had once been a rather grand theatre, so we were expecting a great lobby, but even more pleased to find we had an amazing view from our top floor room. Here's a picture I drew, looking out through the window in the slanted ceiling.

And a rough panorama photo collage of the view (which doesn't include the ringing church bells):

I made some pen sketches of a few of the paintings we saw in museums. Here's one from the Rijksmuseum. I rather like how it came out.

And a few from the Van Gogh Museum:

The guards at both museums were rather distractingly interested in what I was drawing. I think they were very bored. In the Van Gogh Museum, I thought one guard was telling me off for about two minutes and going to chuck me out, until I realised he was just being overly friendly. (...You are a weirdo, sir. Is this Dutch humour?.)

When we weren't almost getting run over by them, we love-love-loved all the bicycles everywhere. I bought one of the really big bells to put on my bike back in London.

The Dutch know how to haul things around on their bikes, I don't know why Londoners don't have more of this sort of gear. I suppose the cycling's a bit gentler in Amsterdam.

We took the train, a much more civilised way of travelling than airports with their endless security queues and having to get to the faraway airport super early.

Here's a picture I drew on the train of my sister reading Vainglory by Geraldine McCaughrean. As always, a picture I draw of a family member doesn't look anything like, but oh well, too bad.

And a cool station clock:

As always, it was fun spotting bits of English slightly out of context.

We headed over to the Rembrandt House Museum, but only Stuart ended up going in because my sister and I got completely distracted by a nearby flea market. I drew this when we met him in the reception area, clutching three vintage dresses and a coat in our arms.

I was slightly tempted by this book at the flea market but took a photo instead:

All the swans gathered in one canal at night, the huge numbers of them looked strange in the lights.

A rather lovely tree and wood nymph at the park:

I've just taken my sister to Gatwick and she's heading off to Seattle. So it's back to work... and a big, fat, pressing deadline! If I pop up on this blog in the next week or so, forgive me if I say bizarre things and sound totally over-caffeinated. (No singing, though, I promise.)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 8th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
Ain't Amsterdam cool? Loved your travel sketches.
Mar. 8th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Is it! Thanks, Lee! xx
Mar. 8th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a lovely time & lovely sketches to illustrate it.
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Selena! We did have a lovely time. :)
Mar. 8th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
Love reading your blog posts. Beautiful travel sketches too!
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
Yay, thanks for letting me know! :)
Mar. 8th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
Linda's specs are fab.
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
She's having one of those 'I want to be Dave Shelton' days. We all have those from time to time.
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I remember the bikes everywhere in Amsterdam. And making sure I was not walking on the bike lane, I'm not used to those.

I hear one of the reason people ride their bikes so much is that there is nowhere to park your car in that town.

Also I've heard that there is two things every citizen of Amsterdam is sure to do in his life : getting their bike stolen and buying a stolen bike.

It's funny how the characters on the two portraits you sketched here seem to share the same disapproving glare.
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
Ha, you're right about the glare! Hadn't noticed it until you pointed it out. And yes, I love the bike culture in Amsterdam. They're aggressive cyclists and will mow you down, but it's still more civilised than a street jammed full of cars.
Mar. 9th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
As a fan of urban landscape-sketching, portraiture, typography and Amsterdam, this ticks a whole load of boxes. And those bikes are so CUTE
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
Yay! And it's true, the bikes ARE cute! :D
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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