Leiden market

I had a few hours to myself so headed to Leiden market. It’s always busy on a Saturday especially now Christmas is coming up. I enjoy sitting outside cafes with a coffee and my sketch book. I planted myself opposite a fruit and veg stall and kept swapping seats to get different views and perspectives.

Heading home I stopped off at the park and was struck by how autumnal it looked. Generally the trees are looking much more skeletal but the trees here had an amazing orange glow in contrast to some darker green leaves.

Utrecht christmas market

I often return to Utrecht. It has so much charm with lots to do and places to visit. As it was a Saturday and not long til christmas, I stopped by the flower market. There was no seating where the best views were so I stood and sketched the visitors and stalls with the pretty surrounding trees and buildings. Also went to the library and looked out the window down on the main shopping area. Much warmer inside so worked a bit bigger.

Leiden Botanical Gardens

I’ve been becoming more and more interested in gardens. It may be something to do with the sunny weather when gardens often look their best. In Leiden there is the Hortus Botanicus and I’ve visited a number of times. I had done a few small drawings here whilst my daughter slept in her buggy. Then I returned to do some larger drawings. Every time I visit I seem to spot something different. There is so much to draw upon – the plants or flowers, sculptures, observatory or even visitors lounging by the pond or walking along the winding path.

Rotterdam: Hotel New York

It was lovely returning to The New York Hotel for a coffee and tompoes on Saturday. Situated on the River Maas and built in 1917, it was the former head office of the Holland America Line and the last spot for many Dutch immigrants who set sail for North America. It’s now surrounded by skyscapers and has been converted into a cafe restaurant and hotel and still retains much of it’s original charm. I walked over the Rijnhavenbrug to the Kop Van Zuid. The harbour district has been regenerated since I was last in Rotterdam. It’s a great spot to hang out and draw the New York hotel. I included some of the water taxis that travel to and from the centre of town (and to Veerhaven). I later sat in a cafe on a mezzanine and watched the visitors having lunch and drinks outside with The New York hotel in the background.

Utrecht flower market

I visited the Utrecht flower market on the Janskerkhof on Saturday. There was a great atmosphere and an amazing selection of flowers and plants. I sat with a coffee for a time and watched the visitors and then stood amongst the shoppers and sketched very quickly. Can’t believe the drop in temperature! I should have worn an extra layer. I left with a large bouquet of flowers and these drawings.

Leiden Rooftops

I’m always on the look out for a good view. I recently parked in a multi storey car park close to Leiden market and loved the view from the top. I decided to return when I had the opportunity. It was a windy day so I made sure I brought my cap as well as my trusted water colour pens and pastels. I have a slight fear of heights and although not very close to the edge I felt giddy arching my head to look at the buildings and people below. Here are a few of the drawings I did. I distorted some of the perspective on a couple of the drawings. That’s one of the best things about drawing on location.