Category: Belgium


Spent a couple of days in Gent following a wonderful wedding in Holland. Still beautiful sunshine. ( In sharp contrast to my last visit 4 years ago when it poured down with rain – see ‘Belgium’) Stopped off for a morning coffee at friendly and relaxed cafe OR. Magazines and papers to hand however my flemish isn’t too good so I stuck to sketching. The front of the cafe has large open windows with benches outside to sit. Sketched the view on the street with people sitting out on the pavement drinking coffee and passing traffic. Headed down through the shopping area to St Nicholas church, one of the oldest churches in the city. A new development has been built nearby including a modern wooden Market Hall. Very striking.
Good to have a rest in the heat at the green meeting area. Whilst I was sketching a little girl (about 3 years old) came upto me and gave me a red paper heart So sweet! Then later a student came over and offered me a strawberry to have a look at my drawing. Very friendly!

Ventured to the Keyserlei along with most other tourists Looked towards the Graslei Wonderful medieval Flemish facades.

I was spotted by Aki. A fellow sketcher from Japan. He came over to greet me and have a look at my drawings. He took a couple of photos so I did the same. This my favourite drawing in his sketch book. Time flew, sitting outside by the river  people watching whilst sipping Belgium beer. A great trip!


Spent a couple of hours in Antwerp. Not far from Amsterdam and the car journey was good. Amazing skies and clouds. Pinks, blues and smudgy greys. Then walked the old streets. Alot of regeneration work going on and it was really cold so ended up relaxing in a great 30’s style cafe next to the river Scheldt. Enjoyed drinking coffee and drawing. It was interesting sketching the reflections in the mirrors /windows and the passing waiters and visitors. There’s also an impressive spiral staircase and central bar. I could have sat here all day but it was just a brief visit. Will be nice to return for lunch sometime.

Rainy day in Gent

Went with a couple of friends to Gent. They had work commitments so parted late afternoon and met up later. In the meantime, I went sketching. Unfortunately it coincided with a downpour of rain. I waited and waited and it would not stop! Took cover in a cafe and drew the Bestand church and people passing beneath their umbrellas.

The cafe closed so my comfy stool was taken away. I walked on and dashed across the road to take cover. Skidded in the middle of the road and almost got run over. Very embarrassing! Ok but v wet. Went to pub, sat and sketched view and sampled a couple of local blond beers. Houblon Chouffe very strong! Drawings got looser as I enjoyed listening to the music; Roxy music, David Bowie and some 80’s classics. Then friends turned up!


I had a day trip to Brussels. Surprisingly it’s only a couple of hours or so by car from Amsterdam. Here are a few sketches of the market place and palace. Enjoyed walking amongst the tourists, looking at the beautiful architecture and stopping for a glass of belgium beer.