Chilly entry into Amsterdam

Chilly entry into Amsterdam

At first, Amsterdam seemed not so postcard-like. It seemed like any old city and I was not very impressed. However, within a few days, I was extremely excited about Amsterdam. I begin to notice all the canals, the wonky buildings, and the buzz of the city.

We travel a lot every year, and there are not many places that Renuka likes enough to live in. Amsterdam, was an exception.

One of the first things that hits you when you get to Amsterdam are the bicycles. There are bicycles pretty much everywhere and zooming around at full speed. If only other cities were more like Amsterdam, we would have a lot less pollution and less obesity on the planet.

About this Cartoon:
I did a cartoon that Renuka liked instantly, but I didn’t like at all. Normally, I will not tear a page out from the diary, no matter how bad it turns out to be. However I do like my first pages to be to my liking. And so, with great regret, I did tear out the first page.

What you see here, is my “first page”. What I really had to focus on, was making sure that I didn’t overdo the brick lines on the bridge and the railings as well. Instead I made the lines as faded as possible and just gave an indication that they existed. I did make the railings a thickish black, but made sure I didn’t paint every single detail. It’s very important for the artist to let the viewer fill-in the detail with their own eyes.


  1. Sally Strackbein · July 10, 2013 Reply

    I noticed the bicycles. They can bicycle everywhere because it is flat. I loved the city, the people, the welcome.

    Looking forward to beginning cartooning with your course next week.

    • Sean D'Souza · July 10, 2013 Reply

      Yes, but folks were cycling everywhere even when places weren’t flat. We would have a tougher time in Auckland (It’s a city that’s sitting on 50 volcanoes) so there’s a lot of ups and downs, and then even more ups. I’m sure, however, we’d have more fit people and less whining about how cold the weather was, if they biked up a few of those slopes.

      Unfortunately, despite being a very new country (the history is barely more than 150 years old) we don’t have any room for bikes. Even the car lanes are mostly single-lanes.

      Ah, well…

  2. François · July 18, 2013 Reply

    Hi Sean, lovely art on this website!

    I’ve never had much interest in cartooning and drawing. In fact I dropped drawing classes the moment I could at high school. I never believed I could draw something worthwhile. Instead, I focused on fitting pre made things together in Powerpoint, After Effects, and even DAZ 3D (which is really time consuming). But I’ve always wanted a way to get the to the essence, like I want to know the essence of marketing.

    And i finally started that journey. Because of a co-worker drawing on the iPad. When a co-worker showed how he used the iPad to draw simple things, I immediately thought: I can do that, and probably even better.. (yes, I can be like that once in a while, but just in my own mind).

    So I’ve started to learn drawing on the iPad and discovered in the past weeks that it is not about drawing at all. It is about training your mind to see things and bring them back to the essence, it’s about focus. After that, a rebuild can be done to the artists liking with a careful selection of what to show, and what.

    And keep a diary and never throw away anything you create is good advice. Because more often than not, after a day or so you’ll look at it with different eyes and more appreciation. I remember that from my Bob Ross painting days.

    Enfin, I don’t understand the first page story completely. Did you redo the first page and this was the result?

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