Amsterdam: Sketching at the Rijksmuseum

Here are two from the Rijksmuseum where I spent just one short rainy afternoon. Too little time, but it’s always a toss-up in a city with so many fantastic museums and so much to sketch: Should I sketch outside or visit a museum?

The Rijksmuseum has always been encouraging about drawing in the museum. I took my sketchbook, of course, and I took a little pillbox with a triad in it, and a couple of pens, a pencil and a waterbrush, all tucked in my pocket.

Rembrandt’s Night Watch is where I stopped to do this first sketch. The piece is currently being scanned for conservation, so it’s enclosed in a large glass ‘room’ and you can’t look at it up close. But the scanning process is pretty fascinating in itself. I stood at the back of a very large crowd and sketched using my minimalist kit. All the while I was drawing, a museum guard stood right by me watching. I don’t use this small setup that often and I think this sketch is hard to read. But it was fun to do, nevertheless.

So I tried it again, this time on simpler paintings, and more importantly, pieces I could get close to. It was fun to watch and sketch people peer at these gorgeous portraits, also by Rembrandt. There are so many detail in the dark drapes of the clothing and the fine rendering of lace that totally warrants up-close looking.

Here is a close look at my kit, after I’d used it.

I love how compact the kit is, but the super-small color palette is a struggle for me. Limited colors are not an issue, but the less the color I carry, the more mixing space I need and that’s hard with this little pill box. So I’m still on a search for a perfect super-small kit. If you have ideas on how to solve my problem without a bulkier kit, let me know!



About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in amsterdam, Drink, Food, people, Sketch Journal, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Amsterdam: Sketching at the Rijksmuseum

  1. You need Maria’s new mini pallet from Expiditionary Art. It is thinner than yours and about the same size square. Holds 12 colors. I carry it and trading card paper always, or my small sketchpad, always ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Try Maria’s ( Pocket Palette, the size of a business card. It can hold 28 mini pans, 14 standard pans or mix and match the sizes. She now has a Demi Pocket Palette, which can hold 12 mini pans, 6 standard pans or mix and match the sizes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ann says:

    I know someone has probably mentioned this but a mint box with the paint wells glued the bottom(around 6 fit) and then you have a little room for a little mixing in the lid and all close up for carrying.
    DYI – free and/or cheap. You get to pick your colors too.
    Lovely sketches that catch the essence of Amsterdam.


  4. Lee Kline says:

    Lovely and well-explained, as always.


  5. says:

    If Altoids box with half pans is too bulky (I put a smooth plastic card in the lid for mixing), you might look at cosmetics section of drug store for eye shadow or rouge, containers of which can be repurposed.  They’re slim lined and light plastic.  If pans don’t fit, make dividers with glue and a little plastic cut to fit.    I’ve been following your blog for some time.  We have a “Stan the Muffler Man” statue nearby, recalling early ad songs from my childhood – I enjoyed your rendering of your tool fellow and your mission of capturing history through the old signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Liz says:

    really love these sketches!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. says:

    Try the business size palette you can have as many colors as you want and it takes up little room. I love my two tiny palettes and they are great for quick sketches

    Kate Steel

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kioratash says:

    So wonderful. I can’t wait to play.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really love the effect that you ended up with from your small colour palette. And there’s a great sense of movement and chaos in the crowd of people too 🙂


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