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A “sketchy” drawing session

A “sketchy” drawing session

Photographer:Fotograaf: Andrés Caicedo, Young Office

MAASTRICHT. In a well-hidden corner of the Bonnefanten museum, a group of about thirty people gathers. As they collect their paper and charcoal, pencil or pen, the near-nude models take their places at the front. Hungarian artist Sándor Sinkó will lead tonight’s sketching workshop, organised by the Young Office (YO), a group of volunteers that aims to attract more young people to the museum.

“Look at where the light falls”, says Sinkó. “The trick is to get the shadows right.” The two models under the spotlights, a man and a woman, become motionless. The participants are equally concentrated: there is not much time for a detailed drawing. The male model’s arms are full of tattoos and his hair, which is sticking straight up, makes for interesting sketches. The models are seated on chairs, the participants in a semicircle around them. Some of the drawers stand, others spread out on the floor. The models are like objects, with only the light manipulating how they are seen. The walls and the ceiling are mostly black, but only half painted; the room is being turned into another exhibition room.  Suddenly Sinkó’s voice rings out again: “Put some shadow on both sides of the leg – try to make her look real.”

Anyone in need of inspiration need only look around; the collection Van Floris tot Rubens, one of the largest exhibitions of private sixteenth-century collections of Flemish and Dutch sketches, is on display right next to the workshop. During the breaks – there are four sessions of about forty minutes – the participants are invited to walk around, guided by one of the YO members. “It’s as though you’re going from the masters to the amateurs when you walk towards the workshop”, laughs YO president Hanna Hesemans.

The sketching workshop is one of several new events organised by the YO, each focusing on a different art discipline or theme. “It’s interesting for everyone, but especially younger people – we want to get them into the museum”, says Hesemans. “It must be informative and social at the same time.” Live music is also on the programme, and visitors can happily sip a glass of beer while wandering around the exhibitions.

Tonight the YO seems to have reached its goal: the audience consists mostly of students. One of them is Elke Zweers, an Arts and Culture student. She explains that drawing is just a hobby, as it seems to be for most of the participants tonight. Professional artists or not, the workshop has something to offer for everyone. “Drawing is very relaxing”, says Zweers. “But the models are interesting too. The male model has a really pronounced jawline, which can really put ´expression´ into the drawing.”

Freya Tilleman

The next YO event will be held on 15 November. More information about events and tickets can be found on




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