Promote a Friend Day!

It’s “promote your friends day” again on my blog (yes, I know, I have multiple “promote your friends day” days in a year. They’re just that good). This time I’ve chosen to promote my talented friend Eline Develtere (20) who’s an aspiring artist, a great actress, and an overall great person.

She’s currently studying at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp, but she has been drawing pretty much her whole life.

Eline has been collecting interesting pictures that inspire her . These pictures mostly depict men with worn out faces, but also people that move her, like the actress Marion Cottilard. When she feels like drawing, she takes a look at her collection of interesting images an chooses one to draw. Stage one involves a pencil drawing. Then, she decides if she’s going to leave it in pencil, or if she’s going to turn it into a pen drawing. A pen drawing requires a lot of time and patience. Once she has decided to get her pen out, the fun begins: a game of knowing just how many lines it needs to be perfect. Hatching and shading until it looks almost like a real photograph. A trick to see if her work is done is to take a picture of the drawing and look at it on her camera screen. If it looks real, she’s done (and happy). If it doesn’t look real, she needs change some shadows or lines.

Eline names Lucian Freud (Sigmund’s grandson) and the photorealist Chuck Close as great examples. The old masters such as Rubens, Rembrandt and Caravaggio, however, are her great loves. Their craftsmanship is the bee’s knees and still respected highly these days. That is probably why she has chosen to apply for the Royal Academy for Fine Arts: this is the only school in Belgium, and maybe even Europe, which still tries to learn their students to paint in the traditional way like the old masters did.

I’ve added some of her amazing drawings here for you to enjoy!

Lew Grade: Blue pen on paper

William S. Burroughs: Black pen on paper

Pablo Picasso: black pen on paper

Eline went to the Ludwig museum in Cologne and saw Richard Avedon’s photographs. This drawing of Picasso is based on one of the photographs she saw of him.

Blue pen on paper

This drawing is one of the first drawings Eline made in this style. She made it a few years ago for her graduation project in high school. She had chosen “emotions” as the theme of her project and took a lot of photographs of people and did research in the library. This particular drawing was based on a photograph she found in a book, but unfortunately she doesn’t remember who the subject is. The reason why she chose this picture was because of the look on the man’s face. It’s as if it’s empty and full at the same time.

Blue pen on paper

This drawing was also based on a tricked picture she found during the research for her graduation project in high school.

Robert Mitchum: Black pen on paper

Barnett Newman

The original picture was of his whole face, but sometimes during the drawing process, Eline decides to leave out a piece to give it a certain mood. This way, the monocle also stands out more.


This work was an exercise Eline had to do in high school. Every five minutes they had to have finished a new aquarel. It was supposed to go really quickly: just swoosh swoosh, letting your pencil glide over the paper and hope something good comes out of it. If she can do this in five minutes, imagine what she can do when she really takes her time.

When Eline saw the movie De Rouille et d’Os with our very own Matthias Schoenaerts she was moved to such an extent that she became a little obsessed with Marion Cotillard’s talent and beauty. To honor her, she made this drawing.

A difficult exercise Eline loves doing is drawing the hand she’s drawing with. Keeping still while drawing is difficult, but well worth it. It’s sort of her mark for she leaves drawings of her hands on all her papers.

Charcoal on paper

This drawing was made by Eline while she was preparing for the entrance examination of the arts academy in Antwerp. She knew she would have to draw a bust so she decided to practice.

Caroline and Benjamin: pen on canvas

This was Eline’s wedding present for her niece and her husband. They’d asked her before to draw a picture of them and when they got married in September, Eline thought this would be a perfect time to put her pen to paper (or canvas in this case).

Truman Capote: Black pen on paper

I’m writing my second master’s thesis about this nice looking fella so I’m glad Eline made a portrait of him. Now he can stare at me all the time.

Maurizio Cattelan: black pen on paper

Again, based on a picture by Richard Avedon. Eline was on cloud nine when she found this picture. It’s not easy to find interesting pictures of human faces, and this one even had hands (her favorite subject) in it. She worked really hard and long on this drawing, but she’s pleased with the result and the compliments she has gotten so far.

Oil on canvas

Her latest work of art. Isn’t it beautiful?
Keep up the good work Eline.

And now I’m going to (shamelessly) promote myself. If you feel like reading a blogpost about how quirky Wes Anderson is, go to The Daily Quirk and read my guest blog.

5 thoughts on “Promote a Friend Day!

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