Hopper Games – Drawing with my friend from Indonesia

Hi there, a lil about me, I am Vari from Indonesia, a Chinese girl born in Jakarta on 1985, I’ve started drawing since primary school and keep on drawing up till now. I draw on daily basis since I work as a drawing instructor on an after-school program for 2 – 12 years old kids. I can say that most of my drawings are categorized as cartoon and you will find out that it is quite cheerful.

Hello! I’m François. I’m from Paris in France. I was born there in 1974. My drawing experience started as a kid, but my school teachers told me I was not a drawer. I believed them and I stopped… Six month ago, I’ve understood my teachers were wrong, so I started to draw again. I like art and philosophy, they inspire me for drawing. I have imagination and I like to play with it.

We are trying to do a blog about experiments on our drawing. Each of us will draw something on a blank white paper and the person on the other side of the world will continue the drawing and put some color on it. We guess we put our taste, our mood as well into the drawing, we are free to change the drawing or copy it and add something. This is like doing chemical experiments… What will be the result of the mix of style and moods??

Here is how the first try took place:

To find a subject about drawing, I have chosen a book with paintings of Edward Hopper. He was an american painter from the 20′s century. He lived in Paris, then in America and I love the melancoly of his paintings. The one I choosed is called “Room in New York” it has been painted in 1932. The couple on that painting lives together but they don’t care about each other… and are bored.

A room in New York – Edward Hopper

I also wanted to add some surrealist things in that drawing so it is not just a simple copy. I changed the head of the man into a tiger’s head and the woman’s head into a bird’s head… The man is reading a newspapper, he is a bit “macho” like a tiger and the girl is playing piano, artistic like a bird. Here is what I have drawn:

François' drawing
François’ drawing

I was using a simple black pen and I did it in one try on a A4 paper.

Actually, this experiment is Francois’ idea, I was not too excited about it until I start redrawing the picture he sent to me.
He didn’t tell me anything about the drawing, I didn’t even know that there is Edward Hopper’s drawing, so I just redraw it with my style. The result is quite different and we have a new story to tell from the drawing.
For me, Francois’ drawing looks quite serious, he has some thoughts about what he draw, not merely a spontaneous drawing. I was curious about his perception on his own drawing, but he didn’t want to tell me about it, he said he want me to be free in expressing any of my idea,
so after couples of days I decided to do it,.. At night, after work, I was so tired but am trying to grab a marker and redraw his drawing, I tried so many times (more than 10 papers) to get what I want. After I feel satisfied, I redraw it on 2 pieces of paper (A4, landscape),

Vari's drawing
Vari’s drawing

I am very happy about the drawing and enjoyed the process very much, I forget everything, I don’t remember that I am tired, I feel relax and smiled a lot, then I share it to Francois and it doubled the excitement! 😀

I was looking forward to see Vari’s drawing. I was so curious about it. When I’ve seen it, that was amazing! The result is so great! We still can see Hopper’s set with a husband reading a newspaper and his wife playing the piano, but there is no more melancholy! Now this is a really happy room!
The bird is playing the piano while the tiger is reading a story to his spouse. She is playing for him. They are happy. There are three wonderful details:the painting of them on the wall, the flowers in the middle and the eye of the bird that is looking at him subtitly.
I love the mutations of those drawings, how the situation has changed. This is not only drawing.

I am looking forward for another experiment…
I draw something for Christmas and asked Francois to continue the drawing, I guess we will put it here as well, for our second posts 😀


Here is the original blog’s page: Drawing on both sides of earth.


Electronic April

Like many parisians, I use my smartphone when I’m in the RER. This is a great way to escape from this gloomy environment. Now I’m using a software for drawing, zenbrush. This is great because I can do thousands of very quick drawings to improve spontaneity. I also try to make simple things with a very few lines. Most of them are done with my left hand’s fingers (thumb or index) (I’m right handed).

Here is april’s selection:

Big faces








Simple lines








ZenBrush_20140422233950 ZenBrush_20140422234145





Chess game

Alternative knight 1
Alternative knight 1
Alternative knight 2
Alternative knight 2
Alternative knight 3
Alternative knight 3









































Holidays !

Last week I was spending great vacations with my son Thomas (8) and my niece Emma (8). That was a great opporunity to paint with them! Kids are great, but they can’t focus as long as we do, that’s why we were just continuing a previous work. A few month ago, we were doing some potery together. This time was dedicated to painting it!

That was so fun!

Try to be a kid for a few minutes and enjoy!



Emma (potery) + me (colors)
Emma (potery) + me (colors)
Mr bonhomme (Thomas)
Mr bonhomme (Thomas)


IMG_20140425_183822 IMG_20140504_081112 IMG_20140504_081105 IMG_20140425_183500

Le canard en malabar
Le canard en malabar

IMG_20140425_125447 IMG_20140425_125407

bloody teeth
bloody teeth
For my son
For my son



Une vielle dame

Most of the time I use my phone to draw in the RER (suburban train), but today I used a pen. Then I went for half an hour to drink a coke in macdonald’s. I spent that time to finish the drawing and to draw a few words…



Sorry for bad spelling, that was a raw writing…

A friendly meetup afternoon

The meetup some days ago happend in a private place. That was so friendly and Dov was a wonderful host (and organizer, but we are more used about it). The sessions started with a video of 4’33 ». This was a piece of piano by John Cage, and it is 4 minutes 33 seconds of silence. We were listening to it as an introduction. I liked it because it helped me to concentrate on drawing. How to draw silence? I decided that silence should be an empty white space, but I didn’t want to do just a blank page. So I drew many kinds of abstract motives arround a white rectangle. While we were listening to John Cage, I was trying to hear the many sounds that we hardly notice usualy (birds in the trees, a sound of a neighboor walking, wood greeding … ) So I drew different kind of motives, like different kind of noises… Sound were mixed, so I mixed the motives… Sound mixing, motive mixing, and there was as well fruit mixing (we drank tasty juices that day)!


Then, I continued to use low-contrast colors, with a some outlines, then some geometric lines.

IMG_20140413_215705 IMG_20140413_215602

Now I just realize there is a kind of link between those two drawings, and it’s much better to see them together.

I also drew some flowers on each side of a single page (the yellow green and orange were marking both sides simultaneously).

IMG_20140413_215348 IMG_20140413_215322

But my biggest joy during that afternoon was that some of my friends have drawn me!

Nathalie and Mona (and Picasso?)
Nathalie and Mona (and Picasso?)

I’m glad that Nathalie has drawn me using markers as I always do! And Deha’s drawing is great, we immediately recognize the three people on the drawing (Dotun, Catherine and me), even if the lines are very minimalistic.


I look forward for the next one!

Talking drawing

Here is a copy of an article I’ve posted in the collaborative blog of « free drawing of the capital P »


Talking drawing
About the meetup in Parc Floral in March 2014. Here is an email Dov has sent me, with my response:

Hi Francois,

I was wondering about yesterday,
In fact, I felt it was not that great a meeting, we were not focused, a lot of people didn’t show up, quite a few left in the middle, it was too chilly, and I had a hard time being with my son and the group at the same time.
Since you wrote it was fun and relaxing, I wanted to have your real feedback, so I can have another point of view.
Also – I forgot to tell you, I bought a great la-cost swetshirt I wanted to offer you, it was in my bag but I forgot, remind me next time.
And last – last week I was in Vienna, and saw the Hunterwasser museum and building, and thought about you and how you use color:


Hi Dov,

– I understand your point of view about yesterday. I will tell you how that afternoon was for me.

First, when I was arriving (around 2pm), I randomly met Sankar just in the street. That was funny because this is the second time that lucky thing happens to us. So we were talking together before the start of the meetup. First about economy, but then about light and contrast. He said the light today was not good, because there was no intense light so the landscape has no contrasts.

Hence the bad weather turned into an interesting idea for me:
* How to draw low-contrasted things (a big challenge for me since I always do very contrasted drawings)

Then I was looking around to find a good drawing subject, that was difficult because nothing was really interesting, the statues or landscape were not good.

This was another good thing:
* I really liked what Hammed has done since he succeeded to choose a banal statue and a banal view to make two stunning drawings.

So I had to choose a drawing object… I was looking for a subject or for (rare) high contrasted things. And Aine was just there with her beautiful red hair and black jacket. There was light on her jacket and on her hair. I drew it (just a few details), then drew a low contrast background but with many more details.


I’m happy, she liked it and took a photo of it, next time we’ll meet I’ll give her the drawing.

Then, I tried another challenge. I never know how to draw a tree, so I tried it… and while doing the roots, I had an idea to make it less obvious but a bit more fun and colored. and then I turned this grey sad tree into a funny thing…


I didn’t know what to pick next in the landscape but than I remembered my son asked me several times to draw a rainbow for him. So I started it… I started to draw a crazy rainbow. You were playing the guitar, while I was drawing, that was so peaceful and I was thinking of my son. That was very « emotional ». Usually kids do drawings for their parents, but this time I was doing one for him… and then you said we stop in 30 seconds… a quick unexpected challenge! so I had to do quickly empty squares and an eye in the dragon head at the bottom, I was happy about the result, otherwise the drawing would have been too heavy.


Another funny thing was when Ophelie called on your phone and I had to manage finding her in the parc. She knows only 3 words in french and that was a real challenge! This could only happen in a meetup!

And on the other side of the coin:

I didn’t have enough time to talk (or draw) with Nathalie, you, Deha or the other newcomers. I also had less time to share all these things… Maybe I should write an article in my blog (or in the group’s blog) about them… it is difficult to do all these things during a single meetup. When I came with my son last time I could only focus on drawing with him, and almost didn’t talk with people. It’s difficult to do so many things during a single afternoon.

And about people not showing up, I guess last minute cancellations are very common in all the meetups… and along with the time-shift and the grey clouds that did the rest. It’s just human nature, procrastination?

An idea for next time:

First time I went to « petit palais » you started the meetup with a talk about drawing the void, maybe it could be interesting to add these kinds of themes:
– drawing in low-contrast
– drawing in high contrast
– drawing shadows
– drawing squares

Perhaps with some citation about it to excite the imagination, what do you think?

Wow, I’m writing a lot, I hope you are not bored too much. thank you so much for the sweatshirt and thank you for the Hundertwasser, he seems to be a great artist, I will read about him, but the style looks really great !

If you want, we could have a beer to talk some more about all those thoughts this week, what do you think?



Thanks a lot!

I’d publish my email and yours in the blog as is! such a great response!
I am truly proud to have met you, I learn a lot from you everytime we exchange 🙂

I truly think you are more adventurous than me, and would love to participate in a meetup that you organize!

About the emptiness session, it was indeed very strong, and I think it’s also because of its uniqueness, and uniqueness is something that is hard to reproduce. (you can’t cross the same river twice, etc.)

We may try searching koans – a koan may be a great subject because the rules are very strict, and this is the source of creativity, when you put hard limits, the creativity searches where to bloom from

Would love to meet this week,


A small experiment with electronic drawing

I was curious about experimenting electronic drawing more. So I have downloaded a free version of the tool « Zen Brush ». I’ve read that it’s one of the best (but they all are, isn’t it?). The free version has a limitation => it’s not possible to use ctrl+Z… Hey ! That’s great ! That is not a limitation, that is a feature that the commercial version does not have!


I like to draw people, but I don’t like when they notice it. But with the phone, no problem, they don’t think I’m drawing them. So here was the little game/challenge: in a noisy RER, between 2 stations, draw on a phone with one finger…


Here is the result of the game:









Finally it was more about sculpting in 2D than drawing…

Reading books, learning, watching videos, playing stupid games and drawing. I have so many things to do in the RER! Why is it only 2.5 hours per day? 😦


Link for the app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.psoft.zenbrushfree

Drawing with my son

Two weeks ago, there was a drawing meetup in the Bourdelle museum in Paris. That meetup had something new for me because Thomas, my 8 y.o. son was going there with me. So that was special and I was using my time mostly do draw with him!

I warned him before we arrived:

 » – Thomas, there is only one rule you have to follow in the meetup.

– What is it ?

– There is no rule.  »

(Dov later precized me, that even that rule, we can break it).

Here are what we did that day:

"Martians" by Thomas
« Martians » by Thomas


"Thomas is drawing" by me
« Thomas is drawing » by me


"Untitled" by Thomas & me
« Untitled » by Thomas & me


"Big mess" by Thomas and me
« Big mess » by Thomas and me
"scary horse" by me
« scary horse » by me

Something was wrong on that drawing… So I used the computer:

"Scary horse" after rotation and crop
« Scary horse » after rotation and crop
Looking at the statues...
Looking at the statues…


And finally, a funny fight in the museum between 2 statues:


Drinking drawing

Another greet meetup took place a few days ago. That was in a wine shop, a sunday, so the shop was private for drawing. Ganit was hosting us there. She was so nice and this was a very friendly moment. Here are some drawings I’ve made there.


First a botlle:

a bottle
a bottle

Then more bottles…  in a mix of real/virtual…


Then drawing Marouane while he draws the guitar and Dov while he plays a drawing.


Then an abstract colors+line of bottles of red wine.

3 colors and a line
3 colors and a line


à la tienne!

Going to Le Louvre

A few weeks ago, there was a meetup of « Free Drawing in the capital P« . I go to those meetups as soon as I can, this is always a great time. The meeting was in Louvre museum, in the  « Cour Marly ».

Cour Marly
Cour Marly


This is a big place with great statues, with a lot of light.

Before people arrive, I started to draw an outline of a statue…


First I wanted to continue it, but sometimes it’s good to keep things simple.

Then, Dov gave us the challenge to draw the movement of the statues, and he started to draw one. Then he gave it to me and I continued to draw it. We both have very different way to draw. He is very spontaneous while I always need a lot of time before starting to draw. But I was so happy about the result. He did the black and blue, while I did the red, pink and yellow.

Dov & me
A good alchemy

I also did another one alone…

La seine
La seine

There were many amazing drawings that day. I remember Natascha has done some crazy color horses, and Michel aslo some amazing movement suggestion with arrows arround the horses. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it.



Those days, I was not happy with my drawings… So I decided to refocus on some previous technics that made me happy in the past… Here is the result of it: IMG_20140227_095132 IMG_20140227_101559~2 IMG_20140227_104621~2

Now I’m happy in the present as well.


2 Meetups

Here are the result of two very different meetups. First one was one of « Free drawing in the capital P » in the museum of modern art of Paris. That was in the electricity room. This room has only one amazing painting (or drawing, or what?) from Duffy. Here is a picture of it (the room is a circle room):


You can watch it in 3D here.

Here are two drawing I’ve done. They’re on both side of a single sheet:


Second meetup was in the restaurant « Le train bleu » in Gare de Lyon a magnificent place. This was a « So sketch » meetup.

Le bar
Le bar

After those meetups I’ve decided to try to interract more with other drawers. Especially in « Free drawing in the capital P ». If I find some volunteers there, I will do more collaborative drawing.

Holidays part 2

I was spending second part of my holidays with my family. We were doing a few things, and I was doing an A3 drawing to remember it.



Maybe you noticed that upper right kid’s drawing is a copy of Howard Neal’s style. I did this drawing so I can remember those days when I will look at it in the future.

I was also drawing with my 8 years old son. He wanted to draw Bowser (a nintendo game’s character). I was happy to teach him how to do it. We did it together.

Here is what he did:

My son's Bowser
My son’s Bowser

He was not really happy about it, but I think it’s a good drawing. Here are a few words from him (in french):

Thomas:  » J’ai dessiné Bowser avec mon papa. C’était très compliqué, surtout les formes. C’était quand même amusant. Quand c’était fini je ne l’aimais pas mais après j’ai trouvé qu’il était pas si mal.  »

Here are our 2 drawings together (my son on the left, min on the right):

Son and dad's Bowser
Son and dad’s Bowser

 I was also doing a few watercolors:




And finally a cat with my niece:



Noël avant l’heure… Je me suis fait plaisir!
Premier plaisir:

Une belle boite de feutres aux couleurs vives et classiques. Double pointe une fine et une large:

Deuxième petit plaisir:

Des couleurs pastel. Habituellement j’adore les contrastes élevés mais il faudra bien que je passe à un peu de subtilité un de ces jours…
Deuxième étape après le magasin de dessin: la bibliothèque ! Et cette fois-ci, au lieu de prendre un livre d’art, j’ai décidé de m’inspirer du réel… (En espérant dévier et arriver dans un monde imaginaire).

Pas vraiment un livre de saison… Mais j’ai envie de dessiner des insectes… Et dans les jardins, il y en a plein !

Donc, je me lance et essaie tout ça sur un papillon ! (Au moins c’est coloré !)
Voici le modèle :
Et le résultat :


Je suis heureux des feutres même si mon dessin est un peu trop chargé… Par chance, les feutres ont traversé la feuille et on fait comme un décalcomanie!

Un petit coté faïence qui corrige l’aspect trop contrasté et trop chargé du dessin original !

Et pour finir, une version noir et blanc assez mystérieuse !

Le jour suivant… Encore des papillons: