Buddhas at Home bookstore on Etsy

May 7, 2017 in Blog bericht, Book posts by Michelle Dujardin

Together with co-writer Willem Radder I have founded the Buddhas at Home publishing company in 2014. This month week we also launched a bookstore on Etsy which opened it’s doors last week. Here you not only find our hardcovers books, but also our PDF ebooks.

The good news is that Etsy doesn’t require you to have an account on Etsy anymore to place an order. In case you wish to order my artwork from one of my other shops, please let me know and I will refund you for combined shipping. My Dutch book about Zen drawing has appeared as a hardcover in the meantime. At this moment I am seriously considering translating and publishing the book in English too. I would love love love to hear your opinion about this possible translation and if you would be interested in reading this book. The book contains background information on: Frederick Franck, Betty Edwards (left right brain), Jill Bolte Taylor, Buddhism, energy and creativity, children’s development in drawing, healing effects of Zen drawing ( for people with stroke, anxienty, stress etc) and a short explanation of Zen drawing and watercoloring. Feel free to let me know your thoughts by emailing me directly on :info@michelledujardin.nl

Here is our lovely store:

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Dutch e-book available online

November 8, 2016 in Blog bericht, Book posts, NEWS by Michelle Dujardin

kaft-boek21-beeldschermAlthough you probably don’t speak Dutch, I still want to announce the new version of ‘het Zen tekenboek’. Recently it has been uploaded in most digital e-book stores worldwide. It’s my intention to translate the book in English, because as I see it, this book tells the most complete and updated story about zen drawing.  Focussing on science, Buddhism, psychology, healthcare and of course the fun of drawing, make this book a musthave if you are into drawing.

The latest version also tells my personal story about drawing with my father after his stroke. He is still drawing a lot en he enjoys himself very much.

Soon I hope to tell you more about the fysical book and translation in English. Meanwhile find my other books in English here on my Buddhas at Home publishers website.

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Drawing with my father after his stroke

April 17, 2016 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

In the first week of February my father, 65 years old, got several strokes in the left hemisphere of his brain. In hospital his condition first got more severe, probably due to another stroke. There were deficiencies on the right side of his body; he could not walk properly, he didn’t use his right arm and hand (unless we asked him to, but he hardly had any control on the movement), he had difficulties finding the right words, was confused, had problems like memory loss and he couldn’t read and hardly write. Most disturbing for him was the loss of sight on the right side of both eyes.

The brain is a miraculous thing. My father was able to spell words correctly, even write them with his finger in the air, but he could not read. He couldn’t even read what he had just written down with his sub-dominant left hand. He could describe animals, but didn’t recognize them in photos. Rather dramatic for my nature- and bird loving father who loves to walk in nature.

In the first weeks after the stroke I asked my father to describe a stork and draw one for me. The discription was fine but this was the result of the drawing:

tekening ooievaar

Fortunately my father is now recovering in a very fine clinic and he is making lots of progress. He now walks by himself and his right hand is getting more active. Slowly he is starting to recognize words and letters and animal recognition is improving fast too.

In the beginning of his recovery I had the feeling that Zen drawing might be a good exercise for my father. Although he never drew (even my books couldn’t convince him to draw!) and his first interest was to restore his reading and writing abilities, I thought this was the right moment to discover the benefits of drawing. I had to wait untill his dominant right hand had recovered a bit more. When the doctors told us last week, that the main problem for him was focus, concentration and vision I figured the time was right to start. Today we had our first attempt in drawing together.

My fathers fingers are still quite inflexible and stiff, so I need to help him holding the pencil correctly. The first exercise we did today was drawing lines and symbols from memory. This was not a real problem, sometimes I needed to draw an example.

Then I asked my father to draw a stork from memory again (top) and to draw a stork from a photopgraph (below). You can see in the drawing how much his condition had improved already:

ooievaar schetsen

After these exercises I explained how (blind) contour drawing works. We took a ginkgo leaf to practice. He experienced more difficulties with drawing the right side than drawing the left side. I had the feeling that his inflexible arm was part of the problem.

ginkgoblad tekenen

Then I asked my father to draw the stork again (looking at the same photo) but this time using the contour technique. Because he had experienced some troubles while drawing the ginkgo I didn’t expect to much from the drawing. I was amazed when I saw how well it went!

ooievaar goed ooievaar resultaat

Mij father himself was surprised too, especially about the right proportions of the stork. He immediately wanted to draw more and we took an image of his favorite bird; the kingfisher.

ijsvogel tekenen

Finally we took a spoonbill (the writing says in Dutch ‘ This is a spoonbill’)

lepelaar tekenen

After our drawing session his handwriting had improved too. I had to end our session otherwise he would still be drawing right now. He was much more enthusiastic about Zen drawing than I had been hoping for.

This has confirmed my theory that Zen drawing can have many benefits like improving motorskills, and increase focus, attention and relaxation. Also my father told me that the exercise helped him to recognize and remember the animals he had been drawing. Now my father can’t read, and watching tv makes him feel tired, drawing seems to be an ideal way to spend his time. We will continue and I will probably write more about his drawing journey!

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Spring: a lovely drawing season

April 10, 2016 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

foto viooltjes

Here in the Netherlands spring is finally starting to break through. Today I have been drawing in the garden in the warm sun for the first time. True moments of bliss for me.

It will not be surprising that flowers inspire me most at the moment. Every year in April I post something about spring, drawing flowers and feeling lots of positive energy. So perhaps instead of repeating the same word, I’d better show new images of some drawing moments.

In case you would like to draw just like me and you would like to learn about the technique, reading one of my eBooks can be interesting. I offer previews of the books (PDF’s and ePubs) here and here.

From today I will start an ‘of the record’ drawing challenge on Facebook too. Feel free to join the community and draw daily with me. You can find the group here.

potlood viooltjes violtje viooltjesorchidee

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New drawing challenge starting January 15!

January 13, 2016 in Blog bericht, challenge, Geen categorie by Michelle Dujardin


The new year starts with several new projects. A home improvement to renew outdated parts of my house for example, and perhaps more relevant for you; a Facebook Zen drawing challenge on Januari 15th. Feel free to join the challenge and become a member of our facebook group here.

What is a drawing challenge?

The tradition goes back to februari 2013 when Zen drawing teacher Holger Wendt came up with the idea to take the challenge ‘to draw Zen’ daily. The idea of Zen drawing is not to make a beautiful drawing, but to take the time to see things how they really are. You take time for yourself, to empty the mind, to relax and open the heart. Than you inner artist awakens and beautiful drawings occur by itself.

Many people I speak to say they feel more relaxed, positive and aware after starting the day with drawing a minute or 15. Just 15 minutes to brighten your day and make you feel more connected to the world around you. Because I know from my own experience how hard it can be to take the time to sit down and draw for even 15 minutes, the challenge is necessary again and again to commit myself to drawing. How big will this challenge be for me this time when a bunch of hamers, lots of nails and a bucket full of plaster shouts out my name all the time? There is only one solution to this problem: to draw the things that I am working with. So my personal theme  for this challenge will be ‘home improvement’.

boor kit

Honestly these object are not the first things I think about when I have to pick a subject that I really love. But who knows maybe Zen drawing will make me feel more commited and related to my working materials.

Who know one day you will hear me singing this song while working…

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Moose Art on Rescue Junction album

September 24, 2015 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin


About a year ago I got a request from the Canadian bluegrass band ‘Rescue Junction’ to paint a moose for the cover of their upcoming album. Of course I wanted to give it a try and the result, a moose portrait with hughe antlers, is now one of the most popular images in my shop.


I was thrilled when I received a copy of the album. It looks lovely and I love their music! I am proud to be part of this project.

When you visit their website, you can listen to some of their songs.

I copied this text about the band from their website, in case you would like to know more;

Rescue Junction is an award winning Canadian bluegrass band based out of Millbank, Ontario and has been travelling and singing together since 2009. Originally comprised of brother and sister, Kyle & Kaitlyn Gerber on mandolin and guitar respectively, the band has grown to include Roger Martin on banjo, Dallas Roth on upright bass and most recently Nick Huber on dobro.

Rescue Junction combines a plethora of musical tastes with their passion for bluegrass resulting in a unique, refreshing style. From gospel quartet numbers to traditional and contemporary bluegrass to original songs by Kaitlyn, audiences can expect an exhilarating time with the band. Performing mostly throughout their home province of Ontario along with some traveling to the US, Rescue Junction has been fortunate to play at many kinds of venues including churches, parks, community centres, auditoriums, and the bluegrass festival circuit.

Having received numerous nominations at the Central Canada Bluegrass Music Awards, including Album of the Year for “On Any Road,” Rescue Junction has been honoured with awards for Most Promising Group (2013) and Gospel Group (2014). While it is a privilege to represent Canadian Bluegrass and meet many new friends and bands from across the US and Canada, the goal of every Rescue Junction member is to glorify God through music and to share the love of Christ with everyone they can.


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Drawing Stitch in Disney Paris

August 27, 2015 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist by Michelle Dujardin


This summer my aunt took me and my daughter to Disneyland Paris. It ‘s sort of a tradition, because my aunt took me there when I was just a few years older than my daughter is now.

We took the Thalys (train) from Rotterdam to Paris and stayed a few hours in the city centre. The last time I visited Paris I went there to draw for the Dutch book I wrote about Zen drawing. This time, with my daughter beside me, I didn’t have much time for drawing. Except for some moments when visiting Parc Luxembourg, one of my most favorite spots in Paris.

foto 1-3

foto 2-2 Palmtree and a small ship

I had never thought there would be any possibility for me to draw when visiting Euro Disney. But to my surprise there was a drawing class in the Walt Disney Studios Parc. Demonstrated on a big screen, pupils where asked to draw the face of monster Stitch step by step, showing how easy drawing really is.


disney tekenen klein

My daughter, drawing

lemoni stitch

This is my daughters drawing (age 7)


My result (age 36)

Because of a lack of time we had to skip the last part of the lesson, which gave me the opportunity to see what some other pupils (mainly adults) had been drawing. To my surprise some of them still had serious problems with following the instructions and drawing circles. Probably feeling insecure and little practice are the major causes that they hardly draw anymore.

My daughter complained that my drawings are always prettier than hers. I explained that I had been practicing about 20 years longer than she did which made her proud of herself again. If all children would be stimulated a bit more to practice throughout their lives, I am sure any drawing problem could be solved in a few years. And what would the world look like if we would all be able to make magical drawings and movies like Walt Disney did? If anyone showed the importance of drawing, fantasy and creating it was him! For that reason, Walt Disney is one of my heroes.

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New website

July 31, 2015 in Blog bericht by Michelle Dujardin

Hi there!

In order to keep this website clear I created a new website with background info about me and my artwork.

If you would like to see it, visit www.michelledujardin.com. You can register for my artwork newsletter, find more about my (commercial) projects and read about custom orders. Love to see you there!


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Keukenhof inspiration

May 6, 2015 in Blog bericht, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

boeket opdracht klein

Early April I got a custom request from a bride to paint her beautiful wedding bouquet. I had never painted a bouquet before, but I loved the challenge to paint one. The result can be found above. While painting her bouquet, I realized that painting flowers made me feel happy. So I decided to also paint a bouquet for myself, one that I could look at home.

During that same period spring finally broke through here in the Netherlands. I now live in the house of my grandmother since she had become to old to walk up the stairs and  live on her own. But on warm sunny days she loved to come over and visit her old place and sit in the garden underneath her beloved Japanese Cherry tree.

 In the week I was painting the wedding bouquet, I also started cleaning the garden in preparation for visits of my grandmother. This year her favorite tree flowered a lot later than the year before.  Because of her great love of flowers she also had plans to visit Hollands most famous flowergardens ‘Keukenhof’ with a group of other people. But it was not to be. In stead of going to Keukenhof, she caught pneumonia, had to go into hospital and died a few day later on April 17th.

So it happened that my ‘happiness bouquet’ became the design on her funeral card, hoping it would cheer up other people as well.



The week after my grandmother died, her beloved Japanese Cherry slowly started to flower. Exactly on the day of her funeral the flowers had fully opened. I spoke a few words in memory of her, noting that the blossoms symbolized a new start: for her, her family and myself.

I have always noticed that in periods of great loss, wonderous things can also happen. A week after the funeral I got a message from Gianni, an American Facebook community friend, that he was on a trip in the Netherlands and would loved to meet in……Keukenhof. Now I have to admit that after living for more than 10 years nearby Lisse, I had never payed a visit to one of the most famous tourist spots of the Netherlands. I had my own ideas about Keukenhof: dull, for elderly only, lots of tourists etc., but I decided to go in honor of my grandmother and to make the trip she couldn’t make anymore.

Yesterday was that day. I woke up quite early and looked out of my window to see if the weather was really as rainy as the forecast had predicted. What a suprise to see that almost all cherry blossom had fallen down that night and the garden looked as if  it had been covered in pink snow!


bloesem sneeuw

After taking some picture of my own ‘Keukenhof” I went to Lisse and during that trip the weather got better and better. I discovered that some of my prejudges were indeed true, but others needed some adjustment.

There are indeed many tourists in Keukenhof (from all kinds of countries by the way) but there are also more beautiful flowers than I could have ever imagined. What I liked a lot is that you are allowed to sit on the grass and take a close look at that great variety of (mainly) tulips.

As I write this blog it is starting to rain with thunder and lightning, which is the weather that was expected yesterday!



Meeting Gianni was great and afterwards I sat in the grass to paint some flowers.


It was a perfect day and hopefully my grandmother looked down from heaven and enjoyed our day “together” in Keukenhof.


In a minute I will start to paint my second wedding bouquet. Even though it rains I will feel cheerful today.

From now on the new phase is starting, hopefully with lots of flowers!

If you have any wishes for a flower painting you know where to find me!




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History of watercolor

April 15, 2015 in Blog bericht, Buddhism, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin


A few weeks ago, on a grey Sunday afternoon, I visited the Mesdag Museum in The Hague. To my surprise there was a temporary exhibition about watercolors and their history. Even though my life has been about watercoloring a lot the past 2 years, I hardly knew anything about the history of it. I never gave it a serious thought why you hardly find watercolor paintings that are dated back hundreds of years ago.

It was lovely to see the first paintboxes in wood that were used commonly by artist, even of Brands we still use today.

watercolor box

watercolor materials

The exhibition opened my mind in several ways. It also confronted me with the status watercoloring seems to have here in the Netherlands. It’s often ridiculed and not taken seriously. Watercoloring has a name of being a hobby for elderly women.

Walking through the museum made me wonder what has happened with the status of watercoloring, since it was only 100 years ago that it seemed to be a far more respected form of art. As I found, watercoloring was frequently used to accentuate illustrations in black and white. But in the late 19th century factories produced cheaper watercolor paint of high quality that made them more populair among artist. In the UK, Belgium and later the Netherlands, artists working with watercolors gathered in societies (called the Dutch Watercolour Society or in Dutch: de Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij). Among them were two Dutch female artists too.


My personal favorite was a painting by the Italian Mose Bianchi that had quite some color and humor compared to the Dutch painters. This painting is called ‘Choir boys’ (1877)

mose bianchi

Choir boys

choir boys



Wikipedia says about the history of watercoloring:

Several factors contributed to the spread of watercolor painting during the 18th century, particularly in England. Among the elite and aristocratic classes, watercolor painting was one of the incidental adornments of a good education, especially for women. By contrast, watercoloring was also valued by surveyors, mapmakers, military officers and engineers for its usefulness in depicting properties, terrain, fortifications or geology in the field and for illustrating public works or commissioned projects.

Reading this text I ask myself why it was especially good for women? If you look at Asian art that uses similar fluid techniques there doesn’t seem to be a gender difference. Does its has to do with colors? Is it because watercolors are perfect for making botanical illustrations and women love flowers and plants more than men? Or is it because the transparent paint creates lighter, brighter and therefore ‘sweeter’ images. I seriously don’t know the answer, if you do I would love to hear!

The only thing I know is that you need quite some courage and an assured hand to paint with watercolors. If you learn how to paint ‘in the Zen way’ it can free your mind and soul you can use it as a meditation technique. And if watercoloring is considered as ‘typical feminine’ , I think Zen watercoloring could be a very effective meditation technique for women (and of course men too)!

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Digital watercolor illustrations

March 25, 2015 in Blog bericht, NEWS, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

sets backery

This year started with quite some discussions about the new EU VAT rules concerning selling digital items in the EU. I was just at the point of starting to sell digital illustrations of my work, when I discovered that this would make my VAT administration incredibly complex. Selling my products from Holland to the rest of the world would mean that as of the 1st of January 2015, I had to pay VAT tax in all the countries of the EU for my customers instead of only in Holland. Luckily Etsy solved this problem for all it’s European based sellers like me in February and since then I started to offer digital items in my shops.

sets fruit

This is how it works:

You purchase a digital poster size 8″ x 10″/ A4 (section ‘printable poster’) in my shop. You will receive a download link so you are able to download the images directly to your computer and print them on your own printer(s). You can of course also have them printed in your local print shop on high quality paper if you want. I also offer PING images with transparent backgrounds as ‘clipart’ (=a set of images about 5″ x 7″ and smaller), so you can design your own personal invitations, posters etc. Please be aware that these images are for non commercial use only.

I f you have plans for commercial use, please contact me to discuss terms and conditions. You can find my clipart images here in my shop. I will upload more sets in the near future. If you have any special requests or want to use my prints commercially, please contact me.

sets groente

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Drawing a tree – how to draw

February 12, 2015 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

boom magnolia horizontaal KLEINOne of the most positive effects of Zen drawing for me, is that I am far more aware of the beauty of trees. Sometimes I suddenly look in awe at the shape of a tree and I feel the urge to draw or at least take a picture of it. Before I drew this way, I thought that drawing trees was difficult and boring because of all those branches and leaves. Now I can’t say that it’s easy to draw a tree, but I now find it lots of fun and very inspiring.

The image above  is of my neighbors Magnolia tree and its full of flower buds already. Can’t wait until they open. Magnolia trees are on my list of most favorite trees.

Now if you want to draw a tree, I have some tips for you and below you find a video I made for the eBook version of ‘the Zen drawing Pack’. Here you will see me drawing a willow tree in summertime.


* Have a good look at the tree and see what it’s characteristics are.

* Imagine how big you would like to draw your tree to on paper. Now this is important: walk away from the tree to find the right distance. I used to  make the mistake to stand to close to the tree. The result is that my drawing gets too big and I have to leave out top branches to adjust my drawing to the paper.

* Start by sketching the tree trunk and most important branches. This is the basic structure of the tree. You can then start to draw the rest of the tree.  Try to draw blind as much as possible.

* Depending on the kind of tree and the season, you now add smaller branches, leaves and buds. Draw blind! Don’t draw to precise, raise your speed and let go.

* If necessary you can add shadows to finish your drawing.


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Zen drawing on a Buddha board

February 5, 2015 in Blog bericht, NEWS, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

I had never heard of it before until I got a  Buddha board as a present from my uncle. It was very nicely packed in a box together with a tiny pencil. I was attracted to it strait away even I had no idea how it worked.

buddha board

Funnily enough it had been lying next to my book about Zen drawing in a Dutch museum shop! I understand why; the board is perfect for using in a zen drawing practice. You paint with water, and as it dries up, the result disappears.  Depending on the temperature and amount of water you use, this happens in several minutes, sometimes already before you finished your drawing. It forces you to paint quickly and be relaxed about ‘failures’ and mistakes.

buddha board (2)buddha board 2

Now you would say this board is perfect for children too. The thing is however that the board is quite vulnerable, and within a few minutes of exposure to my daugther and friends it had suffered severely from well meant experimental try outs like painting with real watercolor and using tons of water. The white coating doesn’t like both, and as you can see there are already permanent stains and ‘bubbles’ like this:

board buddha

I think this should be improved as kids love to use it. Here is a piece of art by Leah 8 years old:

drawing boardchildren drawing

The Buddha board is available in several colors and the color of the box will be the color of your art. I prefer black. It looks just like an Asian piece of art on rice paper. Speaking of which; I have just opened a new shop on Etsy with Black ink/ watercolors by the name Zen Inks.

tiger zen painting


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Frederick Franck’s Eye in Love

January 25, 2015 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist by Michelle Dujardin

seeing Venice Frederick Franck

With Valentine’s day around the corner seems to be the perfect moment to fall in love again. Like Frederick Franck fell in love with everything he saw, I just fell in love with a book of him called ‘Seeing Venice – An Eye in Love’. This beautifully illustrated book shows Venice in a way I didn’t see it myself, in many ways. Take a good look at the cover and perhaps you will see what I didn’t sadly enough..

Could there be a more romantic place to go to than Venice? I visited Venice once and I can’t say that I found it really that romantic.  I was 19 and it was in the middle of summer. I remember mainly tourists, tourists and tourists. But I also remember that special atmosphere of the water around Venice. It was this specific smell and light that I will never forget. So did I fall in love with Venice? A bit, but I never sketched there when I had the time. Seeing Franck’s book, I do regret that.

Maybe I should visit Venice another time when its off season. Franck writes that a special atmosphere can be found when the great amounts of tourists have left again. I can imagine that. Will Valentine’s day be off season? I am not sure and can imagine dozens of couples coming to Venice on February 14th. But is that a problem? I don’t think so, because this is actually my most favorite drawing in the book. I love the expression on the face of that lady:


And as he expressed so beautifully, love is ageless

franck venice


Inspired by all these couples in love and those beautiful spots in Venice, I keep on dreaming of traveling to romantic places like Venice and meanwhile I enjoy painting all kinds of quite animal couples in ‘love’.

zwanen konijnen 2 parkieten


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Drawing Vermeer

January 7, 2015 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist, pencil drawing, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin


In December I visited the ‘Mauritshuis’ – Museum with old Dutch masters and took my sketchbook with me. I came across one of the most famous paintings ever: “Girl with a Pearl Earring. Now the latest news is: she isn’t wearing a pearl, they weren’t available those days. My conclusion after a concentrated look: it could also be a peace of metal, perhaps silver as well. Of course I couldn’t resist to make my own version!


michelle dujardin vermeer meisje

The result:

vermeer meisje girl pearl zen drawing

I am lucky to live only 30 minutes from this Museum full of historic art treasuries. There is a lot to learn from these old masters. It was a great relief to find they to struggled with proportions now and then. I sure hope this artist could laugh a bit about the result.  It would make him a real (Zen) master. Just cover the bottom half of the face of this child with your finger and she gets younger instantly.

schilderij kind

Another beauty and famous too: Fabritius goldfinch. Goldfinches have a nickname in the Netherlands; Puttertjes. Referring to the days people kept them for fun and let them get water in tiny buckets. You can see the chain on the birds paw. I felt a bit sad for this beautiful small bird.

puttertje fabritiusMy quick sketch:

Carel fabritius puttertje

Once you have seen something properly you will notice it everywhere:

puttertje donna tart

I always wanted to paint a Goldfinch and the Museum visit encouraged me to draw one. Unfortunately no real life model for me, I had to search the internet for images.

puttertje aqaurel

Last but not least I drew a very quick sketch of one of Karel Dujardin’s paintings. I don’t know if he is my ancestor. I love to believe it, but apparently  he died childless by drowning in Venice! Speaking of Venice… my next topic will continue on this subject.

For now, best wishes for 2015. Wish you lots of beautiful and exiting drawing moments!


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Zen drawing Pack for Christmas with video!

December 3, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

tekening kerstboom met packThe Zen drawing pack is a very lovely Christmas present; it looks beautiful, contains everything you need to get drawing and it is very well prized too!  Take a look at this video to see the inside of the Pack:

If you can’t find it on Amazon (it seems to be out of stock now), take a look at these shops:

Barnes and Nobles

Q bookshop
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Drawing goldfish

November 24, 2014 in Blog bericht, Geen categorie, pencil drawing, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

Nov 24, 2014


Over the past few weeks, I have been quite busy re-decorating my living room. As a result it was a bit of a mess and since I also worked until the late hours, there was hardly any time left to sit down and draw. So I decided to take some time out as soon as the most important decorating I needed to finish, was done.

How wrong was I? By ignoring my needs for some well deserved rest, my resistance got low and I got a flu instead. I didn’t even have enough energy to pick up a pencil and make some drawings. So yesterday I was incredibly happy that I finally found some time and energy to sit down and draw for while. Especially since my daughter got some new pets; two goldfish! Perfect models as I found out.


gold and brown drawing fish ‘Blackie’ and ‘Spotty’ -as they are called- have been chosen by my daughter for their sweet personalities and I liked their ‘modelling’ looks. Drawing fish -especially long tailed goldfish- is great fun if you use watercolors. I fully understand why fish are popular ‘models’ for ink paintings in the East. The ink and watercolor flow on your paper like the fish move in the water, and its a matter of a few strokes to see the fish come alive on you paper. Use diluted ink or paint first for the tail to show its transparencygoldfish drawing.

goldfish watercolor

My first attempt to paint Spotty in action was really fun. It looks hilarious, could have been a Quentin Blake illustration.

For ‘Blackie’ I used a photograph to see the colors more clearly.  If you take a close look at a black goldfish, you will find that underneath it is truely a GOLD fish too.

If you don’t have any fish yourself or a nearby Chinese restaurant to go to, just search for fish on the internet and you will find anything you like.

This picture shows the wet watercolor painting, which makes it look like a real wet skin of a fish.

black goldfish

And the final dried up result:

zwarte vis klein

Another goldfish I made:

goudvis klein

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My illustrations in Elle City Germany

October 28, 2014 in Blog bericht, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

elle city november

This November my ostrich watercolor paintings will be included in Germanys Elle City magazine. It looks lovely!

elle city germany

tierisch berlin ostrich illustration

The illustrations are for sale in my Etsyshop.

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The Pack has been published worldwide today!

October 7, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, NEWS by Michelle Dujardin

zen drawing pack cover

This week, it was exactly one year ago that Willem Radder and me rented an office to have our first brainstorm session for the American book about Zen drawing. We had already been talking about it a lot and when we got a request from a US publisher we were ready to start. In one afternoon we wrote down the outline of ‘The Zen drawing Pack’ that has officially been published today!

zen drawing ebook pressbooks

Yesterday Willem and I officially released the Zen drawing Ebook; the exact same version as the Pack. In the afternoon I went out of the house for just 20 minutes to get my groceries and an apple pie. When I got home, I saw the UPS truck standing still right in front of my house. I got so exited; the book had arrived!! Of course you can imagine that the pie was being served immediate for this unexpected party.

Here are some pictures of the lovely beautiful pack! You can order it in most bookstores in the USA and UK. If  you prefer reading an ebook, you can get a free download of the preview of ‘The Zen drawing Ebook’ here.

binnenkant zen drawing pack

inside the book and journalbook and journal

If you are interested in my Zen drawing newsletter, please click on the following image:

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Pictures of the Big Draw in Leiden (Netherlands)

September 23, 2014 in Blog bericht by Michelle Dujardin

It has been great fun to teach Zen drawing in the Japan Museum (Sieboldhuis) in Leiden. The weather was so nice that we have been drawing in the Museum garden. Our subjects were mainly leaves and branches. I noticed that everyone had a great time and lovely drawings were made.

These pictures were taken by the photographer of the Big Draw. I am the lady in the middle with the pony tail:

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Zen drawing joins the Big Draw in Leiden

September 16, 2014 in Blog bericht by Michelle Dujardin


The Big Draw is the most exiting event I know, and the more I read about it, the more enthusiastic I become! It is an international initiative to encourage, stimulate and teach people to draw in a very surprising and joyful way. If you have been reading a bit on this website, or you have read one of my books about Zen drawing, you will probably understand why I am so incredibly happy with this initiative, that started in the UK and was initiated by ‘the campaign for drawing’.

First of all, ‘the campaign for drawing’ gives back drawing the status it should have; drawing is an important skill that helps you to communicate, learn and create. And Zen drawing adds some other benefits, like raising your visual awareness and helping you to release stress and get more balanced. ‘The campaign for drawing’ acknowledges the fact that everyone can learn how to draw because  it’s a matter of the right attitude and education. So the most important thing to happen is that drawing should become a core subject  in primary and secondary schools again.

Secondly I love the Big Draw, because it is initiated by my lifetime hero’s: Quentin Blake and David Hockey! Just have a look at my article about Quentin Blakes drawing for the untalented.

In the UK the Big Draw is organized all around the country in the whole  month of October. So it is incredibly popular and many cities over the world have joined the Big Draw already. Please take a look at this video that I took off the ‘Campaign for drawing official website’. I am personally very fond of what Briony Marshall says about drawing to help you understand seeing, because that is exactly what Zen drawing teaches you!

This year, ‘The Big Draw’ is organized in Holland for the first time. I will  participate in this first edition by offering Zen drawing classes in a beautiful Zen location: the Japan Museum Sieboldhuis in Leiden. Its starts September 17th and I really look forward to it because all my classes are already fully booked.

Because I am busy with teaching during the Big Draw Leiden, I will visit the Big Draw in Rotterdam in October myself. I just found a lovely initiative in the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum; Music ‘N Draw.

So if you are interested in joining the Big Draw or organize an event yourself, please visit the official website

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First picture of the Zen drawing Pack is lovely!

September 14, 2014 in Blog bericht by Michelle Dujardin

9781631060069I was thrilled when I saw the first image of the pack on Goodreads this week! The pack looks beautiful! Can’t wait to hold in my hands.
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Mindful book available; download preview here!

August 16, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, NEWS by Michelle Dujardin

Zen drawingmindful 200I am so happy to officially announce ‘Zen drawing – a new way to become Mindful’! This ‘twin’ of the book ‘Zen drawing – a new way to become an artist’ focuses on how to use Zen drawing as a meditation technique. This  technique has many benefits, from being an easy and fun way to learn how to draw to a very effect way to quiet your mind and become more aware of yourself and your surrounding.

This eBook focuses mainly on the Zen and meditative aspects of Zen drawing.

Find a EPUB preview of the Mindful ebook here:

And an PDF preview of the Mindful eBook here:

The eBook is available as a download on Amazon, in the Ibookstore, on Nook, Kobo and Google plus.

Feel free to download the EPUB preview of the artist book here too:

Or the PDF preview of the artist book:

If you have any more questions about Zen drawing or the contents of the books, feel free to contact me: info@michelledujardin.nl


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My eBook now in Apple’s Ibookstore; download preview here

August 3, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, NEWS by Michelle Dujardin

 iphone ibook zen drawing

It took slightly longer than expected, but the eBook ‘Zen drawing- a new way to become an artist’ is now available as an Apple iBook. During the writing process I was revising it in iBooks and  I fell  in love with the small version of the book on my iPhone.

Unfortunately since there are more than 51 iBookstores worldwide, I can’t place direct links to the book. So if you would love to bring the book with you on your holiday on your IPhone or iPad, just visit your ‘local’ Apple iBookstore and search for the keyword ‘zen drawing’. The book will then appear.

If you like to have a preview of the book, just download the ePub file below which can be opened with your iPad and iPhone.

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EBook now available on Android and Windows Pc’s!

August 1, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, NEWS by Michelle Dujardin

Google play

Zen drawing- a new way to become an artist is now available in the Google Play store. This means that you can now read my eBook in any of the browsers available (Explore, Safari etcetera ).

What do you need to do?

For Smartphones and tablets
Install the Google Play Books-app for Android and iPad/iPhone.
This app will automatically sync between your android phone, apple I pad and a Windows PC. Assuming of course if you have these devices.

Just try it out by clicking on the link below and downloading the free sample of my book on Google Play.

You can find the book here.



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New Summer challenge: drawing movement

July 14, 2014 in Blog bericht, challenge, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

Tomorrow July 15th we will start with a new Zen drawing challenge: drawing movement!

Drawing moving subjects is a lovely way to let go of the result, let go of your thoughts and finally let go of everything else by seeing and drawing incredibly fast! By drawing daily – sometimes for just 15 minutes or so – you will improve your seeing and drawing skills and feel more relaxed during the day!

Would you like to join us? You are more than welcome to become a member of the Zen drawing Facebook group:

If you would like to get some inspiration, please watch this video about drawing in the city. Yes … (almost) everything moves in the city!

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Zen drawing – a new way to become an artist

June 25, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, NEWS by Michelle Dujardin

Zen drawing artists 200

Zen drawing – a new way to become an artist

is an eBook based on the ” the Miracle of Zen drawing”  (part of The Zen drawing Pack)

This book explains what Zen drawing is about and how you can do it yourself, even without any drawing experience!

This eBook focuses on the art loving audience and teaches how you can use you drawing reflex and awaken your inner artist.

Zen drawing is about feeling connected to what you see, about drawing without any effort

and most important it brings (back) the fun of drawing!

DOWNLOAD  the free preview of the book here:

This eBook is available as (click to enter the stores):

PDF on Etsy

as EPUB on Nook and and KOBO

Mobi on Amazon

and in the Ibook store (comming soon)

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Zen drawing book is coming September 30th!

March 19, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts by Michelle Dujardin

zen drawing pack

Today I received the cover design of my upcoming book about Zen drawing. I am so excited!! I think it look really cool and I can’t wait to hold it in my hands!!

The pack consists of a book (‘The miracle of Zen drawing’) and a journal with practical exercises. It already for presale for even a cheaper price on Amazon! You can purchase it here.

Prefer an eBook version? There are two titles based on the pack:

Zen drawing – a new way to become an artist: For readers that are mainly interested in drawing techniques

Zen drawing – a new way to become mindful: For reader who like to use drawing as a meditation technique

Both titels will be available on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Etsy (pdf)




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Mirko Hanak’s animals

February 5, 2014 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

Mirko Hanak Animals we love 2


Just a while ago I received a Facebook message with some beautiful illustrations. I was asked if I knew the artist, because of the resemblance with my work. I had never heard of the Czech artist Mirko Hanak before. After a bit of research on the Internet I found that sadly he passed away at a young age in the early ’70′s. Hanak was inspired by Chinese and Japanese painting techniques and like me, he used watercolor and ink together. But the thing we have in common the most, is our love for animals. I found many LOVELY images of his work on the Internet and I regard the comparison as a great compliment!

On the Internet I also found two books with illustrations of Hanak. It’s a series called ‘Animals we Love’, published in 1972, just after he died. Only two (brand new) pieces were available on Amazon.com. I just had to buy them…

The good news was that some of my family-members had planned a visit to the USA and were willing to take the books with them when they returned. That’s how I got the books to the Netherlands and it had cost me almost nothing. Hurray!
Two weeks ago I finally got the books. They are beautiful! Despite some yellow edges on some of the pages it is hard to see that these books have been waiting for me for more than 40 years. Amazing isn’t it? Two elegant books, quite thin but filled with beautiful illustrations by Hanak. Some of my favorites can be found below, and I compared them to my own work just for fun. Hope you love it as much as I do.



Mirko Hanak Animals we love eekhoorn tekening


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Zen seeing, Zen singing

November 11, 2013 in Blog bericht, Buddhism by admin

Drawing Eva Cassidy Tekening

Since September, I am following singing classes in Leiden (Netherlands) with Scott Blick, called ‘Playing with your voice’.

They are my first singing classes ever, but I have been told by other participants, that these lessons are not very mainstream at all. Only recently I’m  beginning to realize what is the most important message Scott is trying to teach us. He learns how to sing effortless; by relaxing the muscles of your jaw and voice box, air is able to move freely and your voice sounds more clear and full. The whole idea reminds me of Zen drawing a lot. When you relaxe your arm and hand while drawing, lines will be able to appear on the paper more easily and elegant.

Scott himself does not calls our lessons ‘singing’, rather ‘speaking’. He would like us to learn how to speak words in a natural way. When you know what you say and you stay with yourself, your words are far more effective than if you pretend and focus on you singing techniques only. He states that you are expressive enough by being ‘who you are’, and I totally agree with that. It’s like when you are drawing a spontaneous line on paper, and it looks so much more interesting that a totally polished drawing that lost it’s spontaneous look.

I personally had never thought there would be so much similarities between singing and drawing. In both cases, many people think they are unable to do it well. It’s not true. Many people (if not all!!) are able to sing and draw. perhaps we will not all become a famous artist or singer, but that is not what it’s about. It is about getting the best out of yourself, enjoy expressing yourself and be amazed by what you can do. It’s is about becoming more aware of yourself and effortless learning. It’s also about energy. When you know how to let your energy flow freely, you can learn anything. For example, singing as well as drawing will be easier when you start with some grounding practices.

Does this mean you will automatically become Zen by singing?

No, not exactly. Especially in the beginning, you might get frustrated when it isn’t really happening the way you would like it to. In singing it’s even more difficult, you do not only face with yourself alone; there is an audience involved too. When you are stumbling in front of other people it may increase your inner pressure.

Funny enough, your audience can help you get out of your nervous mind! It’s exactly the same as when drawing: by seeing! Scott reminds you constantly that you must look at te audience and see each one of them  individually. It will help you to connect to the outside world, to get into the moment in stead of clinging to your mind. When you are not thinking, there will be no irrelevant or negative thought bothering you anymore.

This is what you can learn of Zen singing and Zen drawing. It is both about letting go…

Now for me, there is still one difficulty; the lyrics. We all choose a (familiar) song to practice on. A song that has been written and performed already by others. Because it’s not your own text, you will have to remember it while singing, and this is forcing you to get into your mind again. If I don’t learn lyrics  by heart, I will get disturbed in my flow. Scott helps me to get to know my text, by letting me speak the words out loud and by letting me read what the words are really about. So just a practical advice: choose a simple song you love. That is exactly the same when drawing: choose a subject you truly love and the result will be better. If you love what you do it will brings you joy. And the result? That will come as if it was created by itself..

Here you can see and hear the songs I have chosen:

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