A couple weeks ago I shared my mad-scientist-esque experiment with Dura Lar, a graphic film brought to you from the fine folks at Grafix Arts. Well, today is finally the day for the grand unveiling of my Dura car artwork and to flaunt the piece’s sparkly new listing on my Etsy shop.

But first, a little journey to the town of Delft in the Netherlands…

Going to Kerk For Some Dutch Inspiration

In 2012, Mr. Husband and I spent some time in Amsterdam. While there we enjoyed the fantabulous Dutch rail system that, thanks to the Netherlands being so compact, whisked us away on many a day trip. One of those day trips was to Den Hague to hunt down Vermeer’s “The Girl With the Pearl Earring” (which is another whole story itself) followed up with a stop off at Delft to gawk at the sights.

One of these sights was the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – “new” as in dating from 1381 which makes it newer than the Oude Kerk (Old Church) that was built around 1240. The Nieuwe Kerk has a tight connection with the House of Orange and there’s over forty Oranges tucked away in the church’s crypt (this does not make it an Orangerie, however).

I see dead people.
I see dead people.

Despite the usual Protestant aversion to anything fancy in their churches, the Nieuwe Kerk features sixteen gorgeous examples of stained glass. And since this place is all about the Orange, one of the windows is full of William of Orange looking quite haughty on his white steed. And I suppose he deserves a bit of grandeur as he was the founder of the House of Orange making him the ancestor of the Dutch monarchy and the inspiration for oodles of Dutch symbols.

While you’re at the Nieuwe Kerk, if you don’t mind heights and twisty-spirally staircases, you can climb the 109-meter tall tower of the Nieuwe Kerk to stare out over the city of Delft. Not enough exercise for you? Well, you can also burn off your cheese and beer calories buy climbing the tower of the Oude Kerk that was built a tad bit crooked but is supposedly perfectly stable.

And speaking of the Oude Kerk, personally, I liked this church better. It has a more intimate feel and also contains the tombs of Leeuwenhoek (the mad scientist who invented the microscope) and Vermeer as well as 27 stained glass windows that, because the church is less cluttered with Orange-related monuments, are easier to step back and admire.

Colin Firth? Are you in there?
Colin Firth? Are you in there?


Who knew Heckle & Jeckle would be part of the Oude Kerk's stained glass collection!?
Who knew Heckle & Jeckle would be part of the Oude Kerk’s stained glass collection!?

From Photo to Final Piece

I’ve wanted to turn the William of Orange stained glass picture I took into a piece of colored pencil art for some time. When I finally got out my Dura Lar (three months after I bought it) I knew it would be perfect for the project.

The main trouble with this was perspective. Clearly, the fine Dutch folks in Delft weren’t going to let me climb a ladder to take a photo of William & Horse straight on, so I had to take it from the ground. This means that the lower panels of glass are narrower  and longer than the top. I spent plenty of time with ruler and pencil trying to sort out how to make each one equal size while still getting the panels to line up. My middle school math teacher would have been proud.

Are you brave enough to accept the Perspective Challenge?
Are you brave enough to accept the Perspective Challenge?

After that it was just a matter of matching colored pencil to photo color and working bit by bit. At several points I felt like I was simply drawing tint pieces of candy.

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Although not technically complicated as far as drawing goes, this project did give me an appreciation for the work that went into making stained glass windows. As I drew each piece I couldn’t help think of way-back-when workers fitting all these damn bits of glass together to make a very lovely image.


When the four panels were finally done, that was a very happy day!!

The trouble was I had nothing to mount the panels on. DuraLar drawings need a white background to really bring out the colors but I didn’t want to stick them on a flimsy piece of drawing paper. I needed something sturdy. Thankfully, the art supply catalog is never far from my grasp.

I settled on Crescent Illustration Board because it’s super sturdy, acid-free, and very white. Then came the mounting. This required measuring and re-measuring and measuring again to get everything even.

Ugh, measuring....
Ugh, measuring….

I thought of having the panels right next to each other as they are in the reference photo, but ended up liking the look of the white gap in between much better. Finally it all came together!! Each of the four panels measures about 6 inches (15cm) square, and the entire piece came in at 13.25 inches (24 cm) square.



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Thanks for reading everyone and have a great weekend!!


6 thoughts on “Going Dutch with Dura Lar

  1. Incredible! You’ve really captured it perfectly! I’m also in awe of your diligent measuring – I can now see why it’s better overall than the “ah, it’ll be grand” approach I’m inclined to take to these things 😀 I hope he finds a deserving home soon!

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  2. Forget your math teacher, I’M impressed that you were able to get the perspective right – I know I couldn’t have!!! The piece turned out beautifully, Tammie, very nice work!!

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