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Hi, I am so glad you found my blog! I am Sophie Ploeg; a Dutch born artist living in the United Kingdom and wandering the world of art and art history.

As a painter I enjoy sharing my experiences, techniques and materials, as an art historian I love sharing my love for Dutch and English 16th and 17th century culture.

I am a self taught artist. I never learned to stretch canvas in art school, I never was told how to set up a palette, let alone how to survive as an artist. And so I learned the little bit of what I know by trial, error, reading and asking. And some might argue that is the best way of learning. The learning process never ends. There are many, many artists out there who have been in business much longer than I have and they know a lot. Thankfully I can ask some of them what to do when I get stuck. But it is great to be in this place where I can help others too. That’s why I write this blog and teach workshops.

How I can Help

I hope my paintings can provide joy and beauty in your life, my blog articles can help you get back on the road of painting and creativity and finally I hope you will enjoy learning some art history along the way.

You can browse the blog topics (or categories) in the sidebar

Will you let me know what you enjoy on this blog and what you would really love to read more about?

I also offer....

My number one passion is of course painting. Please browse my paintings on this website and visit my exhibitions.  

In my shop you can purchase greeting cards  and books featuring my art works.

I teach workshops on oil painting, pastel painting and drawing. For more info, just follow the link!

Useful Things

I am building a large section on my site full of Useful Things. Every product or service I have used and like and which I think might be useful to you can be found here.

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What will you get?
  • A regular dose of art in your inbox
  • A monthly blog roundup 
  • A monthly general newsletter with all the latest
  • Workshop updates
  • Exhibition news
  • Open Studio news
  • New work previews
  • Some arty bits and tips
  • My grateful appreciation!

Most Popular Blog Posts

Oil Painting

Oil Painting: What’s in a (Brand) Name
Share0Share +10Tweet0Pin0Share0 Updated March 2018 Working with good quality paint does not make you paint better and become rich and[...]
Oil Painting: Toxicity in Oils
Share0Share +10Tweet0Pin0Share0 Busting the Myths of Oil Painting Updated October 2017A Hot Topic  amongst many (beginning) oil painters is the[...]
Busting the Myths of Oil Painting: Fat over Lean
Share10Share +10Tweet0Pin5Share0 Scared of Oils Updated November 2017A recent article in a main UK art magazine made me remember why[...]


The Miniaturist
If you are in the UK you might have watched the tv adaptation of The Miniaturist on the BBC on[...]
Vibrant Oils by Haidee-Jo Summers
Book Review Haidee-Jo Summers is a wonderful painter well known for her lively plein air paintings. She is a member[...]
Top 10 Best Books on Painting
Share0Share +10Tweet0Pin0Share0 The top 10?  Well, maybe a top 11 or 12. And that’s not counting the ones I don’t[...]


My Portrait Selection Pastel Set
I have come up with a portrait selection of Rembrandt pastels that I think is a great basic set for[...]
Best Pastel Papers
Updated November 2017 to add Mi-Teintes Touch Over the years I have worked with quite a few pastel papers and[...]
The Dusty Side: Soft Pastel
Updated December 2017 Pastel is one of the loveliest art materials out there. It is immediate, uncomplicated and can be[...]

Art History

Frans Hals and Bartholomeus Van der Helst
Two paintings, by two different painters; they currently hang in the same room at the National Gallery in London. One was painted[...]
The Waddesdon Portrait of Elizabeth
Something very exciting happened at Waddesdon Manor recently. Amongst the art collection of De Rothchild family, who own the Manor,[...]
The 10 Best Lace Paintings
Who are the best lace painters in history? I am not sure I can answer that question but I do[...]

Art Business

How to Get Your Work on Show
Share0Share +10Tweet0Pin0Share0 Not too long ago I received an email from a regular reader asking for some advice. The reader[...]
Call for Entry: Open Art Exhibitions
Let's get our work out there! One way of doing this is by submitting work to open exhibitions. And there[...]
Building a Website for Artists
I am an artist, do I need a website? Does every artist need a website? Well, unless you are doing[...]

Thank you!

Thank you for being here and for reading to the end of this page. I hope you will enjoy my art works and/or my blog articles. Do drop me a line, comment on a post,

or find me on social media to connect!