The mysterious aspects of a single person fascinate me and portraiture – the study of faces – is what I specialize in to try to understand how emotions are expressed. I like to observe facial expressions to detect how a person is feeling or what they are thinking about. By creating people’s portraits, I find that I am able to bring their contrasts to life. I’m also  able to tell my own story as well, for the emotion of the subject I’m working on will often teach me something about myself, or an essential truth about human nature.

Working with focus and spontaneity,  I often discover unexpected harmony, or hidden surprises, within a single face.  When  placed side by side, my portraits show a range of very colourful, expressive people caught in strikingly different moods, poses and perspectives.

I discovered Paperblanks books after friends gave one to me as a gift and have used  their writing journals exclusively since.   The particular design of my original journal, Laurel Burch’s Soul & Tears, had a portrait on it and this was what first inspired me to use it for portraiture only.  Since then, each of my portrait drawings  are always sketched in a Paperblanks journal.

What I appreciate most about Paperblanks books is the variety of inspiring, tasteful designs they offer, along with the very strong quality of binding and printing and the different printing techniques, such as foil print and embossing, that they use. I also find the quality of the paper to be fantastic – perfect for my work with colour pencil (and even paint or mixed media)!  It is strong, has good colour (not too white) and the “vergé lines” give a special touch to my drawings.

My  project “Every Day a New Face” and other work can be found at And view my 169 Drawings project here.

Eefje van den Hamsvoort is an artist and graphic designer based in Breda, The Netherlands.

Our Artist Series features snapshots of the creative people who use our journals. From all parts of the world, and all walks of life, we celebrate the infinite number of ways in which creativity can be expressed. If you would like to have your story featured, email


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