About Natalie

Natalie Koeken

In 2014 I obtained a degree in Classical Drawing. In the final three years of my training I specialized in drawing the live model and portraiture.  

After leaving art school I started painting, first in acrylics, but I soon started experimenting with oil paint and have used it ever since.

My work still focuses on portraits and the figure. In addition to taking on commissions, I love to draw and paint the people who play an important part in my life.  In 2019 a painting of my uncle (“Uncle”) has been nominated for De Nederlandse Portretprijs, the Dutch Portrait Award. 

My goal is to create a sensitive and honest portrayal of my subject, focusing on their natural expression and telling their story. Besides portraits, I'm also fascinated by fabrics and capturing every expression of my subject, not only in the face, but also in the hands and body.

I work on various sizes and surfaces. In my charcoal drawings I play with light, dark and leaving out lines and I use different textures or toned backgrounds. My oil paintings are fairly classical with some loose marks here and there.

Whatever material I’m working with, I mainly focus, besides likeness, on capturing a look in someone’s eyes, because that is what draws me the most to portraiture. For the foreseeable future, I’ll definitely continue with this; there are many looks to capture and I’m nowhere near done collecting them all.”


2021: nominated for De Nederlandse Portretprijs (The Dutch Portrait Award) with 'Angels of the Night'

2021: 'Girl with the Star Earring' selected for the ModPortrait 2020 Special Catalogue

2019: nominated for De Nederlandse Portretprijs (The Dutch Portrait Award) with 'Uncle'
Since 2015: start of Grafieto, teaching drawing and painting workshops at primary schools

Since 2014: started exhibiting in group exhibitions

2014: graduated top of her class, subsequent exhibition in Stedelijk Museum Hoogstraten
2012: selected for KoMASK’s drawing competition ‘The Human Figure’ in Antwerp
2008-2014: studied Drawing at an art academy in Belgium
2006-2008: orientation course at an art academy in Belgium