The Craftsman

★★★

Directed by: #PauHanKou

Starring: #HenkTenBos

Film Review by: Alexandra James



The Craftsman is a humbling short film which shows the life and work of Henk Ten Bos (1921-1995), an artist from Hengelo who created impressionist style paintings, from countryside landscapes to military vehicles. This film marks the 25th Anniversary of his legacy and pays tribute to the wonderful drawings he has illustrated throughout his life.


This short film was created during quarantine and it just goes to show that people are able to produce innovative films with such little resources. The Craftsman was incredibly inspiring and insightful which is certainly needed and rewarding within a short film. It’s wonderful to see such talent from an artist and relive his work, The Craftsman is an uplifting piece which is necessary during these difficult times of lockdown. It was fascinating to learn about the history behind the marvellous creator. A positive short film that kept the mind engaged, as well as help to pull you out of those lockdown blues. The audience learn that Lesley Gemser the grandson of Henk Ten Bos promised to take care of his paintings. He founded the “Art Gallery Henk Ten Bos” and with his childhood friend and filmmaker Pau Han Kho, The Craftsman was made.


This short film explains the ways in which Henk Ten Bos studied the intricate details of the scenery and capture the feeling of the landscape within his drawings. For example, the artist would visit museums and view the birds and animals up close so that he could perfect every brush stroke and feature. The editing used for this short made the images come alive and jump off the screen. The artist’s paintings were so detailed and moving it was only right to convey this. It was the editing skills which highlighted the realism extremely well.


Henk Ten Bos went straight from school to a painting school, and later worked for Holland Signaal which later was known as Phillips Holland Sinaal. Here he painted ships and military artillery used for leaflets and discusses the different techniques used within each of his paintings. These illustrations certainly made quite the impression as they were given away as gifts to high-ranked officials.


The Craftsman highlights the effort and long hours put into each portrait, Henk Ten Bos even painted the Queen during his career just purely from studying images of her closely. His talent is undoubtedly worthy of recognition and this short piece is well worth the watch and acts as the stage to showcase his brilliant pieces of work.