Urban Sketching in Hamburg

Over the weekend I visited my best friend in Hamburg and we went around the city looking for good places to draw. We had a lot of fun trying new art styles and messing with colours.

Which one do you like most? 🙂


Urban Sketching in Lübeck

Urban Sketching is a movement to capture cities without a camera, to interpret them in art immediately, to feel the spirit of cities in a different way than behind a lens. I was in Lübeck last week on holidays and drew a lot. Sitting on park benches, standing with my back against a wall, sitting on the pavement, painting. First, it was only painting what I saw.

The view out of our flat…


Those tiny little paths that are far away from the many tourists also visiting the city… They were so calm and it felt like time was stopping for a while as I put their colours into my sketchbook.


While having lunch…


And simply standing on the side of a street, sketching.


It was a wonderful experience and I began to notice spots where I could draw and paint. A good friend and fellow artist also visited because he does not live far away so we spent the day painting together. People came up to us to ask if we were art students. When our next exhibition was. It was great to feel we could be studying art, at least for a while…

My style changed a bit. It went from simply depicting what I saw to interpreting. We had done that a lot in art class in the final two years of school. Talked about expressionism. One day, we visited an art museum in Lübeck where a Feininger painting was exhibited and I just love his work so much. I could have spent hours looking at this painting. Inspired by his work, I tried something different.


Those are little studies that I will probably put on a larger canvas some day. I really want to get back into painting – I have missed it a lot!

urban sketching

This is my equipment:  A square sketchbook, a faber-castell ink pen, a pentel waterbrush and my lovely little winsor and newton watercolours.

First, I sketch the lines with pencil and so that I can erase what I don’t really like or am unsure about. Then I’ll redraw them with black ink and fill the drawing with colour. Finally, I thicken the black lines to improve the composition a bit. My paintings are not really accurate and detailed so they don’t take so much time. Normally about half an hour.

This was my little urban sketching trip to Lübeck and I enjoyed it so much. Trying new things, looking at a city not from a camera but from an art perspective. It makes you calmer, really. A special form of meditation in a city that is often buzzing with tourists. The need to escape sends you to thoses little paths and streets that show the real face of Lübeck: A Hanseatic city breathing history, trying to balance ancient and modern.

Story Time: A Nature Helper

I meant to write about late summer. About its deliciously tasting air, its soft light and wonderful evenings. A little boy crossed my paths on my way home and therefore these plans. His bike would reach a velocity of at least 200 km/h downhill, he said. A fast little guy, on a tiny little bike. If he brakes, he would fly all the way up to the moon, I laughed. If he would like to be an astronaut. “No,” this seemed to bore him, “rather a car mechanic, an electrical engineer…” Scratching his head he added: “A nature helper.” Now he had a spark in his eyes. “The world is so beautiful!”

My cat interrupted the thoughts and questions I had on that topic. The hows and whats and whens… They didn’t matter. He loves cats, he said. His grandpa has one. She doesn’t really know what she wants. Silently I muttered: “Who does?”

“I would like to save the world” A noble task. “Maybe we can train cats to help us.” The next five minutes we spend imagining how cats would look like with different uniforms and hats on them. It was a wonderful moment. Talking with a little boy about saving the world. A dream that I had so often pictured and am now trying to implement. A boy who had so many different ideas what to become and thought of mother earth to be a subject of his future. A little boy who went out on his bike in the evening and always up the hill to be able to drive down again much faster. Dreams, he has so many dreams. It gives me a lot of hope.

Lastly I told him that I study to be a nature helper. He looked at me for a long time: “That sounds interesting. We will see each other in our jobs one day.” So be it, little nature helper. He raced down the hill with his bright green bike and shouted, waving as he drove “But first I have to grow up!”.

A Little Blog Transformation

In this first year of studying Environmental and Resource Management I have learned a lot. I have realised a lot. People from all over the world helped me to broaden my perspective, think critically. Books changed me, so did films, so did conversations. I love art and I will keep creating. However, you might have seen that I didn’t write any texts for my pictures anymore. I didn’t have anything to say, to add.

I love writing, though. I love telling stories and illustrating them. I love how pictures and sentences can change and inspire people and give them hope. I will not delete my older posts because they are a part of me, a part of my story. What I want is to enhance the blog. Give it some context, some stories, some discussions. I want to write and share thoughts with you, I would like you to engage with the content.

Here is how it will work: I will make a post every week on Friday. This will be a text combined with photographs or sketches or illustrations. If you have any wishes on what you would like me to write about, please tell me! 🙂 I would love to read and learn from you! Furthermore, I will have a little portfolio which you can have a look at in the menu. If you like to see works in progress or little doodles along the way, you can visit my instagram, where I will be sharing all of those. The Festival of Leaves will also continue this autumn and I am so excited for it!!

See you next week