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? 🙂

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Artist Struggles: Painting


Over the last weeks I was never really happy with what I painted. I did a lot of practising sketches for anatomy but I wasn’t able to produce something I actually liked. I even started a portrait that now sits on the top of my shelf because I just can’t look at it anymore. The struggle is real. Today I made a second attempt and this went soooo well. I can’t wait to show you the result once it is finished.

How many of these struggles do you experience? I’m curious!

  1. Never having the right material at home when you have a good idea.
  2. Having the material but no idea what to paint.
  3. The fear of the blanc canvas.
  4. The smudges pencils make on canvas when touching water.
  5. Trying to copy a reference image onto a canvas.
  6. Not being able to decide which colours to use. Acrylics? Oil? Watercolours?
  7. Not really knowing how to use all those different materials but using them anyway.
  8. Brushes that lose hair.
  9. Little brush hair all over your painting that you can’t get off the canvas.
  10. Your own hair covered in paint.
  11. Your face covered in paint.
  12. Basically inventing a new nail polish.
  13. Not noticing that you are covered in paint and then asking yourself how many people have seen you with that blue on your cheek.
  14. Water that got so dirty from paint that you ruin the bright areas of your painting.
  15. Being too lazy to change the water.
  16. Knocking your water glass over and covering your whole table in black soup.
  17. Accidentally dipping your brush into your cup of tea.
  18. Accidentally drinking out of your painting glass.
  19. Putting the wrong colour in the wrong place.
  20. Trying to wipe this colour off but thereby ruining the whole picture.
  21. Getting too much colour out of a tube.
  22. Getting no colour at all out of the tube.
  23. Trying different needles, pencils etc. to get it working again.
  24. Colours that have separated into the pigments and something unknown.
  25. Colours that are already solid because you forgot about them.
  26. Paper that gets wavy when soaked in water.
  27. Not being content with what you are painting at all.
  28. Hoping that it gets better.
  29. It’s not getting better.
  30. Sitting on your chair defeated.
  31. With your back aching.
  32. And your head tired.
  33. Wanting to tear that canvas into pieces.
  34. Instead just turning it around so that you don’t have to see it anymore.
  35. Finally overpainting your first attempt.
  36. Getting loads of comissions from your family.
  37. Not having any paintings at home because you gave all of them away.
  38. Trying a new style.
  39. Having to answer the question: “What is that?”.
  40. If is is an abstract painting.
  41. If it actually should have been a person you both know.
  42. If it is the person himself you tried to paint.
  43. The smell of oil colours.
  44. After three weeks. In your one room apartment.
  45. The drying process of oil colours.
  46. Just having one little corner of a painting you actually like.
  47. Trying to do the whole painting in that way.
  48. Not liking this one corner anymore.
  49. Never being able to stop painting so that you sit there at 3am.
  50. Falling asleep with your head on the palette, a brush in your hair and your arm on the canvas. Good night.

 

All of these things have happened to me. With which of them do you identify?

Have a lovely weekend.

xxx

verena

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…

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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.

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While having lunch…

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

xx

verena

Advent Calendar: 14th


I have to be honest with you: I don’t know what to write, my brain just contains colours and shapes and I’m not able to put anything into words… So many paintings I have to make for Christmas… It’s that overwhelmed-by-monday-feeling.

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Happy Easter!


I hope you enjoyed the few free days and celebrated a wonderful Easter with your friends and family.

Because there was a lot of snow in the last few days (only at the Baltic Sea and in the mountains but it was very white there) and the weather was awful, here’s a ‘Now it’s spring’ picture painted with water colours.

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Jon Snow (Kit Harington)


A few days ago I started to watch the serie ‘Game of Thrones’ and here’s a watercolour sketch I made of the character Jon Snow.

Hope you like it 🙂

jon snow