Ich habe neulich diese Rindertränke entdeckt und gezeichnet. Gut, dass ich hinter einem Elektrozaun saß, denn nach einer Weile hatten die Rinder mich entdeckt und kamen neugierig an. Aber sie haben dann nur etwas getrunken. Ich habe zu Hause dann ein Aquarell daraus gemacht.

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A rare moment of Winter

We had a few days of snow here in Northern Germany. I used them to quickly take some reference photos for watercolours. Snow can be nice and rewarding as a subject for watercolours because it’s already on the paper. You only have to paint the things around the snow :). Furthermore, the large amount of white on the paper allows for strong contrasts.


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Getting started again

Some time has passed since I painted my last watercolour. I used the quiet days between christmas and the first days of the new year to get back into the habit. It was easier than thought and I produced two paintings from photos I took during a holiday I did in late October in Husum, Northern Germany.  The first one shows a ‘Warft’ on the ‘Hallig’ Hooge. We had a beautiful day there with cold but sunny weather and because of being there out of the holiday season it was fairly void of people. The second one is a quick picture of a thatched cottage in Husum. I changed the sourroundings quite a bit so the cottage was only an incentive just to paint something.


When I haven’t painted for a while I usually feel reluctuant to start again because I fear that I will fail and that keeps me from starting anew. However, when I managed to produce a painting it usually feels quite good and not so clumsy and akward as I initially thought it would. I should try to paint more just for the sake of painting without having something showable in mind. That would keep me going on more continuous basis, I believe.

But as you can see here in this blog: I am not the best in producing continuity (at least when it comes to blogging). I know that my blog is not the most active one. From time to time I do think about abandoning it, as I regularly realize that posting something meaningful is not my strength. But then I think that all this doesn’t matter and maybe one of the two or three readers or passers by maybe enjoys some of my pictures. It seems to be similar to the painting experience. When I managed to start a blog post, I actually feel better then.

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This time I’ve won

I am proud to tell you that I’ve won Steve Hall’s  watercolour challenge. He posted a lovely landscape reference image in his spring newsletter this year and participants were supposed to produce a watercolour from it and send it in. You can see my result below. I won a great book about the watercolours and oils of Edward Wesson. It was written by Steve Hall and Barry Miles and it shows an awesome range of the impressive work of Wesson. Check out Steve’s website. He has a nice set of fresh and convincing waterolours there.


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Beech hedge

Our garden is partly surrounded by an old beech hedge. It adds to the charm of the whole house which has been built in 1935 and it functions as a shelter for birds or as something to kick a football in (the latter at least as far as my sons are concerned). But although the hedge is a beautiful thing it means at least once a year: work, work, work. It needs cutting which isn’t the worst, but getting all the greenery away to the dumping ground is a challenge each year. Furthermore, as much as I like to use a nice toy – my electric hedge cutter -, after cutting around twenty meters of a more than man high hedge, my arms feel wobbly and weak so that I can hardly hold a coffee mug. One part of the hedge was even around three meters high, a height which I wasn’t willing to tackle each future year. So we made a decision and cut this part down to maybe half of its height. Although this part was only around 7-ten meters long, the amount of garden waste was immense. Three times I had to the dumping ground. What was a nice thing early in the morning. But already the second go was a bit of a nuisance as the waste ground was full of pensioneers wanting to get rid of their garden waste, too. But finally I managed to throw everything into the container and now I have a more manageable hedge as well. Only days after cutting the hedge severely down it already started to develop new sprouts. So I quickly had to draw one of the beech trees in a condition which I found interesting to draw.


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Bad luck with the weather

Last weekend I had some time to go painting outside a bit. Although there were some clouds and rain throughout the morning, the sky looked pretty blue when I started and I thought that now is the time to have a go. I drove to a nice spot where I’ve wanted to paint for some while now, sat down on my chair and began with the pencil drawing. Not halfway through the drawing however, it started raining again. I took shelter under a large tree, covered my paper and – since I don’t see myself as a good weather painter – waited half an hour or so. When the rain stopped I went back to drawing, which was more difficult than at the beginning: my jacket and sleeves were wet, water was dripping from the trees, the paper was a bit wet which made it more difficult to draw with a pencil, I was cold because of the waiting in the rain. And finally it started raining again. I had to realize that it wouldn’t make sense to go on. These are the moments I wish I’d be an oil painter. I completed the picture at home using the ref image I did with my camera.

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Village church

This is the church of a village near my home town. I took a photo of it while my son had a football tournament in the village. Me and my daughter who wanted to come with us needed a break to cool down from the heat on the football ground, so we did a little walk. I made a line and wash from it because the lighting situation wasn’t very good and there was a lot of shadow on the church. Another reason was that a new line and wash DVD by John Hoar has been published by Townhouse. The trailer is very promising and I even ordered it although I already have a line and wash DVD by John Hoar. You can see the trailer here:

I used a twig to do the line work on a half sheet of Bockingford.


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There are artists these days who write derogatory blog articles about the hubris and wrong self perception of other artists as it can allegedly be seen on the internet. The problem is, when the former artists’ blog oozes with hubris and wrong self perception.

Oh, here’s a new picture of a self proclaimed hobby painter, by the way:


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A cool place

It was very hot and humid today here in Northern Germany. Not the conditions you want to go out and about for painting and drawing. So I decided to just go down into the cellar to draw a bit.


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Wooden field easel vs. camera tripod

I often read that watercolour artists seem to dislike wooden field easles and go for a camera tripod instead. They argue, wooden easles are too heavy, too large or not stable enough. After beeing outdoors recently and feeling my back hurting a bit, I thought, maybe I should switch to a camera tripod, too. So today I went to Saturn and checked some tripods. I went there with the qualm, I might end up with new equipment for my painting hobby, less money in my purse and a job to do (attaching a tripod connector to my hardboard). But then I was quite surprised to see, that the mentioned advantages of tripods don’t seem to be that obvious: The affordable tripods (i.e. about 40 – 50 Euros) are not that much lighter in weight than my Winsor & Newton Dart easel. The tripods were around 1200 gramms or even heavier. When doing some internet research I cam across this product: http://www.inaquarell.de/staffelette.html It weighs 2200 gr. This is quite a lot, actually. My W&N weighs 1530 gramms. My paint box weighs about 500 gr. So I am even lighter with my paint box included. Those tripods which were lighter in weight were much more expensive (about 150 Euros). Also: The tripods don’t seem to be that small. My W&N has a folded length of a bit more than 80 centimetres. The tripods were – if at all – only slightly shorter when folded. The last argument – stability – is another thing. My easel is very stable in the field and I can even hang my water container down from the canvas holder.

Here’s my equipment for plein air painting:


This is how it looks when packed:


And when in use:

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Of course, it is a bit to carry. But this is what you have to do as a plein air painter, haven’t you? Or is there somenthing that escaped my notice?

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