Archive | October 2010

Sand, grass and a blue sky

Darss Landscape

Darß Landscape. Photo: Ulla Hennig

It is almost one month ago that I took this photo. I still remember the day: the weather had changed from grey, stormy and rainy to a blue sky. My cousin and me rented bikes, but on this way we had to walk. As you can see, the way went through a landscape with dunes, grass and some crippled looking trees. It was early autumn then; now, with November approaching very fast, we have late autumn. Time, where have you gone!

Elf – mixed Media

Elf - mixed media

Elf - mixed media. Created by Ulla Hennig

No, it is not the same image like in my blog post published on Monday. There are some trees there, now, bare, skinny, almost skeleton-like. They have never been painted nor created in photoshop like the ferns on the right side.

I had browsed through my photos, actually, and looked for trees. I found one photo and selected some trees, cut them out and inserted them into the elf image. I used the magic wand as selection tool and it worked rather nicely. I also changed the size of them a bit.

So now we have: a colored drawing done by hand, some parts of a photo I took in March that year (the trees), some ferns done in Photoshop. Now, if this could not be called Mixed Media!

Elfric the Dancing Elf

Dancing Elf.

Dancing Elf. Drawing, doloring and digital enhancement done by Ulla Hennig

This is one of my newest mixed media products – the elf drawn with pencil and ink and then colored with copic markers (Still have got only the three shades of brown!). I then scanned the colored drawing and continued to work in Photoshop with it.

The fern shapes are shapes which come with Photoshop. It is important to put them on a separate layer–so you can move them, scale them, change their color and even delete them without any harm to the image.

I put the gradient background is also on a separate layer, as well as the speech balloon and the text. It makes it easier to give your layers a name, otherwise you try to change something and then you notice that you are on the wrong layer!

Doing this was really fun, and I’ve already got some more ideas with Elfric in the woods! Keep following this blog if you want to know what comes next!

Art Adventures – continued

Dog, colored with copic ciaos

Dog, colored with copic ciaos, by Ulla Hennig

One week ago I bought my first copic markers. They are produced in Japan, and they come in about 144 colors. One end of them is a brush, and the other one a nib.

There are quite a lot of video tutorials about them on YouTube, and I had been watching many of them before actually buying them. Then I thought about this drawing, and that it might be nice coloring it.

Well, I was the proud owner of three copic ciaos (these are the markers for the beginners, they say), and I had found a nice box for them. On the one hand I really wanted to try them, on the other hand I was afraid of ruining my drawing.

In the end curiosity won, as you can see above. In many aspects painting/coloring with copics is similar to painting with water colors. You begin with the lightest color and then shade with the darker ones. I had the feeling though that I’ve got far more control then I would have with water colors. I think I hooked!

New Art Adventures

Just now I am into pens. I did the two mousepads which you can see below with felt-tip pens–the ones children paint with. I got a set with 20 felt-tip pens, and after having looked at them for two days I finally grabbed them and began to play with them.

I used them on watercolor paper (which sucks in a lot of color, by the way). It is quite difficult to avoid streaks, and you cannot properly shade with them. But there’s still photoshop, isn’t it? So in reality the two pieces are mixed media: felt-tip pens and photoshop brushes (In order to have a proper look you might click on the mousepads to see them in full size).

Sand and Water


Sand and Water

Sand and Water. Photo: Ulla Hennig


I took this photo at the end of September 2010, walking along the sandy beach of the Baltic Sea near Zingst (on the half-island of the Darß).

Isn’t he cute?


Dog - ink drawing

Dog - ink drawing


I must admit: I am rather a cat person than a dog person. But the moment I saw this dog in my tv journal I knew that I had to draw it. It sort of talked to me: “Draw me!” It touched something in my inner artist. And the thing is that every time I follow those calls the result is satisfying.

That’s the big difference to art in school: You had to draw and paint something whether you had an inner connection with the item / subject or not. Of course it might have made sense–but there was no feeling in it from my side, and most of the results were not very satisfying and even discouraging.

Dunes at the Baltic Sea


Dunes on the Darß, Baltic Sea

Dunes on the Darß, Baltic Sea. Photo: Ulla Hennig


Doesn’t the sand look a bit like snow? On this day the weather changed. It was still cold, but we had a beautiful blue sky. We could even sit in the sand for a while and watch the waves rolling in.

Portrait of a Cat


Cat, drawn with pencil and ink

Cat, drawn with pencil and ink, done by Ulla Hennig


I did this portrait of a cat in 2007. Just a few days ago I rediscovered it, and worked on it with ink.

I did not want to wait till Monday to scan it (I have to use the scanner at work, as I’ve got no one at home yet), and so I took a photograph of it. Cropping the head of the cat was done with the pen tool of Photoshop, after several unsucessful tries with the magnetic lasso. I also used the smudge tool for the hairs between the ears.

Stormy Sea


Stormy Baltic Sea

Stormy Baltic Sea. Photo: Ulla Hennig


Germany has two sea coasts–the Northern Sea and the Baltic Sea. The Northern Sea is rougher and wilder, and the water is salty. The Baltic Sea usually is rather peaceful, but when I was there at the end of September the sea did not look very peaceful, as you can see on this photo.

When I stood there, looking at the waves rolling in I once more was reminded that water is one of the elements which easily gets “out of human control”. By the way, when I was there the rivers rose in Brandenburg, and some towns got flooded because of some heavy rain…