Archive | November 2011

The shades of purple

The Colour Purple

I’ve done quite a lot of “traditional” drawings in the last days and weeks, and I decided to change over to the digital way of creating art in order to play with colours and shapes in Inkscape.

I’ve got the impression that purple and the various shades of purple are one of my favorite colours. I like the energy and power which emerges from purple.

Fantasy landscape with pen and ink

Fantasy landscape. Ulla Hennig November 2011

The story of this drawing is quite a funny one. One evening I sat down at the table in my living room and began to draw. I had been watching a film on tv with commercials, and I was bored with watching the commercials. So I took out one of my fine liners from Staedtler and began to draw a building. I had no special building in mind – I just wanted to practise creating differing shades by hatching. Then the film continued and I stopped drawing.

The next morning I looked at what I had drawn, with my tea mug in one hand. The drawing was kind of calling me to continue – which I did. But I had to leave for work, so there was another break. However when I returned from work I worked on it again, adding the landscape.

I think it took me three days to get it into a state which I could call “finished”. Now, that I am looking at it again, I think it could need some additional strokes here and there – but it is as it is…

Hand – another drawing

Hand with shades. Ulla Hennig, November 2011

I did this drawing in two steps. At first I did a line drawing of my right hand, using an Artist Brush pen. This I did quite some time ago (three weeks or so), and then left the drawing alone. But three days ago I picked it up again and tried to applied what I’ve learnt so far about shading watching the tutorials on “Drawing tutorials Online”. I used a so called “fine liner pen”. Actually it was not so easy to have my right hand in the way I’d drawn it with the brush pen and doing the shading with the left hand. I am a leftie with drawing, that wasn’t the problem, but not to move my right hand was a real challenge!


Listening. Pen sketch. Ulla Hennig November 2011

I did this person without any reference at all. I had someone in my mind who is listening to some music and almost beginning to dance. It was done very quickly, and I didn’t work on the scan in photoshop – I only scaled it down to the proper size.


Fist. Very quick sketch. Ulla Hennig, November 2011

I admit that this is a very rough sketch. I did it with my Artist brush pen, without any pencil drawing. I made the first with my right hand and drew with my left hand. I try to practise the drawing of hands regularly, and I think this was done sitting at my breakfast table, early in the morning. The only thing is that while drawing I tend to forget the time, and run the risk to get off to work too late. Well…

Another Landscape Drawing

Stone Towers. Ink Drawing, Ulla Hennig November 2011

Yesterday evening I had a second go at landscape drawing. I think it is a quite different one to the first. I not only used another medium (pen and ink this time), I also did not try to copy the photography. I’ve got the impression that a beautiful photo not necessarily makes a beautiful drawing. So I took the liberty to make changes where I thought they should be.

I am however thinking about adding some water colours to the drawing. I absolutely don’t know whether the result of that endeavour might be presentable, but I want to try out the new watercolours for one thing, and I want to try out the method of doing a kind of illustration.

Dancing Horses

Dancing horses. Vector piece based on ballpoint drawing. Ulla Hennig, November 2011

These vector horses are based on a ballpoint drawing which I did in 2010. I vectorised the drawing with the pen tool in Inkscape, and then used the stamp function to produce copies of the vector piece.

So traditional art and digital art are again combined in this piece. Whereas the drawing shows the muscles of the horse and thus is a quite realistic presentation of the horse, the vector piece shows three stylized horses with the focus on graceful movement.


Landscape, drawn with pencils

Last Tuesday, in my Drawing class, we had to draw landscapes. I say “we had to draw” because landscape has not been my favorite drawing subject. Animals – yes. People – okay. But landscapes?

But it turned out better than I had thought. I spent a very long time working on the stubbles in the foreground – it was a kind of zen-like activity knocking those stubbles onto the paper.

And in the end I learnt that it really is important to leave your comfort zone and try out new things!

How I use Google+ for Marketing

I’ve got a shop on Zazzle, and I am a member of Google+. I am also on Twitter, and on Facebook, and have been using those two for marketing too.

  1. Twitter
    I have been tweeting the products scheduled all over the day, and as I used Hootsuite I could see whether any of my tweets were clicked on. As far as I could see, the number of clicks was very very low. In addition to that I myself find it boring to tweet just one product, even if the tweets are sent all over the day. And if I find the process of tweeting boring – what about the readers of these tweets?
  2. Facebook
    I am using Google Analytics on my Zazzle shop page, and I can see that I am getting a few clicks via Facebook. Facebook has the advantage that you have a thumbnail of the product. Thus people can see what the product/design looks like, and I think this is important. So I will keep on presenting new products on my Facebook Fan Page.
  3. Google+
    This week I began to experiment with marketing on Google+. One thing I did was to speak about the design or the art on the product – not the product itself (everybody can see that it is a mug, a mousepad, or poster, as Google+ also shows the thumbnail). And the other thing is that I tell the story behind the art/design. Why did I take this photo, and what does it show? How did I feel when I took it? With graphic design it is a bit more difficult, but I think that each piece of art and design tells something about ourselves, our feelings, our attitude towards creating things.
    Of course this takes far more time than just typing the url of the product. But when I did this today and the day before I deeply enjoyed it. It wasn’t boring at all for me. And I hope that people like the stories I am telling about me and my art and eventually may consider buying the one or the other products…

Mounting Horse

Mounting Horse

Mounting Horse. Pencil drawing. Ulla Hennig, November 2011

At the beginning of November I discovered the website Drawing Tutorials Online. At first I was a bit reluctant to register, but then I decided to allow myself to have a one year subscription for the price of about 100 Euros and registered. Everything went smoothly, and on the same day I browsed through the site. There’s a ton of useful video tutorials on the site, and a lot of very helpful pdfs. In addition to that there is a critique gallery where you can upload your pieces to, and some days later you have them criticized by Matt Archambault, the owner of the site.

It is a bit like going to art school and I am learning new things everyday. The horse above is based on a photo of one of the horse sculptures of Degas. I think something with the neck and the head is not right, but I don’t know exactly what. I uploaded it to the Critique gallery as well, and now I am waiting for Matthew’s critique.