Archive | March 2012

Another Dragon


Another dragon. Watercolour pencils (wet) on Pastel paper. Ulla Hennig, March 2012

Another dragon, this time painted with watercolour pencils on wet pastel paper. I didn’t know in the beginning whether the paper could be used for wet watercolour pencils at all. The only thing however was, that I had to wait until the paper was dry in order to see how the colours would look like.

The Fire Flower

The fire flower. Watercolour pencils wet on drawing board. Ulla Hennig March 2012

For I long time I have been using my watercolour pencils dry, but last Sunday I decided to use them wet – which meant painting with them on a wet surface. I’ve watched a few tutorials and the way I did it is not the way recommended by the watercolour pencil specialists. However, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with them – there are many ways to go to Rome, as we in Germany say.

The Eye of the Sun


The Eye of the Sun. Coloured pencils. Ulla Hennig, March 2012

What I had in my head was the eye, symbolizing the sun, streaming light in a kind of waterfall, in which three plants are bathing…

This time I tried something new with the watercolour pencils which I used in addition to “normal” coloured pencils: I dipped them into a small container with water. It is interesting how they differ in producing that rich colour I wanted to achieve. I especially used that technique with the leaves which I did at the end of my working process.


Crocodile. Pen and ink drawing, coloured with Coloured Pencils. Ulla Hennig March 2012

For this I had a reference photo. The reference photo showed a much bigger part of the crocodile, but due to the size of my paper I had to crop it and focused on the head and neck of the animal.

In the middle of my creative process I had the strong feeling that nothing worked, and wanted to throw the drawing in the bin. However I told myself that I could do that in the end, that it was a piece of practice anyway and kept on working on it. There are some lines on the head of the animal which should not be there, but I like the region around its eye, and I think it has got some character.

The colouring process was a challenge, too: which colours does a crocodile really have? I went for something grey-greenish, and some light brown for its belly. It was a challenge .- and it was fun!

Red Dragon

Red Dragon. Colour Pencils, Ulla Hennig, March 2012

Another step into the world of fantasy. I’d looked at some dragons at deviantart, but then decided to create my own.

Elves and flower

Flower and elves

Flower and wee people. Coloured pencils on pastel paper. Ulla Hennig March 2012

Coloured pastel paper – even the smooth side of it – is quite a challenge. I found out that it is important to know in the beginning where you want your lightest colours to be – and that means where you want to have the focus put on. I tried to lighten up the wee chap on the left side after having put dark green on his face – and did not very well. Another lesson to be learnt!

The Lady with the Hood

The Lady with the hood. Coloured pencil on drawing paper. Ulla Hennig, March 2012.

I could not resist buying some “Zeichenkarton” (drawing paper? Artist’s board?) and trying my coloured pencils on it. It is a very smooth paper, and I like how the pencils went over it. I had to keep them very pointed, and the smooth paper doesn’t take as much layering as the watercolour paper does.

“The Lady with the Hood” was inspired by a digital painting I found over at Deviantart, but the only thing which is similar to the reference painting is the idea of a human figure in the wood. I changed it into a lady, and I also changed the atmosphere.

Quick sketch: Eastern Spinebill

Eastern spinebill, done after a reference photo of Jacquip. Pen and ink drawing, coloured with coloured pencils. Ulla Hennig, March 2012

Over at the Art Journal forum at WetCanvas we have a weekly thread with inspiring photos, and one of the photos, contributed by Jacquip, was showing the Eastern Spinebill. I could not resist doing a quick sketch with pencil and then pen (Staedtler permaliner), colouring it then with my coloured pencils.

Tree Man

Tree man. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig March 2012

There is a challenge on the Fantasy and Sci-Forum on WetCanvas, and it is called “Dryad” (tree nymphe). I don’t know whether Dryads are only female – in my imagination however the image of a male tree nymphe arose…

And together with it a dream began to form itself – the dream of illustrating stories with my coloured pencils, either writing stories around them and getting both on paper and uploading it to my website or to scribd, or having a story in mind, writing it down and illustrating it. Maybe I should not call it a dream but a goal, a very distant, thousands of miles away goal, but a goal nevertheless. Defining it as a goal however means thinking about the way the goal can be reached one time. Two things are necessary: to get more confident with drawing figures/objects/nature/animals and to get more confident with colour. Which means: PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE!

Shades of Brown

Colour swatch based on burnt siena.

When you ask people “which colour has the trunk of a tree?” most of them would answer “brown”. Actually it is not brown. It is grey with a bit of brown in it. It may be greenish brown because of the moss growing on one side of the tree. The colour would depend on the light, on the daytime, on the season.

Noticing the proper colours of a tree is one thing; re-creating it with colour pencils is the other. I created that swatch on the same paper which I use for my coloured pencils’ drawings. Whenever I want to produce a certain colour I now can look at this swatch – it tells me which pencils to use. Of course it can be – and should be – more detailed than the one you see. I will work on it.