Archive | July 2013

The Beast and the Beauty

The Beast and the Beauty. Watercolour pencils on watercolour paper.

There’s lots and lots of trolls in the internet, mostly very evil looking creatures. What I had in mind when I did this was the story of the beauty and the beast – with the beast being very unhappy about his beastly shape and looking, and a desperate desire for beauty.

The troll in the drawing above is angry and desperate; I leave it to you to imagine his relationship with the orange red flower. Is the flower bowing down to the troll in order to uplift him or in order to mock him? Everyone is invited to invent his or her own story…

Rearing Horse

Rearing Horse.

This is another horse sketch exercise, done after the horse drawings from Lee J. Ames in his book “DRAW 50 HORSES”.

I intend to do all of them in the next weeks / months, hoping that after having done them I will be much better in drawing horses from photographs. My goal is to do horses with my pencils, and I want to have at least one drawing/painting of a horse at the end of 2013.

The Birth of a Dragon

The birth of a dragon. Watercolour pencils and coloured pencils.

I am still experimenting with using watercolour pencils wet and coloured pencils on one piece. I love the cheerful and strong colours which I can get with applying wet watercolour pencils. I noticed that there is a difference between the results of using a brush to go over the pigments of the watercolour pencils and a q-tip. With the latter you can have more pressure on the pigments, getting a stronger colour. On the other hand I hate to produce unnecessary litter…

I also noticed that you can mix more easily with wet watercolour pencils. You can even use black to darken colours. I would not use black dry, but with water you can get a very dark brown putting black over brown.

Group exhibition on 13 July

Three of my seven paintings as part of the group exhibition on Saturday, 13 July 2013

It is more than one week after the event I had been working for since spring – the group exhibition at the “Long night of Buckow”. Please excuse the poor quality of the photo. I had difficulties taking a photo of my framed paintings because of the glass.

I had two partition walls for my seven paintings, and they were situated at the entrance to the artists’ garden. Quite a few people took their time to look at them, and one woman told me that she felt invited by them to think about the stories behind them. This is exactly what I want to do with my paintings – tell stories resp. invite people to make up their own stories looking at them.

As far as I know we didn’t sell any paintings. But I wasn’t expecting that anyhow. But I could talk about them and about my faborite medium – the coloured pencils. People didn’t recognize them on the paintings. They said that they thought they were done with pastel pencils. Coloured pencils for most people here in Germany are something used by small children – and not a “real” art medium.

The green-eyed lady

Green eyed lady. Watercolour pencils and coloured pencils on watercolour paper. July 2013

This piece is the result of some experiments.

  1. I first did a very raw sketch just to get an idea of the painting. I then did a fine sketch on a piece of copy paper the size of the final watercolour paper (17×24 cms). Copy paper is quite cheap, so there would be no problem with not being satisfied with the first version.
  2. When I had done a sketch I was satisfied with I fixed a piece of watercolour paper on top of the copy paper, went to one of my windows and traced it on the watercolour paper with a pencil. I then traced the pencil strokes with an ink pen and then erased the pencil lines.
  3. The third step consisted in using the watercolour pencils for getting an underpainting. I used q-tips and not a brush for applying the water. because I had the feeling that doing it this way let me have more control.
  4. The last step was to draw/paint the details with coloured pencils.

I am quite satisfied with how the painting turned out. I like the intensity of the colours, something I now know cannot only be reached by applying baby oil on coloured pencils but also by applying water on watercolour pencils.

Quick sketch of a shetlandpony


Shetlandpony. Pen and ink sketch, July 2013

With my first exhibition being over I decided to continue with my horse sketches. I am not quite satisfied with this sketch of a shetlandpony, but on the other hand I’ve got the feeling that I am doing better regarding the hooves – which is a kind of progress.

Abstract with figure

Abstract with figure. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig July 2013

I finished this abstract yesterday. I had no particular reference for it. I was interested in the contrast between something more specific like a human figure and geometrical shapes, and I wanted to play with shades of blue, green and red.

This time I used a small brush for applying the baby oil instead of using q-tips. Besides that I went with colour pencils over some of the areas again. Interesting!

Summer in the City!

Fountain in an Italian restaurant. Photo: Ulla Hennig

This restaurant with its beautiful garden and fountain is only a few steps away from the place where I live. I enjoy sitting outside, sipping a glas of white wine, watching the birds come and take a bath. It is summer in the city, and it’s beautiful!

Prince of the Waters – finished

Prince of the Waters. Coloured pencils on watercolour paper.

I had fun doing this – not only the various shades of blue, but also the scales on the Sea person. By the way: I called the painting “prince of the waters” because I see more of a male person than of a female person in it. However, the person definitely has an androgyne character.

I also wanted not to paint a typical mermaid – a seductive looking female. I wanted to portray somebody who’s proud and who is a leader under the waters. That person could be a prince, or a queen, or a king or a princess…

Tutorial: How to use Coloured pencils

Again and again I am browsing through YouTube in order to find good tutorials relating the use of coloured pencils. Here is one I am quite happy about. I especially like the way you see how shades of colours are built with the layering of coloured pencils.