Archive | November 2013


Skull. Inkscape painting. Ulla Hennig November 2013

I downloaded the outlines of this skull from, but I took my artist’s license with it, focusing on shading and creating a painting which is not flat. I worked with gradients, opacity and blurring, and with the pencil tool as a kind of brush.

And, yes, I gave the skull that crooked smile – or is it a leer? I know, Halloween has been almost four weeks ago. But sometimes inspiration does not stick to certain dates…


Chrysanthemums again

Chrysanthemums. Inkscape vector painting on a photoshopped background. Ulla Hennig November 2013

With this digital painting I focused on trying out some photoshop filters and on creating a background with a photoshop brush. I did not want to create a realistic digital painting; I was interested in the contrast between the very clear lines and shapes of the vector chrysanthemums and the soft, blurry background in various shades of green.

Notepads on Zazzle

I have been creating some notepads lately. Here are two of them:

Pumpkinflower notepad
Pumpkinflower notepad by ullahennig
Shop for Yellow pumpkinflower Notepads online at

And here are two made by Simone Gatterwe:

Pirate Ship Notepad
Pirate Ship Notepad by Gatterwe
Shop for other notepad designs.

Chrysanthemum – vector illustration

Chrysanthemum – vector illustration done with Inkscape.
Ulla Hennig November 2013

I had a photo reference which showed lots of chrysanthemums, and I decided to create a stylized piece with inkscape. Up to that point I hadn’t much experience with gradients in Inkscape, but applying gradients one petal a time taught me a lot about it.

The final step was to export it as bitmap which created a png file and combine the flower with the appropriate background in photoshop. I finally chose the colour black because I wanted the flower to pop out.



The Man with the Golden Mask

Man with golden mask. Oil pastels on watercolour paper, November 2013

It took some courage for me to publish that oil pastel painting–it looks like a kindergarten painting to me. But I also feel that it is important to document the level I’m on. I had no reference for it, just an idea, inspired by the three words “golden”, “carnival” and “festive”.

I admit that I had fun doing it, although that fun was mixed with massive self-doubt. And I decided to continue to practise with my “oilies”, even if that meant feeling insecure and out of my comfort zone.

Mushrooms talking

Mushrooms talking. Vector illustration made with Inkscape. Ulla Hennig November 2013

After creating all these pieces with watersoluble crayons and oil pastels I felt like doing something very different – a vector illustration made with Inkscape. I was inspired by a photography and did a rough pencil sketch in which I already changed the mushrooms into characters with eyes, noses and mouths.

Then I opened Inkscape and began to create the two mushrooms from scratch. The goal was to offer a piece to the beholder which inspires him to think of a story. The stories will be different, according to what the beholder sees.

Crazy effects and wild colours on Zazzle

November is here, and the colours of fall have disappeared. But here are some wonderful crazy coloured products from Zazzle. They will raise your mood when you look at them, and if you buy them they will be yours to look at whenever you want it and need it…

Colourful leaves

Colourful leaves. Neocolors II on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig November 2013

The time has long gone when you could find those kind of colourful leaves on the ground. Here in Berlin more or less all the trees are without leaves now. But the more grey the world is the more colours one needs!


Bull’s eye – finished

Bull’s eye. Oil pastel on stretched canvas. Ulla Hennig November 2013

I tried to cover all those naughty little white specks, using all the shades of red I have.

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the camera shot I’d taken of the unfinished piece (you can see it here), so I put the stretched canvas on my scanner. It went better than I’d thought!

Oil pastel abstract – The Eye

Oil pastels on canvas. Ulla Hennig November 2013

This is not finished yet. I saw those nice little stretched canvases and decided to have a go at them with my oil pastels. I am using Jaxon oil pastels, a brand which is very popular in Germany and quite cheap. I’d bought them some time ago because I didn’t know whether I would like them or not. It was at a time when my “art career” had just begun, tried one or two pieces and stopped using them because I could not go into detail with them. I also was not much experienced with colours.

Now, some time later, I rediscovered them. In the meantime I’d bought some paper tortillons and now I am using them to fill out all the tiny white specks. I haven’t progressed very far on the canvas yet, as you can see. I also found out the difference between the rather hard Jaxon pastels and the neopastels made by Caran d’Ache. They are so much creamier and softer!