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The Brandenburg Landscape

My friend Carina is a great photographer. She lives in Berlin together with her husband, and in her free time she explores the beauties of nature in Brandenburg, the federal state which surrounds Berlin.

Brandenburg has a lot of small lakes. Many of them lie hidden somewhere between the trees, and you can go there and spend a whole day without seeing anyobdy. They are perfect places to recover from the noise of Berlin.

Another Rabbit

Rabbit - colored with Photoshop

Rabbit - colored with Photoshop

Do you remember my first rabbit? This one above and the other one both derive from the same source – a quick sketch done with a ballpoint pen.

I simply could not keep from using the sketch for a digital painting. It is not so easy to paint fur digitally, and I had to experiment with different brushes and with different brush settings .

Sea Shore II


Sea Shore II. Digital Painting by Ulla Hennig

As you can see I did a bit of work on the water and the sky. I am still not 100 percent pleased with it – the picture now looks a bit too dramatical for me, and the clouds on the sky could be less blurry. But it is only my second digital landscape, so I won’t be too strict with my inner digital painter…

If you want to compare it with the first version, here it is:

Sea Shore – Work in Progress 1

Sea shore  - Work in Progress

Sea shore - Work in Progress

Okay, I am adventurous again and dare to present a work in progress here. This is digital from the beginning – no pencil work here.

Of course there’s a lot of work still to be done – the water in front of the palisades, the water behind it and the sky. But I think this work in progress can give you an impression of how it will look like when it is finished (at least I hope so!)

Work in Progress: Three Birches

Three birches - digital painting

Three Birches. Digital Painting

I have got one of my photos as a reference photo for this. I am not very good at landscape painting, virtual or non-virtual, and a lot of question arose when I did the painting. How do you paint clouds? Where are the dark and the light parts? (Actually, you can get a brush online which produces clouds, but I did not want to use it.) What different shades of green cover the earth? And how do you “do” the leaves on the trees?

And most of all: What is the difference between a photo and a painting? Hmmm. Another of my art adventures, and I realize how much I have to learn and how much I am learning by doing all those fascinating things.


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…

Autumn is colorful!

Fall leaves. Collage done with photoshop

Fall leaves. Collage done with photoshop

I am still on my discovery journey through the world of photoshop. The image above has been created with another photoshop tool – the brush.

When I first heard of this tool and then used it I used it to draw and paint. The leaves above were not drawn or painted, they were created by one click. First I did the background, then I added one layer for each leaf, choosing different colors. Finally I added some layer style.

You can download hundreds of free brushes, and there are many brushes with an autumnal theme. I did not have anything special in mind when I began doing this–I just wanted to try out the potentials of the brush tool!