Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ambre de Birmanie

It´s too cold for watercolours already so until i fill my waterbrush with vodka, it´s a wash of ink before and after the drawing. This is Würzburg, where they sell mulled wine on the old Bridge over the river main. There are great views towards the Dom and the christmas market as well as the castle in the first sketch.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Wilhelmshöhe is a baroque landscape monument in Kassel, Germany. It´s the only thing i ever visit when i´m in Kassel, a city which is not particularly known for being pretty. Is Wilhelmshöhe pretty? It is one of those monumental, slightly ridiculous, neverending projects that european rulers of the 18th century liked to develop in their freetime. In this case, Karl von Hessen- Kassel, and most of his succesors. It is huge, and one can easily spend the entire day walking about, finding cascades, fountains, hidden alcoves, chinese gazebos and artificial ruins.

Saturday, 13 December 2014


Arriving at Paraty´s Casa de Cultura, some participants were already queuing up for registration. I started drawing the receding tide in the streets, a subject that must have found its way into every sketchbook in Paraty by the end of the symposium.

My first class is by João Catarino on the theme of reflections- we hurry to the river and get started, anxiously glancing towards a darkening sky. The raindrops create an interesting pattern on my painting, but soon the rain drives us to a nearby pousada. It is a lovely, loose approach, and we end the workshop with a lunch of fried maniok by the beach, browsing through sketchbooks.

The next workshop is 180 degrees by Stephanie Bower, on architecture, which i guiltily take because i´m a lazy sketcher who spends little time on preliminary perspective scribbles, just expecting the drawing to work anyway. Sometimes it works, often it doesn´t. Cars are also great for practicing perspective and there are many little gems of old Volkswagen in the streets of Brasil. While i´m painting the beetle by the harbour, the tide comes in and i have to abandon the sketch.

Next is Nina Johansson, teaching us how to influence the mood and impression of a sketch created by simple adjustments to the colour palette and the line character. These exercises result in a gloomy church, and a way more cheerful street scene, though i still tend to ignore the people. Maybe an issue i´ll tackle next year.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ilha Grande

These are some sketches of Ilha grande, situated between Rio and São Paulo. We enjoyed some days at the beach, dining out and listening to an impromptu jam of forró musicians. But there is more to this island than beautiful beaches, because the island´s history is very dark.
Ilha Grande went from being a main trade center for displaced slaves in the early 18th century to a quarantine sick bay for european immigrants for fear they would bring cholera to Brazil. Then it became a leper colony before being turned into a prison island.

A fascinating place on the island is Dois Rios, a nowadays mostly deserted village surrounding former prison Colônia Penal Cândido Mendes. Access to the village is not particularly easy, as the only way to get there is to hike 4 hours back and forth. There is a bus from Dois Rios to Vila do Abraão, the island´s main town, but its use is restricted. No toursits allowed. Visitors entering town have to be signed in and out of a list, as noone but local residents are allowed to remain overnight.

The ghost town holds many remains of prison life. Plants were overgrowing this old digger, while its water filled shovel was used as a bird bath. The building in the background was missing most of its roof, but it was still filled with big and small tools, to heavy to move and rusting away, suggesting that heavy labour was prisoner´s everyday life.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Rio de Janeiro

Some of the many stunning views of Rio, Corcovado seen from the Sugarloaf Mountain and vice versa.

Monday, 8 September 2014

São Paulo

On my way to UsK Symposium i stopped in São Paulo. The largest metropolis of the southern hemisphere is just overwhelming. One and a half day spent between crumbling skyscrapers, colonial churches, and fancy museums.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

North of Rome

A couple of days spent near Montefiascone in the province of Viterbo, strolling through medieval towns and enjoying good company.

The blue water of Bolsena lake and a crumbling piazza up in the old town.

Then on to the strange town of Civita di Bagnoregio, sitting isolated on a volcanic plateau.


And Jassi, 8 months pregnant.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Sketching in one of the new cafés that opened up in Gaustraße with the naples yellow that is new to my palette. Also meeting up with fellow sketchers to draw at Schillerplatz and Kupferbergterrassen.
 Peter´s and Sabine´s drawings

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


These are drawings from the last sketch outing with our local group, it was nice to see many new faces. Although we met up at Schloß Biebrich, we decided we weren´t up for that baroque monstrosity yet. We went to the industrial area instead where we sat down in a parking lot to draw. The entrance to the Kalle building drew my attention, apparently a producer of sausage casings (!) Who knew?

Later on, a more picturesque motif. Mosburg, an artificial ruin in the Schloßpark

And more industrial loveliness on the way home, a concrete factory in Amöneburg.