Friday, 2 September 2011

"Waldspaziergang" - a sketch

It all starts with a white canvas.

I've been wanting to paint a new picture for the living room for ages, but somehow never got round to it. Either I had no idea what to do, or to many ideas. But now, a concrete idea was slowly beginning to take shape in my mind. And so I bought a new stretched canvas, 60x80cm.

I knew I wanted it to be green. I like texture, I like shapes, especially round shapes, and I like walks in the woods. I wanted to get this feeling of walking through a wood, a forest, the tranquility, the silence, the soothing colours and sounds of the surrounding, on to the canvas, and into my living room, but in a somewhat more abstract way.

But before the work on the canvas begins, I make a little sketch into my sketchbook, to see if the idea, the picture, I have in my mind works on paper/canvas.

1. First a coat of gesso.

2. Then the background. I love doing backgrounds. Layer after layer, building up the colours and texture.

3. Sketching in the shapes.

4. Filling in the shapes.

5. Adding some black borders around the shapes with a coal pencil. I tried out two different methods to see which effect will work better.

6. I fetched a book about colour, and their effects and meanings and took some notes about green that appealed to me.

life, hope, spring, youth, health, fresh, herb, confidence, assurance, soothing, reassuring, rest, recovery, pleasant, comfort, security, tolerance, endurance.

It was my day off today, and I spent most of it sketching and painting. I totally enjoyed it. Green makes me happy, and so does painting with green colours. The only negative bit is that my study, which has to function as studio as well, really is too small, too crowded, the desk is too small, and it's too dark as well. But one day, hopefully, I'll have a proper studio, light and airy, and with enough space for all my stuff, and a big desk just for sketching and painting.

I added some white at the end, to lighten it up and give some more definition.

I'm not quite sure yet which way I'm going to do the shapes, making whole circles with all the trees, like on the right side, or putting them one behind the other, like on the left side. I'll see when I'll get there. Probably a mixture of the two. And some more texture to the shapes. And I'll see what else comes up in the process, when I start my stroll through the forest on my canvas.

Well, the canvas is ready, I've alraedy put a light coat of gesso on to give it a bit of texture. But there's no rush. I'll take my time building it all up.


  1. Brilliant. Never underestimate your ability, your creativity, your skills. I wish I could create this kind of image. I just love to see the way it evolves on the paper - even the starting forms with the subtle colour variations and texture is so pleasing on the eye. And the handwriting is wonderful too. Thanks for the translation of the words because I'm afraid German was never my strong point at school, but I don't need to understand the meaning to enjoy the style.

    The photography always tells the story so well too, even the almost empty canvas at the end. But there is one thing that troubles me: How many times do you dip your paintbrush in your tea instead of the water?

  2. Ooooooh.....your work is just breathtaking! You are so talented!!!!