Main
Page 90 of 237

November 3, 2012

Berlin - 2012

Berlin is a big bustling city and it is almost impossible to imagine that 75% of it was destroyed in WWII and is now rebuilt.   We took a Hop On/Hop Off bus on our day of arrival, to stay awake after an overnight flight from the US.  It was a wonderful way to see many of the sights that were further from the center of the City.  The Soviet style architecture of East Berlin differs greatly from the resonstruction done in West Berlin.

We took a 3 hour Third Reich walking tour on the second day (Original Berlin Walks).  Our guide was a PhD candidate and not only did she discuss lots of important history with us, but she was very interested in discussing the shame of being a German.  Her grandfather was a Nazi, in a small village in Germany, and spent a year in prison after the war.  School children must learn the history of WWII 5 times in their school curriculum and there are required visits to the scenes of terror and death. 

These are drawings done while walking with our guide.  The detail of the facade of the Reichstag and the Soviet Memorial (to the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Berlin) were drawn while listening. 

               Scan11535.size.jpg

 

For each walking tour, I did a drawing of our itinerary in my sketchbook, so I would remember some details.

                    Scan11536.size.jpg

The Reichstag Dome was closed for annual cleaning and maintenance, but we were able to walk around it, see Berlin from the rooftop terraces, and then have a fabulous lunch at the restaurant overlooking Berlin.  It is definitely worth making a reservation for lunch in the restaurant (Kafer Berlin GmbH) during a visit.

Here is my photo of the Dome, by Sir Norman Foster, seen from the entrance on the roof. 

Reichstag.size.jpg

October 27, 2012

Visiting Germany, Czech Republic, and Hungary

We just returned from our visit to Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Budapest.  I sketched throughout our trip, but we were almost always on the move and most of my sketchbook pages were done while walking.  Each day I also selected one image to paint in the 2 X 2" grid I made before we left.  Here is the completed grid.

Scan11530.size.jpg 

                Scan11531.size.jpg

It was very important for me to visit these cities and to learn more of their history during WWII and the Soviet occupation that followed.  We spent one full day in Prague visiting Lidice and Terezin, and this was one of the most memorable days of our trip.  The Nazis totally destroyed the town of Lidice (shooting the men, gassing the children, and transporting the women to the camps) to revenge the assasination of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich.  Here is a photo I took of the current site of the non-Jewish farming and mining Czech town.

P1220031.size.jpg 

We toured the museum, and saw the memorials in Lidice.  The statue, created by Maria Uchytilova (1969-89) memorialized the 82 children that were murdered.  It is extraordinary!

P1220034.size.jpg

I sketched several children and then added candles that were painted on the wall in a hidden Terezin synagogue room (created by imprisoned Danish Jewish craftsmen) and one of the very large Terazin memorials (that is in a cemetary field where prisoners who died of typhus etc were buried).  Terazin was the "model" Nazi camp - the one that the Red Cross visited to "falsely" assess the conditions in Nazi camps.  However, it was a transfer station on the way to Auschwitz - and the majority of prisoners from Terazin were transported and murdered there.

                   Scan11533.size.jpg

 

There were many artists held prisoner in Terezin (also called Theresienstadt) and the art museum contains secret drawings and paintings that were done, before they were murdered in Auschwitz.  There is a large book containing all of these,that was published in 2002, entitled Art Against Death.  It was too big and heavy to carry home, but I loved it so much that I will search for it in the US.

October 23, 2012

Practicing Hands By Drawing the Masters

More hand drawing practice from my recently purchased used book that has glorious hand drawings by the Masters.  I really hope that someday I will internalize these shapes and forms.  The first hand was drawn with a watercolor pencil, but then I decided not to wet it.  The second page was drawn with a 2B graphite pencil.

Scan11526.size.jpg 

Scan11527.size.jpg

October 15, 2012

End of Summer and Beginning of Fall

I used liquid Frisket to mask the spots on the strawberries and the leaves.

Scan11517.size.jpg 

               Scan11516.size.jpg

 

October 12, 2012

Mixing Many Greens with Watercolor Paints

I got interested in mixing paints again after my last gouache experiments.  When I bought my first Winsor-Newton artist grade watercolors in 2003, I bought a warm and a cool triad and then followed those purchases with 3 more "primary color" paints for a total of 3 triads.  I switched out the cadmium red and cadmium yellow after several years because they were too opaque, but haven't changed anything else.  With these colors, plus one brown and one gray, I can mix many, many colors very easily.

Mixing 3 yellows and 3 blues in varying proportions (9 combinations total), sounded like fun and I decided to put these tests on a card so I can remember the resultant colors and select which shade of green I want.  I mix paints very loosely, but this exercise demonstrated that several mixtures produce traditional greens and several others produce shades of olive green.

There are 3 sets on the next two cards:  The yellow is identified at the top and the blue is painted next to each set.  In each row, I kept mixing in more yellow until it was clear that I overwhemed the blue.  The order is obviously a little random.  However, with yellow ochre, I never really got a good green with my original mix - but the aqua and grays are lovely.

                     Scan11496.size.jpg

Scan11497.size.jpg

I also have a tube of quinacridone gold and decided to test it with the same 3 blues.  It also makes some nice greens.

Scan11498.size.jpg

All of the above experimentation is quite funny, because I don't paint landscapes.  But I do paint individual flowers and can never remember which combination of my primaries I want for specific leaf colors.  Now my Green card is in the back of my sketchbook so I can make better and easier choices.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237