Monday, February 22, 2016

Roadtrip Intermezzo #1

Conquering Southern California

Inbetween my studies I had a great 5 days of taking a roadtrip with my father who was visiting California. I will release the whole trip in segmented posts because choosing the right pictures from the giant stack of 1500+ photos takes quite some time and I imagine reading a giant wall of text is not very inviting.
I started from San Diego and took a flight to San Francisco where we began our ride with a great and enjoyable car, the Camaro convertible. Driving top down all the way was a great experience, you feel very close to the blur that is the passing landscape, no boundaries at all. Sunblocker is a must have, for everyone who wants to try it. We drove via the famous Golden Gate Bridge to Muir National Park, our first encounter with the redwood trees the area is so famous for. In Muir the trees are taller than in Yosemite, but no so wide in diameter.
Driving on we entered Yosemite. This place is just pictoresque in every aspect. Waterfalls, great mountain peaks who form a specacular silhouette all around, forests, you name it. Basically you can find a picture book example of how you imagine the wild America to be at every turn. 

After Yosemite we continued towards Sequoia National Park, which has some of the greatest trees, the largest specimen stand as tall as 90m and muscular 12m wide. General Sherman is the biggest of all, but unfortunately we couln´t make it there because of snowy weather conditions and blocked roads. It was quiete a range of very diverse climate zones we passed during the short period of time. Everything from burning 90 degrees to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, desert and snow, 150 feet below ocean level and more than 6000 feet above. 

It was a fantastic place, really impressive to witness all the towering giants who grow there for almost 2000 years after they reach their final size. The root I´m standing next to in the picture above is in the same exact condition for 100 years now, despite the fact that it´s dead. It was used by settlers and gold diggers during that time period who found shelter and warmth in the hollow tree which a historical photo nearby illustrated very well. It´s easy to imagine the mountain lions and bears they tried to hide from. Hard times.

That´s it for the first part, next enroute is a contrary landscape type: desert. Thanks for your time and I hope you follow along and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


New portraits for today, one 3h oil portrait of Christa and a chalk drawing. Both pieces were a great learning experience, I would do them differently right now. Oh well, that´s the way it is. See you soon!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Media Experiment

I bought a new toned sketchbook with a lovely grey tone to try out new and different drawing techniques. Most of the time I sketch with a mechanical pencil, which I like for it´s precision and comfortable use, but I felt I needed something where I could easily lay down some values.
This drawing, one in a series of cartoony animals you´ll see more of in the future, was made with black and white charcoal.

This is a work in progress shot for those interested. You can still see the faint pencil lines underneath. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

on and on...

Continuing in now already the 4th week of Atelier training, here are some quick oil portrais in various classes plus a Sargent study of Robert Henri and a charcoal drawing. I have to find a better way to take photos of the paintings, the glare is quite disturbing and accentuates the texture of the canvas uncharmingly. But, alas, for now it has to suffice.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

First Impressions

Just a quick update for now, always in a rush to get prepared for the next class.
The experience and learning in the first weeks has been great so far, I see a lot of improvement already. So these are a couple of quick oil portraits, around one and a half hours, from the recent days and the odd sketch I did for a personal project. More on that in the near future, see you soon.