Freitag, 19. Januar 2007

Seeing master's paintings without the crowds!

If visiting Berlin it is worth going to the Gemäldegalerie for Old Master Paintings without the crowds. I couldn't believe it, I could stand in front of one of the most famous images of Brueghel in absolute peace, on a Saturday!

It is situated at the Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz.

Two of the major sections are formed by Italian painting from the 13th to 16th century and Netherlandish painting of the 15th and 16th century.

Scraper board!

This is one technique that seems to be popular amongst many German illustrators and artists. I remember doing this in Primary school and since then haven't thought of using this but the effect seems quite effective. Please see...

This is by Henning Wagenbreth. I think he has then taken the artwork and set to coloured backgrounds done on the computer.

To make scraper board you need,

Scraperboard is a sandwich of stiff backboard, hard white china clay and a surface of indian ink. You can buy it ready made but this is not so easy these days so you can make it instead quite easily. You need

- backboard or mount board
-powder chalk
-bone glue
-white pigment
-indian ink

Mix glue, chalk and pigment and paint onto board in several thin layers, letting it dry in between recoating. Then apply several layers of indian ink, letting it dry in between again. Then just scratch and scrape to create!

Sam Smith The Great Toy Maker!

In the summer I made a set of 3D fair ground/circus animals and people. Such as a tight rope walker, a trapeze artist and tiger. Someone who was so inspiring to me at this time ( and always ) is Sam Smith. He was born in 1908 in Southampton and was a son of a steam ship captain and this is clear in his work.
He is turned his hand to sculpture, toy-making, painting and was originally a draftsman.

His toys and other sculptures are beautiful! He created great characters, from devil like creatures, automata, many ships and all sorts...all carved from wood.

His tiger is better than mine for sure!

See it for yourself, please refer to ....

Die Tollen Hefte

'Die Tollen Hefte'

"The great notebooks". Theses are a set of 25 books with text and illustrations from various international writers and illustrators. There is a great variety of different illustrations.
These illustrators include Henning Wagenbreth, ATAK, Anke Feuchtenberger, Rotraut Susanne Berner, Wolf Erlbruch, Axel Scheffler, Volker Pfüller, Oskar Pastio, Thomas M. Müller, Yvonne Kusche, Michael Ondaatji and Moritz Götze.

(The texts of the notebooks come from Walter Serner, Uli baker, Oskar Pastior, Anselm Glück, Dmitri Prigow, Gottfried Benn, Atte Jongstra, Alphonse Allais, T.C.Boyle, Peter Wawerzinek, A.L.Kennedy, Michael Ondaatje and Gertrude Stein. In work are notebooks with texts of Ernst Herbeck, Marco Denevi and Charles Bukowski.)

Each book is A5 size with jacket. They are all soft back. They all contain posters that pull out serperately. All books have a hand made quality to them yet a contemporary edge.

For my current project in Berlin I have been asked to illustrate the poems of a German Romantic poet, Joseph Eichendorff, so these books have been a great source of inspiration. They have helped me to find an approach to illustrating texts to find creative ways in keeping the original feeling of text and yet make it relevant for today's world.

Many of these illustrators are well known in Germany. For example, Wolf Erlbruch has illustrated many chlildren's books many of which he uses collages combined with beautiful line drawings. His illustrations of characters are quirky and yet familiar. Please refer to

The "Die Tollen Hefte" books are so inspiring, I would love to own the full set!

Please refer to (where you will find all of the books and many other sites linking to these illustrators) this is the main site for these books.

To view more of these books go to and search for 'die tollen hefte'.

here are some images of various books...


( Sorry, I don't yet know how to out images on here..I will learn!)

Samstag, 13. Januar 2007

German Illustrator Anke Feuchtenberger

A really great illustrator I discovered in a comic store (Tucholskystrasse, Mitte) in Berlin. The work is very stylised and bold. The compositions are superb. The Illustrations are very imaginative. Excellent hand writing/text also.

Go to website to view work!