Monday, 31 October 2016

Ruins of All Saints'Abbey - Allerheiligen, Germany

At 'Allerheiligen' waterfalls was also a monastery, now in ruins. During our trip to the falls we also visited the ruins and the small museum and took some pictures. 

The next bit of information was found - amidst a lot more information - on a wikipedia page 

According to the tradition, the foundation date was 1192, and the site of the building, at 620 metres above sea level in the upper valley of the Lierbach near Oppenau, was determined by a donkey which threw off a sack of money at this remote and inaccessible spot. In the same year a wooden chapel was built, which was gradually extended to be a Premonstratensian monastery.
Large fires, in 1470 and 1555, had already destroyed parts of the premises. In 1804, a last fire, started when a bolt of lightning struck the church tower, finished the job.
Not until the end of the 19th century, when tourism finally reached the Lierbach valley and its waterfalls, were any steps taken to secure what was left of the ruins, which were then put into the condition they are in today.
Also now on the site are a cafe and a small museum. Below the ruins are the All Saints'waterfalls.

Those ruins are really great for a painting! We only have a few pictures (camera battery low) but I intend to use them as good as possible.
On the slopes of the mountains are mostly fir trees but closer to the buildings was a group in bright autumn colours - just behind the ruins. So this painting is about the autumn colours and the contrast with the ruined building. 
Because of all the dirt and mold the structure of the ruins was hardly visible, especially the tower is hard to see clearly.
The tree trunks were dark because of the moist, and as a lot of leaves had fallen already they were standing out nicely against the bright coloured foliage.

I have tried to paint the decay of the ruins standing out against the life in the trees. To show some of the details I have also used some of my Graphitint pencils, they have colours that fit right into this atmosphere.

More information (paper, pencils, colours used, etc)  can be found at my website 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


This October we were in the Black Forest for a week of vacation. The Black Forest (in Germany) has mountains, forests, waterfalls, ruins, and a lot more to see and paint.
As we were there only for a week we haven't seen it all but we did visit the waterfalls of Allerheiligen. 
There are lots of small and larger waterfalls in a row, not going down in one big fall but circling down in a gorge. A good footpath has been constructed with safe stairs and some platforms to walk up or down beside the falls.

On one of the platforms in the path I have been sketching and the same evening - in our vacation home - I made a small painting after one of the sketches.
There is one more - on the spot - sketch and a lot of pictures so I will be painting some more waterfalls in the weekends to come.

For this watercolour painting I decided to use only autumn colours (orange and yellow) in stead of adding the green that was still part of the colour scheme of the forest.

This is my first waterfall painting, so it's not perfect, but I had fun painting this one and I am happy with the result.

More information about this watercolour painting can be found at my website 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

On the road - in the Ardennes

We drove through the Ardennes and came upon this nice scene. 
A railroad, a little building, bushes, grasses, trees and the mountains in the background.
All in autumn colours, waiting to be sketched. I also took some reference pictures, but never used them.

I wanted to make a charcoal drawing inspired by this scene, but only black and white would take away the friendly feeling. So I made an under-painting with watercolour in autumn colours. The watercolour paper has a nice structure to work on with charcoal.
The result of the under-painting will always be a bit of a surprise. This time there was a nice surprise to work with.

This is a small size painting, I brought only smaller sizes of paper with me on vacation.
When I am painting in the 'vacation home' I don't have the same amount of space I have in my studio. And I have to be careful with the furniture in that place as it is not mine.
That is why I choose the small sizes, they are easier to manage in such circumstances.

More information about this painting can be found at my website: 

Coffee with a view

This autumn my husband and me were on a short vacation again. This time we wanted to go a bit further from home than last year so on the way we had to make some (coffee) stops. The last one was on the parking place near Monswiller in France, just before crossing the border to Germany. The coffee was nice and so was the view from our table.
Because there was a small construction zone at the end of the parking place I only made a sketch, no reference picture. 

The church tower did catch my attention. It was visible from behind some bushes and was high enough to be seen above the mountains in the distance. Houses were visible around the church and the village also has some trees. 
The village is situated in a small valley but the higher parts were showing themselves, almost asking to be sketched and painted.

I decided to use warm autumn colours again and the paper I used is new for me. 
I have bought a small size block of Arches paper in  a special offer and decided to try that on vacation. This really is great paper!

More information about this watercolour can be found at 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Near Wirtzfeld - Autumn colours

Back to my summer vacation in the Ardennes. 
When we were on the spot, all I could think of was the challenge to paint in shades of green, and I made a painting I was not completely happy about. You can find the blog post here.
So I decided almost immediately to paint it again, in different colours. 
A few months passed since that decision, but here is the Autumn Colour version.

Not only the colours changed, I also changed the scene a bit. I made several reference pictures and on one of them were almost all the trees and not so much of the fields. I liked the light coming from behind the tree trunks so I decided to paint that this time.
My colours are also chosen from the not-so-familiar ones with the plan to get to know them better. A few were bought on impulse because they look great on the colour chart. Now I am making them look great in a painting and that is in fact why I bought them in the first place.

More information about this watercolour painting (paper, colours, size etc) can be found at my website 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Still time for mushrooms!

I am still in the mood for painting mushrooms so this is the second painting after a picture my husband took in the Sauerland. As I said in my previous post, there were lots of mushrooms in lots of different colours in that forest.

This is a group of brown mushrooms growing close together and all in almost the same shade of brown. I decider to use calligraphy ink to outline the mushrooms and then try to fill them with the correct colour. That shade of brown was not easy to find at first, but mixing my Burnt Umber with Indian Red gave the perfect final touch.

For the background I worked with two shades of green and a sprinkle of salt over a brown background. After that all had dried and the salt was rubbed off I used some darker shades of green for shadows and a bit of texture in the landscape.

This was fun to do and I am happy with the result.
These paintings of mushrooms are experiments with materials and colours and they give me the experience I need to introduce something new in my landscapes.

More information about this painting (colours, ink, paper etc) can be found at my website