End-of-year thoughts…

Dezember 25th, 2014

Left Berlin for spending Christmas in Athens and using the last days of 2014 to think about some New Year’s resolutions for 2015.
One of them is to do either a total relaunch of this blog or to definitively terminate it.

Inspired by the book „Show your work!“ by Austin Kleon I hope to be able to transform this blog into a more „work-in-progress-show“ at a regular basis…
Well, we’ll see about that.
For the time being: merry christmas and have a good new year!


Infographic: Top 100 Blogs (No. 87)

Oktober 25th, 2014

Today I’ve been listed here at number 87…

Rebates zone.

Gonzales – Head Turn Test with Anime Studio 10

Oktober 11th, 2014

The character’s name is Gonzales. With the rat „Carla“ (see left sketch) he belongs to a landmine detection team I named „Team Bogota“ in which he is the bodyguard of Carla.
I started to develop a story with these characters – either for Comic or animation.
The idea is inspired by the following article:

Another Innovative Landmine Detection Method:
Cat and Rat Teams

In Columbia, there are over 100,000 hidden landmines.
Columbian police had been using rats to sniff out hidden landmines, as the rodents have an excellent sense of smell (their detection rate is 96%) and are light enough that they don’t set off the explosives. However, those working with the rats encountered a serious problem – the effectiveness of the trained rats was reduced by their fear of predation.
The landmine detecting rats were taught to freeze when they encountered a mine, but the rodents were too afraid of attack to stand still. To make them less fearful of common predators, police began pairing them with friendly cats. The cats wear claw shields, and the unlikely pairs play together and establish friendships, reducing the rats’ fear of predation.

Camera Lucida Drawings

Mai 19th, 2014


In March I bought a Camera Lucida – mainly as drawing aid for my drawing pupils.
If you’re not familiar with this device:
The Camera Lucida is a light, portable device you clamp on a table. It has a long neck and a lens on top through which it is possible to see both the drawing object and the sketching paper and thus trace it on the paper.


This optical drawing tool is about 400 years old and for years you could only get it as an expensive antique collectible.
David Hockney experimented with it and wrote about it in his Book „Secret Knowledge“, but lately it was rediscovered by some artists who produced some modern and affordable versions like the „NeoLucida“.

Years ago I had constructed a passably working copy of it myself, but back then found the reflected image too small and too hard to see, so I soon lost the interest to go on further.
But now I took the chance to buy one of the modern, new Camera Lucidas.
I tested it myself and encouraged my pupils to draw with it.

Interestingly I still found the reflected image on the paper quite small, but if you get out the mounted lens as high as possible you are able to fill a DIN A 4 paper quite well. To obtain a sufficient brightness of the reflected image, both – paper and object – should be lighted with the same value.
Bearing these preconditions in mind and with some practice and a lot, lot of patience you are able to produce great results. But though it helps you to trace an object perfectly it still is no guarantor for producing good drawings. In case of my drawing students it helped most of them to concentrate on line quality by not being forced to care too much about measuring and proportions. For skilled drawing artists I think it’s a booster…


Camera Lucida Session with my drawing pupils


Camera Lucida Session with my drawing pupils


Setup for my Menzel Drawing


To produce this drawing I really had to force myself to absolute concentration. It’s a portrait of Adolf Menzel, one of my favorite old master drawing artists, drawn with a soft, waxy Derwent Pencil. When drawing him I tried to keep in mind his characteristic powerful carpenter pencil style. Although I’m sure that the master would have hated it that I used a drawing aid…