I was born in Ludwigshafen but I live and work for six years now in Siegburg near Bonn (Germany). After participating in an evening class in September 2013 painting soon became a new hobby for me. During the twelve week course I have so far only had the time to enjoy painting a few times aside from the short time I have in the evening or on weekends. I often struggle to bring the first colour onto the paper. It is sometimes a real hurdle to bring the idea of the subject that I have in my mind and implement this idea immediately onto the paper.
With my image “Mannheim Water Tower” however, it was different somehow. Amazingly this has gone relatively quick and was much easier to create. The photograph template for my painting was taken in early December 2014 when I visited my parents at home and a trip to Mannheim had been on the family’s agenda. Always looking for new motifs the water tower has fascinated me right from the beginning. When I took the photo, I thought I will later elaborate a water tower with AeroColor. Just six months later when I decided to participate in the Hahnemühle calendar competition I decided to recreate this image in a different way. In the meantime, I had been attending a Saturday workshop on “watercolor and drawing with ink” and was so thrilled with it that this is now my new favorite technique. I wanted this design to be not only with watercolours, but also to bring ink into the game, as it gives an image a completely different character. For the Hahnemühle calendar contest theme “Nature in the City” the Water Tower of Mannheim and its adjacent park was the best decision.
First I started the design with pencil on paper, making sure this time that I do not get too bogged down with a lot of little details. Then I started with the line drawing. To paint this way, suits me best. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by watercolouring more than if I’m investing the backbone of the image first with ink. Whoever thinks that creating an finished piece of work can easily be done in a day is wrong. I usually put the preliminary drawing aside and look at it with some distance – often with several days in between. Then later on I start to add colour. Even during this next step of adding colour there is no quick completion. Here again I’m thinking about the colour intensification, how I want to create the light and shadows or if there are other things that may be missing in the details of the work. Meanwhile, I have accepted the motto “Good things come to those who wait”.
For me it was important to start with good material to prevent any disappointment that could result from using a lesser quality product. Of course you are able to create much better work when you have good working material like paints that radiate and the perfect paper selection. I had decided from the very beginning to use the Hahnemühle Britannia, 300 g, matt paper for this work.
Gladly I would like to thank my partner who supports me in my work and who has more faith in me than I sometimes do myself. Even if I am sometimes tearing out my hair during the process of creating my work I am grateful for his last observing look and comments.
Written by Sandra Becker