Illustration Friday: Phoenix

Dying in the flames, rising
from the ashes.



Back in (digital) town!

Awaking from my christmas-induced
wintersleep, here is a new piece. Seems
that everyone is very busy with their
non-illustration things like visiting their
families and doing the general christmas stuff,
and so did I. But now it´s time to dust off
the powdered sugar and cinnamon,
streching the hands and going back
to work.



It´s wood...again

Since a few days I am so sick of colouring
via Wacom that I just take a few days off and maybe
start colouring them traditionally - which means
I need new paper. And a better scanner.

Happy christmas (or Christmans if you like)!


Illustration Friday: "Peace"

Much more digital manipulation this
time around - it gives the image a very
violent character.

The figure has two peace doves
in her hand, and she get shot in
the foot.

Hope doesn´t
mean that you have to succeed,
it means that you try anyway.
And even though war will
always exist this doesn´t mean
we shouldn´t strive towards peace


Angry young man

I like to draw spurs

Spurs and boots all the way.
Not that I want to wear them myself.
I doubt you can buy spurs that look
as cool as these ones.
Everytime I try to draw different
shoes they all look like skate sneakers
with fat laces and that looks dumb.

(EDIT: Jeanette informed me that it´s not SPORES
but SPURS, so I changed that. I COULD try to
draw spores next time around though... but
I doubt I would like to draw them as much
as I do with spurs.)




I went to the gas station yesterday because
we needed butter for cookies, but they had none.
So I bought a silly thermos cup with
some sort of cow pattern on it instead. Now I can have the
convenience of coffee to go... at home! Actually,
that´s pretty dumb. But I have spilled tea,
coffee, water and beer on various occasions,
even destroying my old modem this way. So
I rather play safe and sip my coffee
out of this plastic container.

That´s my life - each day a new adventure!!!



Hard working on presents (not with weights, though)

I am still busy with presents so I´ll give you this
work from maybe march or april this year. While I am
rarely satisfied when looking back on my old work
(and that´s a good thing; not being entirely satisfied
means that I constantly try to improve), but this is
one of my definite all-time favourites!

When I came home from buying some
ingredients for making cookies with Merle I met an
old greek woman at our front door, and she made
me come to her flat and gave me some cake
and a liqueur. "It´s christmas! I like
giving you cake!" Then she talked to me in
an endless stream about how Greece is the
best country of the world (at least this is
what I understood, she talked in slightly
broken german and also very fast). Then she
showed me some random stuff in the other room and
I realized she wanted me to buy something from her.

I felt a bit trapped and didn´t want to buy
one of her very ugly pillows, so I just took
a sugar dispenser for coffee (although I never
use sugar for my coffee) for 5 euros and said
that I am intensely satisfied with the cake
and my newly aquired sugar dispenser, but
I really really really had to go now.

Don´t get me wrong, she was nice and
the cake was good (as well as the strange
liqueur), but I really feel a bit tricked
now. But then again, I see it as a small,
weird, but somehow entertaining episode.
In my book life can get a bit weird from time
to time. Not all the time, though. But once in a
while, yes please.

After all, it´s christmas time!
Even for greek grannies that overwhelm
me with their gibberish. I still have a
piece of her cake in my fridge. But next
time, I´ll be more careful nevertheless.

Falling over, poking index finger in eye

I worked on Merles christmas present today,
and for obvious reason I won´t post it here (yet).
So instead a quick sketch for your delight.


From the depths of my harddrive:

Post number fifty. Just saying. Yes, that´s the title.

Sitting on my desk: Our bathroom shelf.
It came down this morning, causing a hell of a
mess since my girlfriend had to go to work. The
walls of our flat are porous, and this shelf is
pretty heavy. It already came down once
(and by coming down I mean "doing a unpleasant
sound and moving down a few centimetres, causing
panic"), and I never really liked it, even though
it´s my old flat´s kitchen shelf. I never bumped my
head on the sharp edges of this monster though; only
Merle did. But I slammed against it as revenge
for her.

So this afternoon I ripped out the plastic lids and voilá, my
new desk board. Also displayed in this picture:
The last bite of my salamiwurst sandwich.

Sha la la la la, la la la la laaa

Dubi dam dam, da dubi dabi
dubi da.

Shit music never dies.


Illustration Friday - "Help"

Instead of making a concept first I
made if fit this weeks topic as I went
along. I guess if I actually thought
about it properly it would have turned out
boring, like some random figure needing
help or a random figure helping another
random figure that needs help. Or a random
figure that needs help but isn´t helped by
another random figure since that other figure
needs help in some way too. Well,
enough of that.

Some cookies we ate today.
What a great brand name, "Quick Bury".
Maybe that indicates that you´ll get
buried quickly after you eat them.
I am not dead yet, but a nasty headache
is coming up. I should read the fine print
(or bold print for that matter) next time.

Also, those triangle backpacks
were called "bodybag" in germany.
It wasn´t until later that my girlfriend told me that
bodybags is the term for these bags that
are used to put dead people
in them.

Too bad I didn´t have a bodybag
to put my Quick Bury cookies in it.


Like, duh! Like, as if!


_.,+-,-,.-e+ß(*#+#+-;:_a,._ (Experimental title)

Today it didn´t flow very well, although I managed to
sketch for a complete hour without break in bed this morning.
So while I didn´t feel very inspired I forced myself
to do something at least moderately good - I think this is
better than taking a day off as soon as it gets a bit

This is my desk. Pretty unexciting, huh?
I wish this all would look a bit more professional; and
since the PC takes up so much space it doesn´t even
look like I do art there. And the monitor
doesn´t even display an illo in progress
but an ugly email browser window.
Anti-climatic to the max!

And sadly even the full view of this
photo doesn´t reveal any more details since my
camera has so much problems doing non-blurred
pictures. Megapixels my ass; no use for this many
of them if they all display blurry views.

(Check out the random coins to the right!!!)

My two favourite pencils. The green one is
from Faber-Castell, the red one a
Papermate Sanford PhD I just bought
today. Looks like some company has been
"slightly influenced" by the other one, and
my rough estimate would be that Faber
is the one to blame. But whatever,
I love them both. They look so adorable



Yay, it´s FUNK!
There´s nothing offensive in that!

Barmbek is not New York

Dino power! A spontaneous outbreak of
love and passion for those large but sadly
extinct creatures. If they were still alive
I BET they would run around with backpacks
and cargo shorts right here in Barmbek.
That would be ace.

The boy is back in town

Guess who just got back today?

I told you I was going to make a
little series, and as I started off I looked
on the old one pretty often, especially when
I was about to colour it. After a lot of
tries I scrapped the colour scheme of the
first one completely and went with this
greyscale/brownscale + yellow and blue

The downside of every single work being unique
is that I have to start all over again with each
work - whenever I did something I liked and
tried drawing it in the exact same way it NEVER
worked out as good. My approach is drawing the
whole picture in one sitting and with zero sketches
before that, so there is a big amount of randomness
in my images. While that is definitely much more fun for
me than doing boring sketches before instead of just going
at it, I sometimes can´t repeat things that easily.

On the other hand, I can´t be trapped in doing
the same things over and over again, and personally
I am glad that this one turned out a bit different than
the first. Still, this time it was a lot harder because
I had the old one constantly in mind.

(Initially, the stripes on his shirt were
black-red-gold, the german national colours,
but after some time I found that pretty cheesy
and I don´t care for soccer anyway, let alone
the german national team. I LOVE drawing figures
playing soccer, on the other hand. Weird. Maybe because
it´s such a dynamic motive?)


No milk today... da da da da dumm daaah...

At my families old flat in Mainz - I don´t really
like Apple computers but this feature is nifty!

Today is my lazy day. Hanging around, doing the dishes
(Merle forced me
to - do you know the meaning of BOHEMÈ?
Actually, doing the dishes is the only household thing I can
do at least moderately good, so that is my job),
her mom, and suddenly I am too
tired to come
up with something new.
Well, this is a very
rare occasion,
but I just have to do a post

So, thanks for all those overwhelming comments,
I guess I got the hang of what
my visitor prefer.
So I decided to do a little
"Series" meaning "doing the same
picture with minor
modifications over and over
HA! A loophole. Art is great.

This blog portraits my struggle to entertain you at
all costs. WILL I SUCCEED?


Illustration Friday: Mask

Here is the second picture

I could have used some previous
pictures I did, but hey, it´s not that IF
is some boring work that has to be done
anyways. In this one, I played with
the colours a bit more than I usually
do, and used more subtle tones.
After the very bold (and not very
serious) colour experiments of the past I
chose evolution instead of revolution which,
in my case, is the better choice I guess.

Check back during this week,
there might be new updates on this
topic here!

Yeah, I love this topic, as much
as I love drawing masks.
Maybe next weeks topic is
"random things", and after that
"stuff" or "stuff that is drawn in a cool
way". Can´t wait for it!


I want revenge!

I am mildly pleased with how this
turned out - after all, I had a can
of cheap beer in my system, but
maybe that even helped. I haven´t portrayed
anyone since the time dinosaurs ruled
the earth, and I left that alone once
I realized I am only moderately good
at it. Ariel´s profile photo is
called "Mewithdrink_sml", before you

From the surprised
yet competent "Ariel with Ariel" photo (instant
classic!) to the old blog profile photo
(where you really can´t see that much) to the
"haven´t shaved since days" and the recent one
which reminds me of Adam Sandler somehow
(James Bond has the same synchro voice as him
in the recent movie in germany - uuh boy, bad idea),
my idea of how Ariel looks like got fuzzier
and fuzzier. Who IS this man? How come
he has so many faces in his repertoire?

On a sidenote, drawing from photos
is boring. Drawing hands, moving
people and paper dolls like a certain
emotional masculine person does is
good. Drawing dogs, squirrels, ravers,
horses, monkey with braces, naked
asian helmet boys, knights, ducks,
idiots, jetpacks and all that stuff isn´t so bad
either. Dragons that poop out gold
nuggets is excellent stuff. Rendering
japanese cars, pancake-faces, goths with
wands and skater dudes gets my applause

Hey, my can is empty.

Erm, so long. Tomorrow
I am going to kick mask!
Well, I think this is funny.


(Old post:)

Ariel portraited me.

If anything is worth an own post,
this is. The battle is on, my friend!
Prepare to be OWNED!

Arf! Arf! Grrrrr...... Arf! Arf! Arf!

Arf! Arf! Arf arf! Grrr.... Arf!
Arf arf arf! Arf! Grrr...Grrr...
Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf arf arf! Grrr!
Arf... arf arf!


Looking back, I wish I coloured THIS one.
Cuddly rodents seem to be a lot more popular
than chihuahuas with rabies these days.

Well, you could print it out and
colour it with crayons instead. I mean,
just sitting on your butt looking at
other people´s efforts? Get something
done yourself already. (Most of
you do that anyways, so this is
just rhetorical.)

And looking back even more, I wish
I would have spent my time drawing some
sketches for my class tomorrow.
Life - a heap of missed opportunities!

Arf arf! Grrr....


An excellent new post - for you!

It will take a some more time today to
post a new picture, but in the meantime please
investigate my new profile photo. I am the
one grasping a bottle of beer. To the left is
my girlfriend Merle, obscured by some leaves.
I just couldn´t cut her out of this kitschy
scenery. At least I don´t have this weird
out-of-bed style I had in the previous
photo. And no shoddy "Duh, I am making
a photo of myself" face.

I still haven´t made some proper
photos of my surroundings, so as
a replacement, two wiki entries:


Check out our city emblem.

Hamburger Burg

This is more interesting actually -
See the first three photos down there? That´s
where I live. Well, if you went down to the left
on the first photo.

Now, go ahead an track me down.
A cup of coffee is the least I have to offer.


Don´t be a square!

Today, I just took my paper and pencil
and sat down on my futon (well, the western
interpretation of a futon - I highly doubt you could
roll this collossus here together and
store it in a wardrobe like the japanese ones
are handled) and drew while listening
to NDR4 INFO, the excellent northern
germany news station. I am a bit sick
of sitting at my desk at the moment, I just
can´t get a comfortable position.

Some people say working in bed is a
bad idea since the body automatically
goes into "standby mode" if you lie down
comfortably - what a truckload of nonsense.
Sitting on my bed drawing and listening to
someone talking reminds me of my childhood
and makes me feel good - sitting at the desk
only makes me feel like I am in office or

(Although I´d love to experience the
atmosphere in a typical cubicle office just
for one day - wearing a tie, having ballpens
in my shirts pocket, drinking lots of coffee
and surfing the web when I should be
working, maybe because I´ve seen
this video.)

Besides, sitting on chairs
is stupid. Reclining on the
sofa - that´s the life!

And no pretty photos to look
at for today - it got dark and the
batteries of my digicam are empty.
Lies and excuses, but what the heck.
I´ll do that tomorrow. Maybe.

Bracelets and braces... or just braces (and monkeys)

I had one of those when I was younger.
Not monkey with a helmet, but braces.

A friend of mine told me that she was
talking with another girl that all of a sudden
stopped talking mid-sentence and started crying -
because the wire that connects the single braces
went off and jabbed into her gums.

There is so much pain in the world. Looking back
I can laugh about it (reconsidering it, I don´t), but as
a teenager who was about to turn 18 (yes, it was THAT late)
having braces felt like public humiliation.

But better than running around with a major
overbite for the rest of my life.

(EXCLUSIVE TEASER: Tomorrow I will
post some photos of my desk, my room, and maybe
the street where I live. Or maybe not. You know,
whenever I feel like it!)


Next time, I´ll leave the topic field empty

Our squirrel likes his food the sophisticated way.
Pffft. Arrogant rodent.


Post count +1

Yeah! Post number 34! Alright!


IF: Might

Rooar, mighty knight!

(Now I am mighty tired, believe me)

While doing this, I listened to the
videos of Bobby Chiu - not so much a tutorial
on digital painting in Photoshop as it seems on the
first glance, but more a extremely helpful motivation in
the way that he talks about everyday live issues of
artist. I URGE you to check his video out, you really
just need the audio. This guy is well worth being
promoted, so I´ll do it right here.

Bobby Chiu on YouTube

Such a great guy.


Keeping the head over water, making a wave if you can

That´s a line I´ve got from "School of Rock".
I have no idea from what song it is, but Jack Black sings
it while driving the van. I like that line. It has a certain
careful optimism, and is miles better than
"Cowabunga" or something.

And if you, after a day full of honest work
and bringing home the bacon, still have one and a
half spare minutes to spend, check out
this nonsensical video. My girlfriend already
hates it. It´s so beautiful in a very annoying
way. Long live the (late) 80ies.


I want to see you sue-ÄÄ! ...ehm, what?

Hyper! Hyper!

This drawing reminds me of this.
Ravers, the weirdest dressed people ever.
I was really surprised that those folks exist
outside of Germany.

And Liz, you´re lucky. I cannot afford
my horse anymore. But don´t feed him
peppers and hamburgers, it might get


Blablabla this is the title, okay?

German horses look like that. Really.

You know what´s great about Illustration
blogs? You don´t need to read useless
descriptive drivel. So there!

Messing around

I think I´ll make another post for today,
so for now here´s a bit of an experiment again.
As I said, my knowledge in GIMP is still
pretty rudimentary, so I´ll try something new
once in a while. Nothing groundbreaking,
but turning black lines into coloured ones
is a nice change.

Uuuh, pretty coloured lines.

Monday Shmonday

This picture has very ugly compression issues.

That´s pretty much it. Besides...


...I hate clips on pens. What´s the point? Does anybody
really puts pens on their body with a clip? In the small
pocket on your shirt? On your pants? Stupid. They are just
in the way when I draw, pressing against my hand.
So mostly I decide to take the necessary step:
Snap them off.

The green mechanical pencil turned out best - it´s cheap plastic,
and the sharp pointy edges disappeared after a treatment
with sand paper. The biro pen in the middle has sharp edges
too, so I covered it up with tape - looks pretty crappy.
The white pencil has the remains still showing, and
unfortunately it still has this dumb plastic part that
keeps it from being comfortable.

Clips - made for being snapped off!


Another demon

Boooh! Demon time!
This one was fun.

That´s me

I can´t leave this photo in my profile without commenting
on it. First of all, I have the slight feeling that I caught a
cold from my girlfriend ( so I´ll get that
chainsaw-in-your-throat-time soon too),
and making pictures of yourself while retaining a
natural look is HARD. This is still a rather mediocre
representation of how I look, but believe me, I made
maybe 30 pics (and most of them are blurry, and if
not, I look very ...mentally challenged on them).

Oh, and I have glasses too, and I wear them nearly
all the time - why I thought it would be a good idea
to take them off for a self-portrait is beyond me. Just
print it out, and draw some rectangles around my eyes
with a poster marker; there you go. That´s me.

(Please take note of the bonus dancing feet in the
upper right corner. What a great background.)


IF: Invention

I admit being a bit lazy with my recent
Illustration Friday submission; yesterday wasn´t
a good day for creative vibes somehow, so here is my
revision. I still like the idea and I don´t want to
make Ariel sad since he likes jetpacks as much
as I do (as well as soap detergents ;P ).

Below is the original post.


It´s as small as a backpack, but
instead of putting water bottles, books
and toilet paper in it, you get blasted into
the sky. Enough said.


I had my Illo class today which
is made by two professors, one that I know since years
and the other one a very close colleague who is in the same
vein - talking lenghty about this and that, making me feel
really comfortable (I like people that talk much, because I
like talking much too - I can´t handle awkward silence; and as
you can tell, I like to write much as well) and I learned A LOT

He introduced us to a program that basically is a
calculator for freelance designers to calculate what price
to take for you work to make a living (or get richer). I have
no idea if it´s avaiable in English, in this case I´ll post that -
this is a really valuable tool.

Anyway, thanks to Sergey from designcontest.net
for featuring me. I feel very honoured!
Here´s the link:


So long, good night.


New layouts for my Illo class

In a previous post I told you about my Illo
class project "Medicine-Therapy-Caretaking", and
here are some more layouts (that are due tomorrow).
The topic is dealing with optimizing the workflow
in hospitals.

Those sketches SHOULD be self-explainatory,
if not, I failed. By the way, I enjoyed making up
ideas and concepts for this one, because I did it
while staying in bed the whole morning. That´s great-
laying in bed and still doing work. The sweet side
of being an illustrator.



Here is a revision of the Illo I did yesterday.
Usually I don´t touch my pictures once they are
finished, but the added stuff annoyed me after
a while so here is a cleaner version with new colours.
My initial thought was to delete the post from yesterday
and pretend that I didn´t use all those useless
lines and shades, but for the sake of documentation
I´ll leave it the way it is. I realized that I am no friend
of ornaments and disfunctional decoration, and I
want my drawings to stay as pure as possible
while colouring it.