|7/14/13 Burg Stahleck. Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor
After the high humidity and intensity of Barcelona, Germany’s romantic Rhine region felt easy and relaxed (though not much cooler) – and it shows in my sketches. I was hard-pressed to select favorites from this group because I had many more to choose from, and they were all memorable in different ways.
Our week in Germany began in sleepy Bacharach (sleepy, that is, until you are trying to sleep, and then the trains that roar by every few minutes will wake you unless you wear good earplugs, which we fortunately had). Burg Stahleck, the town castle (every town in Germany seems to have one) perched high on a hill, was my first sketch.
|7/16/13 A page of sketches made on a river cruise.
|7/16/13 Kaiser Wilhelm monument. Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor.
|Sketching Kaiser Wilhelm
|7/16/13 Organ grinder at Deutsches Eck. Diamine Eclipse ink.
A couple of days later we traveled to Köln. When we first started talking about adding Köln to our itinerary, we weren’t sure we’d have enough to do there. Sure, there’s that cathedral, but what else? It turned out to be my favorite type of city: Urbane and sophisticated, but not too large or bustling to give me anxiety. And like the Sagrada Familia, I could have filled an entire sketchbook with nothing but “that cathedral.”
|7/18/13 First sketch of Koln Cathedral. Platinum Carbon ink, Zig markers.
I only managed 10 sketches of it, but I could have sketched it a hundred times and still found new views to capture. Here are three of my favorites. The first one I did was also my most intense effort: Two hours in the early morning before the day got too hot. Shortly afterwards, I sketched the man playing steel drums in front of the cathedral, and it reminded me of all the buskers and other performers I enjoy sketching at farmers markets. Later that day, we climbed the cathedral’s 533 spiraling steps to the point marked on the first sketch (above).
|Sketching Koln Cathedral.
|7/18/13 Diamine Eclipse ink
That evening we walked along the Rhine, and I chose a distant view of the cathedral behind one of the arched bridges that cross the river. The next day I went back to the cathedral’s main plaza where I had sketched the first sketch and was surprised to find a line of people waiting for food from a soup kitchen. I liked the contrast of the enormous structure behind them.
|7/18/13 Cathedral behind a Rhine River bridge. Kuretake brush pen.
To view more sketches and photos from my travels, please see this Flickr set.
|7/19/13 Cathedral and soup kitchen line.
Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor.
|7/22/13 Turm Fort Stahlberg. Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor.