Welcome to week four of developing your creative habit with Sketchbook Skool! Today’s Fakulty Friday interview is with Expressing instructor Felix Scheinberger, the art professor who gave this now-famous 3-minute tutorial on professional watercolor techniques. Here, Felix tells you more about himself, his art, and his books.
When you were little, did your illustrated book on dinosaurs make you want to be an illustrator right from the start?
Felix: I first wanted to be archaeologist, and I later made a fashion school career, but not as a designer. I think I’ve become the German professor of the worst grades in mathematics ever! :)
When did you start working with watercolors? Was it love at first sight, or did that relationship take a while to develop?
As a teenager, I first experimented with oil paints, with limited success. At 18, I discovered watercolor; I thought it was very difficult but I stuck with it, probably because it was reasonably priced, and I’m very happy I did this. Many designers associate watercolor with sentimentalized landscapes and it often yields strangely negative reactions. An entire generation relegates it to the technique of hobbyists. That’s not watercolor. It’s a wonderful creative medium, and I love it.
What do you do with the first page of a new sketchbook?
I use them last :) I think a good tip is not to start at the beginning. In my book Mut zum Skizzenbuch (translates to Dare to Sketch, but it’s not yet available in English), I have a chapter written about this. Almost everyone has the fear of the blank sheet, no matter how long you’ve been making art. I think it is easier to start in the middle.
What are your favorite subjects to draw?
I love drawing during travelling. When I look at drawings after I come back, it sometimes feels like looking into a diary. I always have a sketchbook with me; I feel naked without one. This is especially important when travelling. One sees the world with different eyes when one is outside of one’s usual environment. The world becomes a whole different place if you draw it. We all want to be a part in changing the world, and I see illustration as a means to this end. When I am in another country, the language, the food, the people of course, they all leave their marks in my drawings. And illustration is a mode of communication that is understood all over the world.
Do you listen to music when you draw? If yes, what do you listen to?
Everything, but I especially like listening to radio plays. Whether documentaries or literature, it’s great when you’re told a story while drawing.
What’s the most recent thing you drew?
I wrote, and drew, of course, a book about Hamburg. It’s a sketchbook of the city, the harbor, and the history. Hamburg is a great city—did you know that the Beatles started their career here? Unfortunately, the book has not yet appeared in English, but you can see it here. And here are the pictures.
How do you feel when you draw?
For more on Felix Scheinberger, visit his website.