Get Inspired To Paint In Berlin

Berlin is a city that has changed enormously over the past thirty years and has recently been awarded the honour of being UNESCO's City of Design. The art is not just in museums - you can see it throughout the city, spilling out onto the street in the form of graffiti and street art. Once divided, Berlin is now united and continuously rebuilding and reinventing itself. This is why it is such an inspiring place for artists. There is certainly no shortage of places in the city that will make you want to pick up a paintbrush and create something beautiful.

The towers and domes of Teufelsberg

Teufelsberg (Teufelsseechaussee 10, 14193 Berlin), translates as “Devil’s Mountain.” It is a place with an interesting history and many architectural structures that would make a real statement in a painting. Teufelsberg was a listening station during the Cold War, a top a man-made hill. The main features are the giant radar domes that dominate the skyline and of course the listening towers. For an abstract painting, these can provide an incredible backdrop that you can use to reflect the surroundings. It is a fantastic challenge to try and capture the eerie feeling of the site and the strange aura of the radar domes.

Vibrant Mauer Park

If you want to paint and draw people, then a visit to Mauer Park (Gleimstraße 55, 10437 Berlin) is a must. It is situated close to the wall and always has music and activity. On a Sunday, the park hosts a food market and a flea market which attracts over 40,000 visitors every week. There are also many live music shows in the park and some of the best buskers that Berlin has - true musicians with unique voices and a story to tell. These are the people that would make ideal character studies for the painting. Head along to Mauer Park with your sketch pad and have a go at drawing some faces and practising the details that you need to show expressions. You will certainly have no shortage of people at the park to inspire you, both young and old. 

Memorial to Murdered Jews

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin), is stark and bleak. It first opened in 2005 and was designed by the engineer Buro Happold and architect Peter Eisenman. The 19,000 square meter site consists of 2,711 stelae - rectangular concrete blocks arranged in striking rows. They represent the 3 million Jews that died in the Holocaust - they will not be forgotten. If you are going to paint part of the memorial, try visiting at different times of day, to study how the light falls on the stelae depending on the position of the sun in the sky. Dusk is a particularly good time to visit when you can see the backdrop of Berlin, lit up brightly behind the monument.

Whatever medium you are painting in, Berlin cannot fail to inspire you. The city is full of striking architecture and colourful and vibrant people.

By Jane Sandwood
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