Sketchbook Sneak Peek

Sketchbook Sneak Peek: Anke Weckmann

by Maxwell Tielman


I’m always amazed (and slightly envious) of what some illustrators are able to do with just a few lines of ink or pencil. I’ve always thought of this as the hallmark of a great artist—the power to communicate with only what is needed. German-born illustrator Anke Weckmann’s work certainly falls into this camp. Although her illustrations are pared down, oftentimes made up of simple line work with minimal color or shading, her images—whether they are simple portraits or large-scale tableaus— are positively overflowing with humor, warmth, and life. With a delightfully charming aesthetic that is somewhat reminiscent of folk art, Anke’s work and sketchbooks are filled with a diverse array of characters—ebullient and vivacious company, despite their two-dimenstional origins. Check out all of Anke’s beautiful sketchbook pages plus her own thoughts on the art of sketchbook keeping after the jump! —Max


Above: A sampling of Anke’s work.

1. Why do you use a sketch book?

Sketchbooks are useful to me in so many ways. They’re a great place to draw without worrying how it will turn out and just draw for fun. I get the best ideas when I’m just drawing and not actually trying to come up with anything. I have all different sizes of sketchbooks, small ones to take with me in my pocket, medium sized books that fit into bags and really large ones that I use when coming up with ideas and working out compositions for commissions. Looking at older sketchbooks I cringe at the way I used to draw, but often find interesting ideas that I can use for current projects. And of course, the only way to get better at drawing is to draw all the time -sketchbooks are great for that.

2. What are your go-to sketch book supplies? Are there any brands or media that you’re particularly drawn to?

I love Hand Book Travelogue sketchbooks, they have nice canvas covers, rounded edges and off-white paper. They seem to have changed the paper recently though and now my pencil drawings smudge more easily, which is a shame. Usually I just buy Seawhite Of Brighton sketchbooks in all shapes and sizes, they’re simple, cheap and the paper works really well for me. I like trying different brands, but those are the ones I always come back to. When drawing in my sketchbooks I tend to use pencils a lot even though my finished illustrations are all done in ink.

3. Aside from preliminary sketches for larger projects, are there any things that you like to sketch just for fun? What are some things that you most frequently fill your sketch books with?

I draw a lot of characters, plants, little boots and houses, clothes, random silly ideas, cats, people & things I see. I also really enjoy going to museums to draw, the British Museum in London with its cabinets full of little objects is one of my favorites. And the Met in New York, I can’t wait to go back and draw there again.

anke-sketchbook1 anke-sketchbook2 anke-sketchbook3 anke-sketchbook4 anke-sketchbook6 anke-sketchbook7 anke-sketchbook9 anke-sketchbook13 anke-sketchbook11 anke-sketchbooks14 anke-sketchbooks15 anke-sketchbooks17 anke-sketchbooks18


Suggested For You


  • Thanks for this wonderful post DS.
    Anke’s sketches capture the joy and relaxed quality of sketching—you can almost feel how she gets in the “zone of creativity”— where time seems to stop. They bring one back to childhood days when we all sketched because we felt compelled to do so and so we did…for hours on end! Pure pleasure!

  • I love these sketchbook series. And I built a whole wall of artwork around those aqua birds in the upper right hand corner of the second image. I love them, and I love her work.

  • Charming & witty! I’ll have to follow on facebook. I think I’ve pinned some of Anke’s work in the past. Love this series, the casual nature of sketches, catching a glimpse into an artist’s world is always fun!

  • Thank you so much for introducing us to Anke’s work! I love how simple and whimsical it is and I think some of her works would be pretty cute as a fabric print.