Jagst hike & paint – Crailsheim

JAGST hike & paint, Crailsheim again, Etappe 1

This part of the journey took place about two weeks ago and was a paint hike under social distancing conditions with a sketchfriend I did not see for a few months. (At that time we did not know that two weeks later another more severe lockdown would come…)

But let’s get back to hike & paint: I met with Katharina in the early afternoon at the same parking as the last time to wander to the places I visited on my previous round tour, which are not far from Crailsheim train station, always following Jagst river.

The weather was very cold that day and we both had covers against the cold and warm clothes on. Our aim was to do some hiking and above all to paint directly on site en plein air. 

First location was the weir.  It is a very hidden place. This time I wanted to paint the more natural steps to the right in the direction of the flow of the river. That day there was less water and therefore less noise than earlier.

The aroma of the river was not perceptible because of the cold.

Two ducks flew above us and we saw a grey heron too as we changed location for a second painting. We did the same round tour to the railway bridge like I had done previously.

Eisenbahnbrücke Crailsheim

After having reached the railway bridge, I was sitting in the reed, sand below me. Very close to the bridge, I tried a different angle to get a more interesting perspective of the railway bridge crossing Jagst river. I was very interested in the reflections in the water.  It was very calm and the water shimmered. Now I was getting relaxed.

At the time I was close to finish, it was getting weirdly colder and after a full afternoon of hiking and painting we both trotted back to the cars, frozen to the bone.


Material: Canson A3 watercolour paper

Weather: overcast silver sky, 5° Celsius, no wind, but in the end chilly

What I saw: One painting friend (under social distancing conditions), very few people in the distance, 1 goose, 1 grey heron, 4 ducks

Duration: An afternoon of hiking and painting

Thoughts: Hermännle, Railway, inner restlessness at the weir and later total calmness and relaxation at the bridge (which you can see in my paintings)

Learnt: It is more fun to be able to have a half day on your hands and do at least two or three paintings outside in a row to get into the flow.

Etappe 1

Jagst hike & paint project


JAGST hike & paint / Intro

Let me introduce you to my 2021 project.

The JAGST is a river in Baden-Württemberg. It is the main river in my area of Hohenlohe and one of three largest rivers to flow into Neckar. It’s length is about 190 km which makes it the longest of the three side rivers to Neckar river.

The JAGST hike & paint is my aim to combine my love for nature and for painting in a perfect way. There will be themes that interest me  like flora and fauna, the landscape, as well as the colours and movements of the water.

About once a week I will follow different stages, I will call „Etappe“ of the river by foot  (starting point: Crailsheim, the endpoint is not yet set ).

The initial idea is that each walking tour will be around 2 – 3 km depending on the time available. I will need to have enough time to paint and sketch at different locations by Jagst river and the surroundings, so it could be that I paint more time than I hike…

I try to continue from about the point I ended the week before in order to get a full picture of the route. There will be a description of  what I see, hear, smell, feel and paint and what I experienced along the way.

Not yet sure how long it will take, but for sure it will be a great adventure. Stay tuned for my updates of each part of the journey.

The plan is that a book and exhibition will follow.

Stay tuned weekly to get my story and update.

Yours Bettina


Painting with a triad of primaries

Today I would like to show you the process of a watercolour painting and give you a glimpse into my world of watercolour.

First is the drawing part. I use a usual lead pencil for the hand drawing and as a righthander begin from left to right in order not to smeer my paper.

Then I arrange my colours. In this case I began with a triad of primaries which are yellow, red and blue. I check in advance which colour combinations work best for my watercolour painting. This is some testing work in advance, but worth it.

The next part is glazing/layering. I put a layer of colours mixed out of the tree tones and let them dry, then next layer and again let dry and so on, till I am satisfied with the result.

I go from light to dark and put the darkest tones in the end. If ever I am not sure about how dark I want to go I make a separate value sketch.

In the end the darkest parts and the most important zones in the painting are drawn with the brightest colours.

If you or your group would like to learn more about watercolouring, you are welcome to contact me for a workshop: bettinasbilder@gmail.com