The subject: Designed by a Brit working for the Bavarian Army, this wonderful Munich, Germany, green space was named “English Garden” because it was laid out in the style of an English country park. Just as New York’s Central Park or San Francisco’s Golden Gate do, the Englischer Garten offers a network of paved and unpaved pathways providing 78-kilometers (48.4 miles) of exploration for runners, walkers, bikers, dog walkers and Sunday strollers.
The inspiration: My favorite place to sit and wander quietly is around Kleinhesseloher See, a small man-made lake (that’s what “See” means). If you are lucky, you can find an open bench – just watch out for all the runners and walkers since the 1.5-kilometer lake loop is a popular one. From lakeside, you can watch small boats, including pedal boats, ply the waters of the lake, all rented at the boathouse next to upscale Seehaus (“lakehouse”) restaurant. Or you can enjoy ducks and geese.
It was on a very warm summer afternoon that I found an open bench, just across the Kleinhesseloher See from the bustling restaurant where I sat to create the Englischer Garten watercolor you see above. One of the hazards of sketching and painting on my iPad in public is it often draws onlookers, curious as to what I am doing. One man sat beside me and then nearly crawled into my iPad screen in his effort to watch me digitally draw and paint the scene. I was happy he appreciated my art, but equally happy when he stepped away with a smile to give me some elbowroom.
Artist’s tools: I used the program Paper53 on my iPad combined with a Bamboo basic stylus for this watercolor. First, I began sketching in the Kleinhesseloher See shape, trees, and the restaurant with its colorful outdoor umbrellas. I used an ink pen with a bold stroke to create the branches and give the trees an interesting look, and then a finer stroke for the rest of the outlines. For the brush strokes to add color, I worked to lay down a light watercolor wash to achieve the look you see.
A print of this digital painting on your wall is the next best thing to being there yourself…as well as a great gift for anyone in your life who loves boats, lakes, Germany or Munich. Click here to see this artwork in my online gallery.
Read more travel tips for Germany
Map of Germany
In the map below, pins mark the location of all the sites and travel tips mentioned in our articles on Germany. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name and any additional information.
Q110 Bank of the Future
Jewish Cemetery at Schönhauser Allee
Artist's War Memorial Bethlehemkirchplatz
Cafe Anna Blume
Museum at Pankow
Museum in the Kulturbrauerie (Alltag in Der DDR)
Oderberger Strasse Fire Station
Judengang (Jewish Walkway)
Berlin Underground Tours - Gesundbrunnen station
Sowohl Als Auch Restaurant and Coffee House
Topography of Terror Museum
Museumsinsel - Museum Island
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Reichstag Parliment Building
Turkish Market - Berlin
Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten
Sophie Scholl Memorial
Planten Un Blomen Garden
St Nikolai Kirche
International Donaufest in Ulm
Drei Annen Hohne
Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn
Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower
Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens
Museum Seelower Höhen - Berlin
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes east of central Berlin by car, near the Polish border and the Oder River is the site of the biggest battle of WWII fought on German soil. Memorializing this battle at at Seelower Höhen (Seelow Heights) and located at the highest point overlooking the farmlands below sits the Museum Seelower Höhen, an incredibly moving destination for anyone even remotely interested in the history of World War II, history or war and Europe in general.
Thai Weise (Thai Park) - Berlin
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