Danny Hawk - I Enjoy Capturing the Intricacies of a Scene in Front of Me on Paper (Artist)

Danny Hawk

Danny Hawk is an artist and urban sketcher who lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He was born in Atlanta, USA, and moved to Germany in 2012 after graduating from university with degrees in German and International Relations. Although Danny sketched and painted often during high school in Ohio, it wasn't until 2017 when he joined his local Urban Sketchers chapter - at the time in Frankfurt am Main - that he discovered his true passion for art. Danny loves the way ink and watercolour complement one another and enjoys sketching architecture, urban scenes and landscapes - especially while traveling or visiting a new city.

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

My name is Danny Hawk and I’m an American-born ink and watercolor artist, urban sketcher and drawing instructor currently living in Berlin. While I always loved art in secondary school, I fell out of the habit of drawing and painting until I discovered urban sketching in 2017 - at the time in Frankfurt am Main. I’ve been hooked ever since and love sketching outdoors at any opportunity I get!

Danny Hawk

2. What inspired you to pursue Urban sketching in particular?

I’m particularly drawn to the notion of portraying my surroundings in watercolor paintings and love the idea of capturing special places - for instance, during a city trip - in my sketchbook. 

In contrast to studio art, urban sketching gives me the chance to get outside, be a part of my surroundings and meet new people. That’s not to say studio art is better or worse. But for me, the opportunity to create art while actively taking part in life around me is what makes urban sketching so unique.

Danny Hawk

3. How would you describe your style and aesthetics?

Anyone who has followed my work online or browsed through my sketchbooks knows that I’m a big architecture fan. I love sketching cityscapes and buildings, and I’m particularly grateful to be living in Europe where there’s such a great deal of beautiful architecture to draw. 

I also really enjoy finding ways to integrate nature into my urban sketches. As for my style, I place a lot of my emphasis on layout and details. I enjoy capturing the intricacies of a scene in front of me on paper, and I also like playing around with negative space and composition to give my subject matter a unique twist.

Danny Hawk

4. Which mediums do you usually work with and why?

I prefer to work with ink and watercolor because it’s so portable and all the supplies I need easily fit into a small backpack. I also love how I get to draw and paint all in one session and enjoy the variation in switching from line work with a fountain pen to adding watercolours with a paintbrush.

Danny Hawk

5. Which subjects and frames attract you the most?

As mentioned above, I enjoy architecture and have always been attracted to portraying urban places in my artwork. Since I live in Germany, I love drawing half- timbered houses, medieval town centers and castles - these are just things I never had growing up as a child in Ohio!

Danny Hawk

6. Who is your favorite artist and why?

It’s hard for me to single out one individual artist, as I get inspiration from a lot of sources. I follow a lot of other urban sketchers on Instagram and enjoy seeing all their different styles. This always gets me thinking of new ways of painting and sketching, and I really enjoy that variety!

7. What tips and advice would you give to aspiring artists?

The most important thing is to simply have fun, experiment and not be too hard on yourself. It’s easy for us artists to compare ourselves to other people, but if you’re able to let go of that and simply create without worrying about whether or not your artwork is good enough, I think you’ll notice that your creative journey is all the more fruitful and rewarding.

8. Which is your favorite book and why?

I always love looking at other artists’ published works, especially in the form of illustrated travel memoirs and sketchbooks. Here, too, it’s hard for me to select a favorite. 

However, when starting out on my urban sketching journey, I found Liz Steel and Danny Gregory to be very inspiring and can recommend their books to anyone who wants to integrate sketching into their daily routine and portray their surroundings in a sketchbook!

Danny Hawk

Danny Hawk



Interviewed By - Serene Ingle

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