I am a self taught hobby painter based in Germany in Starnberg, about 30km south of Munich. I work from life models. I picked up painting as a hobby about 2010 and started to practice seriously from life models in 2012.
It all started when I went from my hometown Eisenach in Germany in Thuringia to find work in my Job in the south of Germany. I studied electrical engineering and there was not much work in Thuringia for that profession.
Once I arrived in Starnberg and found work life was pretty dull, I did not really know what to do with my free time. My old hobbies, like making music and building stuff sort of where not as interesting to me then.
One day out of boredom I went to the Pinakothek-Museum in Munich and for the first time in my life I saw a painting in real. I never before was interested in painting or other visual art. But seeing these old Master paintings changed that and from then on I began to read about painting a lot. First more about the history, painters biographies etc.. Then I started reading also about how paintings are made. One day I came across a cheap oil painting set and started playing around with it. Quickly I noticed that I would have to get into serious practice if I want to create nice paintings. So I read more and got some DVDs of painters that I liked. First I was painting from photos only. But in all the books and DVDs it was mentioned that only practice from live models will teach you the right stuff. so I rearranged my single room flat with lights and a model stand to be able to paint from life models which I hire. I do that ever since. I never went to a real life workshops, there are no really good ones offered in Germany. With the help of books and DVDs and studying the masters I try to teach myself to become a better painter.
I paint mostly alla prima in oil and draw in charcoal. And just recently got into pastels which I enjoy very much.
While I do the occasional still life and plein air landscape I enjoy painting portraits and figure the most. Portrait commissions would be the natural area I would develop to. But so far I am not doing commissions because usually people who approached me about commissions want them to be done from photos which I do not enjoy.
I am not yet sure in which direction to develop as a hobby painter. But painting humans from life will stay the main focus I think. It is a nice hobby.