I like to think of myself as a pacifist so it was interesting to visit the Army Museum here in Stockholm with my Urban Sketcher friends back in February. The Swedish Cavaliers are in reality mannequins on stuffed pantomime horses so it was a challenge to convey a sense of brutality. I am still against war and hope conflicts can be housed in museums forever.
This watercolour was sketched in my Saunders Waterford block 28 x 19 cm, 300g, fine grain.
I visited the quaint harbour town of Donaghadee during my stay in Northern Ireland. I went there twice in fact as I feel at ease there for some reason. It’s probably the open horizon that attracts me, I can feel a bit claustrophobic otherwise in Bangor where my mother lives, I spent 10 days with her while my sister who lives close by had a well deserved holiday.
Watercolour painted from the passenger seat of my mother’s car in a Saunders 38 x 28 sketchbook.
Welcome to my studio. It’s important to have a permanent space somewhere at home to paint when the opportunity presents itself. I am lucky my oldest son moved out and I was able to takeover his room. Would I give him his old room back if he came home from overseas? Sure, maybe! 😉
I am having a lot of fun playing with light and shadow right now. These two photos show a little of the technique I use. It’s sketched on Moleskin watercolour paper which really sucks because it doesn’t if you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter though, I use the sketchbook for learning porpoises.
Today, I cycled around Stockholm for hours taking pictures of buildings in the autumn sunlight. I think the more technique you learn the more interesting watercolour becomes. I am totally fascinated by it.
I completed 90% of this painting a month or ever two months back, the last 10 % has taken a lot more time. I learned this from Chien Chung-Wei, he might spend two hours on a painting but the final 10% can take many more hours – days even.
Luckily for me the weather is so damn cold here in Stockholm that the snow doesn’t look out of place now that it is spring, it was snowing here today in fact. So, maybe I should rename this painting to, “Spring in Stockholm”. Only kidding, I do look forward to warmer weather though.
Painted on Arches rough 300g, 2017.04.25, 52 x 34 cm. Click on the image below for a larger image.
I travel to Brittany, France in June with my wife and two artist friends, I’m really looking forward to it. I painted this watercolour recently from a photo I took in 2014, the old trawler is missing it’s cabin these days, storms have taken their toll. I haven’t seen the old boat for a year, I wonder how much is left.
Painted on Arches rough 300g, 2017.04.14, 36 x 26.5 cm View larger size by clicking the image below.
I have realised that painting in a wide format really suits my watercolours of life in the archipelago. It’s the big open horizon that we all find appealing when we are out in the great outdoors.
69 x 24 cm
The original reference photos were taken by Finish photographer, Erik Lähteenmäki. You can visit his website here.
Yesterday, I made a real mess of a large painting. It was going so well, the initial drawing and the placement of cobalt blue for a brilliant cloudy sky… then I added some grey to give body to the clouds. I ruined it.
So today it’s practice time. I am painting on the back side of an old watercolour. It’s a good tip not to throw out your expensive watercolour paper until you have used both sides.