My first vlog

Meldrum Art – Painting Watercolour

I had this idea to start a vlog at the beginning of the year. It’s taken until yesterday to publish the first episode. I didn’t know how to film or edit at the beginning of the year. It was a steep learning curve but I enjoyed every minute if it. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a start and that’s the most important thing, “the first step is always the hardest”, they say.

Meldrum Kroki

Meldrum Kroki (Life Drawing) is going well, I started in October last year and I now have a regular group of Sketchers that come each week. If you are interested in joining the Facebook group to get invited to the next life drawing session please click here.

It takes a while to build up a network of models. It also takes time to gain trust as it’s a sensitive business. Imagine yourself coming to a stranger’s apartment to pose naked in their living room. Like I said, it’s going well and word has spread that Meldrum Kroki is a pleasant experience for everybody who attends.

In the autumn I hope to rent a larger room. It will be important that I maintain the cozy warm atmosphere that exists right now in my home.

A good night

Konstnärshuset 2018.02.27

It’s wonderful to have a model that inspires and Sofie is one of them. I had more sketches than normal that I would classify as good. Some were even awesome! ūüėČ
I sketched these last week, only getting them up online now. This becoming an artist thang is hard work! I feel so split all the time, I have to start a company, I have to paint, I am learning to vlog and then I also want to publish on Facebook, Instagram – not forgetting here on my blog too. Phew, no wonder I am confused!
Joint exhibition next week at Galleri Movitz here in Stockolm, check that out here. (In Swedish)

 

Last minute

Ulf Ohlsson – Catch Driver

meldrum watercolour
Worked nonestop for 24 hours

Last week¬† I was in the groove and producing some half decent art when suddenly a commission dropped into my email account. It was from the Swedish Trotting association. I was asked if I could produce a portrait of Ulf Ohlsson it was to be a prize for¬† best Catch-Driver award. I had painted him the year previous, I guess they were happy with my effort. Well, I’m a hungry artist (That’s a lie, I’m a bit over weight.) so I accepted the challenge of painting the portrait in just a number of days, actually I had only one day as I had other commitments before the deadline which was last Saturday afternoon.

ulf ohlsson - allsvensk champion 2016.jpg
ulf ohlsson – allsvensk champion 2016

So Friday morning I start working on it, I decided to paint 2 watercolours at the same time, both identical but one being smaller (quarter sheet). This would be my test paper so that I could avoid mistakes on the larger final version which was a half sheet in size. I understand many of you have no idea what I am talking about, “What do he mean, half sheet?”, so I’ll add an *explanation at the bottom of the page. Anyway, I decided to have him sitting behind a horse this year so it wouldn’t be too similar to the previous one. After sitting up all night I was actually quite pleased with the result, it’s not perfect of course but considering the time constraint I was pretty content. Saturday, and one o’clock came along and I jumped into my car at drove to Solvalla Stadium to deliver the portrait before the deadline. The person who had ordered the painting wasn’t anywhere to be seen, turned out he was on a flight to New York. I was a little anxious but in the end I found someone to hand it to. I told them it was to be presented to Ulf after the 4th race and then I returned home. I have no idea if he liked it or if he even received it. A bit of an anti climax really. Still, the client was happy and I am sure in the future I will find out if the champion Catch-Driver liked his portrait. He has two now, poor man.
*Full Imperial 30″x22″ 76.2×55.9cm
Half Imperial 22″x15″ 55.9×38.1cm
Quarter Imperial 15″x11″ 38.1×27.9cm

 

Busy busy busy

2018.02.20

I’ve been really busy lately which is a positive thing but it means I find it hard to publish my art. I was at Konstn√§rshuset yesterday but these are not those sketches because these are from the week before! I think the model’s name is Dennis but I’m not 100 about that. He’s very good, definitely one of my favourite male-models.

Sketched on A3 paper using charcoal pencil and charcoal dust that I apply with my finger.

Life drawing at Mäster Olafsgården

2018.02.19

I have been busy so I am only publishing these life drawings now, one week later almost. I realise that sketching is a mental game, if one is tired or simply not inspired one has to overcome and perform well anyway. I guess you would call it having a professional approach. Actually, when one is able to lift oneself above uninspired gloom it is very rewarding indeed.

Interesting people

Meldrum Kroki 2018.02.15

I think most people I meet are interesting but some stand out a bit more than others. Sofie, last weeks model at Meldrum Kroki is a good example of this. She is an excellent life drawing model and has very feminine poses in her repertoire so I was surprised that she fixes roofs around town during the day. There isn’t an English word for what she does (Pl√•tslagare), most of the roofs in Stockholm have metal or copper roofs so you could say she is a metalworker.

Sketched on Canson Recylé A4 paper with 2B and 9B grafite.

 

Folkboat

a Scandinavian classic

I love the design of these scandinavian pearls called Nordic Folkboats.
A friend of mine owned one and I sailed it a number of times, it is a beautiful boat to sail, the only negative was that it felt cramped when camping out in the archipelago. I painted these two sketches in my Moleskin journal (29 x 21 cm). Special thanks to Erik Lähteenmäki for the inspiring reference photos of a Folkboat regatta in Finland.
I plan to paint a few large format watercolours featuring these classic boats in the coming weeks.

Moleskin watercolour sketch 29 x 21 cm by David Meldrum
Moleskin watercolour sketch 29 x 21 cm

Building a bridge

from a photo to a painting

Djurg√•rdsbron is at the entrance to Djurg√•rden which is a royal island close to the city center here in Stockholm. There are many museums, walks and even an amusement park. I definitely recommend you to visit if you are in Sweden’s capital city.
A friend of mine, Susanna Janfalk published a photo on her Instagram account and I felt very inspired to try and paint it when I saw it. I asked for permission and then set about drawing some sketches initially and then finally I did the final watercolour which you see here.

On seeing the painting my friend immediately wanted to buy the watercolour. Business is good when I sell paintings fresh off my desk!

There is no point in replicating a photograph as a watercolourist, this is why I sketch first. I want to find out – what is important and what can I take out, I am trying to make an interesting composition. A bridge between the reality of a photo and the execution of a watercolour.

Moleskin watercolour sketch 28 x 21 cm of Djurgårdsbron, Stockholm
Moleskin watercolour sketch 28 x 21 cm
A5 pencil sketchof Djurgårdsbron, Stockholm
A5 pencil sketch
Original photo by Susanna Janfalk
Original photo by Susanna Janfalk