Got you, got me.

Tourist filming me while I sketch her! Miyajima, Japan. From my sketchbook.

I’m back in Sweden now! It was so nice to visit my son and his wife in Iwakuni, south of Hiroshima. Japan is such an interesting place, it really is foreign to me and that is what is so cool and interesting with the place.

Shinto shrine

O-torii gate, Miyajima, Japan. From my sketchbook.

Archipelagos are so beautiful

Yashiro Island, Japan. A beautiful archipelago very far from home.

From my sketchbook.

Meldrum Art – Vlog #2

Meldrum Art – Vlog number 2

It was a little easier to produce this time around. It’s fun even if it does rack up the hours. I reckon it will take up 40 – 50% of my time in the future. That means I will have about the same amount of time for painting watercolour. My life drawing will have to take a lower priority.

It will be interesting in the coming months to see if I succeed at vlogging or not. I am learning so much these days when it comes to film editing, I do enjoy being challenged.

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

 

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

Djurgårdsbron is at the entrance to Djurgården 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

Sunday fun

Konstnärshuset 2018.01.04

Sunday fun and a little extra work Monday morning hence the date on the painting being the 5th of Februari. I enjoyed the long – one pose session at konstnärshuset last Sunday. The model (Sofie) was excellent and stayed perfectly still throughout. I am so looking forward to having her at Meldrum Kroki very soon, she is very popular with the local life drawing tribe.

I love the power of the internet, it looks as though this particular watercolour has a buyer already, always nice to make a sale.

Click image below for larger size.

Watercolour nude by David Meldrum
Watercolour nude

Tools of a master

I ordered three Da Vinci: Cosmotop-Mix B brushes similar to the ones Chien Chung-Wei uses. I also bought some Jaune Billiant 1 and Verditer by Holbien. These are also used a lot by Chien.
Okay, so I have the tools and I have been training real hard so it’s frustrating that I am a million light years away from his masterful level.

Bad day today, I have decided to paint portraits and discovered I have a lot to learn!