Is anything better than nothing?

I am going through a period were my time for art is limited, I have to work as a webmaster for 6 weeks during July and August. I know that in order to be a good artist I have to practice everyday which is basically not easy.
So, is painting for the sake of painting a good idea? This sketch which took 2 hours over two days is a case in point. It’s not a masterpiece but I feel at least I have painted something; I have learned a little, a small step – …on the lonely road to mastering watercolour.

This sketch was painted in a Moleskin watercolour journal 29 x 21 cm, the paper is not cotton but I like the challenge of its inferior qualities.

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Sketch of Svartlöga
Sketch of Svartlöga

 

My last watercolour of Paimpol

29 x 18 cm sketchbook

This is not true of course, I will be painting many watercolours of Paimpol and Brittany in the Future. It saddens me that it will be a while before I return. I have taken lots of photographs so I will be painting the town and it’s surrounding area during the winter months.
It took me a while to learn that artists mostly sketch and take photos during the summer months, then they work on their studio pieces during the dark winter months.
Painted in my Saunders Waterford fine grain 300g 18 x 29 cm watercolour sketchbook.

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Boat yard - Paimpol, Brittany
Boat yard – Paimpol, Brittany

Paimpol harbour

Watercolour sketch

I left France ten days ago, I miss Brittany, it’s such a beautiful place and I get to paint every day! This watercolour is from my 18 x 29 Saunders Waterford sketchbook. I completed it yesterday, I added the high contrasts and the detailing, it brought me right back to Paimpol, the restaurants, the cafés and the harbour area.

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Shops at Paimpol harbour
Shops at Paimpol harbour

 

Capturing the light

I think capturing the light is the hardest skill to achieve in painting. I have been studying composition and tonal values during the last year, it is through the careful balance of tones that one achieves light. It’s really hard to master but I’m having fun trying. This watercolour was painted plein air a few days ago.

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Paimpol street
Paimpol street

 

 

Paimpol harbour

I painted this boat last year and now again in 2017, it’s form is cute. Not sure if it has been discarded as it lies next to the graveyard of old wooden boats just outside the harbour. I have been coming to Paimpol every year for ten years and I paint the boats that are no longer loved, they are returning slowly to the sea.
Saunders Waterford fine grain watercolour sketchbook 300g 19 x 28 cm.

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Paimpol harbour
Paimpol harbour

 

Ploumanach

France

Have you ever been to Ploumanach? Giant pink granite boulders by the sea that make people look very small. Nature is king indeed.

Saunders Waterford fine grain sketchbook 300g 19 x 28 cm.

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Ploumanach
Ploumanach

 

Train Journey 

Paris – Rennes

Last week, my wife and two artist friends Lars and Inger travelled to Paimpol in Brittany. It was a long trip, 11 hours in total. To pass the time I painted a watercolour looking out of the train window between Paris and Rennes. The wheat fields outside Paris remind me of the Stockholm archipelago – there are islands of trees as far as the eye can see, there is no water but a sea of wheat.
Saunders Waterford fine grain sketchbook 300g 19 x 28 cm.

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Train view between Paris and Rennes
Train view


A quick sketch

Stadshuset

I’ve been busy doing other things than art recently like watching my son graduate and helping him move back to Stockholm after 3 years in Karlskrona. I’m working this week but yesterday was Sweden’s national day so I had the day off which meant I could watercolour! 🙂
I hadn’t painted for a week so in order to get going I painted this sketch of Stockholm’s town hall called “Stadshuset” in Swedish. I think it’s a very beautiful building so I have sketched many times and I probably will continue to do so in the future.
While I was painting yesterday, I filmed it using a GoPro camera. I bought one secondhand last year and have found it hard to start filming with it. I think it is like everything that requires some learning, the first step is the hardest. But now I have taken that first important step and I have ambitions to publish short films of myself while I paint watercolours. I am currently studying how to edit using Premiere Pro, so much to learn; one step at a time David, one step at a time.

The sketch was painted in a Moleskin watercolour journal. The paper quality sucks but if forces me to adapt which isn’t a bad thing.

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Stadshuset - A watercolour sketch of Stockholm's town hall
Stadshuset

 

Trying to sketch everyday

I don’t always achieve it but I do try to do a watercolour sketch everyday. This was painted late one night last week in my Moleskin watercolour journal. The paper is inferior compared to Arches but it forces me to experiment which I like. The great thing about sketches is that you can be free to play around, no pressure compared to an exhibition piece.

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Moleskin sketch by David Meldrum
Moleskin sketch