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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click on the thumbnail below to view larger image.
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.
I met up with my fellow Urban Sketchers yesterday, we meet on the last Sunday of every month. It was a beautiful warm summer’s day, 25 degrees in the shade – a rare event at this time of the year here in Stockholm. We met outside Sven Harry’s Art Museum in Vasaparken, close to St Eriksplan in Stockholm. I first did a watercolour sketch of the people sunbathing in the park, this was on Arches rough and later I painted Sven Harry’s Art Museum. If you are in Stockholm I can totally recommend to visit the museum right now as they have a great Anders Zorn exhibition on.
I am happy with my sketches, I was able to simplify the compositions to make them interesting to the eye. This is such a hard skill to master, do not try to draw everything and don’t be afraid to move objects around on the page to improve the composition. I have not mastered this skill yet, one has to practice it over and over again until it becomes instinctive. Each sketch took about an hour to paint. Sunbathers was painted on Arches rough and the museum was painted on Saunders fine.
I visited my mother last week to celebrate her birthday and spend a few days with my sister too. Visiting Northern Ireland is always a little strange for me as I grew up south of the border so visiting my mother is not the same as coming home. Actually, where is home? I have lived in Sweden for 27 years so Stockholm is I guess. Ireland is where I come from and Northern Ireland is where my mother and sister lives. France is where my parents in law live and my oldest son lives in Japan. Between the age of 21 and 26 I lived in London. With this kind of background it is impossible to be a nationalist, I’m very happy to be a person who has to travel the world to meet his family. It saddens me that countries want to close their borders, what is the benefit of such a thing?
The watercolour and pencil sketch were done when I had two hours to myself during my visit, I drove to Donaghadee which is one of my favourite places that is close to my mother’s home. The pencil sketch is on A5 paper and the watercolour is painted on Arches and is A4ish in size.
The harbour front – Donaghadee, Northern Ireland by David Meldrum