Camping in the wild to paint watercolours

I spent a beautiful two days in Björnö nature reserve back in June. I used my new hammock to sleep between two trees. I got a good night’s sleep and did some great sketches the following day.

Practicing painting my skies with a new technique

I have been using perspex plastic on my watercolour sketching board. I wet the back of the paper then tape it down. After that I wet the front of the paper and let it settle. This isn’t actually my new technique. I am placing a damp cotton sheet between the paper and the perspex before I tape it down. This gives me lots of time to work on my clouds but I have to get used to it. My watercolours are a little pale at the moment but I’m working on it. Practice, practice.

Painting outdoors, it’s the life.

Custom's hut on Beckholmen

Last week I spent a wonderful day sketching with Daniel Luther on Beckholmen, a dry dock here in central Stockholm. It was so rewarding just trying one’s best to capture the surroundings on paper. Going out with a friend makes it all the more fun.

  • Custom's hut on Beckholmen

A small video of my little pencil sketchbook

I just finish my little sketchbook. I like the size and the texture of the paper, it’s called, Hand Book Journal.Co and it’s distributed by Speedball Art Products, Statesville, NC. It’s made in India. Here is a link to their website: https://www.speedballart.com/our-prod…

If you like my channel and would like to support the making of my videos, visit my Patreon page. My supporters get to see my videos first plus there are more benefits to enjoy. Join and be a part of Meldrum Art. (Thank you! 😀 ) https://www.patreon.com/meldrummart I hope you find this a little journey through my sketchbook helpful and even inspiring. Cheers.

A new video at last.

Yes, it’s been a bit of a break. I think it was September or October last year when I last published a video. I have had a tough winter. I stopped producing videos as I couldn’t cope with the workload. I focused instead on painting and my life drawing classes. But now I feel good, my energy levels are back to what a 57 year old should be. I’m not a teenager for sure but I have regained my curiosity and enthusiasm to explore and achieve.
I hope you enjoy the video, I kept it short (6.30 minutes). It was filmed on Djurgården last August.
Cheers,
David

Using wet on wet watercolour techniques

Donaghadee lighthouse

I am experimenting with damp watercolour paper techniques. There are many ways to keep the paper damp for a longer period so that one has time to paint a scene. I am not going to get into that in this post as I am in a bit of a rush. The most important thing for me is that my watercolours blend well on the paper and the edges stay soft, having more time to work is also a plus.
Since being accepted into The Water Colour Society of Ireland I have felt an urge to do a few watercolours of the emerald isle. I’d love to travel there but Covid is still restricting travel. I get my first jab this Friday, feels like a relief that I’m finally getting it.

This watercolour is of Donaghadee lighthouse, which lies southeast of Belfast. 52 x 34 cm

To view a full sized image please click the thumbnail below.

Donaghadee lighthouse
Donaghadee lighthouse

I wish my watercolour nudes were better than they are.

Nude with roses

I’ll be honest. Nudes are difficult. Shading human skin in watercolour must be one of the hardest skills to achieve. It feels that way at least. Luckily, I love just trying and trying, … and trying to master it. One day, maybe – maybe not.
I gave this one a good go, I did my best. It’s not fun admitting to oneself that one has a long way to go before mastering a watercolour nude.

To see a larger image please click the thumbnail below

Nude with roses
Nude with roses

My second day at Björnö: Mission – to paint better

My first day at Björnö was an amazing experience but I wasn’t happy with the watercolours I created. Rather than get all depressed about it I decided to just return to Björnö and try again. The important factor being that I was alone and so I could relax and really think about what I wanted to achieve. Basically, I wanted to paint better. Some important things I learned from the day before was to take my time, be precise and paint in the shade.
I had a wonderful day, it was colder but the sky was a summer blue. ( As I write this it is snowing outside my window, April weather in Sweden is pretty damn extreme. ) By the end of the day I had three nice little paintings and I went home with a smile on my face. It’s a nice sensation to feel one is progressing.

Two wonderful days on Björnö: Day 1

I spent two beautiful days in glorious sunshine painting on Björnö which is my favourite place to visit right now. On Monday I was with a friend who is much better than I am. I learned a lot by just watching his approach to painting a scene. I was a bit stressed to be in his presence to tell you the truth and so I rushed my work. I wasn’t so happy with my day’s efforts so I returned on Tuesday. Link to day 2 here. It’s important to say, I really enjoyed the day, I learned so much and probably the most important takeaway was to relax and take one’s time.