It’s always difficult to know when to stop painting a watercolour. Maybe I should have stopped already after the first wash. It doesn’t matter, it was just a sketch, I was playing with some paper I haven’t used for years, Fabriano Artistico /S, it’s really difficult to paint on. The blending of colours is difficult. It’s not paper I like but I have lots of it so I’ll just have to enjoy it even if it’s not a favourite. Which do you like best, the finished painting or the halfway stage version? Let me know in the comments. Cheers 🙂
Inspired by my summer watercolour sketch above, I am sending original watercolours to my supporters today. A patron who contributes $5 or more each month is entitled to one. There is other stuff on offer too, for just $1 there’s the weekly vlog and very soon – exclusive watercolour videos on Patreon.com only.
Join the Meldrum Art Supporters Club https://www.patreon.com/meldrumart
Last Sunday I spent a lovely afternoon with my friends at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. The weather was truly awful outside so it was so nice to socialise indoors in these Covid-times. My approach for this sketch was not to try and achieve a perfect likeness of the sculpture but to practice my watercolour tonal skills. I will return another day and try and catch her likeness.
In this episode I take myself to a small island called Beckholmen where I sketch another little island called Kastellholmen, both are very close to the centre of Stockholm. It became a grey day and so it was a challenge to make the sketch interesting. Follow me step by step as I paint and hope for a watercolour that satisfies.
It is interestesting how people who used to be new friends are now old friends.
I have been life drawing since 2011 and along the way I have got to know many new people who share a love of trying to capture what they see in front of them. We would meet for coffee after each life drawing session and show our sketches and voice our frustrations at being so clumsy or just down-right awful. We all supported each other, never a bad word was said – just lots of positive vibes that have lead to the forming of great friendships.
The pandemic has affected our life drawing classes and we have not met so often this year which meant it was wonderful when we actually did meet last weekend. It was a grey day at Waldermarsudde but it didn’t matter to us, and besides, we had the promise of waffles afterwards at the café with outdoor heaters to keep the chill of autumn away.
I didn’t really care what I was going to sketch that day, I just sat close to the others. I sit alone and paint most days so no need to do that when the point was to socialise. I am happy with my sketch. In the background there is an old windmill without it’s sails. In the foreground is the statue of Carl Wilhelm Scheele by Carl Milles. My watercolour didn’t want to dry in the humidity of fall but luckily I had my blowtorch with me. It turns heads but I get the job done. It was a good day.
Please click the thumbnail below if you would like to see the full-sized image, 13 x 17 cm
We sailed for the whole month of July this year. It was windy almost everyday and it was important to find some good protection for the evening. Ironically the winds usually died down but it was not guaranteed. This watercolour is the view from Sadelöga, NE of Utö in the Stockholm Archipelago.
I originally painted a small sketch of this scene from the cockpit of the boat, now that it is the season to paint in the studio I decided to have a go at a large version. It’s 70 x 50 cm in format, I haven’t painted this big for a year at least. I really enjoyed the challenge and I am happy enough with the result.
I have a few tubes of paint that I basically don’t really like and have been trying to use up for years. Antwerp Blue, for example. I took the opportunity to use it for the sea and I used Neutral Tint over it to try and calm it down. Like I said before, I am satisfied with the final result but I will be happy to see the end of that tube of 37ml Antwerp Blue.
A good friend of mine asked me a few weeks back to do a watercolour demonstration for his daughter and her friend. He decided that he would also like to join in. I haven’t had any courses since last year mainly because I felt it took up too much of my time as an artist. The Corona virus has changed my outlook somewhat as I haven’t been earning much since it struck in back in March.
I was very pleased they wanted to learn from me but I was going to have to do some work beforehand. What subject would I paint? I’d need to practice the painting several times so I didn’t look like an idiot. So I did, I painted it twice on quarter-sheet, the first had an electric blue sky which I didn’t like, the second attempt pleased me though and so I felt ready for the demonstation.
The day after it was demontration time, to my relief the watercolour turned out fine. My students had fun applying what they had learned to their own paintings. I was happy with my wee course. I wonder now if I sould start offering courses again, I am not sure, what do you think?
It’s true, I rarely sketch nudes these days which is ironic as I run a life drawing class every Thursday even during the pandemic. My problem is that I don’t have time to go to other life drawing classes and right now I don’t actually want to physically be in a classroom anyway. This is why I stream my own life drawing classes. It means extra work for me as a host so sketching has had to take a back seat.
I’m not complaining too much. I get a lot enjoyment out of running my class and I can sketch nudes anytime using photo resources that I have bought throughout the years. Actually, I think I am just making excuses. There is nothing preventing me from sketching or painting watercolour nudes, it’s up to me, I decide.
Please click the thumbnail below if you would like to see the full-sized image.
I walk everyday, it’s very important for me to get outside and get a breath of fresh air. It’s so essential to leave the studio and let my eyes rest by viewing my surroundings, my neighbourhood. Yesterday, I was inspired by the sky, the earlier rain had ceased and left wonderful clouds to hang around for a while. I sat down on a damp bench and sketched. My aim was to capture the clouds, to study them and learn from what I saw. It’s an impression and I am quite happy with how my sketch turned out.