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
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.
Yes, I am trying to paint a nude a day. My plan is to wake up, have breakfast and then paint a nude. I never have to think about what I will do, I just have to start painting a nude. Simple. I wonder how long I will be able to keep it going?
Click the thumbnail to see the full-sized image.
This watercolour has got a great response on social media, I am very happy about that. Personally I think it is one of my better sketches. The scene was very complicated to begin with and so decoding it and getting it down on paper was a real challenge. A challenge that I really enjoyed. The weather was warm and sunny too, a wonderful day, I have a clear memory of it because of this sketch. I can’t rest on past success though, today I will paint another watercolour and try and improve my skills, every brush stroke should be beautiful.
Kungsträgården sketch 18 x 13 cm
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I am currently editing my latest “Painting Outdoors” video and it should be ready in the coming days I hope. I spend far too many hours in front of the computer screen so it’s really important to take breaks. And being a watercolour artist the natural thing for me to do is to paint a sketch while out getting some fresh air. These two watercolours are local views of Djurgården and Danvikshem, both are just a short walk from my where I live.
The autumn is here, the days are getting shorter, I take lunchtime walks to get as much light as I possibly can. It’s that time of the year when it’s totally natural to spend more time in the studio. I have sketched all summer and I feel I have improved a great deal due to all the practice. In a way I am looking forward to the winter, I want to see if I have really developed – painting larger studio watercolours is a great test of this. I do not want to stop sketching, I will do this too but less during the winter months.
And so, here is my latest sketch after saying all that. I sometimes drive to Hellasgården which is close by for one of my lunchtime walks. I take myself around the lake and it relaxes me from the day’s stress. There is a small island called “Lilla holmen” which means little island funny enough. I decided to try and paint it, insanely difficult to capture on paper and even harder to make it interesting. This is how I improve though, I am forever putting myself in these uncomfortable situations, I enjoy it.
Lilla holmen, Hellasgården 13 x 17.5 cm
Click the thumbnail below to see the original full-sized image
Last weekend I met my life drawing friends. We’ve known each other for years so it has been tough not meeting them due to the pandemic. It was incredibly nice to meet finally, we sketched a little, I chose to paint the Vasa museum, a must see if you ever visit Stockholm. The high point of yesterday was not the sketching really but the coffee afterwards and the hours of happy chatting with the autumn sometimes reminding us it was on it’s way. Later in the evening I finished the sketch. I am experimenting more, it’s a lot of fun. 13 x 17.5 cm
If you would like to see my latest video click this link: https://youtu.be/h00hf9xXV7o
Sketching watercolours while cruising Ep23
Click the thumbnail below to see the original full-sized image.