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.
In this video I show you the contents of my sketching bag. It amazes me how much I actually squeeze into such a small space, I don’t need everything and you don’t either. It’s best to be prepared for all eventualities though, that’s my philosophy. I hope you find this video informative.
I am talking to myself when I say, “Sketches are so important”. It is so easy to just be lazy and start painting directly with a photo that is in front of you. We rarely succeed when shortcuts are taken, a photo needs to be interpreted, analysed and broken down. It needs to be simplified and elements moved or removed. So this is why doing a quick sketch beforehand is so important, we discover what should be done to achieve a good watercolour. In the perfect world I would prefer to sketch outdoors but that not possible here for a large part of the year, it’s minus degrees and windy here in Stockholm today. Next week I travel to Costa Brava in Spain for a week of sketching. More about that in an upcoming post.
I visited the quaint harbour town of Donaghadee during my stay in Northern Ireland. I went there twice in fact as I feel at ease there for some reason. It’s probably the open horizon that attracts me, I can feel a bit claustrophobic otherwise in Bangor where my mother lives, I spent 10 days with her while my sister who lives close by had a well deserved holiday.
Watercolour painted from the passenger seat of my mother’s car in a Saunders 38 x 28 sketchbook.
There is a beautiful shaded street in the center of Palma de Mallorca. I saw two street buskers playing really soft and harmonically. I started drawing them, the light was wonderful. Unfortunately they moved on after a few minutes and I was left trying to remember the lighting on their clothes etc.
The second watercolour was a quick one. I decided that I really need to loosen up. Not be so fixed on details. Why is it so hard to do this? I was happy with the result, I wish I could be so relaxed all the time.
I’ve been walking around the streets of Palma de Mallorca. I’m starting to find my way around the old narrow streets in the shopping districts. This court yard I found down a quiet side street away from all the tourists. It was a pleasure to paint, it was so tranquil.
I jumped on a last minute flight to Palma de Mallorca yesterday. I tried to paint the bright pink and mostly drunk lobsters on the beach. It didn’t inspire me. Maybe it will tomorrow, trying hard to adjust to the heat (29). Actually, tomorrow I’ll head into Palma, I’m staying in a charter-hotel in Arenal. It’s fun, I feel very lucky to be able to do this kinda thing.
My name is David Meldrum, I love painting watercolours. Another passion I have is life drawing, I run a class called Meldrum Kroki. I was born in Ireland but since 1990 I have lived in Stockholm, Sweden.
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