Stockholm Urban Sketchers

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.

 

My first international exhibition

Two weeks ago I was asked by Björn Bernström, chairman of the Nordic Akvarellskällskapet ( Nordic Watercolour Society) to participate in the International ECWS exhibition in Salamanca, Spain in September. I was of course trilled to be offered a chance to represent the society along with 5 other artists from Sweden.
There was only one catch, the watercolour had to be 70 x 50cm in size and it had to be delivered directly after the weekend. I didn’t have one at home but I was lucky, the weekend was a long one. I spent three days with just a little pressure on me to produce the painting. I’m happy with the result considering the time frame and I am very happy to have been chosen for the exhibition.

Click the image below for full size format.

Watercolour of the ferry Västan at Nybrokajen, Stockholm
The ferry Västan at Nybrokajen, Stockholm

The importance of a sketchbook

2017.04.16

A small painting from my sketchbook. I usually do a quick watercolour to loosen up if I haven’t painted for a while.

A watercolour horse sketch by David Meldrum
Horse sketch

Winter in Stockholm

2017.04.25

I completed 90% of this painting a month or ever two months back, the last 10 % has taken a lot more time. I learned this from Chien Chung-Wei, he might spend two hours on a painting but the final 10% can take many more hours – days even.
Luckily for me the weather is so damn cold here in Stockholm that the snow doesn’t look out of place now that it is spring, it was snowing here today in fact. So, maybe I should rename this painting to, “Spring in Stockholm”. Only kidding, I do look forward to warmer weather though.

Painted on Arches rough 300g, 2017.04.25, 52 x 34 cm.
Click on the image below for a larger image.

Waterclour, Winter in Stockholm by David Meldrum
Winter in Stockholm

On my way to Brittany 

2017.04.17

I travel to Brittany, France in June with my wife and two artist friends, I’m really looking forward to it. I painted this watercolour recently from a photo I took in 2014, the old trawler is missing it’s cabin these days, storms have taken their toll. I haven’t seen the old boat for a year, I wonder how much is left.

Painted on Arches rough 300g, 2017.04.14, 36 x 26.5 cm
View larger size by clicking the image below.

Trawler in Brittany by David Meldrum
Trawler in Brittany

 

Urban sketching at Stockholm Central Station

I forgot to publish this, I met with my Stockholm Urbansketcher friends at the Central Station on the 26th of February. We had great fun sketching,  enjoying a chat and a coffee.

 

Wide format

I have realised that painting in a wide format really suits my watercolours of life in the archipelago. It’s the big open horizon that we all find appealing when we are out in the great outdoors.
69 x 24 cm

The original reference photos were taken by Finish photographer, Erik Lähteenmäki. You can visit his website here.

Click image below to see larger version.

Folkbåt regatta nr.1
Folkbåt regatta nr.1

The finished watercolour sketch.

I finished these two sketches last week, only posting them now. I am  painting larger versions for an upcoming exhibition in April. It’s good to do sketch first, one learns a lot by taking ones time and experimenting, unexpected happy accidents or silly mistakes that shouldn’t be repeated.

The original reference photos were taken by Finish photographer, Erik Lähteenmäki. You can visit his website here.

Each sketch size: 39 x 14 cm

 

Experimenting

Yesterday, I made a real mess of a large painting. It was going so well, the initial drawing and the placement of cobalt blue for a brilliant cloudy sky… then I added some grey to give body to the clouds. I ruined it.

So today it’s practice time. I am painting on the back side of an old watercolour. It’s a good tip not to throw out your expensive watercolour paper until you have used both sides.

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A picture of quick watercolour practice
Watercolour practice