A Sketch is so important

28 x 38 cm Saunders Waterford sketchbook 300g

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.


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Watercolour of Birger Jarlsgatan, Stockholm

Like I said in the previous post, it is so nice to be painting again. My focus this week is capturing light in urban settings.

For Sale: €400

Title: Birger Jarlsgatan
Technical information: Painted on the backside of Saunders Waterford Rough. 26 x 36 cm. I use W&N, Holbien and Daniel Smith paints.

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Experimenting with light

After weeks of illness it is so nice to be watercolouring again. I was very frustrated not being well enough to paint but I am recovering and I feel a lot better now.
I am very focused on improving myself these days so I throw myself into areas that are uncomfortable. Zones like portrait painting and urban scenes, I also feel I can improve a lot in the painting light. This what I am focused on this week.

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Nice to be painting again

I was very ill last week and I’m still recovering. The most frustrating thing about not being well is the inability to paint. It was a wonderful feeling therefore to do some portrait practice yesterday evening, it means I am feeling better and soon everything will be back to normal.
This young girl uploaded her pouting face onto Sktchy App which is a great photo resource for portrait artists, the only negative is that everyone seems to pout their lips when they take selfies of themselves. A sign of the times.
Saunders Waterford Sketchbook, 28 X 38 cm

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National Watercolour Exhibition – Edsvik

I was very happy to have one of my paintings excepted into the annual National Watercolour Exhibition at the Edsvik Art Gallery. The watercolour is entitled, Västan – which is the name of the Stockholm ferry featured.

It’s interesting for me as this watercolour is two years old and as I am still developing as an artist it is very much from my past. It has a strong composition which is good but my technical skills have improved a lot since 2017. Another interesting fact is that this painting was exhibited at The Salamanca ECWS exhibition of 2017. I was so proud that I was chosen to represent Sweden in this European watercolour event.

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Practicing for my first workshop

2019.03.05

I painted this sketch yesterday, I just wanted to practice so that I feel comfortable with the subject. I also wondered what the composition would feel like with one of the sailing boat’s masts tilted by a small gust of wind as it rounded the island. I like it, much more dynamic, so I will go with this when I paint the demonstration version this Saturday.
Many people want to be in the workshop which is great considering I advertised it so late last week. Still a few places left if you are interested! 🙂

The sketch is about A5 in size and painted on Saunders Waterford paper.

Just practising

2019.02.16

I am getting better at just sketching for fun. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to improve which is good but at the same time I know it’s not recommended to be deadly serious all the time. So, yesterday I had some fun. It’s fun having fun. Sounds like I am trying to persuade myself that relaxing is a good thing.

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Importance of a preliminary watercolour sketch

Sketchbook 2019.01.04

I am preparing to film my latest watercolour demonstration which features the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. This watercolour ( is the third and final sketch that I have done. I have reference photographs but I need to translate those images into a watercolour that is emotive and therefore interesting. I think I am nearly there, I will be using a half sheet of Saunders Waterford paper for the final painting it will have a widescreen 16:9 format, wider in other words.
Keep an eye out for my new episode of Meldrum Watercolour Journeys on YouTube, it should be ready by the end of the week. Cheers!


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Capturing light is watercolour

2019.01.10

Capturing light in watercolour is what we all try to achieve and it’s difficult, this is why I practice all the time. I just visited the Singer Sargent exhibition at the National gallery here in Stockholm one last time, it reminds me that I have far to go before I can call myself a master.
I am enjoying painting people and portraits, I think I will continue on this path for a while.

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Autumn light in the Stockholm park of Kungsträgården
Autumn light in the Stockholm park of Kungsträgården