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An evening swim in 16 degrees

Sailing in the Finnish archipelago. Currently on an island called Birsskär. Peaceful, the wind isn’t angry anymore, not until Tuesday at least.

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Painting in the rain

We are sailing to Finland from Stockholm but the weather is pretty awful so we have to shelter from the strong winds often. We spent 2 days in Degerby in Åland. It’s easier to paint on land so being forced to seek shelter isn’t so bad. It’s a pity it’s cold and raining but I found a roof to stand under while I painted.

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Painting in a Nordic summer

I am currently sailing to Finland with my wife and another couple. The weather is cool and the winds blow with attitude from the north. Each morning it is just over 10 degrees, it’s humid and the sky is mostly grey. …..But yesterday was an exception, it was a lovely sunny morning for at least 3 hours!

We had been seeking protection from the strong winds in Rödhamn, Åland. It’s a beautiful little harbour.

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Randazzo, Sicily

I have lots of nice memories from when my wife and I visited her Dad in Sicily. We spent a week sailing around the Aeolian islands in glorious sunshine. I really enjoyed painting while we were there. My video technique has improved too so I am enjoying that side to my painting too.

This watercolour I did at home here in Stockholm, it’s a memory from the trip. My wife and her father are walking ahead while I tried to capture a Chein Chung-Wei moment. I have a long road to travel before I can reach the level of master Chein, like I’ve said before – I am enjoying the journey, I may never reach such high levels but what the hell, I don’t really care. What’s important to me is that I try my best to improve everyday.

Randazzo, Sicily
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Plein air watercolour demonstration

I am happy to publish my latest watercolour demonstration. I have been frustrated by how long it has been taking me to produce this videos but now I think I’ve found a format that works. By works I mean that they are easier to film and produce. I hope you find this demonstration both inspiring and educational. If everything goes to plan I will be producing these videos more often in future.
We are sailing north of Sicily at the moment, this video was filmed in Salina, one of the seven Aeolian Islands.

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40 degrees in the shade

I am in Salina, one of the seven Aeolian Islands north of Sicily. I filmed myself painting this watercolour today. I found a shaded spot to paint the trees in the village square. Shade was the most important word in existence as it was 40 degrees out of the sun, really hot in other words. Anyway, I am going to try and edit the material I filmed and hopefully I have a demonstration video up on YouTube very soon.

Village shade in Salina
Village shade

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My second workshop

Walking on St Eriksgatan

I didn’t have many attending my workshop at the weekend, in fact I only had one but I was okay with that for a number of reasons. The main reason being that I never really advertised the event as I was not well for a long period of time beforehand.
So I had one great student and I think he went home happy with what he had learned that day. I also learned at lot, it was only my second workshop after all. The main thing I learned was that I have to offer simpler topics for my students to work on. Something that I find stimulating is most likely too advanced for students who are just learning about the beauty of watercolour.
The watercolour you see here was my demonstration painting, the last 10% I finished at home in the studio, the small details and textures etc. I am rather pleased with it considering I was demonstrating, there is a little more pressure when one has an audience.

Walking on St Eriksgatan
Walking on St Eriksgatan
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Abandoned Caravan watercolour

Abandoned Caravan watercolour sketch

I wandered around the caravan park I was staying on the last day of my painting trip. The park was pretty empty, it was a day after the Easter weekend. I discovered this abandoned caravan tucked away in a corner, I thought the composition was wonderful so I took a few shots with my phone. I stumbled across the images again this morning when I was wondering what to paint. I decided to do a sketch first and I’m happy with the result. I must do a larger version of it very soon, I still feel it is a great composition.

I stayed at the Moby Dick Caravan Park very close to the centre of Calella. It was quiet and the family running the park were charming.

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A Sketch is so important

Sketches of Stockholm by David Meldrum

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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