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
In this video I paint a watercolour of the Kings Garden (Kungsträgården) in central Stockholm. I have lots fun trying to capture the complicated scene that was in front of me. It was a beautiful day and I ended up very happy with my sketch, that doesn’t happen everyday.
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
In this video I paint a watercolour scene of islands in the archipelago while on holidays. My goal with these demonstrations is to help others who are trying to or thinking of sketching outdoors. My tip for this episode is that there is rarely a perfect sketching location to be had. Just sit down somewhere quiet and start, that’s the hardest step.
The watercolour to the left is the one featured in the video. 13 x 18 cm
I came to a point early last week when I said to myself, enough is enough, I have to meet friends. Sweden has a very relaxed approach to the Corona virus pandemic so it’s no problem whatever to meet people, it’s our responsibly in other words. All of us have been shy about meeting up. But I met my artist friend Daniel on Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm for a morning of plein air and a lovely lunch last Friday. Thanks Daniel for treating me, my turn next time.
I wouldn’t call the watercolour a masterpiece by any means but just getting out in the early summer sun and meeting a friend made it special.
After a little break I am back again producing watercolour videos. In this episode I travel to Gustavsberg which is 20 minutes from where I live. You will see how I develop a watercolour from simple outdoor sketch to the final painting.
It was early Saturday morning, I broke the plastic sealing wrapper from around a William Turner book I had purchased – The ‘Skies’ Sketchbook by David Blayney Brown. Once I had studied it for a while I had this enormous urge to get outside and paint some clouds. Luckily the sky was very beautiful during the weekend, the soft pillow type cushions sailed past quickly which meant the scene in front of me changed completely every few minutes. I sat in my new camper van at Nacka Strand protected from the cool wind, I was inspired and I enjoyed every moment of it.
I took myself out during the week to paint plein air. The sun was shining and it might even have been 10 degrees but I’m not sure. I brought extra leggings which I put on quite quickly as it was very cool in the shade of the building next to the water’s edge. It was interesting how the paper and watercolour pigment behaved in the cool conditions, it was very different from my time in India or even the studio. I found that the pigment was not absorbed by the paper as easily. It wasn’t a big deal, I adjusted quickly and enjoyed my two hours by the water. Sweden being Sweden most people left me alone which is good considering we are in the middle of a pandemic. A few were curious but they kept two metres away. I am so looking forward to painting plein air more often now as the temperature is rising and the sun is higher in the sky. The days are much longer too. I have bought a van that I am going to convert into a studio plus camper. I will publish a post about this exciting project during the coming week.
If you would like to see the full sized image please click the thumbnail below.
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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