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.
I walk everyday, it’s very important for me to get outside and get a breath of fresh air. It’s so essential to leave the studio and let my eyes rest by viewing my surroundings, my neighbourhood. Yesterday, I was inspired by the sky, the earlier rain had ceased and left wonderful clouds to hang around for a while. I sat down on a damp bench and sketched. My aim was to capture the clouds, to study them and learn from what I saw. It’s an impression and I am quite happy with how my sketch turned out.
I am currently editing my latest “Painting Outdoors” video and it should be ready in the coming days I hope. I spend far too many hours in front of the computer screen so it’s really important to take breaks. And being a watercolour artist the natural thing for me to do is to paint a sketch while out getting some fresh air. These two watercolours are local views of Djurgården and Danvikshem, both are just a short walk from my where I live.
The autumn is here, the days are getting shorter, I take lunchtime walks to get as much light as I possibly can. It’s that time of the year when it’s totally natural to spend more time in the studio. I have sketched all summer and I feel I have improved a great deal due to all the practice. In a way I am looking forward to the winter, I want to see if I have really developed – painting larger studio watercolours is a great test of this. I do not want to stop sketching, I will do this too but less during the winter months.
And so, here is my latest sketch after saying all that. I sometimes drive to Hellasgården which is close by for one of my lunchtime walks. I take myself around the lake and it relaxes me from the day’s stress. There is a small island called “Lilla holmen” which means little island funny enough. I decided to try and paint it, insanely difficult to capture on paper and even harder to make it interesting. This is how I improve though, I am forever putting myself in these uncomfortable situations, I enjoy it. Lilla holmen, Hellasgården 13 x 17.5 cm
Click the thumbnail below to see the original full-sized image
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 painted this sketch from my van down by the water close to where I live. If I ignore all the scrubbing and scratching I think it has a nice feeling to it. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the composition, maybe it’s the sunny vibe or the girl looking out to sea. I would like to develop it further, do a studio version during the winter months when the warmth and the sunshine from the watercolour will be most welcome.
Click the thumbnail if you would like to see the full-sized image.
The weather has been so good recently, I made sure I got away from the studio and explored the countryside close to home. The countryside usually means water and islands that are crowned with Scots pine. At least I seem to be always drawn to the sea, I feel best there by the waters edge or better still, sailing in the archipelago.
Click the thumbnail if you wish to see the full sized image. View from Boda, 17.5 x 13 cm
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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