This is a final version of a sketch I did during the winter months. I live in an old industrial area quite close to central Stockholm, it’s under development. I go for walks most days and I try to find beauty in what I see. It’s my quest right now. I want to avoid the pretty picture trap, some call them chocolate box – watercolours. Yes, I want to avoid that. I’m buying lots of old Lars Lerin books from the 80’s and 90’s, I think he captures the scandinavian everyday so well.
Title: Kvarnholmen in winter. 37 x 27 cm
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It’s been grey here in Stockholm for I don’t know how long. Boring, yes it is – but there is beauty out there in the greyness. I try to walk most days. I took some photos of the waterline at Björnö, not far from Stockholm. The reeds are all dead but beautiful anyway. This was a working sketch to see if I would do a large studio painting. I’ve decided not to and so I will move on the another watercolour challenge instead.
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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.
This watercolour has got a great response on social media, I am very happy about that. Personally I think it is one of my better sketches. The scene was very complicated to begin with and so decoding it and getting it down on paper was a real challenge. A challenge that I really enjoyed. The weather was warm and sunny too, a wonderful day, I have a clear memory of it because of this sketch. I can’t rest on past success though, today I will paint another watercolour and try and improve my skills, every brush stroke should be beautiful.
Kungsträgården sketch 18 x 13 cm Click the thumbnail below for the full-sized image.
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
Hello! In this episode I stay local. I paint the scene using gradients and I have a wandering caterpillar to deal with.
I do all this while holding a camera above my head! I hope this video inspires you to sketch and paint outdoors. If you would like to support the making of these videos please visit my Patreon page, there you can follow my weekly vlog, see bonus material, and even receive original watercolours. www.patreon.com/meldrumart
This week I am home and I tend to spend too much time in my studio. I therefore make sure I go for a walk or cycle each day. I always bring my sketch bag with me. The weather has been really amazing lately so I am doing a lot of light studies. Watercolour for me is about capturing the light, it’s amazing how hard it is to catch. I just practice and practice and hopefully one day I will master it. The sketch “Södermalm” is 13 x 17.5 cm on 300g Saunders Waterford paper.
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
Yes, on Sunday I met more art friends. This time it was an unofficial Urban Sketchers meetup. We met at Humlegården in central Stockholm and enjoyed the sun soaked day. I managed to do two sketches, one trying to capture the light in the trees and the other is of the statue of Linné, the famous Swedish botanist. It was so nice to meet my friends. I know now it is really important to have social contact, I feel so much better for it. Luckily sketching is an outdoors activity and so it’s relatively safe to meet friends in this the year of Corona.
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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