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I need to sketch less now

Lilla holmen

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

Hellasgården
Hellasgården
Lilla holmen
Lilla holmen
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It’s not often I get inspired by such dullness

Nacka Strand and a grey day

I was in my studio at home when workmen started drilling into the outer wall of the apartment. After 15 minutes of painful noise I gave up grabbed my sketch bag and jumped into the van. It was grey and wet but I told myself to go to the local waterfront (Nacka Strand) to paint a watercolour sketch. A plain white ferry contrasted wonderfully against the greyness of the sky and sea. This was enough to inspire me and I am happy with the result – a simple composition that captured the day pretty well. 13 x 17.5 cm

If you would like to see my latest video click this link: Sketching watercolours while cruising Ep23

Click the thumbnail below to see a full sized image of the featured watercolour.

Nacka Strand and a grey day
Nacka Strand and a grey day
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Gentle wind, time for a sketch

As we sailed south there was one day when the winds were gentle, not so common this year I have to report. So as we sailed slowly past this small island with it’s navigational light I just got the urge to try and capture it. Light winds became a pleasure.

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View from Kvarnholmen

View from Kvarnholmen

I just published a video of me painting this view from Kvarnholmen, click here to see it. I simplified the watercolour composition a lot and I really like it. It takes a lot of experience to start seeing what is a good composition and what is not. Believe me, I have made a lot of bad compositions in the past to get to this stage in my development as an artist.

Click the thumbnail below to see the full sized image.

View from Kvarnholmen
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The view from Kvarnholmen, an outdoor sketch.


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

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Sketching Stockholm

Södermalm

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.

Click the thumbnail below for full sized image

Södermalm

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Sunday I met more friends!

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.

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Inspired by Turner

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.

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Practicing for my first workshop

Gentle archipelago breeze

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.