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Maybe I should have stopped painting earlier

unfinished nude

It’s always difficult to know when to stop painting a watercolour. Maybe I should have stopped already after the first wash. It doesn’t matter, it was just a sketch, I was playing with some paper I haven’t used for years, Fabriano Artistico /S, it’s really difficult to paint on. The blending of colours is difficult. It’s not paper I like but I have lots of it so I’ll just have to enjoy it even if it’s not a favourite. Which do you like best, the finished painting or the halfway stage version? Let me know in the comments. Cheers 🙂

unfinished nude
Before and after
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Sketching a little castle outdoors. Ep25

Kastellholmen

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.

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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 HellasgĂ„rden 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, HellasgÄrden 13 x 17.5 cm

Click the thumbnail below to see the original full-sized image

HellasgÄrden
HellasgÄrden
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

Become a Patron!

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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 HumlegÄrden 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.