I have a favourite spot in Stockholm at the moment, it’s the corner of Sveavägen and kungsgatan. I am using my own photographs as reference but very soon I will be out in the streets painting plein air for real. After my trip to Spain recently made me realise that this is what I want to do most.
The Crossing 26 x 36 cm Painted on Saunders Waterford Rough 300g
It was wonderful to meet Angela Barbi while I was in Spain. I drove to Girona and spent the day there, the weather wasn’t so great but meeting Angela for lunch filled the day with sunshine anyway. For those of you who don’t know Angela is, she organises watercolour courses with some of the best watercolour artists in the world. I can warmly recommend a week in Girona learning from a master. I spent a week in 2016 with Chien Chung-Wei. https://epc-artcourses.com/
Here are some photographs from my trip. I slept in a tent in the Moby Dick Caravan Park which is very close to the centre of Calella. I camp for two reasons, it’s cheap and I enjoy it. It also means I can afford to rent a car and zip around the Costa Brava.
I am getting better at just sketching for fun. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to improve which is good but at the same time I know it’s not recommended to be deadly serious all the time. So, yesterday I had some fun. It’s fun having fun. Sounds like I am trying to persuade myself that relaxing is a good thing.
The subject of this watercolour demonstration is The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Last May I arrived there at sunrise and was excited to use my drone to film for the very first time.
Later, back in Stockholm I really enjoyed painting the scene I chose and I hope you enjoy watching it too. As I paint I explain my thought process and how I approach each stage of the watercolour.
The film is longer than my previous videos, this is because I want to show the full process and not to be frustrated trying to squeeze it all into a typical 20 minute YouTube film. Let me know what you think, I always welcome critical feedback that helps to improve my watercolour demonstrations.
I hope you find this watercolour demonstration educational and a little inspiring. You can support this project for as little as $1 a month. Join my wonderful supporters at Patreon.com. Click the link below to find out more: https://www.patreon.com/meldrumart
I am totally enjoying going to the Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska) here in Stockholm. I was there two weeks ago but I just had to come back. So yesterday I spent the whole day there together with a fellow sketching friend. These watercolours are sketched on Saunders Waterford paper. It’s so good to just paint all day, I learn so much by playing around and experimenting. I think it is so important to test new techniques and try things that are a little scary. No one likes to fail but one should accept that one learns through mistakes. I make lots of mistakes!
I am spending a week with my elderly Mum. I find where she lives very claustrophobic, a small dark cottage in a maze of small houses that look exactly like hers. I really look forward to the afternoons when I bring her dog for a walk.
I usually drive to Donaghadee further down the coast from Bangor, it’s a nice small village with a lovely harbour complete with lighthouse, I sketched the latter many times. The open horizon outside of the harbour relaxes me and I have an enjoyable walk with Misty, the dog.
Afterwards I sit in the passenger seat and paint a watercolour sketch of something that catches my eye. Today it was the old Life Boat that was up on land and needing some love. I hope she gets it, I thought it was a beautiful boat. She was on the hard as they say, in fact she was in the car-park which made it very easy for me to sketch from my car.
Click the thumbnail below for the full-sized image.
I am enjoying my return to figure painting. I have been using charcoal for ages but not anymore, at least until I crave a change, … which happens quite often. The poses here are 2-5 minutes long, the drawing has to be quick as you can imagine. I paint as much as I can, no time to be fussy -that is why it’s so much fun!
I call this watercolour, “Alone in Paris”. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, when I visited the Musée d’Orsay in Paris I was struck by the sheer volume of people milling around the famous works of art. It was so busy I wasn’t able to get up close to study how masters like Van Gogh painted. I felt that the visitors weren’t really looking at the art on display, they merely acknowledged their presence. You could say they were ticking a list, Monet – check, Van Gogh – Check, Renoir – check and so on. So I felt like I was the only person in the room at that given moment who really wanted to immerse himself in the painting.
I was thinking also, how Van Gogh would feel? So famous now but ignored during his own life time. Here is a link to a description of his self-portrait by the way. I don’t know if he would be happier today, people are still not really looking at his art, – trying to understand it. His art has become a trophy that the super rich buy to stroke their egos. I am not so famous and I sell to only those who really appreciate my watecolours, I like it like that.
My wife mentioned that my style in this painting is more similar to my earlier art which was more graphic or cartoon like. I have to agree, I think the reason for this is that I am unsure of myself as I am only starting to paint people. I would much prefer to paint my figures like say Benjamin Björklund, which is to leave more for the viewer to fill in. I love Impressionism because it is so hard for me to achieve I think.
Alone in Paris: 52 x 34 cm
Click the thumbnail below to see the full-sized image