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 🙂
Last Sunday I spent a lovely afternoon with my friends at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. The weather was truly awful outside so it was so nice to socialise indoors in these Covid-times. My approach for this sketch was not to try and achieve a perfect likeness of the sculpture but to practice my watercolour tonal skills. I will return another day and try and catch her likeness.
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
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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
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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
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This is Liljeholmen, an industrial area that had it’s better days many, many years ago. Fun to sketch, charming even. 17.5 x 13 cm
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I was sitting outside in the cockpit of our boat, the weather was grey, the light flat. There was nothing that inspired me. So this watercolour sketch is just a figment of my imagination, maybe it was our own boat that inspired me to paint the orange sky. Maybe.
We sail an archipelago sailing boat hand built in 1975 by the previous owner. It’s called a Svea Kryssare and it’s 11.04 x 2.44 metres – narrow and tall. We were very honoured to take over the vessel and we now give Aquarelle all the love it deserves.
This turned out to be my last sketch of the month long sailing holiday. It was eventful, very testing at times but great too, the boat behaved so well in the strong winds that were roughing us for most of the journey.
This watercolour (13 x 17.5 cm ) was painted in a small bay at Böteskobben close to Nämdö in the Stockholm archipelago. There is something about the sketch that unsettles me. I think it’s the rocks, are they all too regular in shape and size? Please let me know what you think! 🙂
13 x 17.5 cm
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