My first life drawing since the spring and I decided to use my watercolours. I used cheap Canson watercolour paper, I hate it compared to Arches or Fabriano but it’s just too expensive to waste a block of quality paper during a life drawing session. I used Koo i noor woodless watercolour sticks for the first time, I really liked them so I’ll be using them a lot in future. Each of these watercolours took five minutes to complete, at that speed one cannot hesitate – a quick line sketch of the figure and then paint as much as you can in the remaining time before the pose ends. It’s stressful for sure but I find it exhilarating.
Back at work does not have to be a negative thing for my art productivity. Yesterday I was asked by my boss if I could do a caricature of an employee who is leaving this Friday. I accepted the challenge but by lunchtime today I was regretting saying yes. I battled on trying to create a caricature, it wasn’t easy as I only had one picture as reference, a smiling one. The person in question is more know for his scowl than his smile so I had to use a bit of imagination.
(A bad photo of the artwork unfortunately.)
There is a beautiful shaded street in the center of Palma de Mallorca. I saw two street buskers playing really soft and harmonically. I started drawing them, the light was wonderful. Unfortunately they moved on after a few minutes and I was left trying to remember the lighting on their clothes etc.
The second watercolour was a quick one. I decided that I really need to loosen up. Not be so fixed on details. Why is it so hard to do this? I was happy with the result, I wish I could be so relaxed all the time.
I’ve been walking around the streets of Palma de Mallorca. I’m starting to find my way around the old narrow streets in the shopping districts. This court yard I found down a quiet side street away from all the tourists. It was a pleasure to paint, it was so tranquil.
I jumped on a last minute flight to Palma de Mallorca yesterday. I tried to paint the bright pink and mostly drunk lobsters on the beach. It didn’t inspire me. Maybe it will tomorrow, trying hard to adjust to the heat (29). Actually, tomorrow I’ll head into Palma, I’m staying in a charter-hotel in Arenal. It’s fun, I feel very lucky to be able to do this kinda thing.
What do you do when you enjoy yourself? You do it again!
This one was easier than yesterday’s effort. I felt more comfortable painting the water at least. I still haven’t got my skies in order. It’s the scale, I need to relax but it is easier said than done.
Rush hour in the Stockholm archipelago
69 x 49 cm on Arches rough 300g
I still find it difficult working on a larger scale than before. The surface dries so quickly as my brush races down the paper, so easy to leave unwanted faults, not enough pigment in my palette or brushes that are too small. Still, I want to master large watercolours so the only thing I can do is try, try and try again again. I hate to admit it but I think the preliminary sketch is better than the final painting.
This was my last day in France, the next day I would be making the long journey home to Sweden, a 13 hour trip by rail and air. The day was hot and the sky was a clear blue. I have dicovered through experience that blue skies are generally very boring when it comes to watercolour. It’s much more interesting having rain clouds on the horizon. So I was a little nervous with the painting, I knew it had great potential – I just had to find the right balance. I am happy enough with the result, I would like it to be more loose in style and will probably have another attempt at it here in the studio in the coming months. I will add some human figures to the composition too I think.
Painted on the 26th of August. 41 x 31 cm Arches rough, 300g
Just ten minutes away from where I was staying in Brittany last week there is a small fishing village called Loguivy de la mer. I found it magical and visited the place for three days in a row. These watercolours were painted on the second day, the 22nd of August I think it was. I am happy with them, they are loose enough in style to feel quite fresh – at least, I think so.