March 9th, 2014
While in Las Palmas, I spent a few hours walking around Vegueta, the oldest part of town. Stopped at Plaza Santa Ana to do some sketches from the square in front of the cathedral, then strolled around for a bit, enjoying the calm narrow streets, the nice atmosphere and the warm sun.
Then I went to look for the tiny Plaza de Espiritu Santo after a tip from local urban sketcher Ale. It turned out to be a beautiful little oasis, squeezed in between two streets. I sat there drawing for a while, listening to some kids playing and the water splashing in the fountain. And when I left, I discovered that I was right back at the cathedral again. Walking in circles…
Both drawings: 21,5 x 14 cm, various waterproof fineliners and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.
March 8th, 2014
Who knew Las Palmas had an antique car museum! Thanks to Pedro Villarrubia, local sketcher from Las Palmas, I had the opportunity to sketch a few old cars in Las Palmas.
We had to wait for a while for the little Club de Automoviles Antiquos de Las Palmas to open – a great opportunity to grab a coffee and compare sketchbooks.
Then into the museum for some sketching action. I think this museum is one of Las Palmas most well kept secrets – I tried to search for it online before going there, but couldn´t find it, and we were almost the only visitors during the evening. But oh the cars they have here! I get all soft inside when I see old beauties like these, and I really appreciate that there are dedicated enthusiasts who keep them alive.
And among all the classic Fords and Jaguars in there, suddenly there she was – an old Renault 16, same as my first car that dad gave me some time around 1990. I can still remember the comfortable soft suspension, the column shift and the little mono radio… Ah, the nostalgia. I also learned a few new bad words listening to dad trying to mend it when it broke down little by little the following years… ; )
Pedro´s drawings from the evening are here, if you scroll down a bit:
Both drawings: UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
March 7th, 2014
Of course a journey that includes flying has to include airport drawings. It´s a must.
I had the opportunity to meet with local Urban sketchers Pedro Villarrubia and Ale on our first day in Las Palmas. We started out with a fantastic lunch on Sunday, together with Pedro´s family and my dear M (who held the camera here) and then went out to sketch for a couple of hours. We were joined by Marie Carmen too, another local sketcher.
It really is great to be part of the big Urban Sketchers community when traveling – it is such a treasure to find new friends and sketching companions wherever you go. Thank you guys for joining me and M on this and following days, taking the time for sketching and showing us around town – you really enriched our stay in Las Palmas!
After lunch we sketched the obvious thing in front of us when we came out from the restaurant – Las Canteras beach. I was the slowest sketcher of the bunch.
See more of the other sketchers´work and posts about our sketch outing here:
It was a lovely feeling to be able to sketch outdoors in the sun, as a contrast to the grey and cold Stockholm views I´ve been surrounded by the last few months. And the greenery! Coming from bare winter trees in the North, to the parks of Las Palmas is fantastic. I spent the next morning sipping a nice cappucchino while drawing this amazing huge tree in Parque Doramas.
All drawings: 21,5 x 14,5 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink, various fineliners, and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.
March 2nd, 2014
Sketching is a foolproof way to keep you from getting bored, even during a long flight with a wall in front of you. I´ve been on a one week trip to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with my dear M and the in-laws, enjoying lots of sleep, good food, plenty of time for drawing, just the right amount of sun and warmth, one dip in the Atlantic (cold but quite enjoyable) and some very inspiring meetings with local urban sketchers. More sketches are coming out fresh from the scanner shortly.
21,5 x 14 cm, my dear M, the in-laws, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
February 17th, 2014
Noone walks all the way to the end of the platform at Saltsjöbanan, the eastbound train that starts from Slussen. The trains don´t reach all the way back here, and there is a big broad pillar in the way, and lots of pigeons swooping around above you, so this is a lonely, almost abandoned part of Slussen. The corrugated sheetmetal facade is wobbly, and looks like someone kicked it in anger here and there. The double doors don´t have handles anymore, and the window wall above is marked by years of rain, wind and rust.
But still. If you sit right near the edge of the platform you get this very cool perspective down the short tunnel, where you can see part of the beautiful construction that shows through here and there around Slussen. This is where the trains come in and leave on the same track, like they have done since 1936.
21,5 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours (with vodka mixed in the water, because of the cold), on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook page.
February 16th, 2014
I always liked this yellow staircase at Slussen. It´s got such a Yellow Brick Road feel to it. It takes you from the bus and train terminal at the bottom floor to Gula Gången (the Yellow Walkway), which in turn leads you towards Gamla stan (Old town) or the city buses above ground.
This sketch is quite simplified. I left a lot of things out, such as people, lighting ramps (I decided to go for the fluorescent tubes only), some buses in the background, the bread seller right next to me. I had to stand up while drawing, and my back doesn´t quite agree with that for a longer period of time, which is why I decided to hurry up and not include everything.
Probably because of this simplification, I had one of those moments when drawing actually opens my eyes to things I don´t really see otherwise. See those yellow tiles on the pillar? I have passed this place a million times, but I never noticed that they are shaped like an upwards arrow, playing with the function and colour of the stairs. It is such an obvious design feature when you look at it like this, but I doubt that many people see it in their day-to-day commuting. The upper part of the arrow is almost covered by the lighting ramps, and the general dirty and stressed atmosphere of this place doesn´t really encourage the curious eye looking for nice design.
21,5 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen, Pentel pocket brush and watercolours in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook.
February 4th, 2014
There is a saying in Swedish that goes “He who digs a hole for others, often falls in it himself”, meaning something like “the biter gets bitten”. Well, these guys were digging a hole for others outside our house yesterday. I don´t think they fell into it yet, since they put up a sturdy fence around it afterwards, but there is still time for it to happen. Because of course they didn´t finish the job.
You´ve gotta love that claw, though.
21,5 x 14 cm, Duke calligraphy nib fountain pen with Platinum Carbon black ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.
February 2nd, 2014
We are a few sketchers in Stockholm trying to meet up once a month to draw together, and last Sunday it was time again. We were happy to see some new sketchers joining in, since we have been very few before.
We chose Central station (or, as we write it in Swedish, “Centralstation”) in the city centre as our playground this time. As any big train station, it´s a place full of people, drama, big and small stories, anticipation and expectations, and lots of fun stuff to draw. Nice coffee is readily available everywhere too – a must for an afteroon of sketching, of course.
I tried to capture the whole central hall in my drawings, and not get too much into details (though the tiny versions of people were a lot of fun to draw). I had a lot of trouble with what to include and what to leave out here – because honestly, there are too many things happening in this place to get it all down on paper. I can see lots of things missing and things that I managed to get totally wrong in these drawings, but everyone who has seen them so far still say that this is definitely Central station, so I´m not too worried about the mistakes.
Both images: 21,5 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours, in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
January 25th, 2014
I have read about it here and there on the internet, and wanted to try it, but never got around to it until now – painting watercolours with vodka in low temperatures. I have been trying out all sorts of different tools for winter sketching outdoors, because the watercolours never dry and even tend to freeze up on the page. But while coloured pencils and PITT artist brush pens and whatnot work fine, they all feel like a bleak replacement for watercolours.
So today I took the plunge and went out to try this at Barnhusbron in Stockholm. I passed by Systembolaget on the way and bought a small bottle of the cheapest vodka I could find (must have looked a bit desperate). I filled up a waterbrush with 50/50 water and vodka at a parking lot (very desperate indeed), and painted away as usual. And lo and behold – it works! The colours didn´t freeze on the page, and they dried incredibly fast, at least to a state where you can close the book without smudging the opposite page. Fantastic!
I was a bit worried that the vodka might smell very badly, or that the alcohol would make the colours go through the paper, but no such thing happened. I could detect faintly, by smelling, which of my two waterbrushes I had vodka in, but no smell whatsoever from the sketchbook page afterwards. The sky in my sketch got a funny, almost granulated look, and the paint felt a tiny little bit thicker than usual, but still runny and smooth to work with.
This simplifies my winter sketching gear a bit. A pencil (because fineliners freeze after a little while), a waterbrush or two filled with vodka and water, and a small box of watercolours. Neat.
21,5 x 14,5 cm, pencil and watercolours with vodka and water, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
January 18th, 2014
Sometimes you don´t have to go far to find pretty stuff to draw, the kitchen window is enough. A little extra fun to draw today, since it´s on the first page of a spankin´ new sketchbook, starting a landscape format Stillman & Birn alpha series today.
21,5 x 14,5 cm, watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.