Sometimes when I draw, I get so caught up in the process that I don´t really think about any parallel processes – such as spelling. So, from the store sign on this little charming house in Torsby, Värmland, it is actually now a little difficult to understand what they actually do…
21 x 15 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolour, in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
While in Värmland, I had the opportunity to visit T. He lives in a small cottage, without running water and electricity, but with a good spring of fresh water nearby. The little house is surrounded by meadows and forests, and offers an incredible stillness away from the buzz of people, commerce and the internet.
I was welcome to draw there for a while, and I had a lovely time, listening to the ravens crying in the woods, while drawing T´s place.
T´s old International is collecting a bit of dust these days, but it´s done many a work day since he bought it a long time ago. “But it didn´t do any good in winter. It was impossible to start when it was cold”, T says.
Both drawings: 21 x 15 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolour in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
Me and my dear M have spent a few days in Värmland in Western Sweden, hanging out with the in-laws and generally having a good time. M went to the local flying club there, and while he went flying with one of their pilots, I stayed on the ground trying to capture their gliders and TMG (touring motor glider – I´ve learned a new abbreviation!) in my sketchbook.
These planes are a totally new sketching subject to me, but they have such beautiful shapes, all streamlined and white, and they´re a joy to draw. Lesson learned, though: bring a BIG sketchbook to fit the wing span of these planes on paper…
21 x 15 cm, UniPin fineliner on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.
Finally things are cooking in my sketchbook again! I have been swamped at work for a whole long while, but now the grades are done, the students are finishing up for the summer, and I´m finding more time to go out sketching again.
Today I met up with a few of the Stockholm sketchers for a tour around Skeppsholmen, a small island in the middle of the city. This is where you´ll find those charming old boats, the Modern Museum, a few quirky vehicles and other interesting things.
We were also blessed with some annoying gusts of rain during the day, which is not ideal when working with watercolours and ink. But hey, at least I´m out there sketching!
Both images approx. 21 x 14 cm, Copic Multiliner SP and watercolour on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.
At the end of April, I went sketching with some friends in Bergianska trädgården (Bergius Botanic garden) in Stockholm. It´s still spring, in that nothing is lush and green, but so many flowers had begun peeking out, and it was great fun to draw them!
Funny story during the day: I met a little guy, about three years old, on a tricycle. He stopped right beside me where I was standing, drawing some cherry blossoms, and said:
“Excuse me, what´s that?”, and pointed at my tiny folding stool beside my bag.
“It´s a tiny stool that I sometimes sit on when I´m drawing”, I said. The kid was quiet for a moment and really scrutinized me, as if he thought I was lying.
“But your butt is so big?!”
“That´s right, but that little stool actually works very well anyway. In spite of my butt.”
The kid scrutinized me again.
So I did. I sat down on the stool, and ended up at about his eye level. Then he watched me sitting for about five seconds, said “Hm.”, and pedaled away.
21 x 15 cm, Duke calligraphy fountain pen with Platinum carbon ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.
(If you can´t see the video above, here is a link to it. And please excuse the square video, but it is so instagrammable.)
I am still at it with my daily drawings from imagination, and I have to say this is a really interesting and fun thing to do, in many ways. The technique is not complicated – pencil and ink – so that´s really not much to write home about. But the ideas, characters and stories that are beginning to evolve are interesting to follow. Because that is what I feel I´m doing, I´m curiously following and wondering what will happen next.
Some characters have developed over these first three and a half months, and some of them keep coming back, showing up in new situations, meddling in the “lives” of other characters. Some drawings that started as single drawings, develop into little stories of two or more images, which is kind of surprising to me. I didn´t mean to make up stories, they have kind of made themselves up as I draw.
Coming up with ideas for these drawings is a strange process indeed. Some days I really don´t know what to draw until I sit down, pens and paper in front of me, close my eyes and think hard for a while. Other days, the ideas just pop into my head without any effort, all finished with details and all. Poof! Just like that. These are usually better visual ideas than in the first scenario, and they are usually easier to draw, for some reason.
And then, sometimes, I´ve noticed that I tend to collect little things here and there during the day (I usually draw these in the evening) and weave it all together, via some weird association path, into an image. Which usually, in the end, has nothing to do with the impressions I collected during the day.
Drawing-wise, I´m getting a good challenge in trying to draw the things I see before my “inner eye”. People, animals, buildings, environments, and all these strange perspectives are really giving me a good workout.
I will keep at it, my aim is to fill the whole calendar during 2015. I hope you will follow along! I´m posting all the images on http://bogglemymind.tumblr.com, and some of them end up on my instagram too, sometimes along with a short timelapse video, https://instagram.com/nina_sketching.
All drawings: approx. 8 x 13 cm, ink fineliners in Moleskine calendar.
I have spent two days drawing at the Natural History Museum in Stockholm lately. Yesterday I was there with a group of fabulous Stockholm sketchers, we spent a good few hours drawing and having lunch and coffee together. And last week, I was there with a colleague and a few students, drawing reptiles.
Scrollable images below, for more details.
When I was at the museum with the students, we had the luxury of being invited “backstage”, to see some rare specimens of reptiles from the museum collections. We got a whole room to ourselves where we could spread out our art equipment and bring coffee and chocolate to enhance the experience. Lovely.
Drawing for a few hours at a natural history museum mainly lets you discover how much stuff there is to draw there. I will have to return on my own one of these days, there were so many bugs, bears and birds that didn´t end up in my sketchbook.
Both drawings: 44 x 15 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink and various fineliners, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spreads.
Someone, I won´t mention the full name, but it begins with an M, made a bet with me some time back. “If this orchid ever blooms again, I will take you to a Very Fancy Restaurant to celebrate. My treat. But it´s dead, I tell you.”
It´s been a slow process, the poor thing has been down to only one leaf for a period, but dead? Nope. It just needed eight years to come back.
Guess I´ll be enjoying a Very Fine Meal pretty soon.
Top drawing: Copic Multiliner SP and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper. Bottom drawing: some ink fineliner and watercolours on unknown paper in handbound sketchbook.