Last Sunday a few Stockholm sketchers met up at Dieselverkstaden (the Diesel workshop) in Sickla in Stockholm. The weather was smashing, one of those super sunny clear autumn days, and we had a great day. A few of us decided to start sketching outdoors – you have to take the chance now, before the snow comes…

Dieselverkstaden is a fantastic place, an old renovated industrial building with cafés, library, a climbing wall, art studios, workshops, music studios… People of all ages come here to take classes, have lunch, make music, climb a wall or just sip a coffee. Or do some sketching.


This is where I´m beginning to realize that the Hand Book is not quite my kind of sketchbook. As soon as I use more than one layer of watercolour in it, the paper starts buckling. It a neat size (I have the small square one), and I like the look and feel of it, but the pages are too thin and flimsy to be able to handle this much wet paint. A small problem on a global scale, of course, but trying out store-bought sketchbooks usually end up reminding me why I started binding my own. And why I should probably stick to that.

Top sketch: 27 x 13 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum carbon ink in Hand Book sketchbook.
Bottom sketch: 13 x 13 cm, same materials.

12 Responses to “Dieselverkstaden”

  1. David says:

    Hi Nina,

    I had a great day at Dieselverkstaden. Your sketches are awesome, as the Americans say. :)
    I really like the silhouetted people in the interior sketch, it creates a great feeling of depth and movment.


  2. Dietmar says:

    Hi Nina, I’m a great fan of your sketches! And I’m a fan of your country too. Stockholm is a city I really could imagine to live in. I read about your book issue. I got the same problems with these thin and flimsy readymade sketchbooks. I found out that (for me) the handmade books from boesner are really cool. I could even use them on both sides and in different very wet layers. Its a german company but they have an online store in Sweden. I’m not involved with the company and I don’t recommend products often. But this is really a goody.
    Happy sketching and greetz from Tyskland.
    Dietmar, http://www.flickr.com/edmillerartist

  3. Isa says:

    Je retrouve bien là ton style très reconnaissable. ;) )

  4. Nat says:

    Cool work! And I love your watercolors!

  5. Rajesh S says:

    Hi Nina

    I am from India. I saw your sketches today and they are just so gorgeous – very very beautiful and fresh!!

    I am looking to purchase a Namiki Falcon and was looking for drawing samples – that is how I cam to your site

    What nib size do you use PLEASE? These pens are very expensive in India – so I want to be sure I buy the right size.

    Do you use the SF (soft Fine)?

    thank you very much – Rajesh (Pune, India)

    • Hi Rajesh, thanks for your comment!
      My Namiki Falcon is a Soft Fine, yes. I´ve also had it customized by John Mottishaw, with added flex – smooth as a paintbrush!

  6. Rajesh S says:

    Hi Nina

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. Appreciate it.

    I will of course not be able to customize :) I am an amateur hobby sketcher.

    Don’t want to trouble you too much – but one last question: If I buy the standard Soft Fine – will the line width be same as the one I see in your sketches? I understand that additional flex will give you additional line variation.

    I use a Pilot 78 G – Medium. They are both from the same family – but somehow I think the medium width I get from 78 G – is similar to the SF I see here! Hence the question.

    From my Pilot medium – I turn the nib around to get a fine line.

    But I sketch in the small HandBook journal – so I do not want very thick lines either.

    Sorry to bother you – but spending $140 for a hobby sketcher is a life time purchase :)

    Thanks a lot

    • Don´t worry, Rajesh, your questions are not bothering me – on the contrary! It´s an expensive pen, and of course you want to find out all you can before you get one.
      The line width should be the same as in my drawings (you will have to look at the bottom of each post to know exactly how big the drawings are in reality, they sometimes show up smaller or bigger than reality on my blog). The extra flex allows me to make bolder lines, but the fine lines should be as from the original pen.
      I can´t compare with the 78 G (I´ve heard that´s a really good drawing pen!) since I don´t have one, but Japanese fine nibs are usually finer than European fine. So if I compare to my Lamy Safari Extra Fine, I´d say the Namiki gives slightly thinner lines than that if I don´t flex it at all.
      Hope this helps!

  7. Rajesh S says:

    Thank you Nina. Appreciate the time – helping out a ’stranger’.

    I ordered the Namiki Falcon. Thanks


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