Archive for the ‘Drawing’ Category

Urban sketchers table manners

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

170726_USk_Dinner

It is lovely to eat with other urban sketchers. You know you have found you own “tribe” of people when everyone else too have their sketching gear on the table, among plates and drinks and whatnot. :)

170726_TableManners

21 x 29 cm, fountain pens with DeAtramentis document ink and watercolours, in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Sketchcrawl Chicago

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

170726_Sketchwalk

The Urban sketchers symposiums usually start with a grand sketchcrawl during the first day, and a public, even bigger one, on the last day. The Chicago symposium was no different, and a few hundred people headed out in blazing heat to sketch on that first symposium day. So much fun! Thank heavens for the trees in the parks, though. Extreme heat really isn´t my cup of tea…

170726_SketchwalkSouthGarden

Both drawings: approx. 20 x 14 cm, fountain pens with DeAtramentis document ink and grey Copic Multiliner on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

The staggering height of buildings

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

170720_GoingToChicago

Finally an update here! I know. Sometimes the blog gets unvoluntary pauses, due to work, lazyness with scanning and the very ease of using Instagram (do follow me on Instagram if you want more frequent updates!).

Anyway! Chicago, as I promised in the previous post! The Urban sketchers symposiums are always awesome experiences, meeting up with old friends and making some new too – plus teaching workshops and drawing, of course! Such a treat. But Chicago was a great trip in other ways too. Me and my dear M made a five day vacation out of it before the symposium began, and it´s a fantastic city to visit. So much to see, and the city itself has so many different faces, depending on where you go.

170724_RiverWalk

The first thing that struck us both is the scale of the architecture downtown. Stockholm is a beautiful city, but VERY LOW in comparison to the really big cities in the world. We got aching necks from the first hour of walking through Chicago, just from constantly looking up. And then, when we relaxed a bit and lowered our eyes, we immediately started bumping into urban sketchers everywhere. :) We met at least three sketching heroes of mine during the first hour or so, Chicago´s own Don Colley, and then Rob Sketcherman and Lynne Chapman nearby.

170725_ViewFrKemperBuilding

I found drawing really tall buildings quite difficult, when you´re not used to it. I made a few hit-and-miss sketches before I kind of got the hang of the scale in the downtown part of Chicago. One of the coolest spots to draw from was at the top of the Kemper Building, where I was lucky enough to have my workshop location during the symposium. I´m glad I don´t suffer from vertigo, you´re really on top of the world in one of these skyscrapers. And oh the light among the buildings and the view towards the horizon – SO spectacular!

170726_WestViewFrKemperBuilding

Chicago isn´t just about tall buildings, though. People, workshops, symposium events – more posts from the trip coming up in the next few days!

Most sketches: A4 format, fountain pens with DeAtramentis document inks and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.

Chicago!

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

river_walk_170726

Summer holidays, folks, that´s what it is, this lack of posts. Traveling, visiting, having guests, reading, hanging out, drawing, doing things. :)

And, as many years before around the end of July, I have been having a blast drawing and teaching during the Urban sketchers annual symposium. This time around, the 8th symposium was in Chicago, and I have had so much fun trying to wrap my brain around the scale and the perspectives of this city! I will be back with more soon, just have some scanning to do… :)

21 x 23 cm, Pilot Falcon with De Atramentis ink and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Gärdesloppet 2017 – a study in red

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

brandbil_gardesloppet_170521

Remember the old fire engine and ambulance that I drew a while back? Turns out if you get the opportunity to draw these fantastic engines and hang out for a bit with the fire fighting enthusiasts that take care of them, you might also get offered to ride with them to Gärdesloppet, the yearly veteran car exhibition and race at Djurgården in Stockholm. And who am I to say no to such an offer?

line-up_gardesloppet_170521

scania_ride_gardesloppet_170521

It is a bit shaky to draw while riding in an open Scania firetruck from 1931 – suspention technique in cars have taken quite a leap forward in the last 86 years – but the experience is fantastic. Makes you feel like a kid, for real, to be allowed into a fire truck with brass bells on the sides and ladders up above. A bit windy on the highway, but very cozy along the sunny streets of the inner city.

driver_seat_gardesloppet_170521

Driving comfort has developed a bit too, since 1931, but charm and style? Not so much. I love how everything is just practical in these old cars. There is no shiny curved dashboard with digital displays everywhere. Simple and straightforward. (And I just love the turn signals, those red drop shapes on the wind shields. Super cute when in use, with arms waving up and down.)

scania_1931_gardesloppet_170521

Gärdesloppet was a real feast for the eye, as usual, and a great crowd magnet. Urban sketchers Stockholm took advantage of the nice weather and all the cool cars, and gathered for a picnic and drawing session. And as a bonus, a few of us got a lift back to the garage with the Scania. Happy children in the back seat.

Old friends

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

lingravare_sunne_170506

We were in Sunne in Värmland last weekend, where I stumbled upon two cable excavators, seemingly rooted in the grass. They looked like old friends, watching the view over the field together, perhaps talking childhood memories…

wip_lingravare_170506

42 x 29,7 cm, Lamy Safari and Kizuna Deco pen (fude nib) with red and black De Atramentis Document ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.

My week starts tomorrow!

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

oldshoes_SBS

Well, my weeks start every Monday. But this coming week is special, since it´s my week in the Sketchbook skool kourse “Exploring”. Looking forward to it a lot, excited about what the participants will make of my homework assignment for the week. :) Find out more at http://sketchbookskool.com/kourses/exploring if you are curious!

Meanwhile, I´ve been following Danny Gregory´s week, with his awesome way of talking about creativity and what to do about your inner critic, and I tried out his take on crosshatching. Or my take on his take, I guess. I find that no matter how much I try to draw the way that someone else does, it still has my hand in it. I can never get away from my own style of handling a pen, and I kind of like that. We all seem to have our personal way of drawing, and there is no way to avoid it. We can learn, evolve, develop skills and get better at it, but we can´t quite do exactly what someone else does.  That is all good.

Not your average parking garage

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

volvo_ambulans_170412

I had the opportunity to spend some time drawing in the veteran garage again yesterday. This place is fantastic. It´s a constantly evolving brew of old cars, car parts, strange little mechanical gizmos, tools and crates with material that might come in handy for the next renovation project. Wherever I go here, I keep seeing new great compositions for drawings and interesting colour combos everywhere.

chevrolet_silverado_170412

The gentlemen mechanics who inhabit this little microuniverse work and talk all the time (there is always coffee around to). It´s nice to sit and listen to their chit-chat while drawing. Discussions of technical issues with the vehicles are constantly mixed with jokes and stories from either these cars´ lives or their own. Every time someone comes over to see how my drawing is coming along, I get new little bits and pieces of information about the subject on my paper, which makes the drawing process even more interesting.

Top drawing: 19 x 28 cm, Kizuna Deco pen (fude nib) with De Atramentis document ink, and watercolours, bottom drawing: 19 x 22 cm, same pen, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Drawing with silverpoint

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

silverpoint_750

A few weeks ago, a student of mine wanted to know what silverpoint was, the tool he had read that da Vinci used for drawing, back in the day before pencils. I was curious too, and read up on the subject online. I was able to find some jewellery silver thread in a drawer at home, and as if I had planned it, it fit perfectly into an old 0.7 mechanical pencil.

You get better results if you prime the paper with something like gesso or white gouache, and since gouache was what I had, I painted some onto a piece of watercolour paper. And lo and behold – it works! The thin thread is a bit scratchy to draw with, a thicker one would probably be smoother, but still, I was able to draw with this unlikely tool!

The only problem now is the lack of contrast in this technique. They say the lines will darken, with the oxidization of the metal that will occur over time. Not sure I have the patience to wait for that…

La Fille de Gamla Stan

Monday, March 6th, 2017
lafilledegamlastan

Photo: Romaric Chavy

Here´s something fun I did during the autumn of 2016, an illustration for a wine etiquette, for Domaine Chavy-Chouet.

I started by doing an on-location sketch in Gamla Stan in Stockholm, to get a feel for what I could do. However, the sketch needed quite a bit of work, including a complete redrawing, the girl (”La Fille”) had to be added, the paper grain had to be removed in Photoshop and whatnot, so what ended up on the finished etiquette is actually not at all the sketch below. But it was a good start to work from!

kopmanstorget_160629

Also, I quite like having an actual drawing memory associated with a wine etiquette. I made the sketch standing beside my bicycle, with the sketchbook lying on the saddle. I couldn´t sit down, because the place was crowded with tourists at the moment and they would have covered my view. Drawing on location vs. camera snapshot: 1-0. When drawing, you choose what to capture on the paper, but you also choose what to leave out. :)

Bottom drawing: 18 x 9,5 cm, Kizuna deco pen (fude nib) with black De Atramentis document ink, on Stillman & Birn sketchbook page.


Copyright © 2018 Nina Johansson. All Rights Reserved.
No computers were harmed in the 0.178 seconds it took to produce this page.

Designed/Developed by Lloyd Armbrust & hot, fresh, coffee.