It is always fun when other sketchers visit Stockholm. A little while back, Inma Serrano from Sevilla was here, and we almost missed each other because I was out of town, but in the end we managed to squeeze in three hours and a lunch before she and her company had to leave for the airport. We sketched a bit at Djurgården, and JUST when I had finished the boat, a whole bus load of Russian tourists came and sat down in front of us with their pic-nic – hence the sketchy background…
After Djurgården, a quick stop at Berzelii park, to draw some people.
Inma is one of my drawing heroes – totally fearless sketching! – so it was awesome to at least get a little moment with her in Stockholm.
Both drawings: 21 x 14,5 cm, ink and watercolour on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.
I took my bicycle to Tranebergsbron (Traneberg bridge) today and sat down to draw a panoramic of the view from up there. It´s not a super comfy place to sit, you have four lanes of roaring traffic and a metro track behind you, but the view makes up for it. I had a really nice time – perfect weather, and an unusually lot of people stopping to see what I was doing and chat for a while. One of them, DJ Micke Pietile, took a photo of the work in progress, and was kind enough to send me the image:
45 x 15 cm, black Staedtler fineliner, gray Copic Multiliner SP and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.
Sketcher Ed (Mostly Drawing) from Bath and his family visited Stockholm a week or so ago, and I and a few other sketchers from Stockholm met up with him for a sketchcrawl that turned into a little nature adventure. First, even before we started drawing, we had to wait under an awning for a surprise thunder storm with heavy showers to pass by. It was over pretty quickly, though, and we went down to sketch by the water at Bergsunds strand.
Right after drawing the boats above, we all had to seek shelter again under a roof, to escape from another roaring thunder storm for about half an hour. It was quite spectacular, and we weren´t the only ones who were watching it in awe. I didn´t manage to sketch the weather, but the phone captured a quick proof:
I heard later that the heavy rain flooded a few underground stations and part of a department store in Stockholm.
Anyway, the rain and thunder subsided eventually, the sun came out, and we got back to sketching again.
See that little bird to the right in the sketch? It´s a herring gull chick, and was not at all the main focus of my drawing. He was just walking around on that tree trunk, chirping a little. But here´s what suddenly happened, right in front of our feet, while sketching. A very everyday scene in a bird´s life, I guess, but I´ve never seen it so up close, and didn´t expect to either, in the middle of the city.
Might as well keep going with the cars here, I seem to bump into them everywhere right now. Must be the great weather we are having.
I loose all sense of scale with these huge american cars. It´s as if I kind of can´t believe my eyes when I´m drawing, and I should – you should always believe your eyes when drawing from observation. I loved capturing all the little details on this one – along with dents, broken parts and rust – but I kind of lost the overall proportions. I hope it´s still there next time I pass by, so I can give it another try.
20 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
Shopping malls are not my favorite subject to sketch, but sometimes it´s a good challenge to draw stuff that is just a bit… boring. I have to overcome a certain resistance inside before I can really dive into lines and colours with my usual interest. It´s probably character building.
20 x 20 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink and watercolours, on Arches cold press watercolour paper – not sure about the weight, and not sure I like it…
I did a quick sketch today from a nearby polling station, after using my civil right to cast my vote in the European parliament election. It feels good to see that the political party workers handing out ballot papers are chatting away in a friendly tone. I know that´s not the case all over the world.
22 x 15 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.
A few days ago me and my dear M ran some errands in town, and were caught by a heavy rain without jackets or umbrellas. We ran into one of the big churches of Stockholm, Gustaf Vasa kyrka, to avoid getting soaked. M moved on as soon as the rain subsided, while I ended up sitting in there drawing for an hour or so. So still, so quiet, such a complete opposite of the city´s noise right outside the doors.
Approx. 20 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.
Yesterday Stockholm was invaded by vintage cars – it was time for Gärdesloppet, or Prins Bertil Memorial, again. My last few sketching visits to this event ended like this, but fortunately the weather was fantastic this time.
I and a few other sketchers gathered early in the morning at one of the city´s public transport bus garages, to be picked up by a Scania-Vabis bulldog bus from 1938, heading for the event at Djurgården. It is quite an experience to get a ride in a vehicle like this – the wooden interior, the sound and even the smell are all a piece of motor history, and it´s great that this fellow is still rolling, 76 years after it´s premiere tour.
Later on during the day, we got the opportunity to tag along in the Bulldog for the veteran car parade through Stockholm. I did a wobbly (I must say suspension technique has developed since 1938) sketch from the front passenger seat, where you can catch a glimpse of the other old bus at the party, a Scania-Vabis Metropol from 1953. I was surprised to see that people of all ages were standing along the streets actually waving to the buses as we passed by. That is so cute.
Thanks a bunch to Thomas, Björn, Jens and the other drivers, for generously letting us into your precious vehicles!
As Gärdesloppet offers a huge field full of vintage cars from all times, it is kind of hard to choose which ones to draw in just a few hours. Apart from the bus, I went for a Citroën DS, because they are one of my favorite cars and I never see them in the streets anymore, and a huge Oldsmobile – because American cars from the fifties are just mad and a lot of fun to draw. But I could have gone on for another day or two. I didn´t get to draw any of the race cars, or the old Renaults, or the Jaguar E-types, or the Saab Sonett, or, or…
All drawings: approx 21 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.