Archive for the ‘Stockholm’ Category

Sketchcrawl #43

Saturday, April 19th, 2014


Not many sketchcrawlers in Stockholm today, due to this being the day everyone celebrates Easter in Sweden. But two of us went to sketch in Skärholmen, a Stockholm suburb with a big shopping mall and a very active square. The weather was fantastic, and there were people everywhere, kids playing, dogs barking, music playing and a buzz of constant conversations in the air.


The weather gave the perfect conditions for sketching people. The warmth of the sun meant noone was in a rush to go anywhere, which gave plenty of time for sketching.

20 x 14,5 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

La DS Cornaline

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


I went to Moderna museet (the Modern museum, duh!) in Stockholm with a friend the other day, and Gabriel Orozco´s famous Citroën DS was on display. I had to give drawing it a try, of course, which was a mindboggling experience. No matter how much I tried to get the perspective and details right, I still had the feeling I was doing it all wrong… For those of you who haven´t seen this car in real life, here´s a short video on Youtube (not mine) to give you an idea: Orozco´s La DS Cornaline.

There was a no photo policy in this exhibition, but as sketchers, we had no problems with that. A guard told off every person who tried to photograph the DS, even with their phones, but we were allowed to sit as long as we wanted to sketch it. :)

16,5 x 18 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours on Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolour paper in handbound Russell Parry sketchbook.


Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


Gamla stan (Old town) in Stockholm is a bit of a challenge to sketch. Apart from your sketch always ending up looking like one of the zillion touristic postcards that are sold everywhere in Gamla stan, it is usually hard to find somewhere to sit comfortably for a longer stretch of time, because the streets are so narrow and often crowded with people. But if you take a little detour from the main streets, into some small alley, you may suddenly find yourself in a place like this. Gåstorget (Goose square) is a super small square, and it was empty and quiet the other day, and even provided a bench, a bit of shelter from the wind, and some interesting angles to draw.

17,5 x 19 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours on Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolour paper in handbound Russell Parry sketchbook.

Low tide in shopping land

Monday, April 14th, 2014


Sunday morning is a strange time to visit the busiest shopping streets in Stockholm. You don´t often see them this empty, it´s almost bearable to spend an hour here at this time.

This sketch is a first for two things: I´m trying out a new sketchbook, handbound by Russell Parry, and I am giving my brand new Daniel Smith watercolours a test run. I have been wanting to try DS colours for ages, but they have not been available in Sweden before, which makes them expensive to get hold of. But now they are here, in a shop near me, so no need to wait anymore.

17,5 x 19 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours on Fabriano Artistico hot press watercolour paper in handbound Russell Parry sketchbook.

Slussen protests

Sunday, April 6th, 2014


Spent a couple of hours at Slussen in Stockholm today, to capture some of the protest messages on the walls of Blå Bodarna (”Blue Stalls” – a walk tunnel that used to house an array of shops, of which only two or three are left, and soon closing). Handwritten messages are covering the tiled walls, protesting against the building plans for New Slussen.


I only saw one voice positive to the City´s glossy new vision of this place. I guess those who like the plans are counting on the City to go ahead with their plans – no need to go out and demonstrate your point of view.


45 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen, coloured Copic Multiliner SP  and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.


Friday, April 4th, 2014


Last Sunday we were a bunch of sketchers heading out to Millesgården, the museum and artist home of Swedish sculptor Carl Milles (1875-1955). There is a fantastic sculpture park surrounding the house and exhibition hall, and a grand view over Värtahamnen, one of Stockholm´s harbours. The weather was fantastic, and we spent quite a few hours drawing there. I spent the whole day on the same spread in my sketchbook, drawing different views in the sculpture park and some sculpture details. (Click image for larger view.)

42 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.

Entrance to art

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014


Stockholm has one of Europe´s hardest regulations against graffiti and street art, the City has decided on a zero tolerance policy, and graffiti gets washed away immediately when discovered. But of course, there are places where you can find great art if you know where to look – the usual “non-places” of a city, under bridges, in tunnels and concrete walls where not many people pass by.

This shady place, Atlasmuren (the Atlas wall), is one of those treasure troves. Enter in that darkest corner over there, and you will find all kinds of goodies. This Saturday I saw some beautiful photo works on tiles, some old stencil art, and great looking big wheat pasted posters. Bring a friend if you come here, though, because noone will hear you screaming if something happens in there…

21 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Saltsjöbanan, Slussen

Monday, 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.

Golden arrow

Sunday, 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.

Digging a hole for others

Tuesday, 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.

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