Archive for the ‘Stockholm’ Category

Saltsjöbanan revisited

Sunday, June 26th, 2016


I went drawing at Slussen with Urban sketchers Stockholm today. Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side, the rain was pouring down at noon. But no matter how worn down and half deconstructed Slussen gets, it still provides roof over your head for sketching, so we were ok.

I was surprised to see that the tracks at Saltsjöbanan were already removed – a railroad station without rails is a very strange view. I decided to sit down on the former tracks and do a remake of sorts, of this drawing from 2014:


Then, on my way home, I couldn´t help stopping by at another place I´ve drawn before. Another take on the Northern entrance to Blå bodarna:


And an earlier version from 2013, when the place was still in use (but already far from it´s former glory):


Top drawing: 21 x 15 cm, Blå bodarna from today: 12 x 14 cm, both UniPin fineliners and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Filming for Sketchbook Skool

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Gabrielle, me and Peter, filming in Juniparken in Midsommarkransen. Photo: Koosje Koene

I have spent the past two days in a role I am not quite used to – in front of two film cameras and a boom mike.

I have been working with an incredibly professional and inspirational group of people, filming material for Sketchbook Skool. It has been two days of constant concentration, big time learning, and lots of fun. Now I´m looking forward to joining the fakulty of SBS, and to meeting new students and creatives online!


Koosje and yours truly, outside Tellusbion in Kransen. Photo: Koosje Koene

Koosje Koene from Sketchbook Skool has been guiding me through the experience, and she was absolutely fabulous at keeping everything on track. I have seldom worked with someone so completely focused on the task at hand, while still leaving so much room for laughter, great conversations and afterthought. Thanks a lot, Koosje, it´s been a great two days!


Would also like to thank the film crew, Peter Östlund and Gabrielle Wikhede for their expertise and complete calm in this project. It´s been fabulous to work with you guys!

Also, big thanks to the good people at Tellusbion, who kindly let us use their café for indoors scenes.


Friday, June 17th, 2016


(Click for larger view.)

A couple of weeks ago, I went drawing with Stockholm urban sketchers in Hökarängen, a 50´s suburb south of Stockholm. It´s a charming place, feels like a suburb built with humans in mind back in the day. It´s also one of the friendlier places that I´ve sat down to draw in, because so many people stopped to talk for a minute or two. Had really nice discussions: talked about art in general, discussed whether my eyes have a better wide angle lens than the local photographer´s camera (he stopped by and took a few snapshots), compared drawing to making music (met a local musician), of course, commenting the weather (which was fantastic that day) and how difficult it is (or not) to paint watercolours.


Also, I watched a woman´s bicycle while she did a bit of grocery shopping – her lock had broken the day before – and she gave me a bag of chocolate dipped walnuts for it. Brought those to the nearest café and had a feast with my drawing buddies! :)

Check out the works of the rest of the group here.

42 x 15 cm, Kizuna DecoPen (fude nib) with De Atramentis document black ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.

Concrete jungle

Sunday, June 12th, 2016


This is a place I have passed by in our car and on my bicycle so many times, thinking that in spite of the grim and noisy atmosphere, there is actually a beautiful light here. And now in summer, there is even this shimmering green playing with the sunlight inbetween the concrete tree trunks. Beautiful, in a weird way. It´s like a forest, even if it´s man-made and very mathematical.


This weekend I decided to explore this place a bit with pen in hand. It´s more fun than you´d think to sit under one of the biggest highways in Sweden drawing! There are some pretty cool perspective problems to work on here. I´m not used to sitting with my head practically touching a highway, so had to think for a bit how to capture the depth of these ramps and bridges. (Plus I had to wash my hair when I got home, this is definitely one of the dirtier spots I´ve been drawing at.)


In spite of the noise from the roads, it is very still down here. It is dry, dusty and almost unreal in it´s quietude, even though cafés and shops are open just a few minutes bikeride away, and people are rushing past in their cars just one or two meters from my head. Contrasts are not only about colours and values, are they?

First and last drawing: 21 x 15 cm, middle drawing: 42 x 15 cm, fude nib fountain pen with De Atramentis document black ink, and watercolours, in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

SAAB Sonett I

Monday, June 6th, 2016


This Saturday, as I was heading out on my bicycle, I stumbled (if you can do that on a bike) across the annual meeting of the Swedish SAAB Sonett club. 20 or so sweet Sonetts, all neatly parked about 100 meters from our home – what are the odds of that happening?

Guess what? I cancelled my plans for the next two hours, and sat down behind this beauty to draw – a SAAB Sonett I, the first model, of which they only made six back in the day. You have to grab an opportunity like that, when it´s practically thrown at you!

28 x 15 cm, Lamy Safaris with DeAtramentis black document ink, and Noodler´s Lexington grey ink, and watercolours, in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Gärdesloppet 2016

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


Today I had the pleasure of spending the day at Biskopsudden in Stockholm, along with sketching friends from Urban Sketchers Stockholm, to enjoy all the vintage cars of Gärdesloppet. Oh joy, a whole field full of old cars of all brands, and fire trucks, and buses, and old ambulances (you know, from when they were still white with a red cross), and motorcycles, and, and… Just wish they´d all stay there for a couple of more days, one day is too short.

Anyway. I got a ride in the car cortege around town with the fine folks who renovated this old trolleybus to it´s former glory. Had a blast trying to capture the interior during a somewhat bumpy ride. Kudos to the people who not only renovated this pearl once, but did it again after it burned in 2013!!


Apart from bus rides and a lovely picnic with fellow urban sketchers, I stopped by this little gem, a Fiat Topolino from 1950. I love the simplicity of these cars. Too hot? Just open the little hatch in front of the door to let the wind in, and roll back the textile roof!


All images: 21 x 15 cm, Lamy Safari (mostly) with DeAtramentis Document black ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.

Volkswagen Kleinbus in a storm

Monday, May 16th, 2016


It is so much fun to draw old cars, and now is the time to do it. In winter they are all hibernating in hidden places.

I found this guy parked in our street on my way home the other day. There was half a storm going on, and I wasn´t quite dressed for the occasion, but I managed to do a standing-up quick drawing (see below) without the sketchbook being blown away or rained on. Then into the warmth by the kitchen table, with a cup of tea, and watercolours. Voilá!

Turned out ok, I think, after nudging the right headlight into a more correct position. The poor fellow looked a little cross-eyed before that…


15 x 20 cm, Lamy Safari with diluted Noodler´s Lexington grey ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Drawing a car, thinking of Florian

Sunday, May 8th, 2016


It´s that time of the year again, when pretty old cars come out to play in the streets of Stockholm. It is always such a joy to try to capture these old beauties with pen in hand.

I had a bittersweet moment drawing this SAAB Sonett V4 today, though, since it inevitably made me think of fellow urban sketcher Florian Afflerbach, who sadly passed away in a traffic accident a few days ago. Apart from being a genuinely nice person, Florian was a constant source of sketching inspiration, and had a big influence on my car drawing habits.

R.I.P. Florian, thank you for all the inspiration you brought to the rest of us.

Flaf´s drawings on Flickr.

21 x 14 cm, Lamy Safari with diluted Noodler´s Lexington grey ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Stortorget in rain, sunshine and hail

Monday, April 25th, 2016


Yesterday was the last Sunday of April, which means sketching time with Urban sketchers Stockholm. In spite of rain, hail, sunshine, hail again, and then some rain, all in one and a half hour, 16 keen sketchers turned up at Stortorget in Gamla stan (Old town).


I discovered that fineliners don´t like raindrops. As soon as I ran the pen across a drop of water (or half frozen hail, for that matter), it stopped working for a while! Luckily I had three pens of the same nib size.


Here are a few of the brave sixteen, some with mittens, some with hats, all with a deep concentrated gaze across Stortorget.

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


Thursday, April 14th, 2016


Last Sunday I went drawing at Bysistorget with Urban sketchers Stockholm. It was a rather informal meeting, hardly planned ahead at all, but still 11 people showed up with pen in hand! Good times, cherry blossoms and sunshine!

27 x 16 cm, Kizuna fude pen with De Atramentis ink and watercolours on some kind of unknown watercolour paper.

Copyright © 2017 Nina Johansson. All Rights Reserved.
No computers were harmed in the 0.173 seconds it took to produce this page.

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