Archive for the ‘Watercolour’ Category

Cold fingers in London

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

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Had the opportunity to go sketching for about two hours in London yesterday, wrapping up a work trip to this fabulous city. London, January and a cold wind makes for fingers cold as ice, not much different from drawing outdoors in Stockholm at the moment.

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Went into a café to warm up and fill in some colour, when a gentleman struck up a conversation with me. He wanted to discuss my technique, since he wanted to do something similar himself. He was suffering from stress, and had been ordered by the doctor to go out drawing. I´m just sayin´. This doctor got it right. :)

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I managed to squeeze in an early morning sketch too, of the not too inspiring view from my hotel room.

Top and bottom drawings: 21 x 14 cm, middle: 18 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliners and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Nice, France

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

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We went to Nice over the New Year, a short trip to get some light and see some new sights. I have never been to Nice before, it was a very positive first encounter! Love the size of the city, the sea, the sun, the food, and just about everything else. My dear M can also report that Nice is an ok place to have a cold in. Next time I will have to find more time for drawing.

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Having a hard time getting used to 2015 in my signature…

All drawings approx. 20 x 14,5 cm, UniPin fineliners and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Freezing watercolours

Monday, December 29th, 2014

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The Christmas celebrations are over, had a great time with relatives in Värmland in the Western part of Sweden. I managed to get myself out of the sofa (you know the drill around Christmas – lit candles, long-johns, and film watching is an important part of the general plan) and out drawing twice near where my in-laws live. I wanted to try out my watercolours in these really low temperatures (in this case -6 and -13°C), along with the vodka/water mix in my waterbrush. It did work really well to paint with watercolours this way, though the paint behaves a bit differently than usual.

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It freezes a bit on the palette, just about to the texture of slush ice. Squeezing out more water/alcohol into it, turns it into floating paint again for a little while. It dries pretty quickly on the page as long as I don´t add too many layers of paint in a short time. In the second image, the cloudy sky actually behaved like it dried, but when I got inside it turned wet again, so obviously it had frozen.

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Also, drawing and painting with double wool mittens is a bit tricky, but I found it quite liberating. I have to leave out a lot of detail, stop worrying about wiggly lines, and hurry up like crazy, because after about 20 minutes both drawing and paint has to be finished in these temperatures, otherwise I don´t have any sense left in my fingers.

So yeah, definitely no need to stop sketching outdoors because it´s cold. You just have to adjust time and tools a bit.

Top drawing: 20 x 13 cm, bottom drawing: 20 x 10 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours with vodka/water mix in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Stadshuset and some winter sun

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

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Today was a smashing winter´s day in Stockholm, with bright sunshine and just below 0°C. No snow yet, but we´ll get there. Four of the Stockholm sketchers gathered and spent a few lovely hours drawing near City hall. I don´t know how I managed to NOT fit in the three crowns on top of the tower here, they are such a strong symbol of the city, and leaving them out is such an epic fail. I´ll do better next time. Promise. :)

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When our fingers got completely frozen, we went on to Kungsholms kyrka (Kungsholm´s church) nearby, and sketched inside for an hour – then headed for coffee. I didn´t think I was going to find the time to make one more drawing before Christmas, so this whole day was a fabulous bonus.

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Merry Christmas to everyone who follows this blog! I hope you will have a wonderful holiday, not too far away from your sketchbooks and pens. :)

Top drawing: 21 x 15 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Exhibition Stadssamlaren at Spårvägsmuséet

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Välkommen till min utställning Stadssamlaren på Spårvägsmuséet på Söder i Stockholm! Vernissage fredag 5 december klockan 15.00! Ta buss 2 från Slussen mot Sofia, hoppa av vid hållplats Spårvägsmuséet. Utställningen är ett urval Stockholmsteckningar ur mina skissböcker, tecknade på plats i stan.

Welcome to my exhibition Stadssamlaren (The City Collector) at Spårvägsmuséet in Stockholm, opening Friday December 5th at 3 pm! On show is a selection of urban sketches from my sketchbooks, drawn on location in Stockholm. To get there, grab bus no 2 from Slussen, towards Sofia, the bus stop Spårvägsmuseet is right outside the entrance. See you there!

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Stockholm from Kaknästornet

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

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A slow sketch from the top of Kaknästornet (Kaknäs tower) in Stockholm. Autumn is here, and things get darker and less colourful every day. Still, Stockholm tends to look good from this height any season.

21 x 14,5 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink, Lamy Safari with diluted Noodler´s Lexington gray, and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Back at Slussen

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

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After returning home from Brazil, of course I had to check up on Slussen, one of my fav places to draw in Stockholm. I almost thought Kolingsborg – the oval building in this sketch – would be torn down by now, but it was still standing. All of Slussen is about to get demolished and rebuilt, but the process has been taking a long time, with protests and appeals against the building plans.

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After the elections in September, Stockholm (and Sweden) has a new government. The new politicians in City Hall want to review the building plans for Slussen, since they don´t think they had enough insight in the project before, so now you never know how long Kolingsborg will be standing there, overlooking Old Town. And you never know how long I will be sitting there on my folding stool sketching.

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All drawings: approx. 14 x 21 cm, various ink pens and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper.

Brazil, part 7 – São Paulo

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

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These are the last of my sketches from Brazil, from my very short stay in São Paulo. I wish I had had more time to explore this huge city, but I only had one evening and the following morning. Spent the time drawing together with Kumi from Japan, Andrea from the US and Cinthia, local sketcher from SP. We were sitting opposite the MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo), outside a park packed full of actual jungle (the parks in Stockholm are a little less… overwhelming). The museum was closed – fortunately, because otherwise we would probably have gone inside, looking at art instead of being out there drawing.

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The bus ride from Paraty to São Paulo was an incredible feast for the eyes. We passed through fantastic sea landscapes, the dense mata atlantica forest, rolling grass-filled hills and then São Paulo, which through my Stockholm-sized eyes is such a huge monster of a city that I couldn´t really grasp that I was actually there. Anyway, I tried to draw during the busride, which was an interesting experience – the road was not bad at all, but veeeery curvy! The guy sitting in front of me was suffering so badly from motion sickness, I felt so sorry for him – and so lucky that I´m not bothered by it.

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I also made an attempt at the view from my hotel window in a backstreet of Avenida Paulista. I would have loved to go on sketching the view above these old houses – they had huge skyscrapers looming above them – but got too tired and needed to go to sleep.

And, the very last sketch, from Guarulhos airport in São Paulo, waiting for my flight home. There I was, in an airconditioned aiport, cafe latte in my hand, looking out at an expensive aeroplane being pampered by technicians for hours – facing a huge favela. Makes you think.

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All drawings approx. 21 x 14,5 cm, various ink pens and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper.

Brazil, part 6 – more from Paraty

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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The historic center of Paraty during the 5th Urban sketchers symposium was all about sketchers. Wherever you turned, around every street corner, there were people sketching. I wanted to draw the Igreja de Santa Rita, because it is such a strong symbol of Paraty (do an image search on “Paraty” and you´ll see what I mean) – and of course, in front of it, there were a bunch of sketchers! Liz Steel´s gang of workshopers were working hard on capturing the very same building. In the bars in the evenings – sketchers at every second table, at least. And hardly any room for food and beverage, since sketchbooks took up most of the space.

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The boats in Paraty are a chapter of their own – so colourful! They are all painted in at least four bright colours, and walking along the harbor is a somewhat psycedelic experience.

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I didn´t manage to squeeze in a boat ride during my stay in Paraty, but I captured a few of these fantastic creations during our morning sketch sessions.

All sketches: 21 x 14,5 cm, various ink pens and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper.

Brazil, part 4 – Symposium start

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

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Teaching in an Urban sketchers symposium workshop is an incredibly fun and rewarding experience, but there is one small downside to it – you get a little less time for actual sketching. To squeeze in a little more drawing action, I and a few other instructors staying in the same hotel got up early to go sketching together in the mornings. (Yes, I took time off from work to go to Brazil, and still got up at six almost every morning.) After breakfast, we headed out for about an hour of drawing before the day´s symposium activities began.

Morning sketchers, Paraty

A happy bunch of morning sketchers: Esther from Scotland, Liz from Australia, Behzad (and here) from Iran, Stephanie from the US, Suhita from the US/India, and Marc from Canada – and Marc´s wife Laurel behind the camera.

On the first day of the Urban sketchers symposium I had the opportunity to join Behzad Bagheri´s workshop The joy of the movement. He showed us ways to loosen up and start sketching and painting without thinking so much, adding paint to paper even before deciding what to actually sketch.

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One of Paraty´s street dogs got very attached to fellow sketcher Kumi, and decided to stay on as our workshop mascot. He took center stage, almost competing with Behzad about our attention. :)

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Behzad had us trying out his way of working with watercolours, which was a very liberating and inspiring experience. (Same church as in the top sketch, but from another angle.)

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All sketches: approx. 21 x 14 cm, various pens and pencils and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper and Moleskine watercolour paper.


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