Drawing time has been scarce lately, but I try to squeeze in some sketching to and from work every now and then. This is a really quick one drawn in Fruängen, a suburb I pass on my way to work. I sometimes have to wait for a bus here in the mornings, and now that spring is here – no mittens! – I´d rather stay outside sketching instead of heading for a nearby café.
12,5 x 12,5 cm, PITT pens (both fineliners and brush pens) and coloured pencils in HandBook sketchbook.
I have been drawing a panorama of Slussen in Stockholm lately. Sitting in Gamla stan (Old town) you can see the whole area across the water. (Scroll above to see the whole image.) Since it´s been so cold during March, I have had to draw this at four different occasions, sitting between 30-45 minutes each time. Then my fingers were deep frozen and I had to go defrost in a nearby café.
I find Slussen so incredibly intriguing to draw, with it´s complex structure and many functions. There is people and traffic everywhere, trains, buses, cars, bikes and pedestrians are all competing for space. In the many tunnels (both walkways and traffic tunnels) the light is often fascinating, and the perspective is sometimes a real challenge. Plus the whole place is getting quite dilapidated but now, tiles are falling off the walls, it´s dusty and dirty, but still in constant use. To me this all adds to the interest I have of drawing here.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I have the great honor of being one of the contributors in Danny Gregory´s new book, An Illustrated Journey. Danny has made a bunch of super interesting interviews with the contributors in this book, and here is mine. It is a half-hour chat about travel sketchbooks, drawing tools, sketching habits and whatnot. Hope you enjoy!
EDIT: If you are on a mobile device, you might be better off clicking the link at the bottom of this post to actually see the video! : )
I met with some friends at Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet (Museum of Natural History) today, to spend a day sketching. Still too cold outside, spring is playing hide-and-seek this year.
It is fascinating with all the animals, bugs, skeletons and whatnot in this museum, and for someone who does not draw animals very often, it is very good practice to sketch in here. I found a department today that I never visited before – the Polar area. Turned out polar bears are harder to draw than… CARS, even. I tried five times, but my bears look either like cuddly teddy bears, cougars or dogs…
All drawings: 13 x 13 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink or Staedtler fineliner, and watercolours in HandBook sketchbook.
Just a short post with no drawing for those of you who (like me) enjoy seeing the tools that other sketchers use:
Go check out Urban Sketcher Ed´s (Bath, UK) great pages about his sketching gear. Among other things, he has come up with some pretty nifty ideas for making really small watercolour kits like the one in the image here. I wouldn´t mind having one of those in my back pocket when I go sketching…
Follow the link below to his blog, and don´t forget to hover over “Sketching kit” in the main menu on his site, there is plenty more there! (And plenty of sketches on the main page too, of course.)
About two weeks ago, I received a copy of Danny Gregory´s latest book An Illustrated Journey in my mailbox. I feel so honored to be included in this book, among so many incredibly talented and inspiring travel sketchbook keepers around the world.
I have been quite absorbed in the book since it´s arrival. It is packed full of drawing habits, tools, travel stories and sketchbook pages, exactly the kind of stuff that makes me want to pack my sketching gear immediately and head out to draw.
A sketch from back in February. Sitting in one of Stockholm´s classical cafés, Ritorno, drawing and enjoying the cozy atmosphere of old furniture, stained carpets, dirty walls and good coffee. And I hope they never renovate this place, it would ruin the whole experience.
I sketch a lot, as often as I can find time for it, which means I have a lot of sketches and filled sketchbooks lying about. Mostly, that´s enough for me. The experience of making those sketches, and knowing that I have them in my sketchbooks generally makes my life a lot richer.
But sometimes I do use the sketches for continued work, and I thought I´d show an example. This above page, made with a carpenter´s pencil on very cheap paper at Slussen in Stockholm, was the start of my 2012 Christmas cards (top sketch) and a watercolour painting I finished today (bottom sketch).
I made the Christmas card by scanning the sketch, changing the pencil greyscale into three levels of grey in Photoshop, printed them out and cut stencils from them. Then I sprayed through the stencils with Copic airbrush, scanned the image, and sent it to a photo print shop to make cards. (For you Photoshop afficionados out there, there are many ways to do this, and I know some people like Posterize – I don´t. I like the control that Threshold gives for this, making four different copies with different amounts of black, then put them all into layers in one image. I change the black of each layer into the shade of grey I want, then set the layer blending mode to multiply to see the result. I might tweak each layer a little, before printing them out on paper.)
The bottom sketch caught my attention yesterday when I flipped through some sketchbooks to find material for watercolour paintings. I put the sketch in front of me on the table where I paint, made a light pencil sketch before wetting the paper, and then started painting. I´m trying to flex my watercolour muscles to get in shape for an exhibition this summer, and since I have been sketching a lot around Slussen lately, I thought I´d use those sketches for some of the paintings. Don´t know if I have found my peak yet, but I´ll keep at it for a while and see where it all lands.
As a break from sketching around Slussen in the cold, I met with a few fellow sketchers at Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) in Stockholm today. We had a great day, chatting away while both drawing the view out the restaurant windows and sketching people in the lobby.
I started a Moleskine Japanese album today. I never liked these accordion-folded sketchbooks, and I don´t love the Moleskine paper either, but for working in and around Slussen with ink pens and PITT brush pens (which has the graceful property of not creeping through paper) it should be ok. I thought it would be cool to collect these drawings in a book that can be spread out and shown as a whole. An experiment. We´ll see how it goes.
18 x 14 cm, Staedtler black fineliner and PITT artist big brush pens in Moleskine Japanese album.