March 17th, 2014
One of the evenings in Las Palmas, I went out drawing with fellow urban sketcher Ale. We walked a dusty and rocky path up to the top of the hill at Las Coloradas, and were met with a fantastic view over Las Palmas. (Click the images to see a bigger version.)
I tried to be quick here (because Ale is – and I am a firm believer of getting out of your comfort zone, so I followed his example…), so I worked mostly in watercolours with a big brush. I guess you could say this is sort of visual note-taking of a city – there aren´t many actual details in there when you look closer:
After the grand view of Las Palmas, we headed down to Triana, an older part of the city, and tried to get in to the Gabinete Literario to draw the interior, which is quite fantastic. It´s the kind of interior where you want to slip into a gala dress and make an unforgettable entrance down the red carpet staircase!
But alas, you needed a permission for photographing and drawing in there, so we made do with the front façade instead – which I have to say looks ok too.
I only had time for the actual drawing part of this, and added the colours later.
See Ale´s sketches of the evening here:
And Ale, thanks for a great tour around the city, and for splendid drawing company!
Panorama drawing: 44 x 14 cm, grey Copic Multiliner SP and watercolours, Gabinete Literario: 21,5 x 14,5 cm, PITT Artist pen and watercolours, both in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
March 16th, 2014
Not far from Las Palmas, there is a small town called Arucas, where there is this huge black church, looming high over the rest of the buildings – quite a sight. There are big churches all over Europe, but to me, this one is really special, because it is so fantastically big in comparison to the surrounding buildings. It´s as if it was built to the wrong scale!
I had to draw it, of course, and sat for about an hour and a half trying to do something to convey the feeling of standing in front of it, but honestly – this church is too much to fit on a sketchbook page.
(Click image for bigger view.)
21,5 x 14,5 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.
March 16th, 2014
After some trouble finding a better layout for the home office, I am back on track with scanning the sketchbook.
My walk around Vegueta (see my previous post) also brought me to this calm, almost sleepy, little square – Plaza de Santo Domingo. Two or three people and some pigeons were my company here on this warm early afternoon.
20 x 14,5 cm, various ink fineliners and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.
March 9th, 2014
While in Las Palmas, I spent a few hours walking around Vegueta, the oldest part of town. Stopped at Plaza Santa Ana to do some sketches from the square in front of the cathedral, then strolled around for a bit, enjoying the calm narrow streets, the nice atmosphere and the warm sun.
Then I went to look for the tiny Plaza de Espiritu Santo after a tip from local urban sketcher Ale. It turned out to be a beautiful little oasis, squeezed in between two streets. I sat there drawing for a while, listening to some kids playing and the water splashing in the fountain. And when I left, I discovered that I was right back at the cathedral again. Walking in circles…
Both drawings: 21,5 x 14 cm, various waterproof fineliners and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.
March 8th, 2014
Who knew Las Palmas had an antique car museum! Thanks to Pedro Villarrubia, local sketcher from Las Palmas, I had the opportunity to sketch a few old cars in Las Palmas.
We had to wait for a while for the little Club de Automoviles Antiquos de Las Palmas to open – a great opportunity to grab a coffee and compare sketchbooks.
Then into the museum for some sketching action. I think this museum is one of Las Palmas most well kept secrets – I tried to search for it online before going there, but couldn´t find it, and we were almost the only visitors during the evening. But oh the cars they have here! I get all soft inside when I see old beauties like these, and I really appreciate that there are dedicated enthusiasts who keep them alive.
And among all the classic Fords and Jaguars in there, suddenly there she was – an old Renault 16, same as my first car that dad gave me some time around 1990. I can still remember the comfortable soft suspension, the column shift and the little mono radio… Ah, the nostalgia. I also learned a few new bad words listening to dad trying to mend it when it broke down little by little the following years… ; )
Pedro´s drawings from the evening are here, if you scroll down a bit:
Both drawings: UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
March 7th, 2014
Of course a journey that includes flying has to include airport drawings. It´s a must.
I had the opportunity to meet with local Urban sketchers Pedro Villarrubia and Ale on our first day in Las Palmas. We started out with a fantastic lunch on Sunday, together with Pedro´s family and my dear M (who held the camera here) and then went out to sketch for a couple of hours. We were joined by Marie Carmen too, another local sketcher.
It really is great to be part of the big Urban Sketchers community when traveling – it is such a treasure to find new friends and sketching companions wherever you go. Thank you guys for joining me and M on this and following days, taking the time for sketching and showing us around town – you really enriched our stay in Las Palmas!
After lunch we sketched the obvious thing in front of us when we came out from the restaurant – Las Canteras beach. I was the slowest sketcher of the bunch.
See more of the other sketchers´work and posts about our sketch outing here:
It was a lovely feeling to be able to sketch outdoors in the sun, as a contrast to the grey and cold Stockholm views I´ve been surrounded by the last few months. And the greenery! Coming from bare winter trees in the North, to the parks of Las Palmas is fantastic. I spent the next morning sipping a nice cappucchino while drawing this amazing huge tree in Parque Doramas.
All drawings: 21,5 x 14,5 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink, various fineliners, and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.
March 2nd, 2014
Sketching is a foolproof way to keep you from getting bored, even during a long flight with a wall in front of you. I´ve been on a one week trip to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with my dear M and the in-laws, enjoying lots of sleep, good food, plenty of time for drawing, just the right amount of sun and warmth, one dip in the Atlantic (cold but quite enjoyable) and some very inspiring meetings with local urban sketchers. More sketches are coming out fresh from the scanner shortly.
21,5 x 14 cm, my dear M, the in-laws, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.
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.
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.
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.