Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring is approaching!

Watercolor and ink on Saunders Waterford Satin, in sketchbook

A quite certain sign that spring is coming soon is that the little kids that knock on our door regularly stop selling cookies and start selling tulips. Much healthier! I have a serious problem saying no when they want to collect for something and I start to think that the rumor is spreading...

Monday, February 27, 2012


Watercolor and ink on Saunders Waterford Satin, in sketchbook

It´s still winter here, but on some days one can feel spring approaching! I did this drawing a week ago or so, and then everything was still covered in snow. Now the ground is partly green (well, grey) at least!

Oh, yes, and winter is called "vinter" in Swedish if someone wonders about the spelling..... It´s actually funny - winter and summer are quite similar words in English, Swedish and German (my three main languages) - winter/vinter/Winter and summer/sommar/Summer but spring (vår/Frühling) is a completely different one. I wonder why....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Some drawing gear

Watercolor and Noodler´s Lexington Grey ink on Saunders Waterford paper in sketchbook

I just drew the stuff I carry around for drawing and painting the other day. I have a "large set" of portable  equipment consisting more or less of the above. A couple of extra pens and pencils and an eraser didn´t fit in to the drawing, and a small bottle of water and a flat brush as well. The colors are W&N artist colors from tubes, which I use to refill the half pans in the little plastic box. It is Winsor yellow, New Gamboge, Indigo, French Ultramarine, Phtalo Turquise, Winsor purple, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ivory black Scarlet Lake and Permanent Rose. I am thinking of exchanging Burnt Umber for Vandyke Brown though. It is a color I just recently started to use and I like it so far. You might notice that I don´t use any green color - I haven´t been able to find one that I like so in the middle mixing compartment I always have an ongoing green mixture, usually New Gamboge and Indigo, but with other colors too depending on what color green I want. I sometimes squeeze a bit of New Gamboge tube color directly into the compartment which makes it easier.

Almost at the same time as I did my drawing, I got my hands on a couple of flex nib pens from Noodlers and started to think about a real mini-kit with drawing stuff that would fit into my regular small handbag. Now, I sometimes leave my drawing stuff behind if I don´t think I will get the time to do something, and then the opportunities always seem to show up some how. So I made a mini-kit with one (Flex) pen, one pencil, a portable brush, a waterbrush and a little plastic box where I glued 9 half pans. That equipment I could always bring with me along with a small sketchbook - I´ll report back if it works for me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February coffebreak

Last week, I had coffe at a really nice little Café in Nyköping, where my mother lives, sitting out in their backyard in the middle of the winter.... They have a kind of a green-house, heated and with tables for guests, where you can sit all year around. Nice! I enjoyed a "Semla" a Swedish traditional bakery that we eat in February, actually, it is not supposed to be consumed before the official day of the "semla", which is the day before Lent, so I cheated a bit... I somehow seem to do that every year!? 

My pictures get horrible, by the way. I really need to get a scanner, but I don´t know which one or how to use it. Ideas, anyone?

Monday, February 6, 2012

New sketchbook

Since I think the Moleskin I have been using is quite hard to draw in, and also does not hold enough water for a watercolor notebook I bound a sketchbook of my own, with different paper in it, to try out some options.

The above is made on Saunders Waterford Satin, which I quite like. The color is added wet on wet and spreads nicely, I think. It dries a little uneven though, so even washes are a bit hard to make.

The second orchid is done with the same technique on Arches Satinée. It is similar to Saunders, but the paper dries even more unevenly, which has a tendency to create backruns and "cauliflowers" when it dries. Also, for some reason, the ink smeared more on this paper! I used Noodler´s black, which is designed to dry waterproof in contact with the cellulose in the paper. I don´t know if this paper contains less cellulose than Saunders since the ink didn´t get waterproof as it should?

The above drawing is made on Saunders again. This time, I wetted the paper completely (and added the green color in the middle of the flower wet-on-wet) before I let it dry and then did the background. This is the way you normally work with watercolor paper since it is wetted when stretched for a painting, and this sure did the trick. It was much easier to create an even wash this way.