Tuesday, December 10, 2013


One of my favourite lunch places in Stockholm - Café Hängmatta! They have the greatest vegan sallads and soups. It takes forever to get the food, but on the other hand you have a lot of interesting non-matching furniture do draw while waiting...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Chambres en Ville

Just a quick sketch from the room at the little gorgeous B&B I stayed at when I last visited Brussels for a meeting. I really don´t enjoy doing interious, but something about this view just caught my attention. I think it was the glimps of the old fashioned bath tub that was really inviting... I didn´t have any time to try it out though. Next time?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dr Sketchys Anti Art School

I have been to two life drawing sessions at Dr Sketchy´s Anti Art School at Tureteatern in Stockholm. This has really been a lot of fun, and very difficult too. There are different themes each time, the first I went to was "Manga and Anime" and the second one "History of Music". There are models dressing up as someone and posing in 5-6 minute poses. The poses are usually quite challenging (for the models at least!) with funny facial expressions (which I am never able to catch, unfortunately).  I have had real problems with my scanner lately and I have tried to scan and post but given up after half of the colors disappeared in the scanner - especially the light areas just go blank. Any ideas of what I am doing wrong? Maybe I should go back to just taking photos with my Iphone or I will never get anything out here.... Anyway, here are some of the sketches that ended up ok from the scanner.... I just dropped the rest for now!

 From "History of Music"

 From Manga and Anime

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stockholm sketchgroup, late as usual

This is one of the sketches I produced the last time the Stockholm sketchgroup (Skissa i Stockholm) met. It was end of August, but since then, a lot of things came inbetween of posting...

Friday, October 11, 2013

The most beautiful orchid ever...

...at least in my livingroom... It was as pretty when we went away for vacations as it was when we came back. This really makes me want to paint a real watercolor, but I know I always get in to trouble when it comes to backgrounds - and foregrounds. Especially tables. I just don´t know how to handle large, boring areas of brown!? Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Where did Summer go?

I am, as usual, really, really, really behind with the posting. As you may see below, nothing has happened here since May! I think I will have to develop some kind of routine - scan and post every Tuesday morning, perhaps? Anyway, since it has been so long, I thought I would try for a kind of "summer catch-up" and publish a few selected spreads from my summer vacation, mostly spent in the Archipelargo south of Stockholm (Sörmlandskusten). It just might be the most beautiful place on earth and it is really hard to do it justice, but here goes... This time, the scanner did not cooperate at all, and the spreads with a lot of white just did not work at all, some of these below also look weird, but I decided on "good enough"- otherwise it will just never happend!

View from Lökholmarna, outside Nyköping, where we were completely alone in the bay.

 Some cliffs. I just love the look of these rocks in the archipelargo, with all different patterns and colors...

Ågården - a small restaurant/bed and breakfast in the beautiful little coast town Trosa. We had the most delicious meal of the whole summer here, and my mother came to visit and stayed in one of the tiny, extremely cute bedrooms.

Hävringe båk. This is a small island outside of Nyköping/Oxelösund which nowadays harbours a lighthouse, as well as this famous - well, I have no idea what it is called in english.... It is a building painted in white and red, which can be seen from far out at sea and which was used by sailors to orient themselfs as they approached the coast. Suggestions? (Note to self: buy english maritime dictornary....)
We sailed out in the hope of being able to go ashore and stay for the day, but the tiny harbour was very full (they only have like tree-four berths for guest boats). We ended up circling around it two times for photos and some quick sketches instead...

View from Lilla Trässö, outside of Oxelösund. A more or less perfect day.... great weather, warm water for swims, (well, around 20 degrees Celcius, just as warm as it gets here...), and a nice view!
Well, that was my summer.... Or parts of it anyway. Hope you all had a good one too...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Edim no 14 Draw a figurine

Edim no 14 - Draw a figurine. I don´t really collect figurines, so first I went through the kids toys, but then I realised that I have a small collection of angels, which are really christmas decorations, but I let them sit in my book shelf all year around because I like them so much. This one is attached to a small plate and it kind of looks like it floats around in space on a little round cloud or something...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Edim no 13 - draw a pillow

This is Edim no 13 - draw a pillow. Even if the number on the page says 12 (I messed it up...) and the pillow is actually a cushion... You can´t always get everything right :) This is a cushion sewn from my favorite fabric pattern - Loops by Josef Frank. I would like to get a matching curtain, or just a large piece of fabric to hang behind my sofa, but it costs enough to feed a small village of starving children so I have to live with a pice of IKEA-fabric behind my sofa that almost matches the cushion, but not really....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

EdiM catch-up 8-12

No 8 - draw a coffee pot. I don´t own a coffee pot - I brew my coffee straight into the thermo jug... As I got out the coffee-thermo-jug and the cups to draw, the kids thought it was coffee time and enthusiastically went for the cookie jar so I had to do some cookies as well...

I was away over the weekend, so I missed out on a few EdiMs and I had to do a really quick catch up of no:s 9-12: A lock, something creepy (the spider, although I am not really afraid of spiders), gloves and the oldest thing in my refrigerator. Judging by the other posts in the group, I am not the only one hiding a really old bottle of tabasco in a dark corner of my fridge...

Monday, May 13, 2013

EdiM 5-7

 I did draw one a day these days, but I did not manage to post. I posted on Facebook and on Flickr, but trying to make a blog entry from the phone is just too tedious - just writing in english with the autocorrect function constantly trying to turn every word into swedish can give anyone a nervous brakedown!
I messed up the dates somehow - this is supposed to be No 5 - draw a pine/fir/eucalyptus. Quick watercolor sketch in my temporary sketchbook on some unknown paper....
Edim No 6 - Perfume. Ink and watercolor in the same sketchbook - I aimed for loose and colorful, but I think it just got messy. Not happy at all with this one...

 No 7 - something I got for free. I got this chair from my sister - she inherited them from grandma and did a lot of hard work preparing to paint them but never got around to do it. As I got them, it was a quick job to add some color of my own choice! Nice! As I set out to paint one I realized Märta was dressed in matching clothes and I added her to the picture. The painting is done on Saunders Waterford watercolor paper, but somehow the seizing (or what it is called in english) seemed to have been destroyed on this particular sheet so the colors did not flow at all as usual. This led to my giving up almost halfway through the painting... Not a good EdiM- week....

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Edim 4 - draw your socks

The ugliest socks ever - pink with donkeys! Wins no fashion contests but the kids love them :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

EdiM #3 Something that represents joy

Every day in May #3 - draw something that represents joy.

Well, first I thought about the kids, obviously. In fact, when I woke up this morning I had great plans to draw them. Then, however, we had one of those days.... I guess any parent has been there - flower pots turned over, kids tumbling down the stairs, baby eating mud, ice cream smeared in the mother´s hair, toilet paper torn to tiny pieces all over the livingroom floor.... And that was just before lunch ;) Therefore, drawing time was kind of scarce - to say the least! (Nor did the kids bring me much joy today to be perfectly honest. More clean up work and a couple of nervous breakdowns....).

Therefore, I decided to draw some painting gear. Painting or drawing is the one thing that can always make me relax and turn my mood around however down I feel. Also, art in general makes me happy so my drawing gear sits in a cup I bought at the Zorn museum (Anders Zorn was one of Sweden´s greatest watercolor artist during the last century. Here is the watercolor on the cup) in Dalarna. I was there with a group of friends that also bring me much joy in life - we meet up every other week to draw, sketch, or do some other creative work, drink tea and chat. And did I mention we laugh a lot? So there is pure joy x 3 sitting in this drawing for me!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Every day in May

Edim 1 - draw something bubbly. Lemonade.... Yummy!

Edim 2 - draw your favourite sound. Breaking waves! Or any sound the sea makes! Right now I live far too far away from the sea.... But maybe we will buy a boat this year and then there will be some sailing this summer at least!

Ok, so I will give it a try this year too.... one drawing a day in May! I will definitely have to keep it simple if I want to keep up.... The biggest problem though is to find the time to scan and post! Mostly, I fall asleep with the kids after I have read them the bedtime story. Guess I will have to try to get my butt out of the bed in the evening. Or get up really early in the morning! Trying to do something with the computer with a one-year-old, who loves to press all the buttons, hanging around the house all day is quite complicated to say the least. We also have a lot of trips and other things going on in the family this May so I will have to either take photos with the phone or I won´t be able to do it every day.

Some spring flowers

Just doodling around a little playing with negative painting - it was quite a long time since I did some regular watercolor painting - not just sketchbook pages or illustrations so this was fun. Watercolor on Saunders 300 g fine grain.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sketching tools, or the portable studio...

The name of this blog, Annas Ateljé, means Anna's studio in swedish. The truth is that I don´t really have much of a studio. I do have a corner in the basement where I can keep my stuff and a small table to sit and paint at. In theory, this is very practical since I would not have to clean up my stuff every time I have painted. However, in practice, I don´t spend much time there. It is hard to find time to just sit down and paint at home with three kids hanging in my skirt and all the dishes and laundry staring at me.... Also, when I do have time, I much prefer sitting in the living room or at the kitchen table. So the solution has been to develop a kind of a portable studio. In a middle-sized handbag I keep most of what I need to sketch and to paint smaller watercolors:

Among the contents might be found a water bottle, a foldable mug, a travel kit with paint, some brushes, a miniature ink bottle, some pens and pencils, a miniature spray bottle, a squeeze bottle of masking fluid and some other random stuff. I also keep a couple of small watercolor paper blocks and my sketchbook.

This way, it is possible to quickly get set up to paint or sketch anywhere. Even in the bathroom...  It so happens that this is the room with best lightning in the house. It also allows instant access to water, a floor where I can splash around all I want and, as an added bonus, it provides an alibi - I can say I need time to take a shower and then sneek off to paint. One does get quite desperate sometimes on the quest to find time to create...

I also have a kind of emergency kit which always sits in my small handbag - a box with nine half-pans (glued in and refilled with tube paint), a water brush, a foldable travel brush, a pencil, a Lamy Safari with grey ink and a small Sharpie marker. This way, I can just grab my sketchbook or paint on something else if I  have forgotten it. I sometimes also keep a postcard size watercolor block in my bag. I find it is very good practice to paint with a limited palette and I must say one can get along quite well with just nine colors. I vary them a bit, but in the box above I keep Indigo, French Ultramarine, Cyan (from Lukas), Raw Sienna, New Gamboge, Winsor Lemon, Vandyke Brown, Winsor Violet and Permanent Rose. In the 12 color box I have the same colors plus Perylene Green, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber at the moment.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adventures in March....

I am running a bit behind with the posting, but here comes a little catch-up from March - just to get to the more recent sketches soon :) The above is a sketch from the Sthlm Boat Expo "Allt för sjön". It is hard to sketch environments with that massive amount of detail - I try to simplify but it just gets messy somehow...

The last sketch is a quick tulip sketch made while waiting for the family outside the kid´s sunday school. I negotiated with my husband to let me spend the time sketching and he had to take care of the baby! Then I strolled around trying to find some amazing view, but everything was just boring and it was too cold so I decided to just sit inside and sketch the first corner I could find with an empty chair!

Both sketches in pencil and watercolor on Saunders Waterford satin in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yasuragi Hasseludden

One of my favourite places in the world (oh, well - in Stockholm anyway) is Yasuragi Hasseludden. It is a Japanese SPA with a wonderful view of the archipelago from the hot baths outside. The above sketch is in ink and watercolor from a visit there with my sister a couple of weeks ago. The below sketch is in pencil and watercolor and was done when we were there the whole family on a yasuragi kids event. (Not quite as peaceful as it otherwise is at a SPA). It got a little messy - I find it difficult to simplify disturbing backgrounds, or rather, to find the right level of detail in the foreground and background....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Winter in Stockholm

Now spring is finally approaching! This has been a long winter with a lot of snow and cold. Some days that just means a lot of trouble getting the kids dressed up for kindergarden and school, but some days that means beautiful winter landscapes to walk in and to sketch! Goodbye winter for now though (I hope)!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sketchers at the museum of modern arts

Last sunday of each month, a group of sketchers from the Stockholm sketch crawl group meet at some location to sketch, drink coffee and share thoughts and ideas. I have not participated more than a couple of times but it is always really inspiring and a lot of fun. Today, we met at the museum of modern arts in Stockholm (Moderna Museet). First, we did some view sketches from the café and then we went on to drawing some people in the lobby. These are two of my most hateful subjects - urban sketches with a lot of buildings and windows - I totally lack patience for these - and people who just refuse to stand still - I totally lack confidence fore these! But as always, the talented company I am in inspires me to at least give it a shot! I skipped the ink pens today and went for pencil and watercolor. Somehow it feels so intimidating with ink - I seriously consider skipping it altogether for my sketchbook.

Oh, and I got my new scanner/printer to work today! I don´t know if I think it produces such great results as I had hoped for, still a little blurry... But there are probably some fine tuning left to do... At least the pictures are straight now...

Monday, January 21, 2013

International sketchcrawl #38

This weekend a group of us went sketching in Biologiska museet in Stockholm for the international sketch crawl #38. It was a lot of fun as usual, but unfortunately it was a bit too cold.... It was around -20 degrees celcius outside and the old building was not too well isolated i guess so my fingers were too cold to sketch after a mere hour or so. It was also quite dark inside the building and stuffed animals kind of freaks me out a bit so I was mostly happy to leave the place early! We then went for lunch at Blå Porten in the neighborhood and I did some more doodling although it was a bit too crowded and too little space to really get the drawing inspiration flowing.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Some illustrated quotes

I have been working on some illustrated quotes that I wanted to hang in my kitchen for a while. I did some messy backgrounds in mixed media (or, well, I took some messed up scrap papers and did a little watercolor doodling and some prints on them) but I never really got around to writing. Once I took a calligraphy course and since then I am almost terrified to write anything. It was really anti-creative with a lot of instructions on how you really really really had to learn all the abc´s before you could start inventing letters of your own and let your writing free etc etc. So I always worry too much about the letters getting perfect and exact which means, at least in this case, I was too scared to get started. What if one letter got ugly and I had to start over with the background? So, finally, after finding some inspiration in the wonderful blog of We Three I decided to skip the calligraphy pens and just get going with a permanent marker! It is not the most beautiful writing in the world, thats for sure, but I am quite happy with the end result anyway! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New sketchbook, and a challenge

I finished my old sketchbook which was a bit of a try-out of different papers and now I have started a new one which I bound out of Saunders Waterford Satin - the paper I liked most in the old one. I used some pages of a little thinner, cheaper paper as well to be able to squeeze some extra pages in the cover. I covered it in cloth this time instead of paper. I like the feel of it, but I am not sure I had the right glue to actually make it last without ripping open. We´ll see... Hopefully I will finish this a bit quicker than my last book that took me a year!

In fact, one of my goals for this year is to really get the drawing and painting activities going again! I have made a small studio out of a corner in our basement so I can always leave the things ready to go and I have made two different drawing kits to go - one mini-kit which always sits around in my handbag, and one larger that I can grab if I know I am going somewhere to paint. Also, a friend and I just challenged each other to one drawing a day for ten days! It does not have to be big, or good, or colored, or inspiring... but minimum 5 minutes a day with some kind of drawing tool on some kind of paper (be it a bus ticket, a napkin or whatever) and we have to send each other photo evidence. I will try to post some as well, but sometimes posting seems to rather keep me from drawing/painting than the other way around - as if I get a bit restricted if I know I have to present the end result to an audience.... I think I have to realise that it is my blog and I can decide for myself if something is worth posting or not!

It would be a fun challenge to do together with other bloggers though... anybody out there who is interested?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Art exhibition at work

I am currently on maternity leave from my job but I was invited to exhibit some of my watercolours in the new dining room (or whatever you call it in an office building!?) a long with a couple of other colleagues who also have different creative talents. I couldn´t frame the pictures since there were no hooks on the walls - they had to be hung with needles only - but I think it turned out ok anyway. I didn´t have a special "theme" for the paintings since I wanted to show a bit of everything I do (more or less). Here are some pictures of what my part of the exhibition looked like anyway.