Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A favourite of mine

Location: Konstnärshuset, Stockholm

It is always easier to sketch when one enjoys the subject that one is trying to capture on paper. This was the case for me yesterday evening when I drew one of my favourite models.

Nude by David Meldrum
5 minutes

Nude by David Meldrum
5 minutes

Nude by David Meldrum
5 minutes

Nude by David Meldrum
5 minutes

Social sketching

Normally, for the last few weeks at any rate, I have been alone sketching each day at the Central Station here in Stockholm. Last Sunday was a different story though, because seven other urban-sketchers joined me for an afternoon of sketching at the station. We are all members of a group called "Skissa i Stockholm" which translated means - Sketching in Stockholm. Anyway, fun that so many turned up. It was a lovely afternoon. The coffee break taking up a large chunk of the available time, but that's normal. We artists love to talk about our pencils! If anyone in Stockholm would like to join our group, please do let me know, "the more the merrier", as they say.

Albert & Jack's by David Meldrum
Albert & Jack's, Central Station, Stockholm

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lunch time portrait of Frida

As usual, I'm not totally happy with my effort but I'm not totally disappointed either. I spent three half-hour lunch breaks painting her in total. Painted on Fabriano 50% Cotton paper, 23x30cm.

...After thought:
Looking at the portrait again the day after, I have to admit that I am happy with the result. I should not really comment on my work until at least 24hrs have passed.

Frida Kahlo de Rivera by David Meldrum - 20140128
Frida Kahlo de Rivera - 20140128

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday's Life Drawing

Location: Basis, Stockholm

Great model, the same girl as last weekend. I was not really in good shape physically but I managed to produce a few decent sketches. If you don't feel good, it's hard to be good!

Nude by David Meldrum
10 minutes

Nude by David Meldrum
15 minutes

Nude by David Meldrum
5 minutes

Nude by David Meldrum
3 minutes

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday's Life Drawing

Location: Konstnärshuset, Stockholm

These days I am very focused on capturing the contour of the figures I draw, I want to improve my ability to judge distance at speed, shading is secondary but enjoyable if time permits.

Sketch of female nude by David Meldrum
10 minute sketch on A4 Fabriano paper

Sketch of female nude by David Meldrum
5 minute sketch on A4 Fabriano paper

Sketch of female nude by David Meldrum
5 minute sketch on A4 Fabriano paper

Sketch of female nude by David Meldrum
2 minute sketch on A4 Fabriano paper

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Central Station Watercolour Sketch

I keep reminding myself it's a sketch and not a painting. So as a sketch, I'm happy with it. Setting the tonal values for a scene was more difficult than I thought it would be, something for me to practice - definitely.

A4 Moleskin watercolour notebook, 200g.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Work in progress ...

I will finish this tomorrow morning. Today I focused on the light and mid-tones. One never knows if a watercolour will be a success or not. The foreground figures will be dark in tone, it will be exciting to see what develops ...

Central Station - Work In Progress
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Keeping it simple

Location: Basis, Stockholm

I just had an A4 block of Fabriano paper, a pencil and two CretaColor pencils. It means I am more relaxed when I draw, saying that, I would not mind doing some watercolour sketches at life drawing soon. I just wish there where more 15 minute poses, that is a good length of time to sketch and paint a nude.

15 minute nude by David Meldrum
15 minute nude.

10 minute nude by David Meldrum
10 minute nude.
2 minute nude by David Meldrum
2 minute nude.

Friday, January 17, 2014

One interesting week at Central Station

The homeless, hopeful immigrants, tired commuters and friendly train station employees, all these interesting people I encountered during my first week at the Central Train Station. It was truly a wonderful experience and so I plan to continue getting up an hour earlier even next week and spend 60 minutes achieving something that I would normally only contemplate. Crazy stuff!
Today I spent time working out how to paint a watercolour which I will complete on Monday. I plan to paint the foreground figures quite dark and the background fairly light. The person walking through the arch being the focal point. It usually goes to hell after a brush stroke or two, but that is why watercolouring is so entertaining. The other sketch was a winding up exercise, I had 15 minutes before the train came, so I sketched, what else is there to do in a train station!

Sketch at Central Station, Stockholm by David Meldrum
Pencil sketch at Central Station, Stockholm

Sketch at Central Station, Stockholm by David Meldrum
Uncompleted watercolour of Central Station

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Going soft at Central Station

If one cares to look at my drawings from a few years back one can see I used outlines as a rule. I think when one is unsure one uses an outline as a form of familiar security, like filling in the dots, a, b and c. I've been trying to break away from this for ages, it's not easy when one has used it for a life time. That's why I like watercolour so much, it does not like to stay within the any lines I put down. This morning I focused on tone and not line, I realize that if I'm ever going to be a good painter I'll have to master tone and composition, both of which I'm studying at the moment.

Sketches from Central Station by David Meldrum
Central Station

Sketches from Central Station by David Meldrum
Reading the sign

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Watercolouring at Central Station

After a couple of days sketching at the Central Train Station here in Stockholm I felt ready to do my first watercolour sketch for 2014. I'm happy enough with the result, I spent two hours on it over a two day period. I used too much gouache for highlighting but as it's just a sketch I really don't mind, I'd prefer to use less of course.
I am getting up one hour earlier this week so that I have an hour to sketch before going to work. It is not as hard as I thought it would be. Now, I've found an extra hour each day to sketch and paint which makes me happy.

Under the Departure Sign at Central Station Stockholm by David Meldrum
Under the Departure Sign at Central Station Stockholm. Moleskin A4 watercolour notebook.



The first day.
The first day, 20140113

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Waiting for a watercolour

I've been drawing everyday at the Train Station since rediscovering it as an indoor sketching utopia. I had planed to watercolour today but I'm not confident enough with the environment. I am getting there though, it's a mind-game. One has to believe that one can can do it.

Sketch of Central Station, Stockholm by David Meldrum
A4, HB pencil sketch, Central Station, Stockholm

Sketch of Central Station, Stockholm by David Meldrum
A4, HB pencil sketch, Central Station, Stockholm

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fitting art into my everyday life

Like most people I have a day job, it pays the bills and helps keep a roof over my head. I dream of being an artist but the reality is that I work 9-5 and spend hours each day commuting back and forth to the office. After discovering, The Great Indoors of Stockholm (see last post), I stopped on my way to work today at Central Station and did this quick sketch. So it's possible for me to sketch on the way to work, at lunch time and then again on the way home. Suddenly, I have so much time for my art!


On the way to work by David Meldrum
On the way to work. A4, HB pencil on Fabrino paper

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Urban sketching in a cold climate

As far as Urban Sketching is concerned I've always felt sorry for myself living this far north. In Stockholm your fingers go numb after 30 minutes for at least half the year. I have dreamt often of holidays in the sun sketching for weeks on end in sun-drenched villages with happy tourists and buildings to draw.

My solution is to go indoors. The Central Station of Stockholm is a wonderful place to sketch, there is also the bus station and the underground. They are all warm places and there are lots people waiting there to be drawn, watercoloured even. Wintertime also brings darkness but not in the Stations of Stockholm, I look forward to many hours of urban sketching throughout the winter months in the great indoors of Stockholm.

A4, HB pencil sketch, Central Station, Stockholm
A4, HB pencil sketch, Central Station, Stockholm

A4, HB pencil sketch, Central Station, Stockholm
A4, HB pencil sketch, Central Station, Stockholm