Monday, September 25, 2006

Tellus Cykel & Motor

This little shop is just two minutes from my home, and I´ve been wanting to draw it for I don´t know how long. It´s got such a classical looking store front, with the letters and the windows in style with the rest of the building (a lady passing by told me it was built 1910), and it´s also the best bicycle store in Stockholm (in my opinion, and no, they didn´t pay me to say that, they don´t even know I posted this). The guys working there are real pros, doing quality work, selling quality bikes and as the smaller sign to the right says - giving real SERVICE to their customers, something that is getting as unusual these days as their goodlooking store front...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Patty´s Drawing Grid Challenge

Patty over at The Drawing Club posted a drawing grid a while ago (see here) and asked if anyone was interested in joining her in drawing more grids. I did, and this is the result. I liked doing this, it was actually quite easy to fill this grid (the idea was to fill it in one sitting) instead of doing one drawing on a whole page in my sketchbook. It´s not threatening at all to fill one small rectangle on the paper with a tiny drawing, while at times, on a bad day, it can feel like an enormous job to fill a page. I don´t think this will become my new daily drawing habit, but I will certainly do this every now and then to practice some composition and just get my hand going on a bad drawing day.

This grid was filled on the same day as the previous drawing below - the one that drove me mad. The grid was a joy to draw after that one, but I did have a hard time finding subjects for all those little squares. I´ll say it again - pine forests just aren´t my kind of environment.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Compulsive drawing

I spent most of yesterday outside in a forest. My students had an outdoor day, practicing orienteering. I sat by one of the controls in a deep pine forest and of course I used my time out there for drawing.

I know many artists find a lot of inspiration among tall trees out in the wild, and I enjoy drawing landscapes on the whole, but pine forests... I don´t know, they make me feel a bit claustrophobic. I mean, I like picking berries, mushrooms, or just walking around in them, but when it comes to drawing I suddenly feel like the old saying (at least in Sweden) "I can´t see the forest for all the trees".

I kind of forced myself to just sit down and draw what´s in front of me. Pine-trees. How inspiring. They are so... vertical. All of them. I couldn´t seem to find any interesting rhythms to capture on paper, and no intriguing compositions either, so I just started drawing one tree - any tree in the bunch, really - and worked on from there. After a while I kind of got the idea that if nothing else, I could at least try to get the values right. The tree-trunks were darker than the background, but lighter towards the top, so I started working with short strokes of my dip-pen to make light and dark. And man, did I regret that before I was done. I think this drawing took me an hour and a half, at least. It´s 13.5x19.5 cm of tiny ink-marks, and it almost drove me crazy.

Now that it´s done, I kind of like it, though. I can actually see a rhythm in it now, AND I like the composition. It was worth it, after all, but I hate this kind of detailed, time-consuming way of drawing. Not looking at it, but doing it. I hate it because once I´ve started something like this, I can´t stop until it´s finished, I get caught in this obsessive drawing behavior, and by the time it´s done I´m exhausted and a bit angry because I even got the idea to start something so tedious...

Still, this drawing fills it´s space well. It´s on the first page of my new sketchbook, and it´s always a good feeling to fill that first page...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Survivor rose

"How to paint flowers in watercolors" is not a favourite book title in my world - I´m not really into this botanical thing. Sure, flowers are great, I like having them around, I just don´t draw them very often.

Now, this rose is another story. It grows right outside the door of our apartment building. We are in the midst of a big renovation (yes, I know I mentioned it like a hundred years ago and they´re still working on it) and our apartment is finished but outside still looks like a dump.

In the middle of all that junk and dust and noise and ugliness, just to the left when you exit our building, there´s a tiny part of a flower bed that survived excavators and cranes and ladders and rough boots. And right there, a few inches from the door, is this grand yellow rose. It´s been shining there for quite some time now, it even survived the roe deers that tend to come around early mornings to eat rosebuds.

It got to me. How could I not sit down in front of this fighter and draw it?