Sunday, 30 August 2009


I've been incapacitated by pain for the past week, and haven't drawn a line since last Monday. Tonight I finally managed a sketch in the watercolour journal - another scene from the livingroom, featuring the usual sofa that has already appeared in a number of entries in the book.

click to view large

Scans of each page on its own:

Washing - detail

Washing - detail

I tried to get some shots of the scene with my cameraphone, but the light is very poor, and the shots are murky and fuzzy. Still, it may give an impression of the setup:

Washing in watercolour
I paint with the sketchbook balancing on my knees.

Washing in watercolour

I've booked a second treatment at the acupuncturist for Tuesday - the last one was Thursday, and I have hopes that one or two more visits will see the bottom of this bout.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sketching by the canal

Lunchbreak sketching with my sketching buddy Anette today. We picked up some Chinese takeaway and each found a low plinth by the canal. Cramming lunch shopping, eating, chatting, AND a watercolour sketch into under 60 minutes makes for some hurried sketching.

Sketching Cross Café

Sketching Cross Café
Within 15 minutes the steps were crawling with students on lunch break. It was both noisy and crowded, and I had my work cut out for me juggling sketchbook, paintbox-palette, and a wad of tissue to wipe the waterbrush on, while trying to catch part of the noisy jostling scene in no time and without dropping any of my equipment.

Sketching by the canal

The paper got a few stains and swipes, and I gave up doing much in the colour-mixing department, but all in all the exercise was reasonably successful considering my minimal workspace of a pair of narrow knees!

Cross Café
click here to view larger

Here are the two pages of the spread scanned in seperately:



I think it's interesting to see the differences in mood and colour between the two halves of the image.

Here is a snapshot of Anette's sketch of two café guests:

Anettes café skitse

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Café sketching again

I went to the cinema today with the girls, and afterwards we stopped by Café Stiften next to the central station - it re-opened recently after having been closed since spring. The place is still comfy with good service and a nice card, prices are medium-high. I took the time to do a watercolour, but was rather tired and forgot to get progress shots.

Café Stiften
view large

I think this half of the spread is the most succesful, the other half ended up too jumbled and slightly overworked.


Yesterday the café-stop was at Café Englen in Studsgade, where Reza and I went after a meeting in town. They have a nice little yard in the back where the sun lured us out for an hour or so. They serve properly brewed tea in small castiron pots - so nice!

Te på Englen
I had tea of course - who could resist. And the pot keeps it nicely warm for the duration of a sketch and a chat.

Te på Englen Te på Englen

The woman at the neighbouring table was very interested in what I was doing, and wanted to buy my painting. Since I'm paiting on both sides of the pages, I couldn't just rip this out and sell it to her, but she got one of my little cards and my mobile number, so maybe she'll call and make a deal for a watercolour.

view large

The paper on this page seemed to be partly coated - perhaps some glue got onto the surface when the sketchbook was bound.


I'm still enjoying my watercolour sketchbook, although it does mean a slightly more demanding setup when I want to sketch.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

DHL relay in Mindeparken

I took part in the annual DHL relay in Mindeparken yesterday, together with a bunch of colleagues from work. We managed two teams for the race, and one team for the walk - I was one of the walkers and we had a lovely route through the wood, skirting the bay and then back to the park.

DHL-stafet i Mindeparken DHL-stafet i Mindeparken

The weather was perfect and the park teeming with people. This year they've had to stretch the race across three days in order to accomodate all the participants. The walk is a new addition to the relay, it's only been a part of it for 2 or 3 years I believe, and we were over 3500 participants in the walk yesterday - cars of people trying to take the (wrong) short way back from a day at the beach were stuck on the pedestrian-congested roads for up to an hour.

DHL-stafet i Mindeparken DHL-stafet i Mindeparken

Everyone in the park was milling about, getting ready for the races, putting on numbers, sitting down for a chat then jumping up to change clothes or shoes - it was almost impossible to sketch anyone.



In the end when the races were through the sun set, people filled up on grilled chicken, fresh fruit and large beers, and finally sat down for a bit of rest. I did a quick watercolour in the darkness by the light of the embers - the colours were mixed from experience with the palette, rather than from any ability to actually see what I was doing, and I was quite surprised at the result when I got home.


View larger :HERE:, and you can also find detail scans in my Flickr stream.

All in all a really nice evening.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Coffeebar sketching

I'm well into my second busy work week after the holidays, and decided that I had definitely earned a stop-over at my preferred Baresso coffeebar after work today.


Ink pen and coloured pencil in my pocket sketchbook, drawn while lounging in a deep and exquisitely comfy sofa - I invited my daughter along, and she did the queuing while I sketched. The perfect after work passtime!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Lamplight watercolour

I've been fascinated by some of the artists on Urban Sketchers who do night sketches - colours and light look so different in the dark. I wanted to try it myself, but I've held back with the watercolours because it's still such a new medium for me.

I've done several of the pages at home in the evening, but not decidedly done a night image - with the characteristic darkness surrounding colours and areas of light. Well, last night I decided to try my hand at a proper night-sketch of Soraya reading by lamplight.

Night sketching
I'm sticking to my waterbrush, even for sketching at home, despite its clear limitations - I want to become really familiar with using it.

Night sketching
It's almost impossible to get a photo with my little cameraphone under these lighting conditions, but I wanted to try to catch a shot with the sketchbook anyway.

Reading at night
The finished entry is quite colourful. You can view a larger version of the image HERE - just click. I like mixing areas of detailed study and loosely sketched parts in the same image, so I'll probably continue exploring that for a while.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Watercolour by the canal

Lunchbreak sketching by the canal today. I bought Chinese take-away and found myself a spot on the steps by Vadestedet.


Sketching by Vadestedet

The napkin doubled as a wipe for my waterbrush :)

Sketching by Vadestedet

Doing a complex scene like this one without any preliminary sketching or under-drawing was maybe a bit much, but I'm sticking to using just paint directly on the paper (rather than colouring in sketches) as the best means to familiarise myself with this new medium.

Lunch break
Click to view larger version :HERE:

I had to scan the spread in two gos, as the horizontal format is too wide for the scanner bed. Here is a view of each page in the spread:

Lunch break, detail

Lunch break, detail

It took a long time to paint this and in the end I ran out of time. As you can see there is a ghost pole in the water which I didn't have time to finish.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Back at work


The holiday is over and I'm back at work from today. It's nice to see my colleagues, and the daily routine is quite attractive - possibly in part due to the still rather uninspiring weather.

I did a late night watercolour sketch of Reza watching a documentary on small arms trafficking. The weak electric lighting helped me to simplify the colours, and I tried a combination of roughly sketched areas with localised high detail.

Sunday, 2 August 2009



Our tiny Bodum Bistro coffee pot - this one makes coffee for just one person. She has a big sister too, so maybe I'll draw them together one day.

Drawn in my pocket sketchbook using a dying Pitt pen.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Garden watercolours

The summer weather is still unpredictable with showers and rain, and I only manage to snatch short walks and quick watercolour sketches in the garden.

Garden sketching


I paint a branch of the Filippa apple tree in our front garden - it looks like we'll have a large harvest again this year, although the apples seem rather small to me, and I don't remember whether they tend to get any larger by this time of year.

Garden sketching

Garden sketching

Garden sketching


My watercolour holiday journal is still less than half full. I forgot that I was planning to paint on only one side of each page, and suddenly have twice as many pages to fill - I should have done two entries a day instead of just one. Maybe I'll be lucky and we'll have a late summer this month, then I can fill up the remaining pages with images of indian summer in Århus.