Saturday, November 28, 2015

Prussian blue

In 1704 the German chemist Diesbach mixed the shells of the Cochineal beetle with alum, ferrous sulfate and potash. He intended to make a red pigment called Florentine Lake but ended up with a blue stuff. The potash was contaminated with animal blood, and that's how the first synthetic pigment was discovered.

Prussian blue proved stable, lightfast, and cheap, so it became a popular complement to the ochres that people painted their furniture with. In watercolor it has been used since around 1730 and much appreciated for its transparency and intensity. Among its other properties it tends to make greens when mixed and dryes considerably lighter. I use it as a primary color despite the fact that it's a bit duller and greener than the real primary blue. If someone forced me to use only one blue, Prussian would be my choice.

By the way, if you heat it up to 140 °C you get Hydrogen cyanide, perhaps better known as Zyklon B. Don't do that!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sitting men

"A stack of bodyparts is not enough. Look at the twists and the points of tension and draw what you feel, not what you see". Peter's course is very inspiring.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Towards the exit

Sometimes my students ask me why I don't recommend certain colors and here is one of those I find very useful but still don't talk very much about. A company in Germany manufactured real Manganese Blue pigment until new environmental regulations were passed 25 years ago. Because the industrial use was limited to tinting concrete, this pigment is heading for the exit, Lukas being the only paint maker that still keeps any amounts of it. The other manufacturers produce "hues" that are completely different. So what do I do? Well, Prussian is the only blue I actually need and my paintings do benefit from a limited palette, so I keep this beauty out of my harem but reserve a spot for it up my sleeve as long as it lasts.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Exhibition opening

Thanks, everybody showing up at the art show opening yesterday! I was overwhelmed by the hundreds of visitors that this new, friendly and openminded gallery managed to attract. I'm posting a few photos of the ceramicist and gallery keeper Maria Thorlund and some of the exhibitors: Magnus Gatemark, Irina Wilhelmsson, George Miller, Margret Belting Persson, Karin Palm-Lindén, and myself.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Framing for art show

Welcome to my exhibition along with 19 other artists at Maria Thorlund's Gallery at 15 Bankgatan, Lund. The opening will be October 31st at 12.00-16.00. The exhibition is open thru November 12th at 10.00-18.00 on workdays and 12.00-16.00 in the weekends. See you there!

Quick sketches

I learn far more from one minute sketches than from 40 minute ones, at least when I do pencil drawings. This is from the last session at Peter's course. He says: "The human body consists of different shapes that relate to oneanother, rather than a single flexible one." It's essential to realize that if we want our drawings to express life.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Surging waves

I used Raw sienna, Burnt sienna and Prussian blue for this painting, and mixed hard, soft and broken edges for movement and variety. My aim was to hear the waves when looking at the painting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Peter's course

"Use the pencil to explore what you see". I'm attending Peter Jönsson's model drawing course at Folkuniversitetet in Lund to learn more about this interesting subject. The skills we are developing here are very useful for both watercolor painting and animal drawing.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Handmade pen

I like to try new stuff and here is something that really makes drawing comfortable. Lynn Miller, Nixa Missouri, makes these sketching pens by hand. He cuts the wood blanks for the pens, drills a hole through the center and glues a brass tube in them. After turning the wood he presses the pen parts together in the wood. His brother George - one of my watercolor students - offered me one of these pens and it took me less than a minute to fall in love with it. Also, the nibs are available in any art material store and come in different hardness grades.

Sketchcrawl at Revet

Yesterday was a great day at Revet, Simrishamn. The wind brought us some Caspian and one Yellow-legged gull, and several flocks of migrating Brant geese, Scoters and Eiders passed by. The moulting Eiders at the waterline made wonderful models and the chef at Röken made superb herring burgers. Thanks for a great day, Hans, Peter, and Gunnar!