Saturday, December 29, 2012


This year's last blogpost features a Harmothoe, an animal I hardly knew existed before I was commissioned to illustrate it. However I had lots of fun trying to make it look real and it took both watercolors and Photoshop to get there.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rock study

This is a rock study from Hallands Väderö. I spattered some New Gamboge on the rocks to suggest lichen details wihout overworking the painting.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


No time for painting these days. Instead I'm posting an old illustration that was never published: a crusader in the Middle East. It was a pleasure to play with speed and lighting and simplifying the background to a mere gradation from ultramarine at the top to a mix of earth colors at the bottom.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lilla Tallholmen

Lilla Tallholmen - "Little Pine Islet" - an early morning in the Blekinge archipelago. The accidental spatter looks like midges and do play a role in the composition although that wasn't my intention.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hjälmaren islets

I made this illustration of the little islands Hengrundet and Notholmen for a nature reserve a few years ago. Now I use it when I teach perspective in landscapes.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Demo rose

I didn't paint a lot of flowers before I started my course but now I think it's a great pleasure. This is a rose.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Robin time

This time of the year robins are seen everywhere including in our allotment. They are obviously designed to dwell among the maple leafs.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Light phase

Light colored Common Buzzards are quite common in the south of Sweden. This is an illustration for the bird magazine Anser.

Monday, October 29, 2012

New watercolor gallery

One of my course participants, Thomas Fåhraeus, learnt watercolor painting from his father and recently opened up his own gallery Akvarell Gallery Bjerred. It would be an understatement to say it fills a gap in our part of the country and Thomas is definitely the right person to run it. Lycka till, Thomas!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dawn mist

I love to get up early in the morning and listen to the cranes and the cuckoo, look thru the mist for Gunnar's sheep and have a chat with them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lustreless surfaces

At my beginners' course we recently painted some objects without a glossy surface to learn how these can be rendered and later to compare them with glossy ones.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Back to the island

My second go with the lighthouse keeper's house, again a demo for my watercolor class. Perspective and shading are the challanges here, both to be adressed in a firm way.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beak types

I made these illustrations for the ornithological magazine Anser, illustrating bird beaks adapted to different uses.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book release

Bene Batako's book about Kumba is a bit delayed but will be released at the Göteborg Book Fair September 27th-30th. Watch out for stand E03:11! We have been working on it for four years and are very happy about the result.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back to the gully

A Common Buzzard circled above the gully and must be the owner of the nest at the right hand dip. At first I thought it was a different species because its call was so much hoarser than what I'm used to but it's obviously just the Canarian accent.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lilla Åsa

This is my dad and stepmother's livingroom in Sörmland. I love painting right into the light and the perspective challenges that interiors offer.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Busy streets, harbours and marketplaces are great for practicing simplicity and movement. I usually end up asking myself why I didn't stop earlier, which probably means I really need the practice. This is the famous shopping street Västerlånggatan in Stockholm Old Town.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lund Cathedral

I started painting interiors because it was snowing and raining outside and later as part of my courses. These days I find myself doing more and more of it because I enjoy it. This is the Lund Cathedral painted with Ivory black, Raw sienna and Burnt sienna. I think such a minimized palette suits this romanesque sandstone building with only small windows letting the sunshine in.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Mountain House

Oskar and Elin took us to this restaurant in the middle of a thick and foggy redwood forest. I strongly recommend the grilled chicken.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Morning paper

This is my dad reading the paper at breakfast in our kitchen. I used my new colors for the blues and greens. They are just as soft and granulating as I wanted.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New colors

I usually stay with a 7-color palette but while in the US I couldn't resist the temptation to buy a few of Daniel Smith's PrimaTek colors - made of natural minerals. I haven't had time to do much more than these blotches so far but I'll show you the paintings as soon as I've made them.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

San Francisco Bay

A fishing boat seen from Pier 39. The fog pouring over Mount Tamalpais feeds the Redwoods with moist and the bay with fresh water from the creeks.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cable cars

The flight took us to California. We visited our friends and did some hiking in San Francisco, one of the most beautiful and charming places I've ever been.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rocky Mountains

Virgin Atlantic doesn't allow pointed objects like watercolor brushes on board, so I took a photo of the Rocky Mountains at 37,938 feet and used it as a reference for this painting. Next time I'll shorten my brush and see if they accept it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The Icelandic horse is a wonderful animal to ride and to paint. I used a very thick mixture of Ultramarine blue, Ivory black and Burnt sienna for the shaded side of its body.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By the window

My younger daughter Sissa loves to pose and did so for a photo I took a while ago and used for this demo painting.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Silent moment

My mother was busy talking as usual but I asked her to sit down and read something nice so I could make a picture.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

At the beach

A hot summer day at Salviken. French ultramarine is an excellent color for skies, shadows, vegetation and aerial perspective.

Friday, June 1, 2012


This is a demo sketch that I made as part of my beginners' course a few weeks ago. Our eyes are extremely sensitive to the appearance of the human body, so it's hard but necessary to simplify.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gamla Stan

Stockholm Old Town is a wonderful place to be and to paint. This is a backstreet overlooked by tourists and leading to the hostel where my son and myself stayed a couple of nights. It was particularly interesting to study the play of direct light and reflections on the buildings.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shapes and gloss

These are demonstrations of how to render shapes and surfaces. The bottle was painted with two consecutive washes, both leaving the paper alone at certain spots to make a glossy surface. The orange was made with a single wash, leaving some virgin paper for the glossy part and with a gradation between the shadow blue and the orange-brown of the highlight.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I painted this from a photo that my mother-in-law took at our wedding. Reflected light was the greatest challenge and I also tried to avoid too much detail in our faces.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Basic teaching

It's really a waste of talent not to teach any basic art techniques at school, which sadly enough is often the case at least in elementary schools in Sweden. I try to fill in the gaps by letting the children make their own experiences of perspective drawing, figure drawing and color mixing at an early age and definitely before they learn other things. This is a demo from an art class with 2nd graders drawing pine trees with shadows in the schoolyard.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Raging waves

In this painting I wanted to underline the contrast between the solid rocks and the raging waves and also emphasize the sunshine with strong shadow tones. The time and place are the same as in the previous post.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hovs Hallar

The northerly wind and southerly sunshine gave Tove and myself a wonderful day at Hovs Hallar.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


This is a hilltop in Barranco de la Cazuela close to the Gran Canaria hotel where my daughter and I spent a week last fall. I did some birding and painting in this wonderful area every morning. The climate, light and nature are completely different from what I'm used to.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Canarian crabs

These agile crabs jumped swiftly between the rocks as I approached them and to avoid the waves coming in from the windy Atlantic. They were hard to paint but I enjoyed it a lot.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


This is a little eel fishing hut at Stenshuvud painted on Saunders Waterford paper. It's amazing what a difference the paper does to a painting. I have to handle the brush in a completely different way from when I paint on Arches. It will take some time to get used to it but this is a step on the way there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade paints

I work in a school as an art teacher for 7-9 year old children. Last week we made our own paints from red ochre, yellow ochre, bone coal, honey, gum arabic, sodium bensoate and water, roughly reconstructing the process traced as far back as the Blombos Cave in South Africa 100 000 years ago. I'll get back to you with some pictures made with these paints. So talk to you soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playa del Aguila

I made this with a single wash. That's all I had time for and I think a second wash would have lured me into too much fiddling, so I am happy about it. Yes, it's Gran Canaria again, last fall.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


This is a remaking of an old painting from Skaftafell National Park, Iceland. I usually paint on Arches paper but this time I tried Saunders Waterford. I experienced that it doesn't stand as much fiddling and concluded it might prevent overworking. This one will go another round, though.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Daddy rowing

I spent the most exciting days of my childhood on Långaskär, the uninhabited bird island in the distance. This is from last summer, when my father took us there on a day trip for some hiking and swimming.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A rainy day

Another demo painting from my course: a couple returning from buying groceries at the marketplace in Lund. This is mainly about light and movement. And stopping in time, of course.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Common redpolls

These Common redpolls were looking for seeds in some winter seed heads close to my home in Lund. They kept on with that long enough for me to draw a sketch and take some notes about colors and light effects but it was too cold for watercolor painting. I completed it back home in my studio.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kumba in bed

Kumba in his bed thinking about the wonderful neighborhood he just moved in to.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


This is a demo painting from my course, mainly about how to paint water and movement. I did it with a size 24 brush and Cobalt blue, Burnt sienna, Ivory black and Winsor yellow. I also used a sponge and a knife for the top of the surf.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Steam loco 3

Last I added the darks and the details. I used gouache white for some glossy parts of the locomotive.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Steam loco 2

So I started out merging the steam and smoke with the background mist and the patches of blue sky, as well as the shadow of the steam cloud. When that layer had dried I added gradations of cobalt, ivory black and burnt sienna for the loco, the figures, and the station platform...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Steam loco 1

The Swedish train network was electrified after World War II and these beautiful machines secretly stored in sheds to be used in case of war. But the cold war ended and many steam locomotives and railway carriages are now owned by the Swedish Railway Museum. This is from a recent trip with the loco B 1316, built at Motala Verkstad in 1917 and in regular traffic up to 1966. I'll let you know about the painting process further on. To be continued...