Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Before closing down my studio for a short hibernation I would like to extend my gratitude to all my followers, readers and viewers, not least those of you who contribute to my blog with your comments. I hope to see you again next year!

Friday, December 13, 2013


How can we push a colorful background back? Here I used complementary colors like the cool sky against the warm canopies. That way the trees look bright even if they are painted with only weak washes of raw sienna, burnt sienna and cadmium red.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Black in watercolor

Over the years I’ve heard commandments like “Don’t use white”, “Don’t paint in Venice” and even “Don’t paint boat sheds”. Similarly “Never use black” is the advice some salesmen give my students, planting indigo and sepia in their palms instead because “These won’t kill your painting”. It's just that both those colors are ready mixed and contain black, so they are not the solution if black is a problem. My own fad is “Only use single pigments” because mixing should be done by the painter, not by the manufacturer - and black is just as good as any. (Just don't use this advice as a commandment!) By the way, this is Dyrhólaey, "Doorway peninsula", in southern Iceland painted with lots of Ivory black and some Raw sienna, Burnt sienna and Ultramarine blue.

With colors on it

Here is the painting I made from the sketch in the previous post.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wolf at fence

The Swedish wolf population is growing but not fast enough for me to find a model just like that. Instead I sketched some primitive dogs like jämthunds and shikokus but changed the shapes and proportions for a more authentic look.