Tuesday, December 1, 2015

To be discontinued

The Quinacridones is a large family of transparent pigments with high tinting strength, its most widespread member being "printer's magenta", named after the battle of Magenta in 1859 and in the world of watercolor best known as Permanent Rose.

Another member, Quinacridone Gold, has become incredibly popular among Swedish watercolor painters, surprisingly enough after the real pigment was discontinued in 2001 because the car coating industry dropped it.

Daniel Smith was the only paint manufacturer to stack it up before the production ceased, while others imitate it with different blends. For example, Winsor & Newton mixes Nickel Azometine, Quinacridone Maroon, and Gamma Quinacridone for a "Quinacridone Gold" glowing in any gallery out there. Daniel Smith keeps the genuine article as well as a new mixture of Quinacridone Orange and Nickel Azometine.

Quinacridone Orange is even more beautiful, particularly with the new colorless binder Aquazol. Unfortunately that pigment is facing extinction too but I hope the paint makers have learnt a lesson and stockpiled enough for a couple of decades.

Personally I stick to the old earth colors Raw and Burnt Sienna, timeless and in use since 100 000 years ago, but I keep a couple of (real) quinacridones on the side for occasional use.

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 only one blue was allowed, 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!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

On a rock

Another Barn swallow, this one perched on a rock at Rönnen, where we had a sketchcrawl in July.

Flying Barn swallow

Those sketches resulted in this illustration for the ornithological journal Anser.

Swallow sketches

The summer is over and the time for painting and drawinga a bit limited at the moment. But the sketches are still there. Two barn swallows at a farm in Skåne

Portrait workshop

Yesterday I had a portrait workshop for this happy group of women on a joy-hopping tour. Great job, everybody!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jetty study

Långa Bryggan in Bjärred presents interesting shapes, colors, and contrasts especially when you look right into the light.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tarn study

Lake Tången on one of those summer days with rain showers, sunshine peeking through the clouds and ripples on the water.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rock study

Pink rocks in sunshine make awesome models!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pine study

Summer is a good time for quick sketches. I painted these pine trees at my dad's and stepmother's place in Sörmland.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cormorant portrait

When I once got a wished-for opportunity to observe and admire this exotic species in Kalmarsund in the 70:s, I didn't imagine those 350 pairs would multiply to 25 000 in a couple of decades and become a pest if you ask the fishermen. As a bird painter I appreciate it as a patient model with wonderful shapes and colors. This is an illustration for the ornithological journal Anser.

Cormorant sketches

This bird species immigrated soon after the ice age. It was exterminated from Sweden in the 19th century but some birds from Rügen founded a new colony at Gåsö in Kalmarsund in the thirties.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sketchcrawl at Rönnen

We met up at Rönnen just like a year ago, talked, drew, and painted for a few hours and then went on to see Hans Larsson's superb artshow in Arild. Ice-cream and coffee at the harbour afterwards. Thanks for this day of days, Lars Fredholm, Gunnar Tryggmo, and Peter Elfman!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Johan's course 3

Johan is a painter's painter and a teacher's teacher. He really knows how to instruct, inspire and encourage his students. In one of the exercises we used a spray bottle for gleaming light and wet streets.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Johan's course 2

We started with some basic skills like drybrushing, glazing and gradated washes. A recent hike at Kullen gave me the inspiration to this miniature painting.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Johan's course 1

After 25 years of illustrating I felt I needed some input from the loose and wet corner. Johan Ramberg says if you just get the idiom right you don't need any details. "It all starts with a puddle."

Paint review: QoR 2

40% more pigments is probably true. The paint also rewets well and is easy to judge in mixes because it keeps its color when dry, and I don't mind too much about the precipitating earth colors. I will definitely buy some more QoR colors when I get rich or when the price comes down. Aquazol seems to be an excellent binder.