15 november, 2012

At the café

At the café this afternoon. This man was looking out the window for twenty minutes. I looked at him for about ten minutes while drawing him on my iPad with Paper (the app). I think we had about the same amount of fun.

28 oktober, 2012


Last weekend it was almost as warm as it usually is in summertime, and Bosjökloster by Ringsjön was the right place to go for a sketch meeting. The lake was wrapped in a blue haze and the castle shone white in the sunlight. We sat on the ground and as usual when we meet there was much more talking than sketching. A very nice day.

22 september, 2012

You've got postcard

In cooperation with another blog, You've got postcard, I made an illustrated postcard with Carl von Linné's statue, which sits in a garden by Lund's Stadbibliotek. The postcard is hidden inside a book in the library. Whoever finds it may answer the question in the back, take a picture and send it to the blog.
Although I'm not familiar with the life of Linné, the place where his statue rests feels nice. A little garden ni the corner of two small and important streets of the city. Some students sit there and read. Local teenagers get together to smoke a clandestine cigarette before going to the near bus stop. But the benches there are not so much popular, they're shadowed by trees, and shadow is not a popular commodity in Sweden.

02 september, 2012

The new skatepark

The town's new skatepark is popular among kids, some young and some not so young. They seem to enjoy themselves gliding, hopping, twisting and falling. But for a sketcher it's hard to keep up with the rapid movements. I think I will come back. It's good exercise.

29 augusti, 2012

Local anthropomorphism

My humor is probably weird. Every time I pass this post box and the adjacent streetlight I smile. To me they look like two human beings. One is small, round and perfectly drunk while the other tries to maintain balance and dignity. They have been standing like this for years against the dark backdrop of a small grove. I'm sure that one day they will fall over.

However, these stones in the park looked only like stones and nothing else.

At Arimans

 Ariman Café is a landmark in the streets of Lund. It's the local meeting point for students, foreigners and wanderers. Last friday, Thomas, a sketcher and student from Holland, and I bombarded the back room of Ariman with sniper sketches. Some of the models noticed...

... and some didn't.

By the end, we were mingling with Martin, the spanish-speaking swede. Perfect spanish I should say!

28 augusti, 2012

The Sharpie camper

To remain urban but still get some taste of rurality. That seems to be the goal for the people who spend their vacation in motorhomes. I wish them good luck.

Drawn with a Sharpie. I haven't used those pens since the early eighties. To my surprise they still stink awful. But they are fun and force me to think in only two values: black and white. Hey, is white a value?

19 augusti, 2012

Next sketch will be better

For me every sketch is about practice. There is really no other reason for me to sketch than to learn. It's a wonderful way of spending leisure time while developing one's senses. Like reading. But I am not satisfied. My progress is slow and worse, I repeat the same old mistakes over and over again. Habits are hard to brake. This sketch for instance is to messy for my taste. I want my sketches to be cleaner and clearer. And simpler. The next one will be better.

18 augusti, 2012

Ystad och Svarte

Just three weeks after Patricia's and mine arrival to Skåne, for our nordic adventure, we got the chance to meet Olaf again, in a sketch trip that took us to the southernmost coast of Sweden. In quaint little Ystad, we found the parked Ford Anglia Olaf mentioned a few posts ago - a Ford made for England, go figure. Swedes like old good-looking cars! They really do! I'm in for some treats in the times ahead!

Ystad has some non-places, like the harbour, where the trees give an organic order into the cementy platform against the sea. On the background, some giant silos overlook the Baltic. I wonder if they are tall enough to see Germany on the other side.

Karin - the first garden designer I met - hosted us in her country house in Svarte, with delicious treats. Somehow, Patricia was reminded of the landscapes back home, the wavy yellow fields, a sprinkle of horses, lush green woods in the hroizon. One landscape element new to us were the juicy berry hedges.

Olaf's encouragement to himself. "Be bold, be bold". Your resulting sketch was bold indeed!

Note: the sketchbook pages are really brown, it is not a dimlight effect.

17 augusti, 2012

Dead tree sculptures

I'm not sure what to think about making dead trees into sculptures. A living tree is a piece of art so superior that never mind how skilled the men with the chainsaws are, the result look ... dead. Anyway, it seemes a popular thing to do in parks around here.

On Urbansketchers Portugal there is a sketch showing an alternative of what to to with a cut down tree:

16 augusti, 2012

Lazy boats

Nothing special, just a couple of small, lazy boats enjoying the hot, sunny weather. Just like me.

14 augusti, 2012

En blank sextioåring

En gammal beige Ford Anglia stod parkerad i Ystad i helgen. Putsad och omgiven av den karaktäristiska gammelbilsdoften. Med hjälp av Wikipedia gissar jag att det är en E494A som tillverkades 1949–1953 och som var den billigaste fyrhjulsdrivna bilen i England på den tiden. Jag är inte speciellt förtjust i bilar men en sådan här liten, knubbig sak är det svårt att tycka illa om.

12 augusti, 2012

Sketching Ystad

This weekend I was out drawing together with my sketching friends Pedro and Patricia from Portugal. We went to Ystad on the south coast. After sketching the town for a while we were picked up by Karin who drove us to her house just outside the city. There we continued sketching and enjoyed Karin's hospitality.

Karin is a garden designer and she uses sketches as a tool in her work. I hope we will be able to do some more sketching together in the future. Here is her quick sketch of the house.

Ystad harbour seemed like a pretty empty place. Not much going on there. After drawing a couple of parallel, horizontal lines my harbour sketch was almost finished.

The proper way to end a long day of sketching!

10 augusti, 2012

Good evening light

Sunset over a new high-rise apartment building under construction. The sun came through where there were no clouds while the rest of the sky was all dark blue-gray. The trees and the grass seemed to glow against the dark backdrop.

09 augusti, 2012

Turning ideas into sketches

This is not a beautiful drawing. It is an idea. Sketching should be all about ideas and not an effort to make something nice or beautiful. Okay, good sketches are beautiful but it's the idea that is beautiful, not the execution. Or rather, if the idea isn't there the sketch will not be so beautiful.

So this is a reminder to myself: Don't fuss with details, just try to get the big idea down on paper – as simple and straightforward as possible.

By the way, this thumbnail was done earlier today in Malmö. The tall thing is Turning Torso, the city's pride designed by Santiago Calatrava.

06 augusti, 2012

Wet, wet, wet.

Not a storm. Not even a downpour. Just a drizzle. But still enough to make the city wet and shiny.

29 juli, 2012


The Swedish summer is beautiful, magnificent and depressingly short. In a few weeks the cool, windy, rainy autumn will begin. And then comes winter. Sigh. Because of these meterological conditions swedes are experts in designing rain jackets. Like this one from Haglöfs.

28 juli, 2012

A view from the park

On a calm, warm day I appreciate the park very much. Trees and grass give peace to a restless soul. I believe the reason for this is the contrast it constitutes to the man-made parts of the city. Over there everything is orderly arranged in patterns and many things also carries some sort of a message. Nature on the other hand is a bloody mess. And there are no messages. Well, there are messages but your freedom how to interpret them is limitless. If you look at a shrub for a while trying to figure out any clear patterns and meaning, you'll soon have to give up. And that's when peace enters mind.

25 juli, 2012


Seven years ago I took a class in drawing. It's been other classes since then but I remember this one in particular because the instructor told me to paint with the pencil. Huh? was my immediate response. Now, seven years later, I perhaps begin to understand what she was suggesting. Some people are more thickheaded than others.

24 juli, 2012

Bastion Kristianstad

Riksens Ständer kallas dessa hus i Kristianstad. Inspiration till namnet fick man av den bastion som tidigare låg här som en del av befästningen runt staden. I dag är det annorlunda. Befästningen är borta och det gäller att ”sätta kommunen på kartan”. Kommunen gör allt för att bättra på inflyttningsstatistik och höja antalet turistnätter. Precis som man gör i alla andra kommuner. Inget originellt. Och det fungerar väl inte heller så bra. Kristianstad är ingen kioskvältare utan en helt vanlig svensk småstad som det går tretton på dussinet av. Mitt råd är: Bygg upp befästningen igen. Hela utanverket med kanoner och hela konkarongen. Inget gör folk så nyfikna som det svårtillgängliga.

21 juli, 2012

The Pot Plot

Today I saw lots of magnificent vegetation: tall trees, intriguing bushes and from a hilltop – miles and miles of green fields. But none of this found its way into my sketchpad. I was occupied by what I was seeing and feeling instead of observing things in the special way I do when I want to sketch them. The pen and pad didn't even came out until I had returned home. That's why you instead of all this outdoor grandeur have to settle with a lousy flower pot.

20 juli, 2012

Long face

”You’ve drawn my face too long!” my son exclaimed when he saw this sketch. ”You always make faces to long.” Just wait, I thought, next time I’m going to make your face round as a football. Have you never heard about ”freedom of art” or of Alberto Giacometti? Now there’s an artist that really made long faces. He would have turned your head into a USB memory stick. But of course, I didn’t say all this. All I said was: ”You’re right, next time I’ll get it right.” Never argue with the model.

18 juli, 2012

Is there a pattern here?

Seems I'm stuck on food & drink for the moment. It might have something to do with the weather. Sweden is having its rainiest summer ever. Well, since the bottle is empty (”tom” is Swedish for empty) I'll have to go out.

17 juli, 2012

Not much left

If you first eat the food then there really isn't much left to paint.

16 juli, 2012

First paint then eat

First I paint my food then I eat it. I think nobody would prefer if I did it the other way around ;-)

26 maj, 2012

The Car Fumes Festival

One day in May each year thousands of old cars gathers in our town. The cars are mostly of American origin and from the fifties and the sixties. When the car show has ended in the afternoon, hundreds of the vehicles start cruising around the city centre. Until midnight there is a constant noise of running car engines from the slow paced procession, only interrupted by burnouts, hooting with the car horns and frequent revvings. The air become dense with fumes which creeps into my apartment. I live close to the cruising route and it doesn’t help to shut the windows. I am very grateful that it will all be over in a couple of hours.

17 maj, 2012

Nya sketchkompisar !!

Det var trevligt att träffas! Hoppas det blir många fler tillfällen :-)

I did get to one of the corners of Skåne! Falsterbo Fyr at southwest.
Happy sketching :-)

Sketching in Lund

Today our small group of sketchers met up with Pedro and Patricia from Portugal. We visited The Museum of Sketches in Lund and after that we had a beer at the nearby Lundagård Café. Pedro is an active urban sketcher and Patricia, despite saying: Jag kan inte rita which is Swedish for I cannot draw, made a nice portrait of Robert. All five of us were sitting around the café table sketching each other. That is a special feeling, looking intently at another man or woman you don’t really know, trying to catch both the outline of the face and what’s hidden behind the surface: the personality. We had a short but very enjoyable afternoon and I hope we will meet Pedro and Patricia soon again. 

23 april, 2012

The boats of Borstahusen

Small fishing boats in the harbour of Borstahusen. The scene was complete with screaming seagulls and fish-smelling gear lying on the pier. What struck me during our maritime sketch crawl was the rounded shapes of the boats. Not only the hull but nearly everything on deck is more or less rounded in shape. Just like myself.

21 april, 2012


Hus med välvt tak med takväxt?

Abstract house in a real world :-)

Hamninloppet i Borstahusen.

Safehaven on sketchcrawling day :-)