Hot pressed paper.

The weather has changed. It is getting warmer, and I am now able to eat my breakfast out on the balcony. I've been looking forward to that all winter. 
The magnolia trees have started to bloom, so I need to go out with my camera and see if I can get some nice shots to use as reference material for paintings.
It has been a slow week in the studio this week. I have mostly been experimenting with the hot pressed watercolour paper. My first two paintings were a struggle, and the paper does not suit my usual style of painting. So I tried out some more different things. I got a suggestion on Instagram that hot pressed paper is beautiful with ink and wash, so I gave that a try. 
I tried painting both a landscape and a feather.
Not too bad, but I think it would have looked better on cold pressed paper. The hot pressed paper does not take a lot of wet watercolours very well.
Ink and wash. The hot pressed paper is very suitable for this technique. It was so easy to draw with ink as the pap…


Last week I purchased some new watercolour paper. And not just any pulp/cellulose paper, but 100% cotton paper. Some of the watercolour artists that I follow o youtube swear by this paper, and I thought I would see what they were talking about.

I knew that the paper was going to be expensive, but I was still a little shocked at how much more expensive than 'normal' watercolour paper they were. That is maybe also due to that I have become used to that almost all the artist material that I buy here in China is so much cheaper than back home, that I thought this would also be cheaper. And when I come to think about it, it probably still is much cheaper than back home. I have to check when I am back in Finland this summer.

The paper that I bought was Arches 100% cotton, one block with hot pressed sheets, and one block with cold pressed sheets. So far I have only tried the cold pressed paper, and it is quite different from cellulose paper.

I did find a local brand of cotton paper t…

New website

The magnolia buds are getting big. I can't wait until they are in full bloom. Then I will be running around the city with my camera to get some good reference material for my paintings...

I have been working on a new website. I used to have my website with, and they provide a good platform for artists. However, I have seen other artists online that have their youtube and Instagram account connected to their website. This means that every time they posted to these other forums, the news feed also turned up on their website. I decided that I wanted that as well, and in a sense get everything in one place. I found that offered this feature, and I started to try out their templates and see how my website would look with them. I decided I liked it very much, and change my website to them. It is now done and live!
I kept it very simple and very clean. I chose white and pale blues for colours. I also like the scroll down feature, so all…

Crested grebe and ravens.

The Chinese new year festivities are over. The city is slowly getting back into normal everyday life. I have to say that it was nice and quiet while half the city was out of town. It will take another week before everyone is back though. The Chinese new year is the only holiday for many, and it is the time when you travel home to your hometown (=hometown here means where your ancestors from and family is living). It is considered the world largest annual human migration in the world.

My husband was also home for a few days. We have had a nice and relaxing time, mostly spend on the coach with quite a few good movies... I did spend a little time in the studio as well, and here are my efforts.

Great crested grebe. Painted with acrylic colours on a Gelli print. (watercolour paper) I did this for my Tuesday video. I really like it though, so I think I will make a few more of these. I have many more of Gelli prints as ready backgrounds.
Close up.
Oil paint. Just thought it would make a beau…

Watercolours and Beihai.

Happy New Chinese Year! It is the year of the dog starting today. We have been for a few days down south in Beihai (close to the border of Vietnam). My husband had a business trip and I went with him for once. We arrived back in Shanghai yesterday. Now it is a few days holiday as almost the whole country stands still during the new year celebration.

I had my watercolours with me to Beihai and painted a little in the hotel.
Peonies. Not super happy with the background. 
Barn owl. This I am happy with. The only thing I might go back and add is maybe a little purple in the background.
The crested tit is coming along nicely as well. The head is almost done.
And last, this weeks video. Something new. I filmed while I was in Beihai, and decided to film an art chat. The topic: are there any rules in art?

When is a painting finished?

I am trying to teach myself not to overwork my paintings. It is not easy. That is why it is both important and fun to take photos of my work in progress so that I can go back and see and learn when and where to stop. And if I find that I have already gone too far, it will be a lesson for the next painting. And then again from that to the next painting. I guess that is a question that many artists ask themselves, when is a painting finished? Or when is a stage in a painting finish and you should move on to the next stage?

Take this Raven painting as an example. Since last week I have painted I think 4 or 5 more layers on the background. Now when I looked back at last weeks blog post before starting to write today, I was like, "why did I not stop there?" Then again, it now has a more 'antique' feel to it, so I think it will work out in the end anyway.
Backgrounds for flowers. Here I have really tried not to put down too many layers. 
Here is a background that I am very…

Backgrounds and two loons.

I am slowly getting into a better working flow in my studio. One of the goals I set for 2018 was to get more work done. This means that I need a more structured daily routine in the studio. It is too easy to just 'float around': surfing the internet looking at other artists, reading, and so on. I guess that is the hazard of working alone at home. A breakfast that lasts 3 hours with several cups of tea and watching artists create on youtube is not unheard of...

So now I have made a monthly and a weekly plan for myself. Having deadlines have always helped me getting work done, it really seems to help when I have to check off things from a list.

This week has been a good week, and I have got quite a lot done. And the week isn't even over yet! It helps I guess that the changes my art is going through are really making me eager to create more.

As the title suggests, I have a lot of backgrounds going on. When I paint my backgrounds with acrylic they often need to dry a little be…