JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Eva 5 November 2017

Today it is 5 November 2017 and I am on my way to the live painting session in Amsterdam. My intercity train was canceled so I am sitting in the “sprinter” train from 11:36. It is good that I have a train to Amsterdam Central because my usual backup route it goes via Duivendrecht and by metro and tram to the studio but the tram it is canceled because of that bridge maintenance I talked about in earlier posts.

Tonight I will figure out what to do if I have to go that route. Better be prepared than sorry.

Station Weesp.

It is really nice weather today! This week I posted my YouTube video about the Pentagonal Dodecahedron. I worked on that project since the beginning of June this year. Tried all sorts of designs to create a puzzle around a ball. I found that the dodecahedron was the most pleasing look. It is absolutely symmetrical around the sphere. So nice.

Then I started working on a YouTube movie about how the dodecahedron was constructed in Fusion 360. In that process, I figured that the original method I found it was too time-consuming and hence the video would be too long and boring. In the process, I reconstructed the puzzle over and over again. Then when I had the fastest method figured out I filmed the creation over and over again. I just need the slightest confusion or interruption while filming to make me hesitating and when I do that I start eeuuh -ing and aah-ing and that is so boring to look at. I wish I could become better in keeping up the flow of the talking. One way of doing that is to prepare the script on beforehand. So that is what I need to do next time.

Station Diemen.

On Thursday I painted a really nice aquarelle painting, a portrait. It was a portrait of girls face from the front. I missed the eyes position. One eye got higher than the other.  I tried to fix the eyes a little and it got slightly better but with aquarelle you just get one chance to get it done and adjusting a lot is not part of the game. I was really happy with the portrait and I got a lot of hearts on the painting when I posted it on Instagram.

I think I can replicate the method I used for the painting and practice more on that. It was a wet in wet painting.

Amsterdam Muiderpoort.

I am almost in Amsterdam now. Today I will try to paint all of Eva. That is the plan. Exquisite lines.

Amsterdam Central.

When I arrived in Amsterdam I found that tram 13 was out of service this day. There was a sinkhole at Marnixstreet. I took tram 5 to Leidse Plein and there was tram 13.

I came 5 minutes before we should start. It was unusual that Jens was late. Today was the second and last time to paint Eva. The artists were Tom, Luuk, Bas, Saskia and me.

As I had decided I tried to draw the entire Eva. Then I wiped her out and started over with a subsection. That was a good decision. It was feeling okay all the way through the painting session. Painters happiness. It was only at the end I started to hesitate over the achievement. Perhaps I had not stepped away and viewed the drawing/painting from a distance often enough. Actually, I had not done that at all. That is something I need to do more often.

Things that went okay was the use of cold next to warm colors. That worked out well.

Saskia told me that line 7 will never go through the street in front of the studio anymore. It has been permanently moved to another route. I need to figure out how that works. Also, Saskia advised me to take bus 18 to the central station. I tried that. The bus took a way through Amsterdam that I have never seen before. Really interesting.

Weesp. Men in a group singing on the platform.

Really funny. On the way to Amsterdam, I was sitting next to two kids from Britain. On the way home, they were on the same train.

I wish I was better in making portraits with similarity. It would feel so powerful. It is fun to master contrasts of black and white and contrasts of warm and cold but likeliness, that would really be the icing on the cake.

Almere Poort. British kids leaving for the rest no one leaving or entering the train.

What can I do to paint portraits with likeliness? I need to Google that.

Next Sunday there is no live painting session. The Sunday after that comes the model Anna.

Normally my blog ends here. I come home and I do other things. This Sunday evening I worked on my blog engine. Yes, I also blogged about that. I could not sleep well. I was thinking. First thing I did Monday morning was to view YouTube videos with tutorials about portrait paintings. It is the usual time-lapse or speeded up movie footage of absolutely fantastic artists. Then went and took my morning shower.

When I was standing there letting the water fall on me I realized something really important!

The artists are not using charcoal. They use their paintbrush. It is correct I have been annoyed by the charcoal part of a process but it struck me there in the shower that I give myself two serious handicaps by using charcoal.

  1. A charcoal line is very wide in relation to the size of my panels 30 by 40 cm. Just by using charcoal I am losing accuracy. I have misunderstood how people draft with their paintbrush. They put a stroke of paint on the surface and it is the edge of the stroke that is their line. With charcoal, I cannot do that. I draw a line and it is thick. At least 5 mm and 5 mm is a huge difference when it comes to likeliness. The edge of a stroke, on the other hand, is infinitely thin!
  2. Then my problem number two! After I finished the charcoal I start fighting it. It is messy in the beginning. I am nudging that charcoal line around and it gets into the paint where it should not. Highlights, for example, they get grey and muddy. In this fight, I might lose even more accuracy. The painters on YouTube using paint as a sketch medium they don’t have this phase. They go seamlessly from sketching over to painting. And actually, Bas is working like this and Frank Top worked like this as well. I held on to this stupid charcoal for the longest of time but from here I will experiment with sketching with paint.

I also see that sketching is done from outside in. They start the outside of the face or head and work inwards. I can do that too.

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If you need to send me a link or something personal you can do that on jens at malmgren dot nl.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.