January 30, 2018

Happy to share my renewed collaboration with OKL...




I'm happy to announce my new collaboration with One Kings Lane.com. New reproductions of my later works will come up soon, until then these are available. If you want to take a look check out with my name in their browser, (or click here: https://www.onekingslane.com/search.do?query=helen+ström). 

December 29, 2017

"Lemon tree"...


The paper of this watercolor is Fabriano cream colored paper, my picture is much too cool in the background. (dimensions 50x53com)

December 27, 2017

Tree studies for students...





Banana tree studies with students. Topic is trees in general, for me it seems so much easier to paint exotic trees than trees from the northern latitudes. :) I have observed banana trees in my life, walking to school and I loved their green colors in the many times more brownish landscapes in general of Spain. I do like those too today, but then I always longed for green. I longed for Swedish spring green and all the beauty of it, in company of grandparents. Today I long for most everything and everyone, the days after Christmas are the most grey of the year I believe, in spirit and environment (no snow here). A Christmas break is good but it's even better when you go into routine again beginning the year, with new hopes and projects. 

December 08, 2017

December 01, 2017

A still life technique in watercolor...



Still life with done for students starting with the negative spaces (back ground), saving shapes of subjects. Before it dries, let the background color come in and make the first layers of shadow shapes while blurring contours on subjects (the pot and leaves). We can speed down and lay the colors on objects and if needed reinforce shadows, colors again or even background when dry. Make the main point of interest more obvious by adding contrast in color and contours. (This was a fast demo to get a loose feel of execution and result, the irregular background can be avoided if painting more carefully paying attention to quantity of color, water and paper humidity.) My students tend to be cautious and stiff while painting, this way of painting can help to loosen things up.
Below is the same kind in blue, monochrome still, also done  in class a few sessions earlier. Great results and visual effect can be obtained with this exercice and when done without drawing you get the most out of it. Good luck !



November 28, 2017

Two versions of Lemons with leaves...




Hello, I'm not very updated on my blog, compared to Instagram where it's so much easier to show latest news, so to catch up here are two studies done of lemons with their leaves. They are done a few weeks ago and painted after slow drawing sessions from observation so too loosen up I painted without drawing and fast when putting first washes down, when that is dry I tend to slow down a little when adding shadows with second and third layers, but I still have the feeling of the first washes. You can also stay with only one go and one layer of course.
I recommend anyone to paint directly or draw directly with a ballpoint pen or any material that takes away the security when painting. You won't be afraid to mess up your paintings when getting used to it. Just paint no pain !

(50x32cm, paper is white, sorry for bad pictures!)

November 25, 2017

Still life "Grapes in white bowl"...



What I prefer in this still life is the little unrealistic graphic result, also when just a part stands out with details and light.

November 10, 2017

Back to figure drawing...





Tried out a new session of figure drawing yesterday I really hope I'll manage to go there regularly, that it will be a possibility that at lasts for a while. It's so healthy for any drawing which get so rusty and awkward without it. Looking forward next time already.