Monthly Archives: July 2015

Polski Part 3

claes_3jan_2 claes_1jan_1jan_3 jan_4 jan_5Last batch of photos from my trip to Poland! As you can tell we did not only climb mountains, but we lurked underground as well. I was thinking of the movie “As Above, So Below” all the time, hehe! We walked trough the “Frosty Cave” (Jaskinia Mroźna), where it is only 6°C year around, the “Dragon’s Lair” and the salt mines in a city called Wieliczka, just outside Krakow. It was so cool and a bit spooky! A total contrast to the hot, airy mountains.

The two natural caves were carved into lime stone, and at some points you had to crawl to get to the other side. However the Frosty Cave had electric lights installed, so it was never like you felt trapped or scared. I noticed that around every small light source there were different kinds of very fragile bryophytes growing, trying to claim the scarce sources of light. Cool to see how life always finds a way and never gives up! The Dragon’s Lair was quite short, but so steep you had to climb using chains, attached to the cave’s walls, and so dark you needed a flash light to find your way. I felt like 12 again, running around in the forest, having unexpected adventures!

At the salt mines of Wieliczka we booked the the “Miners’ Route” and escaped down to 200 meters above sea level, when there was almost 35°C in the city. A perfect day for some underground exploring! Walking around in the huge mining complex, that is over 500 years old, was like nothing else I’ve done. We even got this overall, helmet and an emergency breathing kit if we for some reason got trapped down in the mines and the air became toxic. The mine is filled with salt crystals (obviously), and you were encouraged to lick the walls if you wanted to (which I did ofc LOL). Almost all of the walls were covered in massive, old timber, soaked in salt. Thinking that the mine system was so big that you could walk there for moths without visiting rooms and trails was both scary and thrilling.

I know it’s been a while since I posted my art now. What do you guys think, should I only post my art or can I share some photos and stories of my travels and derpings as well?

Polski Part 2

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More photos from the hiking trip to Poland! As you can probably tell the nature is so beautiful! In average we walked for 8-9 hours a day, which left your feet a bit sore. I didn’t bring any hiking boots with me since I this was my first real hiking trip and I didn’t want to put a lot of money on something that I would potentially only use once. But now when I know I like this stuff I’ll probably invest in a nice pair of boots for the next time. Sneakers worked just fine, as long as you mind your steps and are being careful.

We climbed the peaks of Kozi Wierch and visited the Kościeliska Valley. The amazing little bright blue lake in the photos is the “Black Pond” above the equally beautiful lake Morskie Oko. Unfortunately you were not allowed to swim there, and the water is really freezing. It was amazing to see all the brown trout in the lake, swimming around like they were not afraid of humans at all! My pollen allergy made it too difficult to climb to the highest peak called Rysy, but at least I had a great time exploring the two lakes while the rest of the gang continued to the summit.

Winter Is Coming


A magpie I painted last night. I used some reference photos to get the coloring and the anatomy right. It was much fun, enjoyed experimenting with the snow and the mood. I named it “Winter Is Coming” since magpies have often been considered as bad omens or to steal shiny things, such as jewelry or shiny spoons. In fact they are highly intelligent creatures, and sometimes manage to solve tool-related problems that even chimpanzees can’t solve : )

I’m selling high quality prints of this painting over at my Society6 page if anyone’s interested!

Polski Part 1

polen10 polen_1polen_11polen_13polen_14polen_12polen5I’m back from a trip to Poland! It was sort of a mini vacation (or at least I did my best to only work a few hours every day, whenever I happened to have Wi-Fi). The last two weeks has been nothing but wonderful! I just feel so happy and lucky. I truly had the time of my life, together with an awesome bunch of old and new friends (mostly game devs from Paradox and Hazelight). Just before going I threw a housewarming party at my place, celebrating the fact that I finally managed to furnish the place after living here for more than 1,5 years LOL. The party was really nice, and I got a selfie-stick as an “ironic gift”, haha! Of course I made sure to bring the stick on my trip as well. The perfect gift, haha!

Going to Poland was very exciting, the only Eastern European country I visited before is Estonia, so I was very curious about Poland. The country is huge, with a very rich history and culture, but I knew almost nothing about it, besides from the very basics of its unfortunate fate during the World Wars. We flew from Copenhagen to Kraków, which only takes about one hour. My Polish friend Agnieszka was our guide for the trip. The average Polish citizen seems to be better at Russian or German than they are at English, so having her translating everything from menus to cab directions was very helpful. I managed to learn two words in Polish during my stay: Biedronka (Ladybug) and Herbata (tea) : P The language resembles Swedish in some way, but I find the pronunciation extremely difficult.

The architecture in Kraków’s Old Town, where our hostel for the first night was located, was so beautiful and inspiring! Kraków was not destroyed in the war bombings, so most of the city is still preserved. However a lot of the buildings were almost falling apart due to lack of maintenance, covered in ivy and wild flowers. Kraków is a city where many young artists come to live and create, like Kreuzberg in Berlin. Compared to Sweden the food in Poland is crazy cheep, and you almost always get more than you manage to eat, if you go to a restaurant. Beer is usually less expensive than water!  I could feel the creative spirit in this city, and the majority of the people I saw on the streets were between 20-30. This place really got my imagination flowing. I could totally move here for a summer to do some sketching and writing < 3 It was like each old house had it’s own story to tell. Walking around in the city filled my brain with so many new ideas.

After sleeping in Kraków for a night we headed towards the mountain village Zakopane, located towards the Slovakian boarder, near the majestic High Tatra Mountains. Zakopane would be our main base for five days as we did hiking and followed different mountain trails. The architecture in Zakopane was also very cool, you could see these houses with pointy ceilings everywhere, looking a bit like the Stave curches in Norway. The houses in Zakopane looked like miniature versions of the mountains surrounding them, with all theirs pointy shapes, floors and balconies.

I got another batch of photos coming from the hike itself, I just need to sort out the best ones. But as you can tell from the bottom image the nature in the High Tatra Mountains is extremely beautiful. I had no idea this could be found in Europe!


Study VS Imagination

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Sorry for potato quality of the photo. Quick tracing of an earlier study vs a face from imagination, next to each other, made on the beach. Quite interesting to see what differs. It seems like I tend to make the cheek area way to small when drawing from imagination. Also, I tend to misplace the cheek edge bones and make the top of the head way too small. Interesting!

My Internet connection is very poor at the moment as I’m traveling, but the good thing is that I found some time to actually read books again! I totally forgot how calming and immersing it is to sink into a good book and let it devour you! Right now I hang with my friends and family during the day, and work during nights when the beach is closed. Pretty sweat deal!