Meet The Artist: Linda Bergkvist

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  04 April 2005

Have you ever thought about teaming up with an animator and bringing your paintings to life in motion? You could either map your work onto 3D models as textures or a traditional animator could create rough animation in the form of line drawings and you could then paint the final frames based on these. I think that would be awesome...

Would be SO much work though.
  04 April 2005
jmBoekestein -- Hi Jan-Mark! Heheh, I'll get straight on to your questions -
1) Haha, no. Funny thing though, there seems to be a large amount of digital artists coming from Sweden, when compared to what a small country we are (about nine million people, you could squeeze us all into London). I don't know why this is.
2) Don't be afraid. That's my biggest suggestion. Try everything you can - you have an idea? Leap into it! Grapple with it! Paint with bold colours, paint with soft colours, paint in any way that occurs to you for the moment. Save a dozen different versions of every image while you're experimenting, but never, never, never think 'I'm afraid to try that out, maybe it'll ruin the image'. That's the good thing about working on a computer - you CAN try everything out, any which way, you can paint upside down or clockwise, you can flip the image every ten minutes to get everything right (I thank whatever person who came up with the 'flip horizontal' thing when it was first implemented into digital art programs). Paint something lovely and then do a colour overlay on top of it, just to see if you could've done better with a different colour scheme. Don't be afraid is the motto of the beginner, or any artist for that matter. Just playing around and experimenting will get you fast ahead. Perhaps most importantly, in the beginning, is the fact that you need to be prolific. You can't just do one painting every fifth week and think that it will get you somewhere - you'll develop very slowly if that's how you work. Just churn them out, even if they're not good. You'll learn something new with each and every one. I've not read any books on art that I can think to immediately tip you on - I think exercise is the best way to get there. And learning from your fellow artists - I started out at elfwood, moved to epilogue and then to Sijun, to my own forum where I learned LOTS, then on towards other forums and finally here. There is no better place to learn than among your peers.
3) Just to hang in there. I get so saddened when I see people putting themselves and their art down... wanting to give up, give in, just scrap everything. Even if everyone can't end up working in the business, everyone who feels a need to paint or draw has something to offer. It's all worthwhile, all of it wonderful and amazing stuff and there's no need to feel depressed if it's not as good as what the guy next door is producing: there's someone better than him, too... and then there's someone better than that guy or girl, and someone who tops whoever that is. The only person who you should be competing with is yourself. If that makes any kind of sense.

noah-kh -- thank you <3 I find your artwork very inspiring.

Lady Medusa -- 1) Weellll... I think it'll be named Furiae. Furiae something something or other, anyway. Ballistic Publishing is publishing it, so I imagine it'll be available to anyone who has a computer.
2) Oi, difficult question. In traditional rpg, I tend to go for human. Online, I try everything I feel like at the moment - often leaning towards human, or elven, or possibly... well, I like the fae.
3) I started off with traditional rpg when I was eleven years old. Hand in hand, of course, with computer rpg. I've only ever tried out one mmorpg, and I wasn't too fond of the way it worked - so I think I'll stick with what I know and love.

Shad0W6600 -- Thank you :] I'm thrilled to have inspired you. As for your question (which isn't as quick as you might think, hehe) --

I'm obsessed with rain. There is nothing I find as inspiring as the sound of raindrops. Nothing that gets my creative juices flowing as much as taking a walk in dark, dreary autumn weather when the rain is the pitpat of little silver feet on the ground. You know early in the morning when the mist rises in the rain, and the air is so moist it's almost as if you're inhaling water? I sometimes get up at four in the morning and take Azrael for a walk just to experience that. If there is the smell of wet autumn leaves in the air and my feet, and his paws, make a nice splishsplash voice when we walk, I'll be drawing obsessively for hours when I get back home again.

I'm sorry to say that while other artists' work truly DO inspire me, they generally don't help me to paint. I think I've got a block somewhere in my head keeping that from happening. I don't want to paint after I've looked at someone else's painting, too afraid it'll influence me, I suppose. Like I said, movies books and music are another matter altogether.

Ninja Dodo -- Hey, that's a lovely idea. No, it hasn't occurred to me before but I wouldn't be adverse to it. I just don't know where I'd find the time for something like that, if you know what I mean... not to mention, I'd have to trust that animator absolutely to let someone have a go at my work in that manner. Hm. I'll give it some thought, thanks for the idea!
I can resist everything but temptation.


Painting eyes
Painting hair
  04 April 2005
Wonderful work - the masterful transparency of the hands of the blond woman sitting on a stone is the touch which brings the image to life. Your best images have always a kind of watery movement - which are also my favorites. The transparency of edges of the flowers and birds is a technique, which you use, and most probably already know that Dutch classical artists used in their still lives. Iranian classic artists used this very much in there Venice artwork but much more on their characters. Wonderful artwork!
  04 April 2005
After reading through this thread and your interview (linked in the first post) I feel
how much lifetime I lost with just scribbling arround.
I really love it, how you can draw emotions and feelings so well and how the whole mood of a picture touches my own feelings.
It is the main reason why i want learn to paint and seeing your pictures gives me so much motivation to keep trying it. (one of my favorite paintings by you is "these woods")
Now, that the most questions i wanted to ask, were already asked, i have at the time only one left.

Do you often remember your dreams and do they influence your work in some way ?
Did you ever draw a scene or a picture from your dreams right after you woke up ?

Thank you for sharing so much knowledge about your drawing methods and especially about yourself.

Last edited by Vyse-soa : 04 April 2005 at 02:55 PM.
  04 April 2005
Thanks Linda!

You're a well of inspiration as always! Thanks a heap!!!

Going to startt another one right away!
modelling practice #1
  04 April 2005
Alright, I thought of another question that was influenced by one of your answers.

How did you learn to think in blocks of colors? You said that you see your friends in colors, and in such colors that most people would never expect. Did you train yourself to think that way or does it come naturally. And how do you pick out those colors? Is there someway you post a picture of your friends with a quick shading and thumbnails of tha colors your see them as? If that makes any sense... :/

Thank you for taking the time and being an inspiration!
  04 April 2005
suzana_kilic -- Thank you kindly :]

Vyse_soa -- Hey, scribbling around is no waste of time. It's great fun. I think that quite a few of my dreams inspire my work. I have very, very vivid dreams - in particular, the nightmares. I've dreamed some pretty grisly things in my days that I wouldn't want to paint but that can still be drawn into the paintings in a discreet, gentle manner. I don't think I've drawn a picture straight from a dream, mainly because dreams are very personal and a little too much so for me to want to paint them for all the world to see.

Sylanya -- Hm. Don't think I've 'learned' it so much, as it coming quite naturally to me. Try to think of emotions as colours, or events as colours - like anger can be a dark, rusty red or perhaps an ashy black and grey, and happiness can be a sparkling blue mixed with yellow at the edges. It's difficult to explain, but if you put a little bit more colour into your life and explain your feelings with colours, you might understand. People say that they're feeling 'blue' for instance, when they're feeling down. So what kind of blue is that? Blue doesn't always represent depression for me - it's highly depending on the blue. I decide on feelings for the colours and then, often, I paint using the coloured feelings rather than just picking what looks cute. So when I'm thinking of my friends in colours, it's a mix of what they're like, how they present themselves to me, what we've been up to when I last met them: it changes depending on the time of year, the time of day, and what silliness they blurted out to me on the phone last time we talked. Please don't confuse this with New Age opinions about aura and such, it's got nothing to do with that. It's just a demonstration on how I think in colours. Say, if someone asked me how I'm feeling today, I might tell them I'm okay - tired, but with a headache. Or I could say (but people would think I'm nuts if I did) that it's a little greyish with dashes of crimson and green.

Here are four of my best friends (not posting photos of them, I think they'd dislike that),

It sounds like such mumbo jumbo when I put it like that, but it's really just a way of using colours to describe things you'd usually use other words for. It helps when you want to paint these things, later on.
I can resist everything but temptation.


Painting eyes
Painting hair
  04 April 2005
Hmmm...I think I understand what your saying here. I think for me to fully understand this I'll have to experiment a little, but I think I understand. It's more about the colors they have on the inside than the outside, right? Like the colors reflect their personalities? Very interesting.

So say this pic here represents how I'm feeling right now:

You would be able to guess my mood exactly, right?

I think that really cool.

Last edited by offbeatworlds : 04 April 2005 at 05:18 PM.
  04 April 2005
So many questions...

Hey Linda,

Thanks so much for lending us your creative mind for this thread. What a phenomenal idea this is! I know the community is very excited to see you doing this.

My questions to you are these as others have already bent your ear with my other questions.

How do you deal with creative artistic block? I know you've mentioned walking with Azrael (unfortunately, my rabbits wouldn't cooperate with that as much as I could try *lol* although, it could be that they are too pampered...*grin*) Are there any technical exercises you do artistically aside from stepping away from the painting or getting out and enjoying the rest of your life, friends and family?

What is the best advice you have been given on creating your art? What critiques have really hit home for you?
What is the best advice you could offer to an artist who used to practice a lot, but after many years of allowing people to opressively tell her it wasn't practical, has finally come 'home' and found herself VERY out of practice?

I am sure there are other questions I could ask, but this is a lot so I'll leave it here.
As always, looking forward to your response and thank you again for the inspiration you provide. You are one of the artists that has inspired me to get back into my art again and for that I'm grateful.

Take care,
  04 April 2005
Originally Posted by Enayla:
InAction -- Thankee :] I do stuff like that on occasion, for the most part back here at home. I'm always a little uncomfortable in front of a crowd (which I'm sure the people who saw me speak at SIGGRAPH would agree with), so when I can avoid it, I'll not do it. I'll be doing something like that a little later this year at some local conference, I'll see if I can get you in :]

Whoa, that would... I mean... I'm out of words. I would so love to be able to go.

You have any idea of when it might be? I mean, what quarter of the year? (Q1/Q2/Q3/Q4)

I'm a guy who plans alot, almost too much.

Oh, just a quick question (or maybe not). Do you have any tips for a beginner to start 'painting' digitally. I do know how to sketch, but do really need to start with realism. No need to tell things like use real life references and such. I mean, is there some small things you haven't mentioned in here that made some things hell of alot easier for you when working? Would be nice to know. Some times the smallest of details are the most worth ones.


Oh, one more question. I know alot of artists think negatively of the more asian comic styles like anime/manga/manwa. What is your opinion about it? Do you also see it as a bad thing for beginners to start drawing a comic style in general, may it be asian, american or france?

Last edited by InAction : 04 April 2005 at 04:56 PM.
  04 April 2005
Hello Linda,

I just really want to personally say "thank you". Because of the work created by you and several other artists, I've taken a renewed interest in sketching and creating digital artwork (I used to draw prolifically years ago, but school began to take up more of my time, so I had stopped).
Your artwork has such a refreshing-original, "clean" quality to it that I've never really seen before in other artists. As I said before in your Master & Servant thread, if I can ever get my skills up to even a tenth of what you can do, I'll consider myself very lucky.

I do have a few questions in regards to your digital painting.

1. Do you sketch directly into Photoshop, or do you first sketch your ideas out on paper and then scan it into PS?

2. You mentioned that you paint mostly in Photoshop, rather than Painter. Did you decided on that mostly because you were more confortable using PS brushes rather than Painter's, or also because of other reasons (like that PS handles layer management much better than Painter)?

3. When using your PS brushes, is the "painter"-like effect of your brushstroke created through changing brush settings such as Color Dynamics, Texture, or Opacity Jitter - or is there other factors as well?

I'll appreciate any of the answers that you can give for my questions.
And again, thanks.
My eyes are open, yet I continue on dreaming
  04 April 2005
Originally Posted by Enayla: Tell you what... these are the brushes I'm using for my current picture. Take a look and see if you find anything good there - a warning though, they're in terrible disarray (unnamed for added confusion)

Wow, you have some pretty cool textured brushes. I had a lot of fun finding there shapes on a blank canvas. I was wondering (sorry for asking so many questions) how you make some of your textured brushes. Do you make them in Photoshop or Painter? And if its Painter, which tools do you use? (I've made probably one in Painter using the Watercolor brush, but I don't know what other ones to use to make some other cool brushes). Just curious is all. Again, I'm sorry for asking so many questions...

Oh, and could you call me Steph instead of Sylanya? Thanks!
  04 April 2005
heya Linda, it took me a while to read through but i made it. (: You dont seem to mind to answer everyone not even when its already answered before. You are not only a natural in painting, you are also a very warm person too! (: So.. ehm what shall i ask.. what are your favorite ps shortcuts besides ctrl-z? I like resting my thumb on B (brush) and my other fingers on E (eraser) and R (smudge) while i hold my wacom-pen with the other hand. And often, i increase the brush size with [ and ] and opacity 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0. Sorry, if its a silly question, i didnt come up with any better.

ps: ulrika is the first color colour, mikaela the third. See, i did read everything through. (:
  04 April 2005
Tjenare, Linda!

I've always wondered how you get your paintings to "pop" in the ways they do. You seem to have so much more insightful shading technique than any other artist I know of. They look like brilliant 3d-renders. When I saw the thumbnail for "Ladies of London" I immideately was thinking "I wonder what renderengine that modeler is using?".
I fought for hours to pick up my jaw from the floor after I found out that it was a painting. How do you do it? Seriously?
The funny thing is that I can't always point out the lightsource in your paintings, still they seem to pop out from my screen. It drives me mad, I can't get down that effect so nicely. The illusion you get is so perfect. How do you think when you are shading?

Thank you so much for taking your time to do this and extra big thanks for sharing your SUPERNICE brushes.

Fortsätt rocka fett!
  04 April 2005
You are a great inspiration to many, and I mean it.

1- You are always saying how shy you are, and then you manage to have more than four best friends. What’s the trick to fight your shy person? or is it just luck?
Do you think that the people around you, outside of your family, have helped you, so to say, to fight your shyness, and if so, how?

2- Would you kill me if I sen't your left arm to Tim Burton? Metaphorically speaking, of course.

3- What do you suggest a man with brown afro/Che Guevara looking hair, brown eyes, latino coloured skin, and with a rather skinny figure to wear? You got some style and a great colour sense to go with that, and a whole lot of what I currently keep in my closet is sort of ready to be thrown away.

4- I’m getting into drawing. Bought a sketch book today and I’ll start with dimensions and cubes, after that I’ll imagine that we are all ugly robots, made with only basic forms, and I’ll draw that. It’ll be nasty and boring, but do you think I am on the “right” way?

I would also like to compliment on your work in d’artiste, my sister got it today, you see. Beautiful gallery, intelligent tutorials.
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