Thursday Sketchers At The Museum

18th Century Armor

18th Century armor – Canson XL watercolor, Pilot Metropolitan, DeAtramentis Document Black

Our small group of “Thursday sketchers,” met at the Musee de La Civilisation.  I put the name in quotes because there’s nothing formal about us except that we meet at the museum on Thursdays.  Not surprisingly, we were there on Thursday (grin).

We scattered around the Quebec exhibition, which is part of the permanent collection, they’re planning on shutting it down for reorganision ‘real soon.’ Nothing motivates sketchers more than being told they weren’t going to lose access to something and so it went that day.

I’d made a short list of things I wanted to sketch before this happened so I set to work, not wanting to spend too much time on any one subject.  It was a great day and we had a lot of fun together.

2016-02-04rooster

This goofy-looking, sheetmetal rooster came from a Church Steeple.   Pilot Metropolitan, DeAtramentis Document Black

cannonball mold

Half of a cannonball mold. Pilot Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black

Cheap, Small Sketchbooks – Another Solution

I go through a lot of small sketchbooks because I’m constantly scribbling in them.  I have one where I watch TV, one in my office, one in my coat pocket and at least one in each of my sketching bags.

I’ve tried using Field Notes notebooks.  I use the ‘mustache’ notebooks I wrote about at one point.  These are wonderful because of their toned 4×6 paper that take fountain pen ink well.  But for my sketching bags I like to have something that’s just a wee bit bigger, with a spiral binding so I can fold everything back and have just the sheet I’m working on in front of me.  It still has to be cheap, fountain pen friendly, and of a practical size.  For that I’ve been cutting 9×12 spiral-bound, 60# sketchbooks that I cut in half, creating 80-page 6×9 books that cost me less than $4.  All of these solutions suffer when I try to add even light washes of watercolor.

What is a problem is that while I like the cheap Fabriano paper in those 6×9 books, they’re just large for the purpose, being too large and too heavy because I’m also carrying my regular S&B sketchbooks.

CansonXL_inhalf

So, when I saw Canson’s XL Multi-Media book in a 7×10 size, I knew I’ve found my answer.  Cut in half (I just run it through my bandsaw), it provides two 60-sheet 5×7 sketchbooks and the best part was that the paper is 98lb paper that takes watercolor washes quite well.  No, I’m wrong.  The best part is that these books only cost $3.50.   I put one of my sketches on the front just to spiff it up a bit.

5x7sketchbook

February Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

It’s hard to find places to hold winter sketchcrawls in Quebec City.  We don’t have an array of museums to choose from so we’ve got to get inventive.  So far, those inventions have been quite successful, mostly because of the participants are so fun to be around.  I think the February event will be even better.

We’re going to meet at Maison Dorion-Coulombe, which is the home of the Riviere St. Charles Society, a group that helps to maintain the 32km long Parc Lineare that runs along the river.  They do great work, including the maintenance of Dorion-Coulombe and the small museum contained within its walls.

We’re fortunate to be invited to hold a sketchcrawl there on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14th.  We’ll meet at 9:30 and get to draw the stuffed animals, plants, and the views of the river and bridge beyond.  We’ll be in the company of a large turtle who smiles a lot as he swims in a large aquarium.  While you can buy coffee and water on site, you need to bring a lunch as there are no restaurants nearby.

One thing we’re going to do a bit different, to add a bit of spice to the event, is to bring along an item or three that people can sketch if they choose to do so.  This is a lot of fun and we encourage you to drop an item into your own bag to bring along.

The last time we did a sketchcrawl at Maison Dorion-Coulombe it was raining and yet it was a fantastic as a sketchcrawl site.  The cold of winter should make drawing in a nice warm environment even more fun.

Look Outside Sketching

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door. – Credence Clearwater Revival

Looking Out My Backdoor was one of the craziest songs CCR ever created.  It won gold and platinum records, made you happy when you heard it, and the lyrics made no sense whatever.

Sometimes my sketching is like that and no more so than when I went sketching with Yvan at the museum chapel where we’ve been sketching lately.  Due to circumstance, mostly beyond my control, I arrived at the chapel really late.  Yvan was well into his sketching and so I looked around for something to draw quickly in the remaining time.

Seminary entrance

Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

There are windows that look out on a large courtyard, with beautiful seminary buildings encircling it.  I’ve drawn their roofs and steeples in the past.  But today everything was covered with featureless snow, so there wasn’t much to draw.  I decided to sketch the entrance on the other side of the courtyard.  Then, I drew the only other thing sticking up from the white landscape – a bicycle and trash can.  See what I mean?  Just like the CCR song, the sketches make little sense but they made me very happy.  Hope they make you smile too.

bicycle

Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

 

Sketching Winter People

At piano recital

At piano recital – Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

As an urban sketcher, I guess I’m an odd one as my least favorite subject is the human.  I don’t know what it is but I don’t find them that interesting.  Maybe that will change some day but for now, my people sketching is done more out of desperation for something to draw when it’s too cold to sit on the streets and draw architecture.

Guy waiting for light to change - Zebra 701 ballpoint.

Guy waiting for light to change – Zebra 701 ballpoint.

And so it is these days so I’ve been doing some people sketching.  I thought I’d share a few of those sketches, done in small notebooks.  They’re done quickly and, I’m afraid, not very well but that’s what happens when you don’t practice.  Maybe I’ll be better before spring shows up.

2016-01-29people5

Standing on street corner, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Drawing people in ads on TV - Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Drawing people in ads on TV – Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

People waiting to order at McDonalds - Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

People waiting to order at McDonalds – Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black