Croquistes de Quebec: January 6th Sketchcrawl

Almost forgot to announce the upcoming sketchcrawl.  Yvan has arranged for us to visit the Université Laval Collections.   If you’ve never been there, this is the place where the entire collection from the long-defunct Natural History museum is houses so there are, by my estimate, around a gazillion stuffed animals waiting to be drawn.  In addition, there is a vast collection of plaster casts that were once used by the Laval art department, back when drawing was part of the fine arts curriculum (grin).

Anyway, there’s a LOT to draw there and the atmosphere is really nice as it’s a limited access facility so you don’t have to worry about people (except maybe me) looking over your shoulder.  Anyone who has been to one of the sketching events we’ve had there will tell you, it’s fantastic.

Sadly, we do have to break from our normal Sunday sketchcrawl habit because the Collections are only available Monday through Friday.  This event will be this Friday, starting at 9:30AM.  For more details, check Yvan’s posting of the event here.  I hope to see you there.  I’ve colored this post up a bit with a couple of the sketches I did during last year’s sketchcrawl.

Five Years A Sketcher, I Am

Tina Koyama just did a blog post about completing five years as a sketcher.  It reminded me that I’ve been sketching for five years as well so I thought I should do a short post about that fact.

When I began as a sketcher I couldn’t draw anything.  I’d read Danny Gregory’s Everyday Matters and bought into the idea that being good wasn’t important; the process of doing it was what was important.  This was an important epiphany for me at the time because I’d been convinced that I had no “talent” for art.

These days I know that “talent” is something you create by passion and persistence; you’re not born with it.  Anyway, I started drawing cubes and doing simple drawings of things.  I started posting a few things on Russ Stutler’s sketching site, which is where I first ‘met’ Tina.  At that time I was drawing on photocopy paper and throwing the results away when I was done.  Someone on that group explained what a bad idea that was and that I should keep my early sketches.

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This was my first location sketch. It's dated Oct 2011.

This was my first location sketch. It’s dated Oct 2011.

I wish I had some of them to post here but instead I’ll post the first location sketch I did (Oct 2011), a window manikin (I figured she wouldn’t mind me sketching her) and one of my first building sketches (done in Oct 2011 from a photo).  I’ll add to this the last location sketch I did just a few days ago.  Hope you can see a difference as there have been several thousand sketches done in between these.  With a bit more persistence, maybe I’ll improve by the end of year six.  In any case, sketching has improved my life so much that it doesn’t really matter.

This one was done Sept 2016

This one was done Sept 2016

 

Liz Steel’s New 5-Minute Sketching Book

LizSteelArchitectureBookThere are many sketchers who have helped me climb the treacherous learning curve that comes with wanting to learn to draw, but Cathy Johnson, Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel have provided the most advice, inspiration and models for who I want to be when I grow up.  I’ve been lucky enough to meet and sketch with Marc Taro Holmes but I’ve never met Cathy or Liz but I feel I know them well because of the internet.  All three are ever-present when I’m sketching.

If you’re a sketcher you know Liz Steel but if you’re an economist following an errant URL from Google, Liz is one of the most prolific purveyors of sketching information on the planet.  She blogs incessantly, has several online classes that are among the best, and she has a new book coming out called 5-Minute Sketching: Architecture.  It won’t be available until October 1st but you can pre-order it as I just did.  You won’t be disappointed.

While I’m at it, Liz’s new course, SketchingNow Buildings: Essential Concepts for Sketching Architecture will be starting September 7th.  Her courses are packed with information, in video and written form so if you’re struggling with drawing architecture, this 6-week course is for you.

 

The Vikings Showed Up In Quebec

Some 500 years before Columbus, the Vikings were wandering around what is now the east coast of Canada.  They came by ship of course and some of their descendents decided to make the trip again.  Thirty-six days crossing the Atlantic resulted in them showing up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

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They decided to visit Quebec City and they showed up last Friday.  I thought it might be fun to draw the ship so I headed down to the harbor area.  Unfortunately, a lot of other people decided they should go to the harbor area too, armed with cameras, bicycles, strollers, and there was a guy with a wagon.  There were enough people to make it difficult to stick your cell phone in the air to get a shot of the ship without a dozen heads in the picture.  Sitting down to draw the ship caused one to get a great view of a lot of…well, let’s just say the view of the people was lower than those heads.  The best I could do was to stand, actually having to move around to get a glimpse of the nose of the boat as I did this quick sketch of the dragon figurehead.

Field Notes, Platinum 3776

Field Notes, Platinum 3776