Quick Sketching In The Cold

I started posting my sketches to this blog as a way of maintaining a history of them.  It’s since morphed into a way of sharing with others but that original idea remains, although I long ago stopped posting everything I draw.

And this week has been a cold one.  The beginning of the week had us enjoying -32 to -38C temperatures.  The 58C difference between our inside and outside temps stretched our house heating system to its limits.  But on Wednesday is “warmed up” and we needed milk so I decided to walk to the store to get some.  It was -16C at the time but the walk is only 3-minutes in each direction and so I headed off.

And here’s the crazy part.  That morning I’d seen Alissa Duke’s post of some quickie sketches she’d done of the backs of cars and I couldn’t help but see every rear-end of a car as a target.  It was nuts but I drew several really quick, really frozen sketches.  By the time I got to the store I was frozen, though each sketch took less than 30s.

The funny thing is that you can actually see the shivering shakes in some of the lines.

But since pursuing the oil colors, purposely putting my pens down, it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed pen sketching.  When I got home and warmed up I drew this guy from a reference photos used by a YouTuber to do a very detailed charcoal drawing.  Let’s just say mine was less detailed.  Then again, mine only took a few minutes (grin).

It was fun to lay down some ink again.  We’re back to really cold and a blizzard is swirling outside.  What kind of stupid people choose to live in a place like this?


Painting Oranges In Oils

I’m still plodding along, trying to figure out oil painting while also learning lots of stuff about color mixing, and the nuances of foresaking my pen and ink style.  I’d like to think I’m getting a bit better at it but there is more failure in my results than successes.  Reminds me of 2012 and my beginnings as a sketcher.  We learn from our failures so I must be learning a lot (grin).  Here’s my latest, a pot of oranges.

It’s 2022 and our province is mostly locked down as Omicron ravages our population.  We’re lucky in that Quebecers have largely embraced vaccination but still, COVID hangs over us like a wet blanket.  If the biology is sound, however, it looks like we may actually have a decent summer of sketching.  I sure hope so.  Cheers, everyone.

Christmas Movie Sketching

My daughter has been home for the holidays and so we’ve been playing games, goofing around, and we’ve watched an endless (to me) stream of Christmas movies.  I heard on the news that they released 146 new Christmas movies this year, as though there weren’t already enough of them.  Most are little more than a rationale to fill the screen with Christmas tree decorations while providing a place for romance novelists to ply their craft.

My wife and daughter control the remote during the holidays, so in the name of family unity I watched a lot of Christmas movies.  Eventually, though, I tired of expending energy trying to stay awake and I got out pointy devices and a 4×6 sketchbook and spent time doodling.

Most of the results were incomplete, poor drawings because I was just drawing stuff that flashed by in the movies. I’ll spare you all of those.  But sometimes I’d see something, try to draw it, it would disappear, and I’d continue to some point of semi-completion.  Here’s one spawned by a guy walking with a big rain hat.

Other times I’d draw some object in the room, like this coffee cup.  I’ve come to realize that our living room is really boring.

I grabbed some oranges that I am doing as an oil painting and drew them rather too quickly with pencil.

And then there were times when I’d just draw from my imagination.  I’m never quite sure how to use this word, imagination, as I’ve seen a hundred photos of steam locomotives coming out of a tunnel but I use the word here to suggest that I had no model before me, photographic or otherwise.  These little doodles kept me awake so I consider all of them, even the ones I don’t share with you here, a big success.

Yesterday we got a just below freezing day with no wind and I went for a walk.  I’d just come out of our indoor farmers market (selling xmas stuff right now) and I was removing my mask, which is required indoors in Quebec.  A woman came out, stopped in front of me and, I think started putting on her gloves.  I’m a fast-draw artist and so my 4×6 book and pen were in hand before I even thought about it and I dashed this off in the time it took her to put on her gloves and walk away.  It felt good to draw a person.  I haven’t done it in…eeek….years.  Will this COVID thingie ever end?



Merry Christmas Everyone

We made it, all the way to  Christmas.  Our family is hunkered down, looking out the windows in the hopes that Omicron will scoot on by without stopping.  I hope that you and yours are doing something similar as this Omicron variant is a high-R variant that, with any luck at all, will hit us like a swarm of locusts but will be over quicker than other variants and do less damage.

But this isn’t an epidemiological post.  Rather it’s a Merry Christmas post.  I hope you all have one.  We deserve it.

Doing A Bit Of Pencil Pushing

Like many artists, I collect things to draw, or at least that’s the excuse I use.  Along the top of every bookshelf in my office/studio are crammed old bottles, vases, skulls, diecast cars, animal figurines and statues of all sorts.  In the old days, pre-pandemic, I loved to visit flea markets and garage sales, looking for something I “needed.” A few years ago I found a plaster head that I think is Japanese.  As I recall it cost me a buck, maybe two. Like so many of the items that I’ve bought to draw, I’ve never drawn this head… until this weekend.  Here’s the result.  The time spent was well worth the $2 purchase price.