Like most places, Quebec City has many “convenience stores.” The more modern ones are the typical glass-faced square boxes that often come complete with a gas pump. But Quebec City, more than many other large cities, still has a keen sense of neighborhood and the “depanneur” is a major part of it. Each of these small, independently owned stores is unique in what you may or may not find within their walls.
One thing is certain – they have more character than their modern competition. No depanneur illustrates this better than Marche St. Ursule which is on the street of the same name and just off one of the major tourist streets in old Quebec City.
I’ve wanted to draw this store for a while but during the peak tourist season it’s tough because there are a lot of hotels just up the street and lots of tourist foot traffic that passes in front of the store as well as on the narrow sidewalk across the street where I have to sit to do the sketch. Since the tourist season isn’t cranked up yet, I thought I’d give it a try. It turned out it was only kinda-sorta tough but I had a lot of fun conversations with tourists who were making their way down the street.
I also left my fountain pens in the bag and used a Sharpie Fine Pen (** note that Sharpie Pens are different from Sharpie Markers). Lee Kline first introduced me to these pens and I’m not sure why they’re not more popular with those who like this sort of pen. They are equivalent to a Micron 03, at least in line width. The ink is very waterproof and, like most ‘felt’ pens, their line is absolutely consistent, which is good or bad depending on your view. They have virtues that the art-specific pens don’t have, however – they are available at in many drug stores and they are CHEAP. I paid $2.50 for a pack of two of them.