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

A Sketching Challenge: Chapel Altar

I love drawing the ornaments and carvings in churches but confess that I find most churches to be pretentious.  Still, there I was, in the chapel associated with the Musée d’Amérique francophone when I got the bright idea to sketch the huge, monolithic, altar.  Because of the complicated nature of it, doing a proper, accurate drawing would have required many hours.  I only had two.

So I “steeled” myself (i.e. tried to channel Liz Steel) and set to work.  My eyes crossed several times as I tried to draw all the bits and details of this 30-foot high structure.  It was both fun and tiring, and it humbled me a bit, which I guess is the goal of such structures.

Musee d'Amerique chapel altar

Fabriano Artistico CP (7.5×11), Pilot Metropolitan, DeAtramentis Document Black

Sketching Doesn’t Have To Be Good To Have a Good Day Sketching

Sometimes my sketches don’t work out.  Yvan and I headed to the south shore of the St. Lawrence to sit in the new ferry terminal and sketch the Quebec City skyline on the north shore of the river.

The view is great but the buildings are small from that distance.  On a clear day the morning sun provides sufficient contrast to allow one to make out the building relationships but on this morning, Mr. Sun was sleeping in and the buildings sort of blended into one another.  We tried to sketch and while Yvan was successful (he always is), I struggled with a couple false starts and I never did get a decent sketch done.  This was the best I could muster.

Platinum 3776, DeAtramentis Document Black

Platinum 3776, DeAtramentis Document Black

The results may suggest that this wasn’t a great sketching day, but exactly the opposite was the case.  Yvan and I went downstairs and got coffee at the newly opened Tim Hortons.  I did a small sketch out the window but the real fun was that we got out some watercolor paper and started discussing color, mixing and matching.  I’m sure this is how kids feel when they finger paint but, of course, we were very adult about it and we had a lot of fun.

Levis waterfront buildings

small 4×6 sketch – Platinum 3776, DeAtramentis Document Black

As we played with my paints, we talked about drawing, my favorite subject.  Yvan is a veritable fountain of drawing knowledge and I’m finally experienced enough to understand what he’s telling me most of the time.  His mentorship is priceless.  It was a spectacular sketching day.  Tomorrow we’re headed back to the museum.  I love it that I have to maintain a calendar of my sketching sessions.