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

Urban Sketcher Goes Rogue

I’m an urban sketcher, or at least almost everything I draw is done ‘on location’ – drawing what I see.  I’ve not be too interested in ‘expressive’ or abstract drawing.  I’m not into adult coloring books.  I just draw stuff and wandering my city looking for things to draw is part of my equation.

But it’s winter here in Quebec and while it’s amazingly warm for us at the beginning of February our high temps are still in the -10 range so sketching on the street, my usual location, isn’t really practical.  I know that Nina Johansson uses vodka so her paints don’t freeze but I’m an old Arizona boy and I’d have to consume a lot of vodka to keep myself from freezing.

And so, this is the time of year when I start drawing people in coffee shops, restaurants and at the library.  This is a time when I draw in our museums.  This is the time of year when I’ll draw the occasional cast drawing in an attempt to improve my ability to see halftones and to render objects.

One thing I’ve never done in art was to make stuff up.  I’ve done it as a writer but I haven’t felt that I had sufficient handle on form, light and shade, and the rest to conjour drawings from my memory.  Yvan keeps telling me that I should develop that ability as it helps so much when drawing on location but, well, I haven’t done so.

Until yesterday.  I was playing with creating some watercolor backgrounds for doing ink sketches on to of them and when my brain looked at the bright Quin Gold blob I’d put in the middle, I saw a ‘tall mountain island fortress’ and so I started drawing.  It was a feeble effort, but an effort nonetheless, to draw something from my imagination.  I had fun and will probably do this some more.

2016-01-28FantasyIsland

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.

 

Sketching A Bit Of Egypt

Our gang was back at the museum cuz, “baby, it’s cold outside.”  I decided to draw a stone guy who was making an offering at a funeral, or so sayeth the plaque associated with him.  Hope you like him.

Egyptian statue

Fabriano Artistico CP (7.5×11), Platinum 3776, DeAtramentis Document Black