Kids, Kids, Kids…Kids And Me In Egypt

Yvan and I agreed to go to the museum Tuesday morning.  Both of us knew that it was spring break for the kids of Quebec but neither of us knew that this particular Tuesday was also “free” day.  When I arrived there were hundreds of people in the lobby.  So many, in fact, that I didn’t even wait to check my coat because the line was too long.  I just headed upstairs to the Egypt exhibit.

Realizing that the place would be crowded, I found a place where I had the side of a glass case at my back and a clear view of a statue and set up to sketch.  I spent the next hour or so in that one place, sketching one statue.

But the sketching was the least important activity; I talked to kids.  I love kids when I’m sketching.  It’s hard to concentrate on drawing and my sketches sometimes suffer, but I still love them.  They’re so inquisitive and I never have to listen to them tell me that they wish they had the talent to draw or that they’d love to draw but they just don’t have the time.  Kids are the opposite of adults.  For them, drawing is KOOL.  They do it too.  They’ll tell you what they like to draw.  They’ll tell you that they like your drawing.  They ask about my pen.  A couple asked how long I’d been working on the sketch.   But mostly they just stood around watching, at least until their parents came land hauled them away.  Many of them dragged their parents over to see my drawing.

And on this day there were kids everywhere.  I’ve never seen so many people at the museum.  There were at least half a dozen kids around me at all times and I spent more time chatting than drawing.  It was a lot of fun.  As I packed up to leave I got to see what was really going on behind me.  The exhibit room looked like a rock concert.  People everywhere and as Yvan and I left we found there were lines of people waiting to enter the exhibit.  It was extraordinary, but I had to wonder if I could have found a place to sit if I’d wanted to draw something else.  I’ll never know as we left with smiles on our faces.  Here’s the sketch I did during “free” day.

Stillman & Birn Beta (9x12), Platinum Carbon Black, Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Beta (9×12), Platinum Carbon Black, Platinum 3776, watercolor pencils

Winter Food Court Sketching

My daughter’s was home from university for a week and we’ve had some snow storms.  These two things combined to keep me from going out sketching.  I was longing to do some so I headed out one morning to one of the big malls, and their food court.

2016-02-22womanorderingFood courts are great places to sketch people, either while they’re eating or when they’re standing in line to order.  All food courts are not created equal, however.  There’s a mall really close to my house that has two food courts and they’re both horrible sketching locations.  Why?  Because it’s hard to sit so you can  draw people ordering and their tables are crammed together, making it hard to sketch without someone slopping their Big Mac sauce on your sketch (grin).

But the one I went to is the newest in our city and it’s big, very roomy and there’s just the right distance between tables and vendors to allow lines to form in a couple directions (providing different angles) and the view open.

2016-02-22blondieThere’s not much to tell about the session.  I got a cup of coffee and started drawing.  I was using my Platinum 3776 with Platinum Carbon Black ink and I was sketching in a Stillman & Birn 4×6 softcover Alpha series book.  Great combination for this sort of thing as I like to add a bit of color when I finish up and the S&B paper accommodates that nicely.  I did time the session as I wanted to see how long I could keep doing it without getting tired.  I’m a lazy sketcher and have to push myself to sketch for long periods of time.  Come to think of it, long periods of time is a very relative term and, for me, “long periods of time” means relatively short.  Quick sketching is rather intense as people are moving a lot, but I managed to draw for 45 minutes, punctuated by coffee drinking.  I ended up with 14 sketches.  Here’s some of them.  I got tired of scanning.  I told you I am a lazy sketcher (grin).


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Sketching Polar Bears On A Glacier

Shari Blaukopf is a master at painting snow.  I am not.  Whenever I try I feel like I’m sketching a polar bear on a glacier.  Everything is white.  Yesterday I tried again, working from a photo I took from the window of the Maison Dorion-Coulombe, the site of our recent sketchcrawl.  I always feel that my sketching from photos reflects too much my disinterest in sketching from photos but still, I should be able to do better.  I thought I’d share the results with you anyways.  Maybe I’ll get better at snow…some day.

Stillman & Birn Beta, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Beta, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Sketching Too Quickly – Follow Up

In my post of yesterday I mentioned that I could “improve them by adding some shading” but that I was posting the quick sketches ‘raw.’  I’ve had a couple requests, asking me what I meant and/or what I did.  Truth is, there are a lot of things one can do but in this case I kept it very simple.  Here are three of them with some color added.  Doesn’t change things much but it adds a bit of spice I think.

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Sketching Too Quickly

I’ve found it amazing to watch the likes of Veronica Lawlor drawing dancers.  It always seemed impossible.  Then my friend Yvan started attending sessions at our museum where dancers and choreographers were practicing.  The drawings he was producing were spectacular.   I kept saying “Maybe I’ll come along” and always I chickened out.  As a slow [understatement alert] sketcher this seemed impossible and I guess I was trying to avoid the frustration.

But I finally did attend one of those sessions with Yvan and two things became clear.  The first was that I was right.  It IS impossible.  The second thing was a big surprise.  I loved it and can’t wait to do it again.  My sketches are sloppy and barely look like the women I sketched.  One woman was wearing a huge African head scarf and she had bells covered with scarves on her ankles.

In all, I covered 14 pages with scribbles.  Some of them look almost like people and I’ve never moved my pen so quickly, never strained my visual memory so much and after two hours I was completely exhausted.  I could improve them by adding some shading but the point of the exercise was to draw quickly, without the time to think about it so I thought I’d present these as they were done, in the moment…in a moment.

I did some sketches of spectators.  They didn’t move so much.







The rest of these came as a blur, or so it seemed at the time.  If you squint a lot you might enjoy them.  An open mind and closed eyes might be the best approach (grin).  I can’t wait to do it again.

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