Sketching Quebec City From Levis

Recently I wrote about  Yvan and I crossing the St. Lawrence so we could sketch the Quebec City skyline.  I mentioned that we were disappointed by the lack of sun that made it difficult to see the buildings clearly in the low-contrast light.

Of course we do quick sketches as we cross on the ferry. Here's one example - A Girl On a Boat (alias A Girl On a Phone).

Of course we do quick sketches as we cross on the ferry. Here’s one example – A Girl On a Boat (alias A Girl On a Phone).

Undaunted by that experience, we watched weather forecasts and, on a day that was supposed to be sunny, we boarded the ferry and headed to the south shore of the St. Lawrence.  That sounds too much like we took a trip.  The ferry ride is no more than 10 minutes and half of that is waiting as they dock the ship.  We scurried off the board and into the terminal, which is a nice, warm place from which to look at Quebec City.

Apparently, Mother Nature doesn’t read weather forecasts because there was no sun but we sketched anyway.  As we were leaving it started to snow.

Quebec City skyline

Fabriano Artistico CP, Platinum Carbon Black, Platinum 3776

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

Quick-Sketching On The Bounding Main

Sailing, sailing,
Over the bounding main,
For many a stormy wind shall blow
Before Jack comes home again!

I remember this bit of a song from when I was a kid.  I’m not sure why.  I’m less sure how.  But it bounces between my ears every time I get a chance to get on a boat.

Platinum Carbon pen, Platinum Carbon Black ink

Platinum Carbon pen, Platinum Carbon Black ink

I was out walking and ended up near where the ferry docks on the Quebec side of the St. Lawrence River.  I was looking across the river at the new ferry complex on the other side and decided to take a boat ride, but the two ferries had just started swapping places so I’d have to wait a bit.  I sat down and got out my Field Notes book and did this quick sketch of the top of the old post office building.  More a scribble than a sketch but, after all, it was done in my ‘scribbler’ so that was appropriate.

Sailor Profit fude pen, De Atramentis Document Black ink

Sailor Profit fude pen, De Atramentis Document Black ink

I boarded the ferry and wandered around its decks, letting the fresh almost sea breeze blow across my face.  I’m lucky to live in a place where I can be “on the bounding main” with nothing more than a swipe of my bus pass over a card reader.

I’d like to talk about taking a three-hour tour like Gilligan but the truth of the matter is that it takes only about 10-minutes to get to the other side.  I did get a couple quick-sketches done.

Sailor Profit fude pen, De Atramentis Document Black ink

Sailor Profit fude pen, De Atramentis Document Black ink

Once on the other side I wandered around, looking at the on-going construction, trying to figure out what the overall plan was for this new place.  I decided that I wasn’t smart enough to understand and took a wait and see attitude.  I went inside.

Once you get through the turnstile to get on the ferry heading north, you climb stairs to a large room with a wall of glass.  What a great view of the Quebec City skyline there is from there.  I’m going to have to go back when I’m in the mood to do larger sketches but on this day, I was in quick-sketch mode.  I got out a larger, but cheap sketchbook (6×9) and did a 5-minute pencil scribble of the skyline.  It’s not much but it will motivate me to get back there to do something better and provide a good excuse for another boat ride.

2015-07-17Ferry4A bell went off and like a bunch of cows we were all herded through large doors and onto the ferry.  I felt inclined to say ‘moo’, though I don’t think that translates well into French.

2015-07-17Ferry5I watched a small tugboat chug by as the ferry was pulling away from the quay and once we started crossing I was amused by a couple sailboats trying to change course and/or stop so the ferry could proceed.  Once that show was over, I got out my Field Notes book again and did a couple more people sketches, this time using my Platinum Carbon pen.  It was a great day to be sailing on the bounding main.  What is a bounding main anyways?

2015-07-17Ferry6

Sketching At The Zoo Park

My wife, Chantal, took a vacation day and I coerced her into going sketching with me.  She’s quite good at sketching but is convinced otherwise so it’s a special treat when I can get her to go out with me.  I think it was my sneaky approach of suggesting a nice, relaxing time sitting in the shade at the Zoo Park that did it.

I really have no idea what name is currently slapped on this park.  It may be the Parc des Moulins but don’t quote me on that.  What I do know is that it’s a sad reminder of a bad political decision that resulted in our city losing our zoo.  The park that remains is nice but not nearly as nice as when the trees had to share space with monkeys, bears, and eagles.

But we did find that shade, which disappeared half-way through our drawing.  I think the tree we were shaded by moved.  We took a break, ate a nice lunch and then continued to finish our sketches while sitting in the sun.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Stillman & Birn Beta (6x9), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Beta (6×9), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

When we finished up I suggested we stop and get an ice cream cone, knowing this would be get a positive response.  We went to a store that’s in a house that looks exactly like the one the Adams Family inhabited and sat outside, in the shade of course, and enjoyed a slight breeze that kept the high humidity at bay.  There was a nice, tall clock in the courtyard and I did this quick sketch of it in my Field Notes “scribbler.”  I continue to be impressed with the paper in this new Field Notes issue.

Field Notes (3x5), Platinum Carbon Pen, Platinum Carbon Ink

Field Notes (3×5), Platinum Carbon Pen, Platinum Carbon Ink