Drawing Carriage Horses

All summer long tourists pay to be hauled around the old city behind beautiful horses who just shake their heads, saying “Why can’t they walk?  They could use the exercise.”  These horses are beautiful and we got the opportunity to visit the facilities where the horses live and where carriages are maintained.

2016-06-17fencepostI couldn’t stay long this day so I started with a bunch of quick sketches of horses, or rather horse parts because the horses were moving around the yard a lot early in the morning.   I sat down and did a quick sketch of the building area and then then I got out a Field Notes red notebook and drew an interesting set of shapes in the form of a fence post with rope wrapped around it.

As I was doing that a horse walked over to find out what I was doing.  It just stood there, watching.  It was a perfect portrait angle so I started drawing its head.  What a magnificent animal.  He (?) was mostly black with a bit of white along the top of the muzzle.  And then he walked away, satisfied that I was not very interesting afterall.  I had half a drawing.

I finished up the post/rope sketch and was about to draw a dandelion when another horse, this one light brown wandered over.  Not the same angle but I started talking to him and he maintained his interest in me long enough for me to finish this sketch.  I think the muzzle is too thin but otherwise I kinda like it.  Then it was my time to leave and so I headed for a bus.


The Vikings Showed Up In Quebec

Some 500 years before Columbus, the Vikings were wandering around what is now the east coast of Canada.  They came by ship of course and some of their descendents decided to make the trip again.  Thirty-six days crossing the Atlantic resulted in them showing up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.


They decided to visit Quebec City and they showed up last Friday.  I thought it might be fun to draw the ship so I headed down to the harbor area.  Unfortunately, a lot of other people decided they should go to the harbor area too, armed with cameras, bicycles, strollers, and there was a guy with a wagon.  There were enough people to make it difficult to stick your cell phone in the air to get a shot of the ship without a dozen heads in the picture.  Sitting down to draw the ship caused one to get a great view of a lot of…well, let’s just say the view of the people was lower than those heads.  The best I could do was to stand, actually having to move around to get a glimpse of the nose of the boat as I did this quick sketch of the dragon figurehead.

Field Notes, Platinum 3776

Field Notes, Platinum 3776

Sketching Around Bassin Louise

A popular place in Quebec City is Bassin Louise, the sheltered harbor area where people keep their sailboats and mini-yachts.  There’s also a large market complex that is popular with tourists and locals alike.  And that’s where our sketching group was on Tuesday morning.  We’re finally getting decent sketching weather so we’re taking advantage of it.

This is a view I’ve wanted to sketch for a while.  It’s nothing special but the trees frame up a group of building shapes that has always attracted my eye.

Stillman & Birn Delta (8x10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Sometimes I’m attracted by a shape, sometimes a texture.  Unlike a lot of artists, I’m not driven to find “great scenes” but rather I like things that look like they’d be fun to draw.  I think this sketch illustrates this point.  I was walking along the harbor and found the sacks that cover furled sails create an interesting draped fabric shape and I thought they’d be fun to draw one… and so I did.  Ain’t sketching fun?

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5x8), Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5×8), Platinum 3776

While Out For A Walk

Lots of people get their exercise and their dose of mental health by wandering through forests.  I’m more likely to do my walking through our old city, an almost fantasy world from the 18th Century.  Soon it will get really crowded as the tourists start to show up but right now it’s a restful place to walk.

This was a blustery day, putting a chill in my bones as I walked along so I was reluctant to stop to sketch.  I was looking for something I could sketch quickly, before the wind took its toll.  There are a series of large stone sculptures that form a fence near the seminary.  I hid from the wind behind a large statue and did this sketch as quickly as I could.  Hope you like it.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (8x5), Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Alpha (8×5), Platinum 3776

A Visit To The Pre-Winnebago Days

An outdoor theatre group was in town for a week and one of their props was this old trailer.  I remember these when I was a kid, long before people started driving Winnebagos the size of a barn down our highways.

It’s not the most beautiful trailer, and I didn’t create a particularly beautiful sketch of it, but memories are contained within and I hope the sketch conjours a few of your own.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (8x5), Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Alpha (8×5), Platinum 3776