A Curious Pig

In Quebec City we have a couple restaurants called Cochon Dingue (crazy pig).  In the old city there is one that faces a main street but they have a back entrance on a rather famous pedestrian street full of shops to grab tourist dollars.  Next to the the entrance is a rather plain window that looks in on this backdoor entrance.  It seems I was not the only one interested in that window.

SM-LT watercolor sketchbook

Chocolate Time In Isolation

Since my daughter has been old enough to run around the house, every Easter we’ve hidden chocolate eggs for her to find.  When she was young, her excitement could not be measured on any excitement meter, but over the years it’s become less and less as one might expect.  Still, she’s always liked the idea, at least in part to relive her younger years.

Like everyone else, we’re COVID bound and she mentioned that this year she wouldn’t get to look for eggs.  She’s 25 so the proper parental response would be “Come on, you’re in law school for goodness sake,” but that’s not how we roll.  We had lots of Easter chocolate because my wife loves to treat our daughter as though she’s still her little baby and, more importantly, she loves chocolate too.

The moral of this story is that in spite of our isolation, we’re awash with chocolate.  I’m a Peeps kind of guy myself but when I saw the chocolate chicken I just had to sketch it.  It was a lot of fun.  The head’s already gone and I’ll let them consume it while I eat some Peeps.

Handbook watercolor (8×8), DeAtramentis Document Black

 

Keeping It Loose??

I’ve always wondered why amateur artists are so enamoured with “loose.”  Everyone craves it, nobody can define it, and there are many great artists who would be wondering with me if they were here now.  I doubt whether DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Sargent or modern artists like Norman Rockwell or Robert Bateman would have told their students to “loosen up.”

But there I was the other day, trying to “loosen up” by drawing cups quickly.  I did half a dozen of them, some “loose” to the point that they ceased to look like a cup.  Here’s one example.

4×6 sketchbook, DeAtramentis ink

It’s what a lot of people call loose.  I call it sloppy but, well, different strokes I guess.  I thought I’d try a different approach, somewhere between this and my typical, very stiff, cartoon style.  I used a larger format, about 5×7 I guess.  And I slowed down some.

Rather than a coffee cup, I chose a tea cup.  Maybe that makes a difference too.  In any case, I like this result better than those “loose” cups.  It suffers a lack of precision I suppose but it looks more like a finished drawing to me.  Opinions welcome.  Just keep them loose.

Snow In April Ain’t So Bad

We had a snow storm for about 24 hours and got, they say, about 15cm of the stuff.  I didn’t think I’d be able to walk today because of it but it seems our ground is sufficiently thawed and most of it has melted already, leaving the sidewalks suitable for walking.  So, I did.

This time I took a clip with me to hold my sketchbook open while I sketched.  That helped some.  Very low expectations helped more.  I think that if I can expect nothing from 2-3 minute sketches (maybe 5 for this one), done while standing, I won’t be disappointed and I’ll have a little fun.  It was only 1C when I was out and windy but I got to stand next to a wind break while I tried to scribble a likeness of this little Fiat.  I think the proportions are right but the shapes most certainly are not.  Oh well…it’s a generic car sketch 🙂

Platinum Plaisir, 4×6 hardcover sketchbook of unknown origin

Self-Distancing On The Street

As I’ve mentioned, we’re isolating right now, along with the rest of Quebec.  It’s been that way since March 12th.  But the ice is now off the sidewalks and while it’s still cool outside (2C when I went out this morning) it’s really nice to go out and walk around a bit.  The streets are rather empty but there is an occasional fellow walker out and about.  I’ve noticed that even though we’re all trying to distance ourselves from everyone (in Canada we have to be 2-meters apart rather than 6-feet as in the US 🙂 but we’re a lot friendlier than normal, saying hi and maybe saying “stay safe” or some other gesture to anyone within shouting distance.

I don’t feel comfortable hanging out in one place but I did stop today and scribbled a quick sketch (about 2 min).  Though crude, it sure felt good to “urban sketch.”  I think I will be doing more of these for the sake of my sanity.  Then again, we’re supposed to get 15cm of snow tomorrow so maybe not (grin)

4×6 sketchbook