Big Building In A Little Town

Quebec City is not an industrial town.  We have no massive factories except for our paper mill.  Rather, we have government…lots of government as we’re the capital of the province of Quebec.  And we have the oldest walled city in North America and cruise ships visit us regularly.  We do tourism.  And so we have lots of politicians and tourists.  We also have UbiSoft, the video game manufacturer so we have animators…story-tellers.  In short, no big factories to sketch.

But we are also a port and the largest building around that port is a huge grain elevator and ship loading facility along the northern side of our marina.  Lots of train cars and boats visit the place as grain is moved onto awaiting ships.  In short, it’s a big, intimidating building to sketch 🙂

I took it as something of a challenge and so became my sketch of the Bunge grain elevators. Done in a Stillman & Birn Zeta (5×8 x 2) sketchbook with a Pilot Prera and Platinum Carbon Black ink.  W&N watercolors give it a bit of color.  Click for a larger image.

2013-07-31BungeC

While Walking Through The Park One Day….

Yvan and I planned a sketching session on St. Denis street and we were to meet there.  This street has many majestic residences and a large grassy area in front of them so it’s an ideal place to sketch.

As I arrived I realized that I’d forgotten my WalkStool.  This is a big problem as my knees and me don’t much like sitting on the ground, for fear that we’ll never be able to get back up.

And so the search began for a sitting place with something in front of me to sketch.  It’s not really rocket science but I wandered around for a while before finding such a combination.  I ended up in the Parc des Governeurs, a small park between the Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City’s tourist landmark and the American consulate.

2013-07-20GovernorsPark

Both of these buildings are great sketching subjects but I chose this more humble structure that sits in the park.  Yvan suggested that it was once a toilet but these days it looks to be used by maintenance people.  In any case, it had a bench, in the shade, and so I sketched it in my Stillman & Birn Zeta (5×8) with a Pilot Prera and Platinum Carbon Black ink.  I used Lexington Gray for the stairs in the background.  I’m enjoying the contrast between these two inks.  As always, I used Winsor & Newton watercolors like crayons to add some color.

Ferry Dock Sketching

I use any excuse to take the ferry from Quebec City to Levis, which is on the other side of the St. Lawrence River from us.  I do it because 1) I like boats, 2) my bus pass makes it free, and 3) did I mention that I like boats?

On this day, I did it because Yvan wanted to sketch the ferry station, which is an old train station that’s been sort of messed up by neglect and its conversion into a ferry dock.  But they’re planning on tearing it down and he wanted a sketch of it.  Seemed like a plan to me.

But when I got there, something about sketching the station just didn’t turn my crank that morning so I found an alternative, this building that was probably a hotel at some point and may still be.  I like the way the cliff jutted up above, dwarfing what is actually a very large building.
2013-07-18LevisBuildingC
It was done in a Stillman & Birn Zeta (5×8) sketchbook with Pilot Preras and Platinum Carbon Black and Noodler’s Lexington gray inks.  Hope you like it.  It was sure fun.

A Red Flag Will Stop A Sketcher Every Time

As an urban sketcher, with a penchant for the mundane, I couldn’t pass up this scene. The railroad track in the background feeds into the train station here in Quebec City. A passenger train was headed inbound. The track in the foreground is a seldom-used track that allows a connection between a huge cargo facility on one side of a river and another one on the other side. Not much traffic but they’re not interested in any at all when the passenger trains come and go (only a few times a day).

2013-07-08RRflag

And so, they clip this flag to the track, to let anyone thinking of taking their train engine for a spin, not to do it. The bright red flag created an interesting scene, at least to me. Done in my Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7) with a Pilot Prera, PCB ink, W&N artist watercolors and limited skill.

40th Worldwide Sketchcrawl – Quebec Style

Last weekend was the 40th Worldwide Sketchcrawl and a group of sketchers in Quebec City participated.  We were blessed with great weather, had a great turnout,  and we had a great time… except I lost my entire watercolor kit.

DanielVincent

Daniel Potvin (blue shirt) and Vincent (tan shirt), one of his students.

Our numbers increased significantly this time around for the simple reason that Daniel Potvin, an enthusiastic sketcher, who happens to teach animation at Université Laval, brought some of his students – a group of very talented folks.

We met just inside the St. Jean Gate, in Artillery Park.  Both of these are tourist hotspots so there were lots of people around.

Yvan

Yvan did welcoming duties while sketching the St. Jean gate.

Yvan took up station and offered a welcome to everyone as they arrived.  We agreed to meet for lunch at 12:15 and so we each went our own way to hunt down the ideal sketching subject.  I was looking for shade.  (Note to self.  Next time do a formal group photo as the group has gotten too large to cover them all with a snapshot.)

group

CelinePierre

Celine and Pierre sketching the Kent Gate

With lots of sketching behind us, we broke for lunch and gathered under a large shade tree.  Some brought lunches, some went foraging at the many food vendors in the area.  We talked, shared sketchbooks, ate and generally had a mini-sketching party.  It was great!

Natalie

Natalie sketching the Kent Gate tower.

Eventually, we decided that we should sketch some more and so we did.  I was pretty beat by that time and I suspect others were as well but heck, it was a great day and so we sketched.

Claudette

Claudette sketching on Rue d’Auteuil.

In the end, it was a big success, we got to meet and talk with some new sketchers and we all took home great sketches to remind us the day.

One complete failure on my part was that I got no good photos of the spread of sketches, laid out during lunch.  The problem was that they were part in the sun and part in the shade, with leaf shadows all over them.  I’ll have to do better next time.  This time around, you should be able to see (real soon) at least some of those sketches on the Worldwide Sketchcrawl site.

2013-07-13ElectricalPlugs

Couldn’t resist this. It was at least 15-feet high and part of summer festival. S&B Zeta (5×8)

Somewhere, between the old city and home, my entire watercolor kit fell out of my sketching bag and I lost it.  Anyone who finds a green case with a watercolor palette, some Escoda travel brushes, water bottle and misc….it’s mine (grin).  Here are the sketches I did during the event.

This is a Celtic Cross in Artillery Park. 3x5 and done with a Pilot Prera.

This is a Celtic Cross in Artillery Park. 3×5 and done with a Pilot Prera.

 

Church next to Kent Gate.  S&B Zeta (5x8), Pilot Prera.

Church next to Kent Gate. S&B Zeta (5×8), Pilot Prera.