Sketchcrawl At Bois Du Coulonge

This month’s Croquistes de Quebec sketchcrawl will be held at Bois du Coulonge.   If you’re unfamiliar with the park, it’s a gorgeous piece of land with trails through the forest, large gardens, a few buildings and bridges, and views of the St. Lawrence River.  In short, it’s a fantastic place for a sketchcrawl.

Bois du Coulonge

We’ll be there on Sunday, Sept 13th, starting at 9:30.  We should eat lunch together (bring your lunch) around 12:00 and then sketch again in the afternoon. Hope you can be there.  For more info, go to the Croquistes de Quebec website.

Nouvelle France 2015 – Day Two

Sunday was the last day of the Nouvelle France festival in Quebec and the Croquites de Quebec held a sketchcrawl which was pretty much a repeat of the sketchcrawl of the day before.

I showed up at 9:30 to find several people waiting for the organizers (Yvan and myself).  We all did howdy-dos just as Yvan arrived.  Things were pretty calm in Place Royale at that time in the morning so architecture seemed the thing to draw.

2015-08-09NouvelleFrance4It struck me as funny to see old stone structures, fake old kiosks and then a modern stage scaffold with some signs attached so I decided to draw this anachronistic scene.

2015-08-09NouvelleFrance5Things got rolling along around 10AM but before that I drew this kiosk and the woman who was setting before the crowds showed up.  I added a couple people to the page just to fill up it.   You’ll notice a ghost head, with partiallly drawn 3-corner hat, rising through the roof of the building.  Many ghosts were created as subjects walked away, often when I had  just started to draw them.

2015-08-09NouvelleFrance6This is just a page of random sketches, done of people within Place Royale.  This kind of sketching is like shooting skeet.  You’re happy when you get one and not too disappointed when you miss because there’ll be another to shoot at sketch real soon.

2015-08-09NouvelleFrance7Here’s a couple of “our mothers”, or so they are called here in Quebec.  Long ago, Quebec was settled mostly by adventurous men, sent by France to claim parts of the New World.  But as settlements were established, and the notion of permanence set in, it was clear to the king (and probably those adventurous men) that having some women around might be a good idea.

So, Louis XIV paid women to immigrate from France to Nouvelle France.  Some 700 women took part in the program.  Called Les Filles du Roi it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why these women are called by Quebecers “our mothers.”  They have their own society.

A portion of the festival is the arrival of the filles du roi, by sailing ship, and they are greeted at the old port and ushered into the city.  The society has a kiosk and the women wear traditional garb.  They are absolutely beautiful.  I spent a fair amount of time sketching them.  I’ll end with a final sketch of a fille du roi that had a beautiful cape to go with her dress.



Sketchcrawl At Fete De La Nouvelle France

2014-08-09NouvelleFrance1Our fearless leader has scheduled our second sketchcrawl to coincide with the Nouvelle France festival, on Sunday, August 9th.  The festival is always pretty special for sketchers as it’s a week of people wandering the old port area wearing period costumes, doing demonstrations of 18th Century crafts, and plenty of opportunity to eat traditional Quebec food.

We’re all going to rendevous in the square at Place Royale (prime subject-hunting territory) at 9:30 and after lunch we’ll move to Parc de l’Unesco which is just down the street.  You can get more details about the festival and the sketchcrawl from the Croquistes de Quebec webpage.  I hope you can make it.  Bring yourself, your sketching gear, and be prepared for lots of fun.  If you have any questions, you can contact me at or Yvan Breton from his web page.



Croquistes de Quebec Inaugural Sketchcrawl

Yvan Breton, our leader.  Apologies to Yvan for the poor photo

Yvan Breton, our leader. Apologies to Yvan for the poor photo

Last Sunday, the Croquistes de Québec held their first sketchcrawl, randocroquis, urban sketchers meeting, or whatever you want to call it (grin).  Whatever the name, we were out en masse  sketching on location.  Our fearless leader is Yvan Breton and he brought together more than a dozen folks for the purpose of enjoying the company of fellow sketchers.

And wow, did we have fun.  They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and there is no better evidence of that than how Quebecers respond to a nice, sunny day.  We got one on Sunday and we all took advantage of it.

The garden, Jardin de Jeanne d’Arc, is part of  Battlefield Park and is one of the prettiest places in Quebec City.  It’s a long strip of land with a large statue in the middle and a well-tended flower garden surrounds its grass interior.  Our dozen or so sketchers spread out and began to sketch.  I couldn’t help but notice the various seating approaches used.

Some (Jodie & Larry here) used the local benchware. [photo by Yvan]

Some (Jodie & Larry here) used the local benchware. [photo by Yvan]


Some brought comfy chairs

Celine brought a comfy chair

While not popular the elevated view was used by some.

While not popular the elevated view was preferred by Joanne.

The most popular approach, of course, was the tripod stool.

The most popular approach, of course, was the tripod stool modeled here by Ann.

Some brought an entire studio along with their comfy chair

Yves brought an entire studio along with his comfy chair

In the end, though, we were all comfortable.  We broke for lunch on the grass and talked about pens, sketching and how great the weather was.  Did I mention that we were impressed by the weather?  Then, it was back to our benches, tripods, and chairs and our pointy devices started moving again.  We didn’t do a formal show-n-tell but sketchbooks were exchanged, mostly during lunch, and I think everyone went away with a hope that the next sketchcrawl will occur soon.

2015-07-12JeanneDArcI started my day with this sketch, of the lady honored by the park, Jeanne d’Arc.   I did this one in a Stillman & Birn Beta (9×12) with my Namiki Falcon and De Atramentis Document ink.  I also did a more complete pencil under-drawing than I normally do and, frankly, I think the pencil looked better than the ink, probably because it didn’t attempt so many details.

Things sort of went downhill from there when I started adding color as I stuck the side of my hand in red paint and promptly “stamped” a red blotch onto the paper (bottom left).  I tried, without success, to cover up with an awful dark green grass treatment.  Better luck next time 🙂

I also did this sketch of some of the beautiful rock stairs that lead down into the garden.  I didn’t have time to add color so you’ll just have to look at lines, my favorite things.

Last but not least, this was my daughter’s first opportunity to sketch with other people (she’s the one sitting with me on the bench).  Like so many, she was afraid she was apprehensive, certain she couldn’t sketch well enough, and that she’d be too intimidated.  But, she had a great time and told Yvan just before we left that “I’ll be at the next one.”

Stillman & Birn Gamma (10x7), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document black

Stillman & Birn Gamma (10×7), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document black

Sketching Together: July 12th

Jean D'ArcFor a while we had regular sketchcrawls in Quebec City.  With each one we gained more and more participants because everyone found them so much fun.  Well, just like the Terminator, “We’re back!”

Yvan Breton has proposed that we have monthly sketchcrawls on the second Sunday of every month.  These will be informal events with time and location suggested but otherwise, it’s up to you to bring your sketching materials and lunch.  You’ll get out of these events what you put into them but most people immediately start enjoying the comaraderie of the events and they learn from each other about techniques, tools, and maybe different ways to enjoy sketching.

Women enjoying the ambiance of Parc Jean D’Arc


Kiosk at the west end of Parc Jean D’Arc

Our first event will take place in Parc Jean D’Arc, on the Plains of Abraham, on Sunday, July 12th.  We’ll start at 9:30 and finish no later than 4:00, with a lunch break somewhere in between.  For more information, Yvan has set up a web page with all the information here.  We hope you’ll join us.