Many people are afraid of clowns for some reason. They might be scared to death if they walk down rue St. Paul in the old port area of Quebec City because, between two buildings there is a humongous inflatable clown head scrunged between the two walls. I think it’s cute but it could also be scary, depending upon your point of view. I had to draw it.
You probably don’t know who Roger Van den Hende was but that’s ok, neither do I. What I know is that he was rich and left a lot of money for the purposes of establishing a botanical garden in Quebec City. It’s one of my favorite places to sketch, particularly since my bad knee has limited my ability to wander the city.
So, when Denise scheduled an event there for the Artistes dans les parcs I headed there to sketch. This was actually a couple weeks ago and I forgot to write about it. We had a good day but it wasn’t without some challenges.
The day started great. Predictions were for hot and sunny so shade was at a premium. Finding the combination of shady spot and something to sketch was challenging. I had fun trying to follow the growth pattern of this vine.
The ‘hot’ that was predicted came to pass and so water and rest was in order so I took a break, drank a lot of water, and then started wandering around looking for more shade to sit in. Finding shade with something in my view became particularly hard as we were nearing mid-day but eventually I found a lily I could draw while sitting in the cast shadow from a small building.
I decided to try to sketch it “paint first”, always a mistake for me but I’m determined to learn this approach regardless of the frustration level (grin). I began with a light wash in a lily shape and then I started adding some shadow tone… just as the clouds rolled in, killing all shadows on my flower. If only I had better visual memory. I persevered, sort of, doing my best to make up a shadow pattern.
At that point I had to wait for the paper to dry so I decided that I would take a break and make a trip to the restroom, which was a short hike through the garden. I left all my stuff laying on the ground in front of my lily and headed off. When I came out of the bathroom it was raining… on my sketchbook… only a one minute run from where I was, only I couldn’t run. So I hobbled with a pained look on my face.
By the time I got back, my paper was now VERY wet and there was little I could do besides pack everything up, take a photo of the flower, and head for home. I tried to salvage the sketch at home and this was the best I could manage. DeAtramentis Document ink and Stillman &Birn Alpha paper hold up pretty well to a rain storm.
Eventually I got the urge to draw some of the many flowers we have all over the place, courtesy of Chantal’s green thumb. I only had a small sketchbook with me and was too lazy to go get something larger so I just started drawing little flower drawings. Here’s a couple of them.
To say that spring/summer has been slow in arriving would be a big understatement but we’re finally starting to get some warm, sunny days. We took advantage of one of them last week and found ourselves in Beauport, along Avenue Royale, a street that runs along a hillside, a part of the city where the architecture is spectacular but quite different from the really early architecture of our “old city.”
My first sketch was an example of me biting off more than I could chew. It didn’t start out that way. I intended to draw just the end of a long set of Quebec equivalents of New York brownstones. These are covered with gables, towers, etc. and are quite stunning. They’re also quite complicated. Very quickly, though I let my eyes grow big while my time stayed the same and the result was that very soon I was scribbling my way to depicting half of the entire complex, something that should have taken twice the time and been done in a much larger format. My little 4×6 book just wouldn’t hold it all. Here it is, serving as a lesson – when you decide the scope of a drawing, stick to it.
As it turned out, I had more time than I thought. It has been forever since I’ve sketched outdoors with our little group and getting back into the swing of things is harder than it should be and my timing is off. Anyways, I started drawing a small subject, figuring I could get it done before everyone wanted to head off for lunch. In spite of its simplicity, I really like this one. Hope you do too. In any case, summer is here and I hope it will be a good one.
We’re finally experiencing outdoor temperatures. Normally this would mean that I’d be wandering the streets every day, drawing my old-man heart out. That behavior has been derailed by my bad knee. Just this morning I started out with the idea of taking the bus downtown to sketch, but I quickly realized that, today, my knee wasn’t going to allow that to happen. So, instead, I’m writing this blog post and thinking that maybe I’ll sketch a pepper plant we bought last weekend.
Last week I got to go to our Musee de la civilisation to see the new Curiosities du monde naturelle. This exhibit is reminiscent of the old natural history museums, before all the fancy displays and such intruded on a simpler time when museum managers thought people were more interested in seeing actual items than they were pictures and videos of them.
Our museum seems to have a new to this. They put everything in the dark. I’m not sure what that’s about but we have to draw with a light on our paper and half the items are too hard to see to draw at all. This is supposed to be good? We have two exhibits that are like that currently and it seems to be a trend. Anyone else seeing this in their museums?
Part of this exhibit is the head of a young giraffe and I decided to draw it. Where I had to sit was too close and I was looking upward at the head such that I couldn’t see things like its left ear so the sketch is a bit odd. Still, I had fun finally being out sketching and I enjoyed drawing this guy, or girl.