Friday, January 30, 2015

At the concert

I went to the McGill Symphony Orchestra concert and sketched the musicians. I got in the late and sat all the way at the back so all I saw was musician's heads.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Urban sketchers meeting

The meeting took place at the Westmount conservatory - the only Victorian greenhouse in Montreal. A great place to sketch when it is -27C outside!

First plants:

 then people:

As usual they move! I wanted to sketch the woman and her friend seated around a small bistro table. They moved, so I decided to sketch the gentleman instead. I did not pay attention to the placement of the legs!

Somebody flipping through my sketchbook commented about this - she said she liked the legs this way, it gave a sense of unpredictability to the sketch. She found that sometimes sketches on the web lack the element of surprise - they are well done and all, but maybe too much so. Anyway, this is how I remember it...but it got me thinking about my sketches. What bothers me is that my sketches are not "pretty" - I  cannot turn them into a postcard or decide to hang them on  the wall. The pages are smudged, the composition is hurried (that is to say that I don't think about the composition until the end ...) ... and I keep waiting for the day when my skills will improve dramatically and my pages will be these little masterpieces...but I think there will always be an element of "all over the place" to my pages .... something unpredictable.

Here I sketched the gentleman and then I wanted to add the poinsettias behind. But poinsettias are not ...I wanted to add some flower shapes in ink, but I kept seeing animals, specifically fish (for example, above the left shoulder of the man). I added only the lines for the bench and the heater. I sort of like the floating feeling, but I might add floor lines to ground it a bit.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5 minutes burn

Another exercise from Bert Dodson's book - pick a subject and draw  for 5 min.

Strangely, I liked the results, especially the first and the last. I wanted to do these on a regular basis, but I fell behind in my plans.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Channeling Morandi

Bert Dodson analyzes the style of some famous artists in the second part of the book (Van Gogh, monet, Morandi etc) and the first exercises revolve around studying these masters and try to work in their style. I first copied some of the sketches in the book, then I attempted a Morandi-like sketch of a glass vase. Ay, madre de Dios ....

I guess I picked this one because it is something that I will never do - I don;t have the patience. I liked that there are no contour lines. The contour was in pencil and I erased it. Sometimes I find that black contour lines don't favor the sketch. Anyway, hatching is not my cup of tea ... but once in a while I suppose it is good to do something completely different.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sketch a piece of machinery

This too was from Bert Dodson. I did not have a machinery handy, so I sat in my sister's clawed bathtub and drew the faucet. Some parts had to be more detailed than others - I decided to skip the cord it is just too complicated to draw a decent cord with all the highlights and such.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wine bottle

This was an exercise from Bert Dodson - to draw a dark bottle with all its reflections. I picked up one of the empty wine bottles we had around and tried my best to get all the reflections ... but I am sure I missed some. I like the result all the same.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I sketched two of my sister purses using the quattro pencil and watercolor pencils. Why didn't I change the angle and/or the setup beats me...