Friday, February 27, 2015

Nossa Senhora de Candelaria

One of the sketches in my lost sketchbook was of this magnificent church in Rio. During the week, this place is so busy it is hard to even cross the street and enter the church, but I was there early on a Saturday morning. I did a number of versions of this sketch, trying to find a version I liked.

I did not stop to plan the page and the building took over.

I did not like it, so I tried another another version including some background ... better, but still ...

Here I added some foreground, maybe a bit too much foreground - better.

Lessons learned - take time, plan the page and include surroundings ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Santa Teresa

Everything seems to conspire against on location sketching - it's been freezing cold since January. So I did some sketches from pictures taken in Rio. These were from Santa Teresa.

Monday, February 23, 2015


The monthly meeting of the USK Montreal was at the Biodome - Naturalia room. I am ashamed to confess, but I have never been to the Biodome. Naturalia is free and comfortable to sketch in - there are tables and stools. I will definitely go back.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tonal patch

This is another exercise from Bert Dodson's book - tonal patches.

I am very pleased with the way this turned out, especially the resemblance to the original picture.

I then tried a selfie:

It looks somewhat like men but of course a lot more work is needed in this area as well. The photo was not as high contrast as the one in the book, but I am pleased with the result.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Out and about

Sunday was a sunny day. This time of the year, if it is sunny, it must be very cold. This was no exception as the thermometer indicated some -35C or thereabout.

I could not bear to stay inside anyway, so I went gallivanting in town. My  chosen itinerary had strategically placed stops to warm up.

The first stop was at La ruche for brunch. I was there a bit early which was just as good. It was quiet, so I could enjoy my coffee, newspaper and tartine a l'avocat before the lunch crowd came in. Original take for breakfast food in my humble opinion.

I then walked to the MMFA and spent an hour or so sketching two sculptures.

I must say I was surprised that they came out so well. I mean, there are no weird angles or out of whack proportions ....Of course there are no roses on the Bacchante with roses, but I don;t mind. I will never draw all the details of anything - it is just not mt type. 

I then stopped at the Westmount Conservatory in an attempt to draw some plants. I was in somewhat of a hurry as in was getting late. My plant sketch however,  I like not.

But all in all, I am glad I braved the cold and went out and I am ok also with the "production" of the day.

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.