Friday, August 28, 2015

Nouvelle France

Every year at the end of August, a small part of the Old Port becomes Nouvelle France. This is  the first time I went to try and sketch the costumes. It was harder than anticipated because of the crowds of people that interfered constantly with my view of the model. I managed few incomplete sketches.

My sketches kept growing on the page, it would seem the faster I wanted to go, the bigger the sketch became. But not necessarily more anatomically correct. I need so much more practice ....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fruits of my labor ....

.. aren't exactly a success, but in the end I am glad I went out and did something. I went for a walk on the canal and stopped at this old, decrepit silo of some kind. I liked the rust color on the metal, and a lot less all the greenery surrounding the building. 

When I was almost done, I realized that the vertical wall at the right of the "whole" was used for climbing and there was actually somebody hanging onto the handles in  the wall. 

From the same place I had a view at the Five Roses flour silo - I made multiple attempts to capture this one, and I don't like any of them to be honest ...

I did this one on location.

 Here, I used only brush and painted the major shapes.

In the last one, I lowered the composition to have less greenery to battle with. I think I prefer this one, it has a bit of a psychedelic feel to it. 

Then I went for a walk on Notre-Dame remembering that I saw once some nice street light fixture that i wanted to sketch. they happened to be at The Grinder - high end butcher shop that just opened few months ago next to the restaurant by the same name. In this case, I wanted to get the corner store with its window arrangement made of hanging meat pieces.

I struggled with the composition - among other things.
 This version I did at home from the photo. I like this one much better - there is some life around the building.
 And after all this work, I had a coffee and a truffle at the market and sketched over a prepainted page.

Friday, August 21, 2015


I signed up for Shari's class on craftsy. As I am preparing for vacation, I wanted some tips about painting skies and such - although to be honest I am not sure how many landscapes I will be able to paint and even if I will remember what I learned! I did enjoy the class though very well done and full of tips and tricks.

These are my class samples:

I will have to revisit the instructions after I refill my palette. Some of the sky colors are not what I would normally use but I want to finish all the colors in the Altoids box to be able to refill it for the trip. So I am using whatever leftovers I happen to still have.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Coffee and people

A quick sketch of my espresso ...
 ... and blind continuous contours of coffee shop patrons and farmer market shoppers. These ones were fun to scribble and they caught something of the personality of the subjects.

These are quick gesture drawings from youtube videos. I had to pause often though because they tend to focus on the head of the performers instead of the whole body.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New additions to the palette

I am never happy with the darks I mix. They never seem to be dark enough, probably because I do not use enough paint. I decided to get help from Winsor & Newton: indigo, Payne's grey and neutral tint.

I like the darks and also the variety of green mixes - more earthy, muted tones. Looking up to doing some experiments during my vacation.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crane building

I noticed the other day that the Crane building on St Patrick seems to be getting a makeover. I stopped to sketch the building, with its renovated top floor loft (the only one that has new windows and seems occupied, the rest of the building is run down and has boarded windows). On thins I noticed about mu sketches is that I forget the surroundings. I get started on the main point and then the rest of the page is empty because I forgot to plan for the rest ... but maybe it is ok this way anyway, right?

I had coffee on Notre Dame at the St-Henri coffee shop and decided to try my hand at sketching the view out the window.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ste Irene church

Now that I do not have a car anymore and the weather is nice, I walk a lot in the weekend. I even neglect my old friends because of this - it is now to complicated and time consuming do drive all the way over in burbs ...But I digress.

On such an outing I stopped to sketch the domes from the Ste Irena church on Atwater st. I jumed right into it ....and captured also the street light that was just in front of my face. I could have moved but mine was the only shaded spot on that side of the street.
And to correct the proportions, I dived head first (or pen first rather) into a sketch of the whole church. I was timing myself - quick 5 - 10 min. I want to do more quick stuff like this because I linger too long in one place and there is simply too much to do, see and sketch. I also happen to believe that it if a very good exercise to develop observation skills and learn how to pick only the essential from a scene.

Anyway, the full sketch has the same problem of course - the page was too short!!!