Return To Museum Sketching

I wonder what my dad would think if he knew that the thing I remember most about him was him saying to me (often), “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached.”  The sad thing is that, decades later, he’s still right.

I headed off to meet sketching buddies at the Musee de la civilisation the other day, which amounts to full acknowledgement that outdoor sketching is finished, or nearly so, for the year.  It’s starting to get cold and this Arizona boy doesn’t do cold.  None of us is very excited by the current expositions at the museum but there’s always something to draw, if only to provide practice and opportunity to try different techniques.

Once at the museum and I started thinking of sketching, I realized that I’d forgotten my light and my stool.  Most of the rooms are so dark that without a light clipped to my sketchbook, I can’t see what I’m drawing.  And, oddly when you think of it, most of the displays are low, requiring a stool to get your eyes on level with what you’re drawing.

Lucky for me, my head was attached and I used it to decide to draw something from the main entrance, where the museum seems willing to pay the electric bill and thus there is sufficient light.  I thought about the stairwells, they’d be an interesting drawing challenge.  I thought about the old bones of a boat that’s part of the entrance display.  To do it justice, though, would require a lot of hours.  I thought about drawing the ticket counter, but I’d already done that once.

Instead, I looked out the window to the courtyard associated with the museum and did this sketch.  I forgot a lot that day but because of this sketch I’ll always remember to be grateful that my head is attached.

Quebec City Museum of Civilization courtyard

Stillman & Birn Beta (6×9), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

4 thoughts on “Return To Museum Sketching

  1. I’m glad they day turned out after all and you managed to keep your head ☺sometimes things are meant to be as this is a very nice sketch larry.

  2. Nice handling of the brickwork — just enough to indicate what it is, but not so much that it takes hours!


    • Different views about brickwork exist, of course. Mine comes from the times when I’ve made the brickwork the ‘thing’ of the sketch, concentrating on getting it right. This is fun because a lot of the ‘brickwork’ in old Quebec buildings is actually odd-sized stonework which is much more interesting than modern bricks. But whenever I do complete brickwork, it sucks all interest away from the real subject so I’m inclined to just indicate it. You’re right, though, it’s also a lot faster 🙂 — Larry

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