Taking A Line For A Walk

“Drawing is taking a line for a walk” – Paul Klee

I’m an urban sketcher and this blog reflects that fact with a steady stream of sketches done on location as I wander around the city.  If I do “art” at all, this is it.

But I’m also a baseball fan, a Toronto Blue Jays fan to be precise.  This is baseball season and that means I record near daily Blue Jays games and I watch them in the evening.  While watching I generally have a pen in my hand, cheap sketchbook on my lap.  I doodle.  I practice drawing parallel lines, drawing ellipses, circles, etc.  I consider it the equivalent of a pianist playing scales and I do need the practice.

I was doodling away and the Jays were doing well.   One of my few active neurons fired and I remembered seeing faces drawn by artists who let their pen wander around, spending more time in dark tone portions of a face than elsewhere.  In doing this they create a face.  I thought I’d try it and I have to admit that it was fun to take a line for a walk.  Have you ever done this?

Pilot Metropolitan, J.Herbin Cacao de Bresil

Pilot Metropolitan, J.Herbin Cacao de Bresil

Taking A Break By Drawing A Bridge

I was out walking the other day and realized that I’d forgotten my stool.  This limits where I can sit to sketch so I started looking for the magic sketcher’s triad.  A shady spot, a subject to sketch, and something to sit on.  Eventually I found a bench under a tree and the end of a bridge I could sketch.  This was the result.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5x8), Esterbrook J9550, diluted DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5×8), Esterbrook J9550, diluted DeAtramentis Document Black

Sketching In Limoilou

Our group wanted to sketch some more in the allies of Limoilou.  I’ve written about our previous sketching sessions there.  This part of the city was built mostly during the period where alleyways were used for garbage collection, electric wires, and other services.

But while the rest of the group headed off to the alleys, I decided to draw a chapel on 3rd Avenue.  I’ve wanted to sketch it for a long time and think most about the idea when there are no leaves on the trees as this affords a better view of the building.  But trees are nice too and this is what it looks like in July.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5x8), Esterbrook J9550, diluted DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5×8), Esterbrook J9550, diluted DeAtramentis Document Black

When I finished I wandered around the alleys looking for the group.  I found them and they were all finishing up drawing an alley scene.  I only had a few minutes but I documented this gaggle of sketchers.


Gallerie-Margalis Revisited

Previously I posted some sketches I did at an event hosted by the Charlesbourg Watercolorists at Gallerie Magella-Paradis in the north part of Quebec City.  I guess Yvan and I didn’t make too much of a nuisance of ourselves because we were invited back when the group decided to do it again.  I don’t really have much to say about the day that wasn’t said the first time we went except that these folks are really nice and the weather much better than the first time we attended.

Here are the sketches I did, all in a Stillman & Birn softcover (5.5×8.5) sketchbook.  I used an Esterbrook J2048 pen with DeAtramentis Document Black ink.  Clicking on them will make them larger.2016-07-24-57Gallery12016-07-24-57Gallery32016-07-24-57Gallery42016-07-24-57Gallery52016-07-24-57Gallery62016-07-24-57Gallery2

Drawing In Artillery Park

“Artillery Park” is a name given to a cluster of buildings that used to be an ammunition factory but that now is a mix of a tourist spot, a park and two small museums.  It’s also going to be the site of our Fêtes de Nouvelle France this year.  But on this day, it was where Yvan and I went to sketch.  There are a bunch of nice scenes to be had there and we’ve both sketched there before, but we’ve yet to wear it out so we aimed our pointy devices at it again.


Photo by Yvan Breton


Photo by Yvan Breton

I chose to draw the backside of a small administration building that features a couple really humongous chimneys.  Why they’re so big I haven’t a clue as the building itself isn’t that large.  But I thought it made for a nice scene.  Besides, the city had set up signs for me so I’d have a protected place to sit while drawing.

I had a lot of fun with this sketch but confess that I struggled with the perspective of those big chimneys for some reason.  Just couldn’t ‘see’ them right.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (6x9), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (6×9), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black