Sketchcrawling Through The Garden

Yesterday I reported on our 44th Worldwide Sketchcrawl participation.  What I didn’t do was show you my sketches and talk a bit about them as that post became quite large because of all the photos.  Here be the follow up post on my sketchcrawl sketches.

The sketchcrawl was supposed to start at 10AM but I ended up getting there around 9:30.  As you enter the botanical gardens there is a large water feature amounting to several lily-pad-filled ponds with small water features between them.  I located shade, my first prerequisite for sketching on a sunny day, and started sketching next to the second of these ponds.  It was a great place to be as I could meet people as they arrived while sketching.  It breaks my meditative sketching state to have to get up ever few minutes to say hi but gosh… isn’t that what sketchcrawls are all about?  I think so.

Stillman & Birn Delta (6x8), Pilot Prera, Lexington Gray ink

Stillman & Birn Delta (6×8), Pilot Prera, Lexington Gray ink

By the time I’d finished this sketch, I was sitting in the sun as at this time of year the sun swings across its southerly track across our sky fairly quickly.  So, I was once again hunting for a shady spot.

I found it on the other side of the entrance, with several sketching options.  I decided to draw the main kiosk that faces the entrance.  Lots of brightly-colored flowers, a nice shape and the girl who manned (womaned?) the kiosk obliged by wearing a red shirt.  I switched weapons for this sketch as I wanted to get some more experience with my Hero pens.  I’ve got several of them and I don’t use them enough.

Stillman & Birn Delta (6x8), Hero 578, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (6×8), Hero 578, Platinum Carbon Black

It was lunch time so we all met together to swap sketchbooks and wish we were as good as everyone else.  For me, this is the best part of sketchcrawls.  I do a lot of solo sketching and it’s really fun to get together with other sketchers, though my French is sufficiently bad that I’m more than a little bit limited in my ability to talk like an adult.  Quebecers are quite patient, however.

After lunch I decided I should draw flowers.  I don’t know flowers beyond red flowers, purple flowers, orange flowers, etc.  I can tell you the names of all their parts, discuss at length the mating ‘habits’ of plants, and all the rest, as in another life I was a research scientist but when it comes to naming flowers… I got nada, or as we say around here, rien.


Stillman & Birn Delta (6×8), Pilot Penmanship XF, Lexington Gray

But flowers are cool.  Depending upon how accurate you want to be while drawing them, they can be quite challenging as the more you drill down into their details the more difficult they become to properly depict.  I’ve drawn very few, and it shows (grin).  Here’s a couple.  At least they look like flowers.

Stillman & Birn Delta (6x8), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (6×8), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

Long Walk – Little Sketches

We had a rain day that prevented me from taking my daily walk so when I was greeted with sun the next morning I decided to double my walking efforts.

It was a great day for walking and I was thoroughly enjoying myself.  Rather than spending a long time on a single sketch, I did a couple of small, quicker sketches, just to feed the urban sketcher in me.

Looking down from the bike path into Parc Brebeuf

Looking down from the bike path into Parc Brebeuf

These are both around four inches in size and done with my Pilot Penmanship, a very fine pen.   I don’t think the watercolor was an improvement, but that’s often the case.  I really do need to practice doing watercolors.

Along the St. Charles River

Along the St. Charles River



Tis The Season To Be Jolly?

Bah! Humbug! – Ebeneezer Scrooge

When I was a kid the best part about Christmas was that my train got set up under the Christmas tree.  Well, that was the second best thing.  The best thing was that, back then, the icicles we put on the tree were made from aluminum, not plastic like they are now and, if you laid one across the rails of my train tracks, you could make sparks.  Yeah…THAT was the best part about Christmas.

But these days? Am I really suppose to be ‘jolly’?  Are you kidding me?  Modern Christmas seems to be one painful experience after another – like shopping.

I was Christmas shopping the other day.  I hate crowds so you can imagine the thrill this was for me.  Aside from not being able to find what I was looking for, a woman ran into me and almost knocked me down.  She said she didn’t see me (I am only 6-feet tall after all).  I spent half an hour wandering around without finding anything on my ‘to buy’ list.  No, that’s not correct.  I found scotch tape.

2013-12-11LampFleurd'lysBeing frustrated I sat down in the mall.  Sitting felt good and very soon I had my notebook in hand and I sketched a lamp post and associated thingies (technical term meaning “I don’t know what they are”).

I was trying my new Pilot Penmanship which is the finest-writing fountain pen I’ve ever experienced.  It was not pleased by the el cheapo paper in my dollar store notebook (3×5) and kept picking up paper fibers.  Nevertheless, it was good therapy and I even smiled when the guy who was watching me told me it was a good sketch.

So…I went back into the fray.  I decided try the new French store, Target.  We’re just starting to get them here.  Wander…wander…wander.  Ah…score…I found the battery we need for the door chime and one of the items on the gift list.  Only a little… some… a lot more to do.  Sigh… guys are not designed for this shopping stuff.  We have insufficient stamina.  Frustration is back.  Time for tea.

2013-12-09McDo 2013-12-10PeopleAt the food court, sipping tea I got from Tim Horton’s.  They’re better at coffee.  Notebook is out again and I quick-sketched people who, like me, are sitting around, wishing they were somewhere else.  You can see the frustration on their faces… nobody is jolly.  Or maybe I was jnust projecting.  Oh how I long for the days of aluminum icicles on railroad tracks.