They say that this is the first day of spring. It must be true but from where I stand, it doesn’t seem like it. It’s currently -15C outside. It looks like mother nature is going to tease us with a warm up this week, though, and we may actually get above freezing so there is hope.
During our Thursday sketchers gathering at the museum last week, I got in the mood to challenge my abilities to draw stuff and I chose subjects that weren’t all that photogenic but that I thought might be difficult for my brain to get my hand to move in the right direction.
Stillman & BIrn Delta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black
I started with this headrest. I saw it as a challenge because it was both handmade from wood and also centuries old. Thus, in addition to having odd, curved surfaces, it was also somewhat asymmetric and the top was a bit askew. It was a fun subject.
There’s a new exhibit all about nanotechnology and they’re got a series of microscopes, showing their development history. I chose this early, somewhat simple microscope as an ellipse/alignment challenge. It worked out ok but I really should have drawn it larger and taken more time with it. Baby steps.
Stillman & Birn Delta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black
The Université Laval Collections reopened recently, having been moved and renovated. This is an extraordinary place that houses the remnants of the natural history museum that used to be in Quebec City as well as an impressive plaster cast collection that the art department abandoned long ago in favor of paint rollers.
We held our March sketchcrawl there, thanks to Madame Wagner, the curator, and Yvan Breton who arranged access for us. Imagine having a large room, complete with tables, chairs and some spot lights and the ability to place one of the museum objects on that table to draw it. It was fantastic!
Me, I sat in the hallway. I wasn’t being anti-social, though. I wanted to draw that mountain goat that sits in one of the collection display windows. Hubert joined me, however, and we had a great time sketching together.
Stillman & Birn softcover Delta series (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black
Here’s a couple small vessels (shot glasses?), each different depictions of Bes, the dwarf god. They’re part of the Egypt exhibition at our Museé de la Civilisation. Maybe these were intended to ward off evil spirits from their spirits. I don’t think the top squares on the green one were intended to look like a hat but they sure do, making it quite funny.
These were drawn in an 8×10 Stillman & Birn softcover Alphas series book. I’m just starting to use this size book but I think I’m really going to like it. Bigger than the typical 6×9 but much easier to scan than a 9×12. The softcovers are also so much lighter than hardcovers that it actually weighs the same as a 6×9 hardcover.
Bes, the dwarf Egyptian god was represented, in both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional form, everywhere in Egyptian society. Seems he had a way of scaring evil spirits away and the Egyptians were very worried about evil spirits.
This is the second or third Bes statue I’ve sketched at our museum, all showing similarities but each unique in its own way. I did this one in the 8×10 Stillman & Birn Delta softcover I reviewed not long ago.
Have you ever wondered if bears open an eye, look out of their den at the snow and wish that spring would arrive because their stomach is growling? Naw…me neither but that’s how I feel right now.
Our winter has been relatively mild but from the view of this urban sketcher, it’s been very long. Sure, I’ve been going to the museum to sketch but a good portion of the fun of sketching for me is wandering around, looking for something interesting to sketch. I’ve got the darn museum memorized; there are no surprises.
It’s times like this that I wish I liked to sketch from photos, but I don’t. So, for the most part, I’m a bored urban sketcher, doodling just to keep my hand moving. I thought I’d share a few pages of doodles with you. These were all done in a 4×6 Stillman & Birn Alpha series softcover.
As you can see, it’s a melange of tiny sketches, some ear practice and some hatching scribbles thrown in for good measure. Sometimes I’ll fill a whole page with circles or bad ellipses. I do a lot of this stuff on photocopy paper and when sheets are filled they are wadded up and thrown in the garbage. Just for giggles, here is one of those sheets. Sorry for the wrinkles. It was pulled from my garbage can (grin). I also apologize that some of the sketching is upside down. I don’t pay much attention to that when I’m filling these pages since my garbage can isn’t particular. Do you do this sort of thing or am I the only one? I bet I’m the only one dumb enough to share them.