St. Charles River Walk

Last weekend I went for a leisurely walk along my river.  There are those, of course, who would point out that I don’t own the river, but I always call it ‘my river.’  Actually it’s the Riviere St. Charles, which is the backbone of a very long, unevenly developed park that runs through Quebec City.  I’m just lucky enough to live within a five minute walk of ‘my river’ and I spend a lot of time walking along it.

When I got to my river on Sunday I found a lot of other people using it.  Seems I was in the midst of the St. Charles River Walk as there were lots and lots of people, each sporting a number pinned to their stomachs, who were participating in the event.

As I walked I realized that the end point for the walk was in a park that’s just south of the bridge near my house so I headed there, figuing there might be something fun to sketch.  I grabbed a bench and did the sketch you see here.

I tried something new, for me.  I made a few organizational marks with pencil and then started adding blotches of color.  Ink lines came later.  I felt like a fish out of water as my watercolor abilities are very limited, but it was still fun.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9x6), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

A Quick Monument Sketch

Our sketching group arranged a tour of the architecture school.  Sadly, they don’t teach drawing with pointy devices anymore.  Everything is 3D graphical presentations, a shift that James Richards (an architect) says, in his great Freehand Drawing and Discovery, generates a lot of work for him as he’s often hired during planning/pitch sessions because he can do freehand sketches of proposed ideas.

But we live in a “latest must be greatest” world.  Like the trains and warehouses we dismantled when gas was cheap when we ‘knew’ that continuous streams of trucks on the road were ‘best’, I suspect architects will start learning to draw by hand again after there is a generation of ill-equipped architects who can’t.

The tour was fantastic as the architecture department is in one of the old “seminaire” buildings, with vaulted ceilings, Hogwarts-like staircases, and small doorways with, in some cases, the old steel doors you only see in medieval movies.

I got downtown about 15 minutes before we were supposed to meet so I sat down and drew this sketch.  There’s a large statue in the square and it’s surrounded by a granite fence on three sides and at each corner one of these smaller monuments.

cheap brown sketchbook, TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

cheap brown sketchbook, TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

Rocks In My World

2014-05-13rocks_smOne thing I want to do this summer is draw rocks and trees.  I struggled with both subjects last year so they became part of my ‘figure it out’ list.  There aren’t a lot of rock piles in the middle of our city but there are some, scattered around in our parks as points of interest.

As I was walking home I sat down in a park and drew these.  Note little bits of green on the foliage.  We’re just starting to see leaf buds bursting and even our grass is starting to green up.  It’s a welcome sight.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9x6), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black


Sketching Parliament

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9x6), TWSBI Mini, Noodler's Lex Gray

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black

The Quebec provincial parliament building is huge.  The front of the building is actually the narrow side of the building and yet it’s a couple blocks long.  When it gets a bit warmer I hope to find a view where I can capture the entire face of the building.

On Tuesday, though, the temperature was border line so I decided just to draw the main tower over the entrance.  Even so, by the time I’d finished the ink sketch I’d cooled down enough that I felt the need to move so I quickly dashed on some color when I got home.  It was good to see the sun while sketching.  It’s been a long time coming.



Are You Sure It’s May?

I was walking back from the museum and found this guy, sitting in the park, looking out at the river.  I could almost see what he was thinking.  All of us who live in Quebec City are thinking it.  Note his heavy coat.  Note the lack of vegetation of any kind.  This is nearly mid-May and while Quebec City is known for its cold, this is getting ridiculous (grin).

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9x6), TWSBI Mini, Noodler's Lexington Gray

Stillman & Birn Alpha (9×6), TWSBI Mini, Noodler’s Lexington Gray