If you’ve been following this blog you know that I’m spending some of my winter sketching time at our museum and its Paris 1900 exhibit. This week I decided, without giving it sufficient thought, that I should sketch a huge black and white photo that’s projected on a wall. It must be 12-14 feet tall and shows an indoor shopping area that, I understand, still exists today.
So I opened my Stillman & Birn 6×9 Zeta sketchbook, grabbed my TWSBI Mini, and started drawing. Somewhere in the early stages I realized that I’d either chosen too large a subject, a sketchbook that was too small, or the TWSBI nib wasn’t fine enough. Maybe the problem was a combination of all three of these things with a dash of my penchant for drawing everything. Leaving stuff out is hard for me. Whatever the reasons, the result was like the proverbial 10-pounds of potatoes in a 5-pound bag.
But I persevered because the process itself was fun – it’s always fun. Lots of stuff to organize, proportion, and to draw. I’m not sure what the woman in the middle was doing or carrying but you can see that several men were looking at her. While the photo was a bit vague in its over-sized presentation, there was a large ‘something’ flowing out from her hands. Maybe it was a shawl, a scarf or maybe a smoke bomb (grin). It was impossible to say. But I thought a bit of color would help center their gaze, and maybe yours.
Stillman & Birn Zeta (6×9), TWSBI Mini, Platinum Carbon Black
Last Thursday I wrote a blog post titled “Waiting for Spring.” I moaned and groaned that in spite of spring being a month old, it was still too cold to sketch outdoors.
Well guess what happened? On Friday our temperatures increased significantly. We had sun…LOTS of sun. Even the wind died down. So I tucked my sketchbook under my arm and headed out for a weekend of sketching. It was wonderful.
Here’s the first sketch I did. I was out with my buddy Yvan and we’d previously talked about sketching on Rue de la Remparts, which skirts the upper portion of our ‘old’ (founded in 1608) city. So, our first stop was there. I did this sketch in a Stillman & Birn 7×10 Alpha spiral sketchbook. Though I really dislike spiral-bound for storage, I love it for this larger format because I can fold the book back on itself , making it manageable while the book rests on my knees. I used a TWSBI Mini filled with Noodler’s Lexington Gray.
While “warm” by comparison to the previous day, it was still cool and we both ran out of body heat about the same time. So, I snapped the photo above and we headed for something warm to drink. I applied some color later and this was the result.
I suppose some might suggest that the weather changing had nothing to do with my blog post – that it was only a coincidence. I’ll continue to believe otherwise… I think.
I feel like one of the guys in Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. Every day they show up to meet with Godot. Every day he doesn’t come. He never does. I’m beginning to think spring in Quebec is like Godot as while it’s officially been spring for a month, we’ve yet to see anything resembling spring.
I thought I’d share a few sketches I’ve done while waiting for a decent sketching day. First, here are the last two sketches I did of the Nigeria exhibit at the Musee de la Civilisation. Both were done in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon (5.5×8.5) sketchbook.
Lexington Gray in TWSBI mini. Watercolor pencils.
Lexington Gray in Noodler’s Creaper. Waterbrush with a few drops of Noodler’s Polar Brown in it.
This next sketch was my attempt to defy the elements. I went out one morning because it was all the way up to 4C and it wasn’t windy. As I sketched it got windy. Then it started raining lightly. I was driven from the street by hail and thought I was going to freeze to death (grin). Done in a Stillman & Birn Zeta (5.5×8.5) sketchbook with a TWSBI mini filled with Noodler’s Lexington Gray.
Lastly, I took my new Wahl-Eversharp Symphony 913 pen for a test drive. This is an old 14k gold flex nib pen and while it’s old technology, the nib is wonderful. I was playing with ‘quick-sketching’ some buildings. That term is relative and as I’m a slow sketcher, what I mean by this is that I only spent about 20 minutes doing this sketch on S&B Epsilon paper. Watercolors applied in my typical, inept fashion. I’ve got to devote some time to learning watercolors.