The Russians Are Coming…

When I came across this house in Quebec City, I had to sketch it.  I wonder if the Russian Czar who must be living there had a pool table under that dome or a ballistic missle.  It didn’t matter; it was just plain KEWL!

I set up across the street and went to work, sketching the bones in pencil and then doing the ink sketch.  I’m pretty slow as a sketcher and so this took me more than an hour but the time passed without notice.  When it came time for color, the waterbrush came out and… I realized that my watercolors were sitting on my desk at home.  So I shot this photo, packed up, and headed home.

Once at home I vowed to make up a second palette of watercolors so that I could keep it in my sketching satchel.  I had a W&N Cotman Sketcher palette that I picked up on sale and so I popped out the Cotman watercolors and filled the pans with Winsor & Newton artist-quality watercolors.  I’m still experimenting with color palettes and mostly working with little knowledge.  This is what I’m using right now, though.


I decided to go light on the color for this sketch; it just seemed to call for that approach, with all the emphasis on the building.  I hope you like it.

It was done in my Stillman & Birn 10×7 Alpha sketchbook, using a Hero 578 Calligraphy pen and Platinum Carbon Black ink.

3 thoughts on “The Russians Are Coming…

  1. Like it I do, Larry! What a cool looking place. Your shadowing is good, especially under the curvy roofline bit. I also really like how there’s just a touch of blue sky behind the house. It really sends the focus there, but in a very natural way.

  2. Thanks Ruca. I was hoping my sky treatment would drag the eye to the roofline, which is the really interesting thing about this building. I have so much to learn about such things.

    Cheers — Larry

  3. I will miss seeing your sketches on the forum. your work is one of my favorites.
    Hope you will update us frequently on your blog though.

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