The Tribulations Of An Urban Sketcher

I love sketching on location.  Most of what I do is done outdoors, but sometimes Mother Nature throws up some roadblocks, or at least speed bumps.  As we head into autumn I’m reminded that she ultimately wins and that I’m forced to spend several months each year where I have to find indoor venues for my location sketching.

Our last sketchcrawl was one of those times where I fought Mother Nature and, at best, I achieved a tie.  Most people didn’t even show up for this sketchcrawl.  Yvan and I were there and a couple other diehards put in an appearance, but we started off with a threat of rain, followed by some rain.  It was short lived but then it became cold and very windy.

Before the rain I drew an ice cream parlor on Terrase Dufferin, the large boardwalk that runs in front of Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.  Compared to the rest of the day, I was quite comfortable while doing this sketch.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (8x10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Beta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Then the rain came.  We ducked under an overhang associated with the Frontenac and waited for it to stop.  When it did I sat down next to the overhang to draw one of the light fixtures on the building.  I won’t be showing you that one because as the wind came up it blew a big pile of rain off the overhang and onto me and my sketchbook.  The sketch became an abstract of ink blotches before my eyes.

I decided to head up to a small park just west of the Frontenac.  It’s high on a hill that provides some unique views of Quebec, including the back side of a church from above its roof line.  I decided to draw it.

That would have been a better idea for a day when it wasn’t so cold and windy.  I was completely exposed to both.  I tried…I really did.  My sketching got faster and faster.  My sketching got less and less detailed.  And I got colder and the wind got windier.  Everyone else left because it was crazy to be sketching in that weather.  I wanted to finish.  Mother Nature decided the end of this sketch.

Stillman & Birn Beta (8x10), Pilot Falcon, Noodlers Polar Brown

Stillman & Birn Beta (8×10), Pilot Falcon, Noodlers Polar Brown

2 thoughts on “The Tribulations Of An Urban Sketcher

  1. You certainly are a diehard! But I know the feeling… sometimes if you just stick it out, the weather improves!


    • Looks like it’s going to warm up a bit and we’re going to have a few days that break 60F. Hope so cuz I don’t want to stop outdoor sketching. Hope you get some too. — Larry

Comments are closed.