Morrice Hall

This is the result of drawing in really cold temperatures for 52 minutes during last Sunday’s outing to the Redpath Museum. I can’t draw with gloves on so after about half an hour my fingers went numb and even the pen didn’t really want to work any more. I think that was probably the last outdoor drawing until spring of 2013.

Morrice Hall

By chance

By chance I found a new place to draw today. I was trying to drive south on a main thoroughfare in Montreal but the road signs were ambiguous and I ended up going east instead. That lead me through a part of town where I had never been and I discovered a great café.

By chance they had a free seat at the counter by the window. I love those spots because you have an unobstructed view of the neighbourhood.

By chance it snowed last night and there was still a sprinkling on the ground. Everything looks better with a sprinkling of snow.

Waiting for the snow

We are having our first little sprinkling of snow in Montreal today and you can see it coming in the distance as the sky darkens. When I started to sketch this the ground was dry and the tree-seller was sweeping up sawdust from yesterday’s sales. When he saw me drawing he gave me a big smile and I think it was because he saw the snow coming too and that meant that he was going to sell lots more trees today.

Wrapped Evergreens

The starling and the crow

This is the last of my bird posts from the Redpath Museum. The final installment is the city birds — the ones that I see in my backyard and that wake me up in the morning with their sounds.

TheStarling TheSparrow TheCrow

The Common Loon and the Snowy Owl

It goes without saying that drawing stuffed animals allows you to get closer to them than you would in nature. And now that I have had a closer look, I don’t think there is anything common about the Common Loon. I have often watched these birds on our Quebec lakes in the summer and I have written about their haunting calls in a previous post but I have never been close enough to one to study the details of its uncommon beauty. With its black head, white striping, black collar and spotted back, it is most definitely the Audrey Hepburn of the bird world. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to be more precise.

As for the loon’s neighbour at the Redpath Museum, there wasn’t a child who didn’t exclaim “Harry Potter!” as they walked past the snowy owl.

The Loon and The Owl

The goose and the osprey

It was bird day at the Redpath Museum, at least for me. I started with the big old Canada Goose because I am beginning a project soon that involves drawing lots of geese so I thought I’d get in some practice.  The wonderful thing about this museum is that there’s something for everyone to draw. Some people in our Urban Sketchers Montreal group drew the dinosaurs and others did musical instruments. I saw sketches of leopards and monkeys and weasels and one man sketched only the eyes of all the creatures. A few of us did a bit of drawing outside in the morning but after 52 minutes (yes, we timed it!) in the frigid temperatures we congratulated ourselves on our hardiness and headed for coffee before the doors of the museum opened.

The Goose and The Osprey

Finding time to sketch

As my autumn teaching semester nears the end I find it harder and harder to make the time to sketch. And the painter in me gets more and more frustrated. All teachers can attest to the fact that preparation and grading can eat up huge chunks of time, especially near the end of term. Today all I had time to do was a little value sketch for a painting I hope to do soon. What I found interesting in this little scene was the chair half in the sun and half in the shade.

For Montreal Urban Sketchers, tomorrow will be our third group outing. We have an interesting day planned — morning sketching outdoors on the McGill Campus (dress for the cold!!) and afternoon drawing in the company of dinosaurs, taxidermy and assorted objects at the Redpath Museum. For more info have a look at the USK Montreal site. We love having new people join us and sketchers of all levels are welcome.

Wicker in Shade Value Sketch