Four spikes

Even though I draw most every day, I am always ready for a challenge. And perspective is a challenge — it just never gets any easier. The St. Joachim presbytery in Pointe Claire has all these great spikes that pierce the sky but boy are these things hard to draw. I did this in my Moleskine sketchbook with a MUJI mechanical pencil and many sighs of frustration.


Centennial Hall, before and after

I’m not quite sure why I never finished my sketch of Centennial Hall this summer but I found it in a box recently and thought it might be worth hauling it out and adding some darks.


The only problem with working on a painting some months later is that you forget what your colour palette was. I can safely say that I used a limited palette when I started this sketch but I threw caution to the wind today and used whatever dried leftovers I had on my palette from this week.



As a reward for getting through (well, partly through) piles of exams and projects that I have to grade, I took a break for a few minutes to sketch the oranges on my counter. The paper I have in this sketchbook is not the best for watercolour but I like all the blooms and accidents that happen on it.


The musician

So glad I carry my Sharpie with me to events now. It may be my new favourite pen. Sketched this guy at a family gathering on the weekend.


Little green house

I don’t get much practice drawing from above, but from my hotel room in Princeton I could see this green house. The only sketchbook with me on this overnight trip was a small Moleskine which was an unfortunate choice. I think I really needed a bigger sheet to situate this building properly in its surroundings. The result of working on paper this small? My little green house looks like a doll house!


Five minutes in Princeton

What do you do when you have only 15 minutes to devote to a sketch? In my case I use a thicker pen, which today was a Sharpie.
I love university towns in the autumn, especially in New England. I spent a few hours in Princeton, New Jersey today and would have loved to sketch the campus grounds, the vine-covered buildings, or a library or two. But I only had five minutes to draw the trees, five to add a bit of detail and five to throw on a bit of paint from my tiny travel palette. I did spot an incredible Tudor building that looked like it was straight out of Stratford, England but it would have taken more time than I had to draw it.


Not my wheelbarrow

Of course when I spotted this wheelbarrow on a street near my own, I had to sketch it. Like my own wheelbarrow which sits idle most of the time, this one has been overturned in the same spot for quite a while. Discarded? I think not. Forgotten? Probably. Either way I hope it stays there because I will be coming back to paint it when the snow falls, which if the forecast is correct, could be as early as tomorrow.


One man’s trash

I can understand why someone might find it suspicious that I was parked in front of their house, drawing their trash. In fact, because of the looks I received, I was half expecting a police car to pull up behind me, but there is no law against drawing in your car on a street with no parking restrictions. I spotted these white canvas beauties filled with leaves while on a walk last night and had to get up early to draw them. It is amazing what you can deduce about your neighbours by what they put out on garbage day and from the look of these bags I suspect that someone works at a bakery where they use a lot of walnuts.

Honey Locust panorama

I’ve been waiting oh sooooo patiently for the leaves to fall so I can sketch a lunchtime panorama from my window at school. Until this week my view of the city was  obscured by foliage but now all that remains is the bright yellow of the Honey Locusts and soon that will be gone too. I tried to add a scroll bar to this image — something I’ve seen work well on panoramic images in other blogs — but I can’t seem to find out how to do this. Any help would be appreciated. For the technologically inclined: this is not a self-hosted WordPress site so I don’t think I can add a plug-in.


Revisiting the tree

I sketched this very same tree about this time last year. Like my wheelbarrow, the pots in my yard, the steeple in Pointe Claire, I guess this is one of the subjects I will return to often. Painted in a Moleskine sketchbook with a big flat brush and lots of Azo Yellow!