Painting Crystal

My reward for finishing classes was a day spent in downtown Montreal, and of course it started with a bit of sketching. I found a café with a window seat and a view of Crystal Massotherapie. There are plenty of things to sketch in St. Henri but I couldn’t resist the shadow on the letters and the wonky windows on this building. There’s nothing with this much character in my usual neighbourhood sketching spots. Sketched on Canson Montval paper, 5.5 x 8.5.


25 Comments on “Painting Crystal”

  1. Nathalie says:

    I love and am amazed with your door light and shadows. Always an inspiration 🙂


    • Ahh, thanks so much Nathalie. If you are looking for a good place to sketch, this was done from Café St. Henri. They roast their own coffee and although I had tea, the coffee smelled amazing.


  2. GilZarins says:

    The light and character in this is so good! The dark red letter tops in shadow vibrating with the dark green and the color in your light areas, especially the red of the lower part the letters reinforcing the aging character, killer combination.


  3. David says:

    Thank you so much, you are an inspiration to me.


  4. Alice says:

    Oooo, that shadow on the upper story is delicious. Nice work on this.


  5. Linda Murray says:

    Mmmmmmm, love those greens with the red. Really nice!


  6. This is such a cool subject!! I can see why it caught your eye, Shari. The doors and windows are so well done. Love the shadows and light on them. Also impressed by the Crystal sign…hehe… I can never get my lettering to look very good and tend to avoid it.


  7. Wayne Bissky says:

    Shari, one of the great things about your work is its variety . You seem to mix up your scenes, themes and colour palette with such ease and success . So, my question is how do you prevent yourself from squeezing out the same paint tubes or choosing the same vantage point or subject matter over and over again?


    • HI Wayne. What a great question, but of course I had to smile because I do paint the same things over and over again. The wheelbarrow, the boat club, the same streets in Pointe Claire village have all been painted so many times. When I go into downtown Montreal, like I did to paint this, it’s very exciting. All I can think about is all the stuff that I could paint if I had the time. But most of the time I am on my way to school or back which leaves me little time and the same scenes over and over again.
      As for the paint colours, I actually carry around different small palettes. I have a Van Gogh one with student grade paint in pans, a Winsor Newton half pan one with artist quality paint, and then my bigger one that I fill with my own colours. That is the one that gets new colours all the time. So that’s the answer for that. Carrying around a few smaller palettes will allow you to experiment with new colours, which I love to do.


  8. What a wonderful painting. It would be so easy to walk past a building like that and not see its potential.


    • You are so right Michael, and I think that when I drive I miss a lot. But I took the bus into downtown, and then walked around before choosing a spot, so that helped quite a bit. I can’t believe how much more I see when I am on foot. Of course it helps when it’s a sunny day because the shadows change everything.


  9. Judy Sopher says:

    This is another lovely painting. Shari, you must have tons of your works. How do you store them? I have your book “Mostly Montreal”. Have you considered another-larger and longer?


    • Hi Judy, I do have tons of sketches. For a long time they were all in a cardboard box. Archivists would shudder at the thought. But last year a friend gave me a wonderful metal filing cabinet with deep drawers and now my sketches are all safe inside there.
      I have considered a bigger book, since you are wondering. I would love to do that but the problem is often finding the time to do these longer projects. I have a full time job which keeps me busy from August until June. During my summer holiday I give workshops. I would need a full month off the do another, longer book but I just can’t find that chunk of time in my schedule.


      • Judy Sopher says:

        I understand. Being retired, it is easy to forget what it was like when working full time. I have both your Craftsy classes. Any chance of another? I imagine they take a lot of time as well.(Sorry if I keep pushing–this is the last time)


  10. monique says:

    So make everything special…I don’t think it would have inspired me.And look what happened.


    • Thanks Monique. It helped that I was seated in a cafe. I’m not sure I would have been able to set up an easel on the street for this because there was construction right next to the cafe.


  11. You nailed it! Very cool subject.


  12. Monika Wu says:

    Gorgeous sketch love the shadows and letters especially. 🙂


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