In with the wind

This has been a balmy summer in Montreal but, as if on cue, the first day of autumn blew in on a cold wind. And with that began my season of painting from my car studio. I used to think painting in my car was something I did out of necessity, but I have come to love the comfort of the car studio. I can let in as much or as little of the cold wind as I want and I have a support for paints and water. And a fan for drying the washes. I haven’t drawn boats very much this summer but figured I should get some in before they come out of the water. And, as usual for a sketch done on my way to school, I ran out of time before I finished the painting. Sketched at the Pointe Claire Yacht Club, in a Handbook Watercolour Journal.


27 Comments on “In with the wind”

  1. Dee Ludwig says:

    Since I use my car all of the time, I am interested in knowing if you sit in the driver’s seat or the passenger seat when you draw and paint. The steering wheel is a problem for me. I know that the dash pocket is usable in some cars, but mine does not allow my knees room when the dash pocket is open. I manage, but it is far from a comfortable set up!


    • Dee, I am about to do a post about my car setup so you’ll see exactly wheat I do. I sit in the driver’s seat because I’m right handed. And the steering wheel is perfect for leaning my sketch book on.


  2. Jodi says:

    oh Shari – so beautiful!


  3. linder322 says:

    I just love the way you do trees! They are blobs of color but so convincing.
    When I’ve tried this method they just look like,well, like blobs!


  4. Dottie Aiken says:

    Would you share how you tackled painting this scene? What was underpainted, did you do the sky first, etc. ?


    • Sure Dottie. I did a pencil drawing first. Then I painted the sky, all the way down to the horizon line and right in back of the trees. When that was dry I painted the water. So basically I started with all the light parts. When sky was really dry I painted the trees and rocks and then the details on the boat. Last bits were the tree reflection and then the dark bits in the rocks. Does that help?


  5. Linda Murray says:

    Wow, Shari! I second the comment on your trees. You have a way of painting them that looks so effortless. The rocks, the water…. nice job!!



    I love how “abbreviated” this is – I feel the hint of autumn’s winter breath – you’ve said volumes with not one stroke too many ; Love this !!

    could you photo your car set up sometime ? I used to paint in my old Dodge Brougham with no worries but haven’t got the knack for my other car without a messy disaster !!


  7. Birte says:

    Beautiful done…….


  8. I love the sailboats. We sail …your boats are so good. I would also like to know if you sketch from the driver side or passenger side of your car.


  9. Monique says:

    Always love your marina paintings.


  10. Lovely! I like that part isn’t as detailed as the other, even though I realize it was due to lack of time. I sit in my car a lot to paint, sometimes even when it is nice enough to sit outside. Sometimes it is just easier to not have to set up everything outside. lol I must be getting lazy.


  11. Judy Sopher says:

    I also would like to learn how you set up and paint from your car. Another question- are your lines pencil or ink? If ink, what size pen.

    Love your painting. As always.


  12. Elizabeth Snook says:

    I, too would be interested in learning about using your car as a studio. What is your set up, and what are pitfalls you have learned to manage?

    I recently retired my longtime buddy, a1972 bug. His heater was pretty much non-existent. I now have a newer used car, a small hatchback, and am hoping to use it to get some winter paintings.


  13. Carol Creasey says:

    I’m looking forward to your post on trees! You make them look so effortless! Really enjoyed your two Craftsy classes! Suddenly ‘got’ it with value, after your explanation of thumbnail sketches. I’m off to Denver in October and will try sketching the Boat House and iconic Station. Many thanks


  14. holmar58 says:

    I love this sketch Shari. As an ex Montrealer…your sketches take me back to the great city I was born in. I have been to Pointe Claire many times. I look forward to seeing your beautiful sketches!


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