Too cold to sketch

It was probably a little too chilly for sketching from the car studio today: -10°C with an even colder wind chill meant that I had to turn on the car heater quite often to warm myself up and dry the washes on my paper. But… the light was wonderful on Lakeshore Road and since we haven’t had that many sunny days of late, I sketched away, even if it meant having frozen feet. The yellow wall on the side of the Canadiana-style building had a wonderful shadow on it and that made me forget the discomfort for a bit.


39 Comments on “Too cold to sketch”

  1. Soni says:

    What a cheerful painting (I love & will study repeatedly, natch) from a woman I’m visualizing with ice cubed blocky feet now


  2. Jean says:

    Brings back warm memories of Lakeshore Road, even in winter! Thank you!


  3. Sketching on location is so worthwhile! Your colors, shadows, details, everything brings the feel of the deeply cold scene to life. I’m sure it could not happen without being there as you painted. thanks for sharing the experience.


    • Holly, you are so right. It is just not the same when you paint from a reference image. And there is a certain satisfaction, somehow, when you can translate the space around you onto paper. When the image has already been transformed by the camera lens, it is just not the same for me. It’s devoid of excitement. The thrill is always 3D to 2D for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Susan Power says:

    And a very satisfactory result too!


  5. Dottie Aiken says:

    Beautiful. What you do to paint! Amazing.


  6. Bernadette says:

    Oh my, your painting is absolutely delicious…like an ice cream Sunday with a cherry on top! I love the warm washes of sunshine on the building and the indication of a figure opposite. I wonder, when you get to your classroom, do you ever share the work you just completed? Do they ask about why you are shaking with every breath upon returning to a warm classroom? I suppose it must be so and that you share only with us. How blessed are we! Thank you.


    • Hi Bernadette. My students know about my sketching. The other day they saw me sketching in the cafeteria at lunch time but they were too polite to come over to see what I was doing. Later when we were in class together they asked if they could see my sketchbook. I talk to them all the time about finding something they are passionate about, and of course my sketching is an example of that.


  7. loisajay says:

    Do you pencil your drawings first and then follow-up with paint? I have looked and looked and cannot find a pencil mark on your paintings! Naturally, I am so impressed that you just look and your subject and….paint! This is gorgeous, Shari.


    • Hi Lois. Yes, there are pencil lines in this. I admire people who can paint with no pencil lines on the paper, but I am not one of those people. So there is always some structure that I draw in first. Thanks for writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Suzy Powell says:

    BEAUTIFUL! love it. Was 70’here in west Texas


  9. Lee Kline says:

    Lovely shadows. Down here in Florida, I wimp out at 50 degrees and draw in the car!


  10. Judy Sopher says:

    I must be really odd but I love your scenes with wires crossing. Adds rhythm to the work. Another great winter painting.


  11. Monique says:

    You need a few little hot pads for days like those..these..I love Lakeshore road..give me the slow road any day:)
    Beautiful Shari.
    So so so so talented.


  12. I love the warmth of the buildings, and how the transparency of the trees let’s the buildings stand out.


  13. tcwriter says:

    Beautiful sketch, though now I’m wondering what it looks like when watercolors freeze on the paper. At -10, things might freeze fast enough to find out…


    • I guess if I was outside I would have more of a problem, but in my preheated car it is not that cold. I have been in the car when it is too cold and I can tell you what happens. The washes on my palette turn to slush. Ice forms and then I really can’t paint. But if the car is warm I can usually last long enough to get a sketch in.


  14. andre savard. says:

    It’s fantastic, You work better in difficult conditons. Widh I c ould do the same.


    • That’s funny Andre. I think I do work better in difficult conditions — maybe it’s because I need to work quickly. I’ve never thought about it much but that must be the reason why. Still haven’t sketched your favourite street but I will soon.


  15. mossandmabel says:

    I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and it’s made me want to get sketching again. Thank you.


  16. Ell says:

    LOVELY! I am right there!


  17. Muriel Fitzsimmons says:

    Hi Shari,

    I belong to The Lennoxville Art Group and we follow and enjoy your blogs.

    Do you do workshops for small groups and what are your fees and conditions? About 15 of our group are watercolorists and we were wondering if a workshop was possible.

    Regards, Muriel



  18. joantav says:

    It is great that when you get involved in something you are enjoying, the discomfort is tolerable for a while. Nicely done!


  19. Mary marple says:

    Well it sure was worth it – love it and your yellow building just glows. Hope your feet. Hope your feet have warmed up.


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