Montreal to Toronto train sketching

Testing, testing. I’ve never posted a video before but this is the only way to show my weekend sketch so thought I’d give it a try. Fingers crossed that you can see it too.

On a train ride to Toronto on Saturday I sketched in an accordion sketchbook, adding a new sketch every time the landscape changed. The paper in the book was quite poor for watercolours but it was so much fun to do that I thought I’d post it anyway. The full size is 7 inches by 5.5 feet. I loved the experience so much (the motion of the train, the sound of the whistle as we approached level crossings, the wide open Canadian landscape) that it made we want to cross the country by rail with a ream of better paper and some good paints in my bag.

33 Comments on “Montreal to Toronto train sketching”

  1. It came through just great on my sometimes finicky iPad. Thanks so much for the visual treat. I think I have fallen for accordian sketchpads too.


  2. Nancy D. says:

    That was lovely. Thanks.


  3. Barbara Beynon says:

    You did it! What a wonderful way to fill an accordion book.


  4. Susanne says:

    Wow! You were busy. Love how it flows.


  5. Bravo! Great job and thanks for the treat!


  6. Video looks fab on my MacPro. Even more exciting is the train trip sketching — and what about Europe?? Sometimes you can order wine 🙂 It seems like such a sensible way to go!!


  7. Nessa Neilson Morse says:

    It worked! It’s wonderful! Congratulations! Now you can do more and we, your loyal fans, will be even more delighted! Thanks so much.


  8. Tylara says:

    so much fun! sorry to hear the paper in the folding sketch pad wasn’t great. You did a lovely job with paper that didn’t delight you. I’m very interested in this format. Was the sketch book expensive? where can we get ones like this? ( Even just one so I can make my own with good paper.)


  9. debraji says:

    I have an accordian sketchbook made by Pentalic. But there are lots of YouTube videos on creating your own, and then you can use your favorite watercolor paper.


  10. Judy Sopher says:

    Amazing. Thanks for doing this tho I don’t know how you did it. I feel as if I’ve been on the train as well–and I love trains. Great skies. Love the page which looks like birch trees. Would you use the accordion system again?


  11. Sue Ferrell says:

    This looks like you had a great time and some fun to boot!


  12. The video was perfect. I am so amazed you did this on the train. My guess is you did not have anyone sitting next to you. I do a 2 hour train trip from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. I often look at the scenery however, I end up sketching the people on the train! You are so good!


  13. Marylin Smith says:

    Wow! It’s lovely Shari (as always)… I can’t even imagine painting in a moving vehicle, and so beautifully! Marylin Smith


  14. Hi Shari, I tested the video on my laptop, phone and iPad on your blog and Instagram account…. all looked great, the size for the viewing screen got adjusted automatically to fit the viewing device. It was a nice surprise having a little bit of “live” you today.


  15. Yorky says:

    Terrific quick sketches Shari, I have sketched but never painted on a bus trip.


  16. joantav says:

    Love this! I’ve painted views from a train in Europe but only one at a time. The idea of doing them in an accordion sketchbook is a great idea. I like how you continued the sky and the scene from one spot to another. Great idea!


  17. artbymeera says:

    It worked on my Mac book Pro and I saw all the fun you had 🙂 My one try to sketch by painting was a disaster –the train was too fast and all the swaying and shaking spilled all my stuff onto the floor 😦


  18. Denise says:

    Thanks for the treat and the suggestion on a new way to paint!


  19. mayelalameda says:

    Thank yo for sharing this Shari. It’s so beautiful


  20. Corinne Murphy says:

    Bright, bold, and beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely piece with us.
    And thank you for your fearlessness. You may the boldest challenges seem easy — always the mark of a true professional. 🙂


  21. Sadje says:

    Beautifully painted. A great idea. Thanks for sharing


  22. Benadette says:

    Looks like this was a fun experience for you…it was for me too! Thanks for this great suggestion. Sometimes a different approach releases creative juices not seen before. It’s a such a fun idea.


  23. this is such a great way to spend a train ride!! turned out amazing!


  24. Susan Kemnuir says:

    God has put so much of his works of art out there for us to enjoy and you have a way of capturing it in such a delightful way. You seem to find something worthy of sketching in almost any subject. Sketching on a moving train…now that’s impressive. Thank you for the video.


  25. Monique says:

    It’s wonderful! I have 2 is done..the other has been in progress to long..Never gave it a theme or a story:(I am reading a book re Van Gogh and apparently he made his own:)


  26. Gail Ishmael says:

    Well done! I take the train from Kansas to Chicago, but am overwhelmed at the thought of painting while moving. You managed to do it. Congrats. Gail


  27. Diane McDaniel says:

    “made we want to cross the country by rail with a ream of better paper and some good paints in my bag”

    .DO IT !!! then give us a book!! maybe get a good wc paper roll and cut it in half for size.
    canadian rockies- lake moraine might be nice, near calgary you have ALL winter to sort out the issues….you can DO IT. 🙂

    Love your work and your heart !


  28. barrypless says:

    Bravo! It worked… in spite of what is often a rocky ride when Via picks up speed. Or maybe that added to your creativity.



    a original idea. wonderful work, only for those who are very gifted in this art of drawing and painting.I liked very much.


  30. Bonnie Hasan says:

    Very late comment here, Shari. In the day, I did the return trip, by train, from Montreal to Vancouver twice. In a private roomett with bathroom. To this day, it was my most favourite trip. Do it.
    Always following you with great joy ….. Bonnie Hasan


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