Have brush, will travel

The remnants of Tropical Storm Isaias came through Montreal yesterday. This morning the sky was still turbulent, although there were patches of brightness in the distance. I had some time to draw the overcast view from the 4th floor of the MUHC (that’s our newish superhospital) while waiting to drive someone home from an appointment.

My bag always has some sort of sketchbook in it, especially when I know I have to wait somewhere. This time it was a Stillman & Birn Beta, square softcover version. I started my skyline drawing using a Platinum Carbon desk pen, but with all this hatching, I soon ran out of ink. I managed to find a Pitt Artist Pen with a fine point in my bag, but had no paints with me to add a grey wash. Fortunately I found a brush pen filled with water-soluble black ink in my bag, so on the left hand page in my book, I blackened in a dark square of ink. I sprayed that with a little water (I also always carry a little spray bottle) which created a puddle of grey wash. And with the little travel brush, that I also carry in the bag, I was able to pick up some diluted ink and finish my drawing.

34 Comments on “Have brush, will travel”

  1. Beautiful. How on earth do you carry around all those supplies? Your bag must weigh a ton!


  2. Sounds as if your bag is full of essentials for every situation! Well done. Do you have a list of what is in the essentials bag?

    Regards Mary (Molly) Harvey



  3. ksmiley2015 says:

    Appealing work, Shari, you’re an inspiration for “finding a way” to pulloff a
    nice work. Thanks, ak


  4. Were you are Girl Guide? Talk about being prepared! And resourceful.


  5. TonyU says:

    What! No little kitchen sink or a kettle for a cup of tea? Lovely mean and moody storm sketch though.


    • Tony, a cup of tea would have been wonderful during that long wait, but when you’re at a hospital, you feel somewhat reluctant to take off the mask to ingest anything. So no sink and no kettle!!


  6. Nice sketch, I really like the texture, and atmosphere.


  7. Gracie Afridi says:

    Amazing use of your supplies to create such a wonderful pic!


  8. You are very inventive with your sketching tools.
    Super sketch!


  9. Have brush, will travel

    Liked by 1 person

  10. pampeters2@gmail.com says:

    Dear Shari,

    I love the sketch, and the blog made me laugh as you kept pulling out drawing tools out of your purse. I’m sure that you were a source of entertainment for others in the waiting room. Here in California, no one is allowed to accompany people into the hospital. My sister had a rather scary procedure and two days in hospital two weeks ago and she had to go in by herself with no visitors. She is doing fine now, but it was disconcerting to her siblings! Anyway, I love your drawings – you can draw everything with such perfection.

    Your “friend” Pam (winner of the Shells),



    • Hi Pam,
      Thanks for writing. It was actually quite comical because I was juggling so much stuff on my lap. And I had no water in my teeny tiny spray bottle so I had to get some of my drinking water into that without spilling it all over myself.
      I’m sorry to hear that your sister had to be alone at the hospital. I had to go to the ER myself a few weeks ago, and it was no fun being there alone. Glad to hear that she’s fine now. As for today, I was waiting for someone who had taken some medication that made them a little woozy, so they had to have a companion. That is why I was there. I think the rules in hospitals are a little bit more lenient than they were at the start of Covid. Hope things improve soon for you in California!


  11. Jean says:

    Thanks for this view. I know where the new hospital was to be built, but I haven’t been back to my home town (N.D.G.) to see it. Now I know what I would see, looking North.


    • Jean, it’s an amazing hospital. I have been there several times for various appointments and I am always amazed at the efficiency, the brand new equipment, the staff and the facilities. So much light too! I don’t know if you remember what the Royal Vic was like but those are my most recent hospital experiences because my kids were born there. Quite a difference from those old building to these new ones. It’s a huge hospital because it is actually all of former MUHC hospitals in one giant complex now. Quite something to see.


  12. Soni says:

    smarties smarties smarties

    and beautiful


  13. pamlopez15 says:

    💛💛💛💛This is an amazing sketch, Shari! Absolutely stunning! 💛💛🙌🏼🙌🏼


  14. Beaumont Nancy says:

    What a super idea, now I am very curious as to what is in the bag you carry and just how big it is. I spent a lot of time in waiting rooms the last few years and always have an inexpensive sketchbook. I love water soluble pencils, which seem to grow legs and are never where they should be.

    I am on the West Coast U.S (Washington state, Seattle area) and I really enjoy you e mails and hope you all are staying safe. Weather vs Virus, this has certainly been a different year for us all.

    Nancy Beaumont



  15. jameswebbart says:

    Dear Shari, As the well travelled artist you are I empathize with your pent up energy in getting and creating art. We creative artists all suffer from the same so call malady where we can’t stop trying to capture all the images about us. For me having a bit of ADD hasn’t been harmful. A technical note ! Have you ever used “GENERAL’s” “Sketch & Wash” pencils. I know you’ve used the GENERAL layout pencil in your former life. A water brush and the Sketch & Wash pencil does well in tight situations. Jim

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sabiscuit says:

    Beautiful work, Shari.


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