The big yellow crane has arrived at the Pointe Claire Yacht club, and that means the sailboats come out of the water for the season tomorrow. I thought I’d spend an hour or so drawing them before they disappear. It’s a warm and fairly calm day, and as I painted I witnessed one boat after another go out for one last perfect sail on the lake. Can’t say I blame them. Sketched in a Handbook Journal, 8″ x 8″.
The hang tag left on my door says that the main sewers on my street will be rehabilitated from 8 am until 9 pm today. Odours resulting from the resin used to line the sewer may be noticeable during the work. Special instructions include this: Do not use showers, bath tubs, sinks, dishwashers or laundry washers, and keep toilet flushing to a minimum. I guess there’s nothing left to do but draw the activity on the street.
On my way home from school today I stopped in Pointe Claire Village. It took me a few stops to find the right place to sketch but I settled on a view of the town that I have painted often, in all seasons. The varying heights and shapes of the buildings attract me, along with the colourful signage, awnings and flags. Today I worked a little more loosely than usual, letting the wet puddles of wash flow and combine. Instead of being too precise about architecture, I let the shapes of colour and value lead me towards an impression of what was in front of me. It’s quite a fun way to work. Sketched in a Handbook Journal, 8″ x 8″.
With my very full teaching schedule this semester, one thing that I don’t have time to do is life drawing. I loved it several years back when I was able to fit in a weekly session, but haven’t been able to do it since. With the cold weather starting, I find myself drawing indoors more often, including on breaks between classes at my school. There’s a roomy lounge in my building where students congregate, and you can often find models (students on their phones!) who hang out long enough to be drawn. The sofas and chairs are quite comfy, so it gives me a relaxing place to sit and draw too. A win-win situation for both sketcher and model.
On a rainy Sunday afternoon there are a few things on my counter that I will be using in recipes later today (although unlikely they will all be in one dish!). Before I start chopping, I take out my sketchbook to capture their shapes and colours. I try to paint the shadows of the objects at the same time as the objects themselves, hoping a little of the fruit colour will work itself down into the shadow colour, or that a little shadow will creep up into the fruit (this happened in the pears). Sketched in a Handbook Watercolour Journal, 8″ x 5″.
If my favourite parking spot is available near this particular corner in Pointe Claire, I always grab it. It’s the first spot after a no-parking zone, so I know no one can park in front of me. Why do I like this view so much? It’s the combination of the curve in the road, the highway signs that add colour, a bit of a foreground building, a few structures in the middle of the picture, and of course a good utility pole with plenty of wires. It makes for a dynamic composition with plenty of detail and interest.
I always start by painting the big shapes — sky, road, then brick building and trees. When those are dry I add the smaller shapes — pole, shadows on the road and buildings, cars and windows. The last details to be painted are the smaller darks in the windows and under the cars, as well as the lines on the sidewalk and the deep greens of the foliage.
Seeing all the Inktober drawings on social media inspired me to draw Alice in pen today. I chose my Lamy Safari for this. It’s a pen I don’t use often for drawing because I find the nib too stiff, but today it seemed just right on the paper I was using. As for Alice, her modelling skills improve after a long session of chasing tennis balls in the park.