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Aug 24 Sunday Sketching : Pointe-â-Callière 18th Century New France Market

August 8, 2014

This Sunday August 24, Urban Sketchers Montreal has been invited back to the Pointe-â-Callière 18th Century New France Market.

The event runs from 10am to 8pm and is easily found right in front of the Pointe-â-Callière Museum in the Old Port.


This year they’re using some of my sketches to promote the event, and in return we have thirty free admissions to the museum, which you can use on Sunday if there is rain, or for a future visit.

Unfortunately  I will not be there, as I’m off to Brazil to teach at the USK international symposium, but Jocelyne Filion will be on hand to meet everyone and give out the guest passes. Tickets are first come first serve, but I think there will be enough for our usual numbers.

I hope you come out for sketching, and enjoy the day, I wish I could be there – this is a favorite drawing event for me!





44th World Wide Sketchcrawl July 12th

July 3, 2014

World Wide Sketchcrawl is an event much like our USK:MTL Sunday Sketching, but going on all around the world on the same day. Every major city from Abu Dhabi to Zagreb is drawing together on July 12th. Click the Sketchcrawl globe to find out more. Here in Montreal we will meet at 10am at the Café des Arts  in Marche Bonsecours in the Old Port. (350 Rue Saint Paul Est, Montréal, Québec, H2Y1H2). We will start at 10, then meet back at the Cafe at 1pm for lunch (if you like) and again at 4pm to see everyone’s sketchbooks. I’ll be there to draw with the group – hope to see some of you on the 12th! ~marc

Redpath Museum and McGill U outing

July 28, 2014

Nous nous sommes réunit au Musée Redpath à 10 h dimanche matin. On annonçait de la pluie mais les orages ne nous ont pas touchés donc on a dessiné sur le Campus jusqu’à midi. Le lunch et échange de cahiers croquis a eu lieu au Second Cup près de la librairie Paragraph. À une heure nous sommes retournés au Musée qui ouvrait ses portes et nous avons dessiné à l’intérieur jusqu’à 15h. À ce moment nous nous sommes réunis sur les marches du Musée pour les dernières photos et les adieux après une magnifique journée à croquer en compagnie des mordus du dessin.

Venez visitez ce joli Musée Universitaire. L’entrée est gratuite ou vous êtes libres de faire un don. Visitez le site au

We met at the foot of Redpath Museum at 10 am. Forecast was for rain but it held up so we all sketched around McGill Campus until 11 at which time all met at Paragraph Bookstore coffee shop (Second Cup) for lunch at the terrasse tables. Great sharing of sketch books and tips. At 1 pm we returned to the Museum since it opened at 1pm on Sundays and skeched inside till 3pm at which time we snapped photos and bid adieu to each other after a wonderful day sketching.

This little know, unfortunately, University Museum is a gem. Do visit its site at and plan to visit it soon. Entry is free, but you may contribute if you wish. It is opened 9 to 5pm Monday to Friday and Sundays 1 to 5pm.


Lucie Marceau, Jean-Claude Boivin, Gulaine Couture, Ginette Auger, Gulaine Nadeau, Tania Lebedeff, Hang Lu Su, Ludmila Fishman, Raynald Murphy – in no particular order.


Sunday Sketching: July 27th: McGill Campus / Redpath Museum

July 3, 2014


We always go to the Redpath Museum in winter – which means we don’t actually draw the McGill campus, or any of the surrounding area on Sherbrooke.

On July 27th, lets meet at 10am in front of the Redpath Museum, and we can see about some summertime sketching around McGill.

Please note – Myself (Marc) and Shari will both be out of town that weekend – but please do come out and sketch – by now we have many regulars who can meet any new members. As well, Montreal sketcher Raynald Murphy will be on hand to greet everyone and get the ballpoints rolling! I’m sure Ray will have some great sketchbooks to see – ask him about his new book “Carnets de la Gaspésie“. Available now on Amazon.


Announcing a new book from Marc Taro Holmes and North Light Books: “The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location”

June 24, 2014


I’ve been holding in this announcement for months now! I’ve been well nigh bursting with not being able to talk about it.

Finally I can tell you guys about “The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location”.  My up coming how-to art-instructional  ‘workshop in a book’. It’s a hands on course condensing everything I’ve learned about urban sketching and drawing on location. It’s coming out in October from North Light Books, and is already available on Amazon for pre-order.

In the next few weeks I’ll have more news, some free tutorials to expand on the book content, and possibly some details about a book-related online workshop. (Possibly! If there’s enough interest :)

I want to say thanks very much for following my blog all this time. This book would not have been possible without all of your interest and involvement.

Click here to hop over to my new BOOKS page for a few teaser images and more details!



Cracking open the Beehive : Visiting Montreal’s Rooftop Bee Colony to Talk about the End-of-the-World

June 23, 2014

14June16_Insectarium Bees 01

I imagine we have all heard the stories about the vanishing honey bees, collapsing colonies, and the risk it all poses to the production of food. This spring it seems every news outlet was running something about bee-troubles. (Note – not a domestic honey bee in the sketch – I was down at the Jardin Botanique, so I popped into the Insectarium and sketched the exotic bees on display).

The strangest I saw was about bee rustling. This is crazy right? The idea that beehives are now so important to food producers, that it’s become worth it to steal some hard working beekeeper’s insects. Unscrupulous individuals show up in the dark of night, steal the bee-boxes, spray a new logo, and the bees are in a different field the next day. It’s a beehive chop shop!

That’s a spectacularly negative example of people adapting to the problem of bee scarcity.

When I heard there was a beekeeping collective here in Montreal, I thought – Let’s go down there and find out about some of the positive things we can do? See the sketches and interview below the fold:

Read more…

A Simple Trick for Planning a Sketch : Connect the Dots

June 22, 2014

14June22_USK MTL Botanical_01

Just back from sketching with Urban Sketchers Montreal. Here’s my morning drawing from the Chinese pavilion at the Jardin Botanique.

This one turned out to be a useful example of what I call “Marking Extents”. How to design the page with small dots measuring the height and width of key objects, and their internal landmarks (doors, windows, floors, etc).

After the break – A few process shots that might explain:

Read more…


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