The Redpath Museum on the McGill campus is a great spot for sketchers. It’s packed with different subjects, something for every taste. I think this is an excellent location for our January meetup. Nice and cozy indoors, and there’s a cafeteria next door in the Library building. Doors open at 11am. I’ll see you there for Sunday Sketching!
This month USK:MTL needed a place to sketch indoors. It’s officially too cold to sketch in the streets. It seemed like a great idea to do a Portrait Party.
Even if you’ve never been to one, it’s pretty straightforward hey? Just invite a bunch of artists, sit around a big table and draw whoever is sitting across from you. Nobody is supposed to worry about accurate likenesses or being flattering. Anything goes as far as media or style. You shouldn’t be a perfectionist, approach it with a sense of fun. You are donating your own visage, in return for borrowing another person’s face.
In order to loosen up for the night I sketched a few students in my watercolor classes. (Which still has a few openings next session They were working an ‘open’ assignment, doing their own thing, so I stole some high speed impressions in between my walk-and-talk critique rounds. (Ballpoint and Kuretake #13 Brushpen).
After last week’s drawing day at the Higgins Armory, some of the artists headed out for dinner. Immediately (without even asking) we brought out sketchbooks and began drawing each other.
Here’s Greg Shea, James Gurney and Gavin Baker.
The week before that I’d gone to a Montreal Drink and Draw party – and brought back these – done with Private Reserve water soluble inks.
So, what with all these social drawing situations I was thoroughly warmed up for USK:MTL’s official portrait party.
I brought three Canson 9×12″ watercolor blocks and just rotated through the sketches – switching whenever the paper was soaked, so they’d be mostly dry by the time I got back to the top of the rotation.
It was quite cold at our location – (you’ll see everyone is wearing scarves indoors). A chill always slows down drying time. I think that was actually an advantage – I ended up working more wet-in-wet than I would normally, which is handy inside the flesh tones. Though, strategically speaking, I’m still mostly following my wet-on-dry, Tea, Milk, Honey method of three passes of gradually richer washes.
I think these are all good examples of my philosophy about drawing eyeglasses. Which is – as much as possible – don’t draw them at all.
I try to indicate the frames with open shapes – dashed arcs that do not close the outline of the lens. Hint at the thickness and the distortion of the glass, but don’t over emphasize the frames. Even when they are the chunky dark kind that are in fashion these days. Also, consider how the eyebrow often merges with the frame. And, don’t forget the cast shadow. Just like drawing the hair line, the arms and nose-piece might need a subtle, descriptive shadow.
Just a note – early registration discounts for my 10 week watercolor class at Syn Studio (starting Jan 21) are ending this week (wed 13). If you know anyone interested in a studio watercolor class (not Urban Sketching, but training for it :) send them the link : http://synstudio.ca/expressive-watercolour/.
We’ll be focusing on quick sketching in watercolor, emphasizing good drawing and expressive (calligraphic) brushwork.
Now that it’s getting cold we’re on the lookout for indoor activities. Let’s do a portrait party! We’ll meet 16h/4PM at L’escalier on St.Catherine E, for a sketching hangout, drawing each other. Note the new afternoon time. 4pm till the last person gives up sketching. Here’s your chance to practice portraits. Sketchers sketching sketchers. Or quite possibly the rest of the crowd. We’ll see what happens! Feel free to bring a friend who wants to be sketched.
Went out sketching the other day with the MTL:USK group. Brought my two water soluble pens to the Mount Royal Plateu. My new Lamy Safari Extra Fine, and equally new Kuretake #13 brush pen. (jetpens.com!) I swapped out my usual Pentel Pocket Brush, in favor of the Kuretake, to enjoy the water-soluble properties of their cartridges. Here’s some lines, followed by clear water melting. It’s a neat magic trick! World’s most convenient watercolor kit.
I can also report, the Kuretake is capable of much finer work with the point (vs. the Pentel GFKP Pocket Brush). It’s about twice the price however, so there is that. As well, the K#13 has a metal barrel, that I find quite slippery, so that’s a bit annoying. But you can’t have everything! You have to love the convenience of a convincing ‘real’ (nylon?) fiber brush in a fountain pen format.
Today was quite a cold day, close to freezing and they had forecast rain, but we were lucky. About 20 urban and courageous sketchers gathered in the Mount Royal Metro today to start off the day. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits. I went my own way as I knew that I did not have much time to complete a painting… and indeed, I did not have enough time as I had to finish painting this at my house this afternoon.
Aujourd’hui il faisait assez froid à Montréal, près du point de congélation, et nous nous sommes regroupés, des sketchers courageux urbains, au Métro Mont-Royal pour commencer la journée ensemble. Nous étions environ 20 personnes, un groupe assez joyeux et plein d’énergie. Je me suis séparée du groupe car je savais que je devais partir pour 11h15 donc je n’avais pas de temps à perdre… et évidemment, je n’ai pas complété cette peinture et j’ai dû la finir chez moi.
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine
Paper: Larolan Sketchbook
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey