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USK:MTL : Sketching Atwater Market

September 27, 2015

We had perfect lazy Sunday weather for today’s USK:MTL monthly sketching meetup. I was doing more talking than drawing today so we have a little bit of everything going on in the sketchbook. Thanks to everyone who showed up. It was fun meeting a lot of new people today.


A view of the canal – in an unusual (for me) vertical composition, thank’s to a suggestion from my friend Shari. We were sitting side by side. She sketched the view 90 degrees to mine.

Here’s what we were really looking at. I was kind of happy with my redesign of what was there. Less is almost always more in a quick sketch.


15Sept27_Sketcher Portrait_Unknown

A quick sketcher portrait. I don’t know this person, so if you’re the lady in the red coat who left early, this is you concentrating on your sketch :)


And, after lunch the Phil So Good quartet set up (only three of them for whatever reason?) and we all hung out and sketched them while they played for us.

(By the way, if anyone else who drew the musicians wants to get in touch with Phil Bélanger to send them a sketch – they have a contact link on their page here).

Sunday Sketching September 27: Atwater Market and the Canal

September 8, 2015

The markets are very colourful at this time of year. Let’s meet at the Atwater Market on Sunday, September 27 and sketch the area around the canal and the market. There’s so much to sketch there — a great view of the mountain, the buildings along the canal, the activity at the market and the constant flow of people going by. We’ll meet at 10 am at the south side of the market near the bridge, have lunch at one of the market restaurants and meet again around 3:30 near the bridge. In case of rain we can always sketch inside the market itself. Hope to see you there!


Here’s my sketches from the last outing!

September 7, 2015

New_France_Market_2015 (2)

New_France_Market_2015 (3)

New_France_Market_2015 (4)

For the artists out there, these are sketched in pencil while walking around following my subjects, and tinted with watercolor during lunch and teatime. I skipped drawing in pen and ink over the pencil as I sometimes do. These days I’m tending to do either pencil + color or straight-to-ink + color – but rarely all three, pencil and ink and color.

Even though I do recommend all three when teaching beginners, after a few years of thinking about this, I feel it drains some ‘freshness’ (and slows you down) if you do too much drawing before the paint.

So – as you get more comfortable, you can skip one step – and just get more drawings done in the session :)

New_France_Market_2015 (1)


Sunday Sketching Aug 23: Pointe-â-Callière 18th Century New France Market

August 11, 2015

It’s time again for the Pointe-â-Callière 18th Century New France Market.

The event runs from 10am to 6pm and is easily found right in front of the Pointe-â-Callière Museum in the Old Port. This will be the third year we’ve gone – there’s always lots of costumed characters and historic recreation to see and draw.

I’ll be down out front of the Pointe at 10am when the event opens, will break for lunch at 12, and we can all meet up in front of the museum at 4pm for a show and tell. Last year they had some seating and tables set up out front of the Pointe where we could gather.

I missed it personally last year – so I’m looking forward to sketching pirates and colonials again. See you there!



A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Montreal

July 6, 2015

It was almost exactly like Georges Seurat painted it in “La Grande Jatte” — people gathered on the banks of a river on a glorious Sunday afternoon, sailboats in the distance, cool breezes coming off the water — except the island was Montreal, the river was the St. Laurent and the people were sketchers. The event “Picnic Vernissage” was organized by the Stewart Hall Cultural Centre and Art Gallery in Pointe Claire, in conjunction with Urban Sketchers Montreal. It was a day of drawing and picnics on the grass, followed by a vernissage of sketches in the gallery.


When you plan these types of events, you’re never sure how many people will show up. Our typical Sunday sketching outing in Montreal has about 25-30 people on a good day, but I guess the spectacular setting and the perfect weather was a real draw, because we counted over 80 sketchers including some from Toronto, Vermont and Quebec City!


Many of the sketchers chose to draw and paint the mansion overlooking the lake that houses the gallery and Cultural Centre. I was hoping to get more drawing done at the event itself, but all I really had time for was a sketch of one of the giant poplars on the lawn. Our hosts spoiled us with food and drink, and there were so many people to talk to.


At the end of the day, gallery volunteers hung all the work, where it will remain all summer long. The quantity and variety of work completed by the sketchers during the event was astounding! If you missed the event, please stop by and have a look. And thanks to everyone at Stewart Hall for the great day!


::: Stewart Hall :::

July 5, 2015

Artists are among the most generous of people. Perhaps inherent in the appreciation of creativity comes a deep, underlying love of humanity and our Earth.
— Kelly Borsheim

I am happily exhausted at the moment as today was a jaw-dropping day that was filled with about 80 Urban Sketchers that were sketching on the wonderful grounds of Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire. I met people from Texas, Vermont, Toronto,  Quebec City and from around the greater Montreal region and within. A deep thank you to the organizing committee headed by Amanda Johnston from the Cultural Centre in Pointe Claire and of course Shari Blaukopf who was the liaison between Amanda and this wonderful event. A heartfelt thank you to both of you…. and to all of you who came out to sketch with us.

Je suis totalement émue et fatiguée en ce moment après la superbe journée passée sur les terrains du magnifique Centre culturel Stewart Hall à Pointe-Claire. Nous étions 80 Urban Sketchers à se regrouper pour peindre ou dessiner sur ces lieux et j’ai rencontré des personnes du Vermont, Texas, Toronto, la ville de Québec, le grand Montréal et Montréal! Un merci à Amanda Johnston et son équipe ainsi qu’à Shari Blaukopf pour faire la liaison et mettre ce beau projet à jour. Merci à vous tous qui êtes venus pour faire de cet événement un succès -)

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″x9″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Pointe Claire, Québec, Canada


::: Anecdoche :::

June 28, 2015

Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking but nobody is listening, simply overlaying disconnected words like a game of Scrabble, with each player borrowing bits of other anecdotes as a way to increase their own score, until we all run out of things to say.
— Dictionary of obscure sorrows (The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.)

The Montreal Urban Sketchers met up today at the Marché Jean Talon Market and we must have been around 12-15 people, even though it rained all day and only 16°C. These sketchers are a sturdy bunch as our Montreal summer has been fresh. As I was painting today I was listening to the sounds of voices surrounding me and the rhythm that followed was almost musical…. I caught bits of words, parts of sentences, high and low voices and some mumbling. It was nice to hear all of the different accents, intonations and meanings and made me think that painting is just another form of “silent” communication -)

Les Urban Sketchers de Montréal se sont regroupés ce matin au Marché Jean Talon et nous étions 12-15 braves, étant donné qu’il pleuvait et que la température était 16°C. Comme je peignais, j’écoutais les voix des passants autour de moi et le rythme qu’elles créaient… c’était presque musical…. j’entendais des mots, parfois des parties de phrases, des voix hautes ou basses et un peu de marmonnage. C’était trippant d’entendre tous ces différents accents et intonations et m’a fait penser que peindre n’est qu’une autre forme de communication… silencieuse -)

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: Azo Yellow, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Maroon Perylene, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada



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