Tuesday, 24 December 2013


The sun is heading back this way, ever so slightly, day-by-day, following winter solstice.  Yesterday it set just south of the chimney on the school in the next block, from the vantage of our back deck - definitely on the "S"-for-South side of the school's old weathervane.  I'm waiting to see when the sun lines up exactly with the dome, which will undoubtedly be a moment of immense cosmic significance - why else would our deck and their dome have been built in exactly those locations?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Flower shop at Lonsdale Quay

Lots of flowers were being sold this afternoon at the flower shop at Lonsdale Quay, but not the poinsettias or big purple orchids that were displayed so prominently.  Which made me wonder what happens to all those expensive flowers if they aren't sold for Christmas.  Hopefully they get sent to a nice poinsettia-and-orchid retirement home somewhere in the tropics.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

33 Acres brewery

33 Acres is one of the newer entrants in the burgeoning microbrewery scene in Vancouver.  You can tell they are new, because the brewer's beard isn't very bushy at all.  Long-established brewers have really really bushy beards.  Twenty of us met there to draw-drink their two brews - a WCPA (West Coast version of an IPA) and a California common, which I had to Google to find that it is a dark "steamed" lager, meaning that it is brewed with lager yeast but at higher ale temperatures.  Both were very tasty, and came in small enough glasses that my perspective was only slightly messed up in the sketch.  More importantly, the common was a nice, very paintable red-amber shade of brown.  I contrast this with a "Belgian black ale" that I recently drew-drank - a cooler, much greyer hue of brown.  Maybe I should start a website combining RateBeer and UrbanSketchers --> SketchBeer? 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Vancouver library atrium

The urban sketchers met in the atrium of the Vancouver library, a good choice on a below-freezing day - cold enough in the unheated space that I felt tough drawing there, but not so cold that my paint froze.  The building is in the ruined-coliseum style.  The curving walls in the atrium between the main library and the outer part of the building, and the reflecting glass, made for challenging draftsmanship, but it was a cheerful scene with the office building glowing in the sun against the Vancouver-blue sky through the glass roof.  A book sale in the atrium was drawing a crowd, with popular favourites like An Economic Analysis of the Coal Industry in Victorian England.  There were a number of interesting characters in the area, and not just the sketchers...

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Ariel Helvetica at Dr Sketchy's

About ten people from the Urban Sketchers meet-up group went to Dr. Sketchy's on Sunday, where Ariel Helvetica was the model.  She started out with quite a few serifs, but ended up mainly sans.
     The drawing with Christmas baubles won the competition for the coveted Dr. Sketchy pencil prize.  Now I can have an "Awards" section on my artistic CV.