Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter at Seton Portage

We spent the Easter weekend at Seton Portage, between Pemberton and Lillooet.  It's hard not to paint the cerulean blue of Seton Lake, especially when you get to stay in a house right where the dark blue river from Anderson Lake enters the much lighter glacial-origin water.  The first drawing was about a 45 minute effort, while the second was about 5 minutes.  The first is more accurate, but I think I prefer the second one.

I also drew the beaver pond in the estuary, mainly for the challenge of practicing the tangle of lighter branches with darker backgrounds - not easy with watercolours and a limited attention span!  I later found one of the former denizens of the beaver pond, making his way back into the soil - or, more likely, into the skull collection of our nephews and nieces...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


For those who missed the lunar eclipse early Tuesday morning, here it is.  It was cloudy - as expected in Vancouver - when I first checked, but a strong, warm wind came out of the south and started breaking up the clouds just as the edge of the moon emerged from the Earth's shadow.  The shaded part was still a brownish red, mirroring Mars, which was not too far away in the sky.  It was a memorably surreal scene as the city-lit clouds streamed by.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Davie and Bute

The urbansketcher group met at Davie and Bute in Vancouver.  It's a great place to draw, with the beach nearby, a busy street, some of the big old Vancouver houses a couple blocks away, and some seriously colourful characters.  I drew the Rand house in the Mole Hill area, a lovely 1900 mansion.  It's for sale.  I might buy it, but probably not.  The neighbouring house is also a heritage building, of a more modest scale, but with colourful details.

One small block is closed off at Davie and Bute, and home to a series of picnic tables in all the colours of the rainbow.  A man sitting at the orange table had an orange shirt, orange jacket, orange shorts, orange shoes, orange scarf, orange backpack, orange bag, orange water bottle and orange flowers in an orange vase.  We wondered if he had a similar outfit for the blue table, the purple table...  Or maybe it was just a coincidence?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sakura festival

I sketched at the Sakura (Japanese: cherry blossom) Festival at van Dusen Gardens today.  As is traditional, it was cold, and it progressed from damp to very damp to downright wet.  I tried Don McNulty's blue-sky trick: paint a blue sky, and suddenly the sky becomes blue.  I'm still waiting.  But there were displays of ikebana and bonsai under shelter, and any number of people with purple or pink hair, so that was all worthwhile.