Sunday, 26 March 2017

Lonsdale Quay

A familiar place for me - sometimes a bit too familiar to inspire sketching - but Lonsdale Quay is a great place for drawing on a blustery spring day of showers and sunny periods.  I hosted a meetup there on Saturday, and it was good to see old sketching friends, to be re-invigorated by their enthusiasm, and to appreciate the mix of locations outside, inside, and in sheltered places in-between.

The mosaic fountain is looking a little tired, drained during the below-zero months.  There were 7 people in the view, and all seven were wearing black baseball caps.
The guy who runs the fish shop loves fish - he was talking fish to various customers the whole time I was drawing.  He also very welcomingly brought out a stool for another sketcher to sit on and draw the red snappers.
The big yellow ship-building cranes - love 'em or hate 'em if you're a sketcher.  I always struggle trying to do a bunch of fine lines in yellow, so I kept them as small background elements.  I prefer the pilings with their witches' caps, and the big blue building where they ... do something nautical.
A Quay drawing from a scouting trip a few days before the meetup. I like those hidden spaces under wharves.  I suspect there are a lot of creepy-crawlies right under all the tourists' feet.
And one more on the wharf'ish theme - the loading dock at the Viterra grain terminal at the Vancouver end of the Second Narrows Bridge.  It's a favourite view, but no shelter for sketchers here.  I was out on a dock exposed to the cold wind on the ocean.  My fingers holding the sketchbook froze in place - I had to peel them off when I was done, and I could barely hold the handlebars to ride home.  I'm sure it made me stronger...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Some people do their shopping months before Christmas.  I'm not that organized.  But I did do my St. Patrick's Day drawings three months ago.

Friday, 10 March 2017

#OneWeek100People Day 5: Treeples

Eight last pictures to get over the 100 mark.  Some might quibble that snow-covered trees are not technically "people", but in the grand scheme of things they are very similar.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

#OneWeek100People2017 Day 4: Life drawing

I took the easy path for my quota of people on day 4, a gesture drawing session at Basic Inquiry.  Posing models are a lot easier to draw - they're not moving, and you can look long enough to figure out what they actually look like.  You can create stories too, if you do the drawings together with a bit of attention to overlaps and perspective.  Mind you, you never know what the next pose is going to be, and with some fairly unconventional ones here, it's not entirely clear what the story is...  These are 2 and 3 minute poses in charcoal and pastel, and 5 minute poses in ink and watercolour.  And I count 34 people here, so I'm almost done!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

#OneWeek100People2017 Day 3: Corner cafe passers-by

One of the neighbourhood cafe has a bonus for sketchers - it's on a street corner, with full windows looking in both directions and a handy counter.  You get people coming and going in four directions outside.  The only problem was that it was sleeting outside and toasty inside, so the window was fogged up.  I kept wiping the window, but if my drawings of passers-by look a bit cloudy, that's why.  The sleet also meant that people were bundled up ready for an Arctic expedition, most were in a position of hunched-down abject misery, and dark grey was the fashion colour of choice.  I felt like buying a coffee for the few people who were wearing colours.  Highlights included an old lady with a walker and high-heeled boots, a lady with wild blonde hair running like she was escaping from the asylum (she came into the cafe - I think she just really wanted a latte), and a Vancouver classic - the guy who wears shorts all year just to show that you can do that in Vancouver (even though we've had snow on the ground for three months now).  I did all the dip-pen-and-ink drawings first, then went back and filled in watercolours based on memory or whoever was passing by at that point.


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

#OneWeek100People2017 Day 2: Aquacise

For day 2 of the challenge to draw 100 people in a week, I headed to the community centre pool and the senior ladies' aquacise class.  There's a balcony above the pool, which is used as a stretching area, but became, today, a sketching area.  It may look like I drew the same person 20 times, but there are actually 10 or 12 different ladies here, done a couple times each.  The thing is, there is a very strict dress code at the senior ladies' aquacise class - virtually identical one-piece black bathing suits.  And an equally strict hairdo code - a shoulder-length dome of grey to light grey, with only subtle variation in degree of perm-ness allowed.  It makes drawing easy, and this all took 15 minutes in total, which is fortunate, because the class is led by a drill-sergeant instructor who was a threat to ruin what's left of my hearing and sanity.  I used Kuratake brush-pens, which are water-soluble (to different degrees for different colours, it turns out), added some skin-tone watercolour, and quickly went over the whole thing with a damp brush to blend it together.

Monday, 6 March 2017

#OneWeek100People2017 Day 1: Cafe portraits

UrbanSketchMeisters Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel put out a hash-tagged challenge to draw 100 people in one week.  That's a five-day work week (or skipping-off-work week), so 20 per day.  I was sort of thinking of maybe doing it, and I told several persuasive people that, so now I am doing it.

For day 1, I stayed with cafe portraits and a familiar technique - water-soluble ink, bled with a brush and water to soften lines and make shading, and the occasional black eye, fat lip or other unexpected blotch.  I did these quickly (~3 minutes each) to reach my quota.  Trying not to be that-guy-in-the-corner-staring-at-people, I mostly took one look then drew, with maybe a couple more glances.  It was challenging, and, I've got to say, a bit stressful.  And - when am I going to learn not to squash people's heads just because I started too close to the edge of the page?!  Oh, maybe tomorrow...