Monday, August 31, 2009

sketchbook 31/08/09

I think it looks better on the web than it does in real life. Oh, the web masks so many of my mistakes...

On another note, one of the hazards of sketching on site are smokers. I sat down wind from two of them mid sketch...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

sketchbook 30/08/09

Setsuko Sanagawa is a jewelry artist who is a resident crafts person at the Harbourfront Centre. Fortunately her workbench was right at the foot of the raised observational walkway so I had an opportunity to sketch her from this unique vantage point.

Her tackle box was filled with small canisters of different coloured powdered glass that she sprinkled on to the copper shapes and then she puts each piece into the kiln for 30seconds to melt. The result is a shiny piece of enameled copper from which she will string together all the individual pieces to make a necklace.

However, she was so busy with enameling her pieces that I didn't get a chance to talk to her a bit more. But please visit her Flickr pages where you'll find a beautiful array of work. (click on her name above)

Friday, August 28, 2009

sketchbook 28/08/09

With the threat of rain, I returned to the ROM for some guaranteed sketching in dry conditions.

I found another sketcher in the gallery that was to be my haunt for the next few hours and decided to sketch her. She was a really good sport about it, but she left before I got her name. So a big thanks to this sketcher girl for holding still for me on Aug. 28.

On another note, as I was working on another sketch, a girl came up to me and asked if I was being paid for all this sketching. I said no, but I think that's a great idea!!! So for any ROM employees who happen to read this, and have the power to hire me as an in-house artist, just email me... I won't bite.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

sketchbook 27/08/09

Sketching Ronnie's Local bar. Great hole in the wall with a lot of character.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

sketchbook 26/08/09

Wandering through the back lanes of the University of Toronto campus, I saw the cooling system of this building. Good enough to sketch, I thought. So I did.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

sketchbook 25/08/09

I sat down in an urban park located at the edge of the business district. A lot of metal, bridges and a greenhouse thrown in there to boot!
This sketch got away from me, I think, with all the detail clutter. I tend to go micro when I encounter so much metal to work on that.
What was really funny when I was finishing up this drawing, was a work out group of women, about 15, jogged into this park, led by a strict, bootcamp type trainer. They started doing wind sprints, jumping jacks, and other strenuous looking exercise. Being an armchair athlete, this make me crack up inside.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

sketchbook 23/08/09

Today, Baldwin Street closed down two blocks for a street festival. It was a quiet, neighbourhood affair with the shops lining this block selling their wares to the Sunday crowd. They also had this chess set up with a large scale board and three tables set up for individual play. This I thought was perfect for me to sketch: Contemplative, statuesque chess players! Ideal.

Also, I'd like to make a shout out to Sharon, a budding artist in her own right, who stopped by to have a talk with me about her art, my art and life in general. Thanks for the talk, Sharon!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

sketchbook 21/08/09

A few meters down from the sand sculptors, there was a stage where the Harmonicats were playing. As their name implies, they are a trio of harmonicaists (does that word exist?) who were really entertaining with their music and stage repartee. What really surprised me were the harmonica sizes. They ranged from a 1 inch to what looked like a foot and a half.

I also got the musicians to autograph my drawing. Quite nice of them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

sketchbook 21/08/09

The gates opened for the 131st Canadian National Exhibition and with the opening, for me, this means the summer is ending. It's been many years since I visited the grounds, and a lot has changed. New buildings, functions switched to different buildings and new food vendors selling their dishes to hungry crowds.

In one new building, they had 4 sand sculptors showing off their talents in a sand sculpting competition that will be judges on Sunday.I chose to sketch Melineige Beauregard, an artist from Quebec whose been sand sculpting for 10 years. Her piece is called "Rock On".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

sketchbook 20/08/09

I had a craving for really bad Chinese food. I knew the perfect place and low and behold, it also happened to be where a group of older Chinese gentlemen gathered to play a form of Chinese chess. A lot of good natured posturing and bravado were exhibited by this group of men.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sketchbook 19/08/09

So today I didn't have the energy to search out something unique to sketch. No energy and the sun was pretty hot on my back. All I wanted was a bench, some shade and an everyday scene to put down on paper. I found it. When I sat down to this, I was slightly iffy about the post right smack dab in the middle of my field of view, but the saying "if you're sitting, you're drawing", came racing through my mind, so I drew!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

sketchbook 18/08/09

Today I had the opportunity to sketch in Lubo and Scott's workshop. We all went to school together, but I didn't realize how talented they were until today when I saw the projects they were working on.

Scott is an artist/sculptor (hard to categorize) and Lubo is a furniture designer. Today, Lubo was working on a conference table that measured 21 ft. long. He basically described it as a small bridge that you could possibly find in a large backyard bridging over a swale or a gully. I definitely looked like one, with its massive pieces of timbre. Can't wait to see it finished.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

sketchbook 16/08/09

On my way down to the waterfront, I cut through the National Exhibition grounds and discovered the grounds abuzz with action in prepping for the opening of another year of the National Exhibition. It seemed like it was a ghost town with all the vendors and rides closed and absent of customers. Needless to say I didn't make it to the water front.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

sketchbook 15/08/09

Looking for something new to sketch, I ventured down to the Distillery District, formerly known as Gooderham and Worts Distillery District. The district is a collection of Victorian buildings, the largest collection in North America, had various incarnations from flouring mills to whiskey distilleries. Its present life is a collection of galleries, restaurants and theatres.

This area, still retains most of the original architecture, which makes it a big draw for people as well as the 7 wedding parties taking their respective photos.

Friday, August 14, 2009

sketchbook 14/08/09

Ok, it's official, i suffered a bit of museum burnout. I think going there 4 straight days is enough for the immediate future. However, I got to know one security guard a bit and we chatted about his art, my art and life in general. That's another facet of sketching in public I enjoy, and that's the interaction with people.

So I rejigged my thinking and instead of jumping into a piece that had a more finished feel, I chose to warm up with a quicky sketch and then just progressed down the line of images.

I chose to revisit the ASain wing and sketch it from another angle. I find drawing spaces repeatedly from different angles makes me understand it better and fill in things that I missed previously. I also had the objective of drawing in people. My one problem is that they keep on moving and so a quick, base watercolour gesture was drawn in and the details added after I was happy with the gesture.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sketchbook 13/08/09

Another day at the ROM and I chose the base of the totem pole to sketch instead of the top which I had done previously here and here.

Fortunately, I picked up on a few tidbits about the pole from passing tourist groups. It's about 25m high, half the height of Niagara Falls (I assume the Canadian side ;-) ) and that it's "read from the bottom up."

I'm going to throw this out there. I'm getting drawn into the same situations from previous experiences sketching at the ROM. If you were at you local museum, what would you sketch? I'll take any suggestions and modify it to my situation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sketchbook 12/08/09

Another day at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). So many things to sketch there and I decided to sketch in the biodiversity gallery. This boy can't pass up sketching a bunch of sharks and bugs!

While I was finishing up this sketch, a group of young kids (approx. 6-7yrs. old) sat literally at my feet. From what I gather from the talk made by the group leader on all things shark and bugs, this was a kind of science group and the quote was said by the group leader/lecturer when she handed out some shark skins, a dinosaur tooth and other items for the kids to touch. Two things really stood out in my mind about this encounter: the group leader was super patient with the kids, especially one know-it-all. And the other was the quote illustrated. Her form of address and tone made me think of Mark Antony's famous opening line in Julius Ceasar: Friends, Romans, countrymen….

(The drawing was cropped on the left side because my scanner is too small.)

I did this drawing after the biodiversity drawing. I was feeling a bit like I was colouring by numbers with the first piece and for this one, I just painted. I left my micron pen in my bag. It was fitting for this series of figures because they had so many subtle shadows that a micron pen would never be able to convey (or at least I wouldn't be able to convey it).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sketchbook 11/08/09

I added to the buddha drawing I did yesterday. Looking at it as it was,it looked too empty on the page and considering my tendency to fill a spread page in my smaller sketchbook, I added to it today with other objects from ROM.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Me in context…

When I sketch in public, not many people come up to me and look to see what I'm drawing and as stated in a previous post, I suspect it's my homicidal look of concentration or shaved head that scares them away.
However, a brave lady by the name of Melissa Rangi overcame my maniacal expressions and came up to not only take a looksie but asked if she could shoot me (photographically, of course!). So this is a shout out to Melissa!!!! Thanks!!!

Sketchbook 10/08/09

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of ancient writings containing prayers, hymns and religious laws. … The Scrolls are important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam because they contain the earliest accounts of biblical patriarchs and prophets who are known to all three of the Abrahamic faiths.
Excerpt from the Dead Sea Scrolls program

Ok, I've stated it in the past that I'm not a big fan of Daniel Lebskind's addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, but the exhibition space for the Dead Sea Scrolls in the second level basement, took my breathe away. The ambiance was amazing. The scrolls were located at the end of a serpentine route, with artifacts from the same era displayed at the beginning and the actual scrolls displayed at the end, in individual display cases.

I was one of the first ones to enter the exhibition and rushed to the end so i could see the scrolls without the crowds... and as it happened this scene was too good to pass up to sketch. With the dimmed lights, music and the sculptural quality of the columns, coupled with the actual scrolls made this a memorable visit.

Needless to say, it was a little difficult drawing and painting in the dark and I was pleased that I didn't mangle this drawing when I reviewed it in daylight. (the detailed elements such as the striped t-shirt and type were added in the Museum cafe).

Something I did after the Scrolls drawing just to reaffirm my ability to draw in a tighter fashion (aka, anally)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sketchbook 08/08/09

After being away from my sketchbook for a week due to a summer cold, I finally got the chance to get back out there and do some sketching. However, mother nature wasn't cooperating with me and the cool weather and drizzle forced me inside to sketch another coffee shop. This is the Starbucks at College, just west of Bathurst and the size of this place makes it quite intimate. Literally people are a few feet away from me and that makes sketching, using the quick glance method, a challenge to being inconspicuous. However, I succeeded and here it is... After a 7 day hiatus, I felt my hand eye coordination a bit off, as it usually is after a few days of not drawing.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Illustration Friday: Modify

It's been a while since I submitted something for IF. I thought I'd jump back into it with this week's theme of modify. It was a difficult task for me to do since I've been sketching a lot in my sketchbook from real life. But it's a good way to work this part of my brain.