Wednesday, September 30, 2009

sketchbook 30/09/09

I took advantage of a free pass I got for the Bata Show Museum. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I was really drawn to the native Indian footwear exhibit. The last time I spent this much time looking at shoes was when I was 10 (I think) when my mom had to get a new pair for a wedding… fortunately I didn't throw a fit this time.

As a side note the Bata Shoe Museum was designed by Moriyama Architects, a Toronto based firm. It's really an eye opener of a building. I've passed by it several times, but this was my first time going into it. The concept for the building was basing it on a shoe box (makes sense, right) with a lot of skewed cuts and angled walls to accommodate the programmatic aspects of a building.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sketchbook 29/09/09

I went to the newly renovated Bloor/Gladstone Library branch and it blew my mind away. It had a Indigo feel to it and there were big, orange, comfy seats to sit in on the second floor overlooking the 2 storey foyer area. I chose to sketch my fellow orange seat sitters and this is the result.

Random Thoughts

I did the Lola sketch yesterday but didn't feel the spread was finished. So I finished it with the first thing that came into my mnd: Run Lola Run and Franka Potente, the main character of that movie.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

sketchbook 27/09/09

Today was Toronto's Word on the Street. It's a books and magazine festival where authours, publishers and independents sell their books and magazines. It's also where authors have book readings of their most recent work. What was new this year, was the demo kitchen and this was where I drew this image of Marilyn Smith, a cookbook author, who demonstrated how to make chocolate chip muffins, a recipe in her most recent cookbook. She was informative with a lot of nutritional facts but also hilarious. She made the 45 minutes zoom by.

As a side note, due to the limited time that each author had on stage, it gave me a reason not to be so uptight about everything I put on the page. It simply was a case of slapping lines down and trying to get enough information down to convey what the space was like.

The crowd from above. Inevitably I attempt to draw every figure. Not the smartest approach to drawing crowds. I'll have to learn a better method of drawing large groups of people.

Author John Bemrose, reading an excerpt from his most recent book, "The Last Woman". I'm not a big literary reader, so he and his book were news to me, but it did give me a chance to sketch a person.

My father. He's the hardest person I've ever tried sketching and I'm still not happy with these images. I guess it's because I know what he looks like intimately and anything out of place in these images really is blown up in my mind.

Friday, September 25, 2009

sketchbook 25/09/09

As serendipity would have it, I was grabbing a drink with a friend right by the St.Lawrence Market tonight, so as sketching habit dictates, I went down a few hours earlier and sketched. I happened to find another like minded person and decided to sketch her while she was sketching a fish (i think). I never did get the opportunity talk to her because she left before I finished my drawing, but if mame, you do happen to stumble onto this blogger account and you are reading this, I thank you for not freaking out and being a perfect model for me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

sketchbook 24/09/09

Started a new sketchbook today and it's going to take a few days to get used to a new kind of paper.

I was wondering what kind of sketchbooks you all used? Any recommendations for a SB that takes watercolour and other wet mediums well?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The Ben Navaee Gallery holds free figure drawing classes every Wednesday night for two hours. Sounds like a deal to me!

It's been a while since I drew the human figure from a model and here are some of the less embarrassing pages I did tonight.

sketchbook 23/09/09

While waiting for the figure drawing class to start I had a coffee at the Tango Palace Coffee Company Cafe on Dundas East. Great little shop with a dark, wood paneled interior reminiscent Victorian interiors. Lots to draw and I'll be sure to get to figure drawing class a few hours earlier so i could sketch here again.

The last spread of my current sketchbook. A really quick sketch I did after Tango Palace and before figure drawing. I like it for some reason.

Monday, September 21, 2009

sketchbook 21/09/09

A rainy day in Toronto = a few hours in a coffee shop sketching. Happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

sketchbook 20/09/09

I didn't realize how much energy it takes to draw daily. I took yesterday off and it felt pretty good. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy drawing, and this is what I think I was meant to do, but damn, it's pretty energy consuming. However, I think like anything I want to do well, I have to practice. So I got back to drawing today.

Today I attended the West Queen West Art Crawl, a art show held in Trinity Bellwoods Park for the last 7 years. Artists of all stripes were selling their work during this two day event and I was totally impressed (and a bit disheartened) to see so many talented artists who call Toronto their home town.

However, in the background there was music constantly being played and I found out it was Mr. Something Something playing live, literally on Queen West. The group occupied two parking spaces along the street which they paid for and played for the Trinity Bellwood's crowd. Despite, the constant car and street car traffic that drove between the group and the audience, they were putting out an amzing energy. Front man Johan Hultqvist was a spastic (in a good way) dancer who engaged the audience and passing cars, when stopping for a red light, alike. Unfortunately my drawing fails to capture the energy of the afternoon. But you get the idea of what was happening.

Friday, September 18, 2009

sketchbook 03/09/09

Ok, so I received James Jean's latest book, Process Recess 3, The Hallowed Seam. It's a gorgeous collection of select pages from his sketch books. In fact, it's his work that inspired me to start drawing in a serious way with a regular ball point pen. Anyways, as an ode to him, I put away my micron pen and pulled out my papermate and sketched the interior of Wanda's Pie in the Sky Cafe, a place I sketched previously. As a side note, I had a delicious slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a nice dark coffee. Yum!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

sketchbook 17/09/09

Found a laneway near the dojo right before practice and I quickly put it down on paper. The monotone wash was my quick way of trying to capture the late afternoon shadows.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

sketchbook 16/09/09

West Queen West, Cork Town and Riverdale were some of the neighbourhoods I walked through to get to Leslieville. It's in the east part of the city which I haven't been to in quite a while. My original intention was to attend a free figure drawing class at a gallery, but apparently the model strained his back, and I didn't get the email notifying me of this. However, it gave me an opportunity to sketch in a new neighbourhood, which definitely has a grittier feel to it than my 'hood. I actually walked by someone being arrested for selling drugs...pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

sketchbook 15/09/09

Another day in sunny Toronto. I went down to Kensington Market, one of my usual haunts, and sketched Herbivore, a vegetarian restaurant. As I was staring at this building side, nothing of interest really jumped out at me about it and I was about to sketch something else. However, I guess, in the majority of my previous sketches I wanted to sketch some that was unique, something different. I had to remind myself that I probably won't be able to draw something different everytime and I resigned myself to draw this image and make it interesting to me in some way... the saying, if you're sitting, then you're drawing kept on popping into my head.

Shameless promotion

So I was notified yesterday that I was featured on I'm really happy about that, and I guess that was my 7.5 minutes of fame!

However, I soon got an email from the Harbourfront Centre, where I sketch quite often, that they had finally posted an image I had drawn of Nico and Rachel, two glass blowers, at work. I guess that was the second 7.5 minutes of fame.

Now it's back to drawing!

Monday, September 14, 2009

sketchbook 14/09/09

Today I had planned to go to a gallery a friend recommended, but they were closed and I found myself in the Yorkville area of the city. At this particular time of year, The Toronto International Film Festival is running, and this area is a known place for celebrity viewing. So why not! I returned to the Yorkville/Cumberland park and perched myself on the mammoth rock and sketched people from above. I did a previous sketch of the rock which you could view here.

As I was sketching a group of "kids" walked by the base of the rock and I heard my name called. It was Nadia. She was a former classmate and now professor of a studio group at the U of T's Faculty of Landscape Architecture. Ohhh, how we all grow up! Unfortunately, the "kids" didn't hold still for me, so they were left out of the final drawing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

sketchbook 13/09/09

I went to an open house for The School of Ballet Creole, a dance troop that centres around Caribbean, African and Contemporary dance forms. They were holding 50 minute sessions where anybody could join in and learn basic dance steps from each of the disciplines. Plus, they had live drummers for all the mini master classes. Quite powerful!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

sketchbook 12/09/09

As I was walking home without a sketch yet, I walked through Little Italy and passed by this cafe. It had a great big window out to the street and a few people sitting on the benches out front. No need to hit me over the head and tell me that was a sketching opportunity!

So I went in and discovered, through the numerous customers coming in, that this truly was a neighbourhood cafe. Gina, the counter woman pretty much knew all the names of the customers coming in and they her. She also added a few personal touches like giving a free canoli to a lady who was working in an adjacent restaurant or givng an extra helping of pasta salad to Ronald at no extra charge, who seemed like another local to the neighbourhood.

This definitely was a place where everybody knew your name.

Friday, September 11, 2009

sketchbook 11/09/09

This was my entry for this past week's Illustration Friday theme of "Strong", but I was a little too late with it so I'll just post it as a sketchbook entry.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sketchbook 10/09/09

I keep on passing Old City Hall, and I've always wanted to go in and check out the scene. This is where all the court cases are held and I thought it'd be a good opportunity to sketch... afterall, I do have a "captive" audience... (ouch, I just threw a "father" joke out there). The image I drew shows an undercover detective on the witness stand recounting how he set up a drug bust. Two men were were held for intent to traffic cocaine. Apparently, I caught the tail end of this cross examination from the accuseds' lawyer, which carried over from yesterday as well as three hours today. The lawyer went over every minute detail and I didn't realize how boring this was. Hollywood certainly has distorted reality.

Also, note to self: turn cell phone off unless you want a lecture from the judge and stares from everyone else.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

sketchbook 09/09/09

Sketching at Dufferin Mall today and I forgot how many older, retired gentlemen go there and chew the fat with each other. Prime sketching territory.

Monday, September 07, 2009

sketchbook 07/09/09

Trying to get through this sketching rut, I throwing in some acrylic painting into the mix. I've used it before, however, this is the first time I attempted to use it in a painterly way.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sketchbook 06/09/09

Been in a rut lately and to me everything I put on paper doesn't pop out to me. However, the only way out of a rut is to keep on drawing.

Friday, September 04, 2009

sketchbook 04/09/09

I'm always interested and curious to see what other people's work space loosk like. So instead of taking a photo (I can't anyways because my camera is busted), i thought i'd draw my space where all the magic happens. Plus I didn't have a chance to sketch on site today, so i copped out with a home image. ;-)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

sketchbook 02/09/09

Toronto is experiencing a bit of an Indian summer. People were out and about in Kensington Market and many stopped by this particular fruit/vegetable vendor.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

sketchbook 01/09/09

I had no intention to sketch two forms of transportation, but they were the most interesting things I saw today.