Wednesday, March 31, 2010

sketchbook 03/31/10

This is the last image I drew for today at the Yonge/Dundas Square. It's the major open space in downtown toronto and what you're looking at is the north west corner. It's really grown on Torontoians and it's home to free open air concerts, farmers market's and great spot to sit and people watch.
Trying another drawing without the micron pen. Poor planning resulted in the lady in the foreground painted rather harshly on an established background. Kinda like the effect though.

Warm up sketched at the ROM.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Over two days, I drew a few heads. The one on the left was done during my 15 minute break. I find it's a good way to draw quickly and with a little abandon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Orange Alert cafe

Well another day, another cafe. The jury's still out on this one. i know I don't love it, nor do I really hate it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Keyhole Sessions

Another frisky night at the Keyhole Sessions.

Green Beanery coffee house

Another installment to my coffee house series. What I didn't capture was the other half of this interior. They sold every piece of coffee equipment you could imagine to make, drink and play with coffee.

sketchbook 03/23/10

I returned to Balzac's and sketched on the second floor.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Keyhole Sessions

Another great, colourful night sketching at the Keyhole Sessions.

sketchbook 03/17/10

It was such a warm, beautiful day today, that I had to get out there and draw. I decided on the round house down by the lakeshore. It once was the building that housed all the trains during our "golden age" of train use. However, now the building itself houses a brewery in the east part of the structure and a furniture store in the west. I'm not complaining about the brewery but the furniture store decided to wreck a beautiful, industrial, concrete silo with their name perched onto top of it...Whatever happened to tasteful, subtle design? The drawing captures the bottom portion of the silo but fortunately my non-existent sense of proportion allowed for the omission of the name.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cafe Bernate

One of the grand dames of the West Queen West neighbourhood, Cafe Bernate has been around since 1991. One real cool feature of this place is the concrete counter that the owner had poured himself. It's embedded with various items like keys, shells and even a bottle. Very cool.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

sketchbook 03/10/10

I ventured down to the St. Lawrence Market and three separate people said sorry when I asked them if I could sketch them. What was really funny was the second lady. When I asked her she immediately put her hand to her hair and started preening it self consciously. Hilarious! So I was left with sketching people from the back.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

sketchbook 03/09/10

This is Pedro, a regular at the Starbucks I work at. He typically orders a tall hot chocolate with whip cream, but not tonight. He opted for Jone's root beer. Must be the spurt of warm weather we've had recently.

The Keyhole Sessions

Warm-up sketches.

The Keyhole Sessions are an on going figure drawing class that occurs every Tuesday night at 8pm. It's advertised as "Not your grandma's life-drawing session" and rightly so. I attended tonight's session and Mara and Mattea were the models for the evening. Their poses were provocative and to some, could be considered a bit racy. However, I found them to be refreshing, a nice change from the traditional stuff done in academic type figure drawing sessions. So here are a few pages from tonight.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Alternative Grounds Revisited.

As promised I returned to Alternative Grounds, an indy coffee house in the Roncesvalle neighbourhood, which I had sketched previously and this time in an attempt to grab a seat that would afford a window view. However, the coffee gods were not on my side and I had to grab a chair in the backroom. Despite the lack of a window view, there was this great chair that I was able to sketch. Right as I was settling down to sketch it, the occupant of the chair got up and left. I think she was nervous being the centre of my attention.

Monday, March 01, 2010

sketchbook 4x3

I've realized something drawing the cafe images. I get pretty uptight using the micron pen and it definitely translates into the line work. No fluidity and looseness at all. So to combat my nervousness using the micron I decided today that my sketches would be based on quantity versus quality. So here are 12 images I drew over the course of the day. The first 9 are images drawn at the Future bakery and the last 3 are drawn at the Royal Ontario Museum. It was a great challenge for me to be loose at the ROM because everything I've done up to this point at that location has been pretty tight. I actually caught myself a few times tightening up. The image I like the most is the buddha because it's the least favourite of the lot. It's so unlike my style that it makes me cringe and I think doing something that is outside of my comfort level will eventually help me expand my repertoire.

El Almacen

El Almacen, in Spanish, means a general store. Silvio, the proprietor of this new cafe along the Queen west strip was kind enough to talk to me about what made this place stand out from the other indy cafes in Toronto, even though it's only about a month old. The draw of this cafe is its mate in a gourd tea. Mate is a tea that has a lot of medicinal value to it and traditionally it's drunk from a gourd. Not to slap tradition in the face, I did just that and sat at El Almacen for a few hours sipping this tea while sketching this place.

The gourds can be seen on display on the two shelves in this image. According to the small leaflets available at the cafe the mate tea's benefits include:
1. It has the same amount of caffeine as coffee but doesn't have the same side effects like jitters and yellow teeth.

2. It makes you look younger. It has antioxidants and a higher concentration of polyphenols (a strong antioxidant)

3.Boosts the immune system

4. Helps you loose weight. (I don't think I need to loose anymore weight)

5. You look cool drinking the tea straight from the gourd. (That's why so many ladies were staring at me...I was cool)