Saturday, October 18, 2014

 Tim Hortons and smart phones... The only good thing about smart phones that it holds its users hypnotized while I sketch them.

Sketching a construction site on a cold afternoon. (I already miss you summer.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014


It's getting cold here in Hogtown, so I'm headed back to my tried, tested and true (and warm) sketching environs of the Bloor Gladstone library.

People sitting by the railing counter at the St. Lawrence Market.

Kensington Market

Thursday, October 2, 2014

1 Year, 325 members, 23 sketching meetups and 1 sketchcrawl

Almost a year ago, the Toronto Urban Sketchers had its first official meetup at a pub. A year later we have a growing community of over 300 members in our facebook group, 23 get togethers and 1 sketchcrawl under our belt. In order to celebrate this first milestone, we'll be organizing a little celebratory get together and talk about plans for our second year. We're currently looking for a sponsors to help make this a great night for the participants. For more details, you can contact me at mj[at]

A big thank you to our first ever sponsor and partner Station 477.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Toronto Antique Vintage Market

A couple of us went to check out the Toronto Antique Vintage Market, looking for some whimsical and colourful scenes to sketch. The market took place at the Queen Elizabeth building in the exhibition place. Despite being a small venue, there was plenty of interesting and colourful set ups to sketch. Had I known I would have gone on both days to sketch a little more. It's  a great event to practice editing when it comes to sketching on location. There's a lot to take in, so focusing on a few important subjects while ignoring or minimizing the presence of other subjects is important if we want to avoid putting too much on one page and creating a busy sketch.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sketching at the Harbourfront, the Sculture Garden and the Roundhouse Park

I've been pretty busy the past couple weeks and didn't get a chance to post about our sketching outings over the past couple weeks. We visited the Harbourfront, the Toronto Sculpture Garden and the Roundhouse Park.

The Harbourfront
There is a lot of interesting things to sketch at the Harbourfront. Despite being a gray day, we had enough time to spend a little time outside to sketch the many view from the  harbor before rain came pouring down on us. Member of the Kitcherner sketching group came to sketch with us as well, which was nice. There was a lot of activity going on that day and free food sample from a festival going on at the time.

Toronto Sculpture Garden 
We had a beautiful day for the sketching event at the Toronto Scuplture Garden. The garden is a great initiative between the city of Toronto and the Louis L. Odette family, giving artist an opportunity to experiment with public space since 1971. The artwork currently exhibited is by Jed Lind and is called Gold, Solver & Lead made with first generation Honda Civics. An archive of previous work is available on the Toronto Scuplture Garden website.

CN Tower
A couple of us met at the Rounhouse park to sketch the CN tower and the Toronto Railway Museum. Unfortunately that day was a little cold so we didn't spend a lot of time outside. Still, we got a moment of sunshine that gave us enough time to complete at least one sketch. Then we headed over to a local coffee shop to continue sketching. This is the time of year where it's hard to predict the weather and we'll probably be mostly sketching inside until next spring, but seeing how beautiful the weather has been this past few days, we might get a couple more opportunities to sketch outdoors before winter.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Perfect day at Distillery District

After a relatively long hiatus from urban sketching, I spent a lovely afternoon at the Distillery District listening to live music and did a couple sketches.  The first one was a loose sketch on my watercolor moleskine, trying to capture Melody Fair - the group that was singing live.  The second one was a more detailed sketch of a cute little shop done on the watercolor postcard paper.

While sketching the cute little shop, I had a sudden feeling that I was in Europe - sketching on the streets filled with people, historic architecture, lovely art displays, and live music - It was the perfect day for me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sketching at the Distillery District

We had an amazing turnout for the Distillery District meetup. It was probably the largest gathering to date for our group, with close to 30 people showing up. We even had a visitor from Germany! It was great to see all the sketchers and learn from each other about various tools and methods used. Fortunately the weather cooperated so despite the cloudy sky, it was nice enough to sit outside and illustrate the many stories happening in the district.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sketching in the Cemetery

A couple weeks ago we ventured to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, one of the oldest in the city and National Historic Site of Canada since the year 2000. The site is huge and filled with interesting architectures, sculptures and gardens. It's a popular place for locals to walk their dog, cycle and jog. We were fortunate to have a perfect sunny day for sketching. As a result, the sketchers were very prolific and produced a lot of great sketches as you can see below. Despite spending the entire afternoon there, we barely scratched the surface of great subjects to sketch. We stayed on the older side which contains mostly older christian tombs dating back from the 19th century. Perhaps we'll have to go back again to visit the other side which is a little more modern and includes fountains.

Friday, July 4, 2014

We spent a lovely Canada Day long weekend in Kemptville, just south of Ottawa. It's pretty hard to sketch outside when you're scratching and swatting bugs left and right. I returned to Toronto with about 50 mosquito bites.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wicked Cafe, Vancouver, Canada.

I know, I know. Technically this shouldn't be here, because I did it in Vancouver instead of Toronto. But I thought I'd give you full disclosure.