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.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

One Car Two FIFA Teams



I spotted a parked car, the other day, from a family displaying their support for two countries competing at the FIFA World Cup. I'm assuming it's a family based on the stick figure stickers on the rear window. I was too far to see the details of it, but most likely it belongs to two parents and a couple kids, maybe with a pet. It seems to be a trend to showcase who the owners of the car are by displaying personalized stickers in the back.

This particular car had two Italian flags attached to the side of it. And as I was sketching the car, I noticed that the front was blue instead of red like the rest of the car and realized that it was most likely an Australian flag that they managed to attached to the hood of the car. To me, this is a perfect representation of the diversity and openness of our city. You can support different teams and still get along.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sketchbook, the St. Lawrence Market.


Some sketching down at the St. Lawrence with a friend. 
(I depicted her with football line backer shoulders, but I assure you she's a lot more slender than that).


Sketching some St. Lawrence MArket people. Actually having sketched these people, it sparked a potential idea for my next set of paintings. What do you think of closely cropped images of people eating?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Balcony of a FIFA England Fan


There's a worldwide sketching challenge going on right now with Urban Sketchers to cover the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Since it's an international event that connects us all in a way, I thought it would be fun to participate.

My first finding is this decorated balcony from England fans, ready for the game. They even added red and white flowers matching the colour of the flag. I wonder if they were chosen this way or if it's a coincidence. Out of hundreds of balconies in that area, it is currently the only visible flag from that side of the building. The games officially start tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if more flags show up as the game starts. 

I'm not too big on sports but from my understanding,  Canadians are typically more into hockey than soccer. However, since Toronto is a very multicultural city with Canadians having roots in all corners of the world,  I wouldn't be surprise to see flags from various countries appearing throughout the city. I might have to look at different neighbourhoods to see different flags, but I'll try to keep and eye open and my sketchbook at hand to capture the effect the this years world cup in Toronto. If you're curious to see what other sketchers around the world are capturing, search for  #UskWorldCup in various social medias and if you happen to be sketching and posting something related to the world cup, make sure to use that hashtag as well. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sketching at Nathan Phillips Square



Last weekend, we headed over to Nathan Phillips Square, an urban plaza in the city nestled between the new city hall and the old city hall, to sketch the area. It's a great gathering place with tons of event going one and interesting details to sketch such as a reflecting pool and fountain, a stage, sculptures and a variety of architectural buildings and features.

Fortunately this time we had a beautiful sunny day so we were able to stay all days sketching various interesting points of view. I mostly focused on the old city hall located across the street. Build in the late 1800's, its architecture is of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, full of intricate details. The more I looked at it, the more I discovered interesting details. No wonder it took 10 years to build!
We had a great turnout and lots of great sketches from the participants as shown above. It's definitely a place I would go back to sketch again.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park


I made a quick trip to New York this past week, and we took a leisurely saturday wandering around Brooklyn.  Here is the Manhattan skyline, as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park. What a gorgeous day it was to lie on the grass and paint.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sketching at High Park


I was hoping to see the famous cherry blossoms at High Park during our sketching session, but the heavy rain fall from the previous days and the unusually cool temperatures of the past few weeks have considerably reduce the volume of flowers in the trees this year. So it's not as spectacular as it could be but it was still nice to be in the park and take in the scenery. There were a few petals on the ground and a fewer flowers holding on to the trees. It was interesting to see the amount of people taking pictures along the path.

Today was a particularly cold day and, despite our good intentions, it was just too cold to spend the whole day sketching outdoor. I managed to sketch a view of the pond with a little cherry tree closer to the pond. The tree was more green then pink, but still attracted a good amount of photographers and models. Some even picked up petals from the ground and threw them in the air to simulate petal falling from the sky.

After about an hour and a half, we called it quits and decided to look for a warmer place to sketch. According to the Sakura Cherry Blossoms website, this long weekend is the last chance to see them in full bloom as more rain is expected in the next couple day, most likely knocking out the remaining flowers. I guess I'll have to wait until next year to experience this display of natural beauty the as shown in the video below from last year.