Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sketching in the Subway on a Cold Winter Day


Despite the extreme cold temperature warning in the city, a couple of urban sketchers left their warm cozy home to go sketch people in the subway. We had a great turnout and a lot of great sketches of people riding the subway on a frigid Sunday afternoon. Torontonians don't usually get temperatures below -20 degrees C, so it was interesting to capture the various ways they bundled up to protect themselves from the cold. Tuques, caps, hooddies, puffy jackets and lots of layers were popular today. An interesting fact that we discussed while observing passengers, is that most people wear black or grey coats. There's not a lot of bright colours for outerwears in the city other than the occasional red Canada Goose Jackets. I wonder if wearing bright colours in winter would bring a bit more smile on people's faces. As you can see in the photos below, many riders seemed rather miserable. 






Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sketching at Bampot

A couple of us went back to Bampot for another session of sketching while sipping tea since everyone had a great time the first time we sketched there. It was the perfect day to sketch indoors. This time the place was packed, but it turned out great and we ended up having great conversations during our time there. The resulting sketches, as shown here, were very impressive.  It's always a pleasure to see such great talent. 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Sketching at the AGO

Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario


A couple of us went to the AGO to sketch some of the art on display from one of their permanent collections. There's quite a lot to see at the AGO, so we mostly focused on the artwork in the Henry Moore Sculpture centre and the "African room". For some reason, there's no name associated with this room on the map but it looks like most were donated by Dr. Murray Frum. 

The results from this little sketching session are quite fabulous. Most stayed in the area and created great renditions of the what you see inside and outside the AGO's second floor. Some also ventured into other floors and discovered great little gems throughout the gallery. 

Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario


I decided to stay in the African room and drew three of the sculptures and masks exhibited. Since we're not allowed to use watercolour in most room, I used an Derwent Inktense pencil (introduced to my by a fellow sketcher not too long ago) and added colour later on at home. I love using this pencil. They are water-soluble and lately far I've been using a black ones to created the shaded area almost like an under painting, and added watercolour after that on top of it. There wasn't a lot of information on the sculptures and the masks other than the material they were made out of, where it came from and what it was. I guess I've been spoiled touring some of the museums and galleries in DC, but it would be great to know what was their purpose was and what they represented at the time the were made. 
Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, African Sculpture Toronto Urban Sketchers, TOUSK, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, African Sculpture

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sketching at The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar

Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art
Happy New Year! TOUSK started 2015 on a musical note by having its first sketching event at The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar. It's a great little restaurant, walking distance from Osgoode subway station which is perfect on a cold winter day, especially if you're not a fan of the cold.

Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art

15 of us gathered in the restaurant to sketch the live bands. The place was surprisingly packed for a Saturday afternoon. I had never been there before and wasn't sure what to expect, but thought it would be a great way to start the sketching year.  It was the perfect location to sketch in a warm and fun atmosphere. While we were there, the very entertaining Danny Marks and Friends were playing various classic oldies, including some songs from Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. It was great to see them interact with the audience, making jokes and taking song requests. It really added to the experience.

The second act was from bassist  Olivier Babaz and friends, who played cool jazz music and create a nice relaxed atmosphere. Everyone did a great job illustrating the musicians and the happy audience. All and all it was a great session and I suspect we'll be back.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the sketchers sketchbooks.
Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art, sketchbooks
Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art, sketchbooks 
Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art, sketchbooks
Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art, sketchbooks 
Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art, sketchbooks
Toronto Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketh, The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Live Band, Art, sketchbooks



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Subway sketching






I spent a few hours sketching people on the subway. Where else can you get so many models for just $3.00.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sketching the Line 2015


With all the construction going on on the subway line, I often have to take a shuttle bus instead to get to town, especially on Sundays. It's a little inconvenient, but at least there are shuttle buses and this time there was enough space to sit, so I decided to sketch some of the people in front of me. It's interesting to see how strangers sit next to one another sometime. In this case, the girl on the left was sitting as far away as possible to the guy on the right. I think she was so preoccupied by her phone, that sitting comfortably was not even a question. A older man was standing right near the door in front of them, I really like the contrast of his bright yellow cap and his fluffy grey curly hair. 

Speaking of sketching in public transits, Sketching the Line, an international exhibition of sketches of commuters by commuters, will be happening again next year. Earlier this year, Art In Transit featured 78 sketches drawn by 18 artists on screens in various Toronto subway stations, the Edmonton LRT, and the Calgary Airport. Some of the participants included fellow urban sketcher Richard Alomar and Jason Das from New York, as well as local artists Bobby Chiu, founder of Imaginism Studio. 

Art In transit is currently looking for more sketches for their second exhibition. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2015. If you're interested in participating visit their website to find out more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Public Sketchbook Project

toronto urban sketchers coffee shop

A couple weeks ago I discovered this neat little project curated by Above Ground Art Supplies store called the Public Sketchbook Project. They a sketchbook and all kinds of art material in various local coffee shops for people to sketch while they're having coffee. There was all kinds of interesting artwork in there already and I decided to add a little sketch of my own of the view from where I was sitting and a shameless plug for our sketching group.

toronto urban sketchers coffee shop
toronto urban sketchers coffee shop

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sketching at Bampot


Last weekend, a couple of us went sketching at Bampot Bohemian House of Tea. It's a very eclectic looking space with a lot of interesting things to draw and sketch. We had a great turnout and great sketches from everyone as you can see below.  I kept mine simple and sketched teapots and teacup on the table. I was more focused on talking and eating. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

45th World Wide Sketchcrawl : A Weekend in Ithaca, NY

A couple days ago, urban sketchers from Toronto, Kitchener, Montreal and New York got together for a weekend-long sketchcrawl in Ithaca, NY. The goal was to capture the beautiful scenery around the many falls and on the Cornell University campus.

On saturday morning, we managed to squeeze a couple outdoor sketches despite the rain on the first day. The scenery was breathtaking. A couple of us even sketched on the suspension bridge. It was an interesting experience as you can feel the bridge moving as people walks or job on the bridge. We then joined the rest of the sketchers, including some locals who found out about our little road trip and sketched with us for the day. Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

The weather was a little less cooperative in the afternoon. But I still got to sketch the statue of Andrew Dickson White, co-founder of Cornell University, located in front of the Goldwin Smith Hall. I had a "Truman Show moment" as I was contemplating sketching the surroundings of the statue : Just as I was thinking about whether I should continue or find an location indoors, a bell rang, the wind picked up and it started raining, like a carefully orchestrated scene. Weird. So we headed inside the building to continue our sketching session.  There were a couple interesting statues inside the building, named after a British historian and journalist who lived in Toronto.Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

On Sunday, the weather forecast was predicting freezing temperatures, so we changed our plans to sketch outdoors and opted for indoor locations. In the morning we went to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, which had a lot of interesting features, including a beautiful zen garden visible from inside the museum where I spent most of my time there sketching after taking a look at some of the artwork on one of the floors. We then moved on to the Museum of Earth in the afternoon, to sketch all kinds of interesting skeletons. Mine didn't quite fit the page properly, but next time I might use Marc Holmes' method of spreading the sketch over multiple pages got hid sketch of the whale's bonesToronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

I had a great time sketching. It was great meeting like minded people, making new friends in a new location and learning from each other during this trip. It's fascinating the amount of insight you get just from looking at what others are doing when it comes to sketching. We had such a good time that we're planning to do this again next year, probably a little earlier so that the temperature's a little more convenient for outdoor sketching. Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY ...