Sunday, October 27, 2013

Candies and pumpkins

I had a bit of time while waiting for our food at the local butcher shop to sketch the little display they had for halloween on their display tables. It was very simple but cute : a couple small pumpkins, dried corns and candies in an aluminum tray. It's interesting to see the color variation of pumpkins. I particularly like the one on the far left. It  reminds me of the changing colors of tree leaves in the fall : from green to orange.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bits and Pieces from the Toronto Subway

I often don't have time to sketch people while in the subway as they move around and don't necessarily stay put or stay visible long enough to do a proper sketch. It was a little frustrating at first, then I started to do little vignettes of details, not really worrying about being able to draw everything. As long as I get to draw a piece of something : a shoe, a hat, a pair of glasses, a cup of coffee, etc. Put together, they strangely tell a story about the people who regularly take the subway and perhaps their fashion sense.

It's interesting how some sketches still tell a story, or at least a hint of a story, like the guy on the top left who was reading with his sunglasses on. Was he really reading? Could he really see the words on the page or was he just faking it?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

High Park

 High Park is one of my favourite drawing destinations. I'm so glad I was able to meet some fellow sketchers there on Sunday, just before the weather turned. While the people strolling by Grenadier Pond look bundled up in coats and sweaters, the sunshine made it feel more like a warm Spring day than October.


Having arrived super late for our first USK Toronto meeting, I wanted to get as many sketches in as possible before the group dispersed for the evening. Here are some of my fellow sketchers ( I managed to get all but one). Turns out I could have taken more time - people were still drawing when I left for home.

Monday, October 21, 2013

High Park

This weekend, a couple sketchers met at High Park to do a little bit of sketching. Luckily, the weather was nice and comfortable enough to draw and paint outside. It's was my first time visiting High Park, which is located on the west side of the city and walking distance from the subway. Toronto never ceases to amaze me with the amount of green spaces you can find right in the city. This park is huge! There were so many great scenes to sketch, I barely scratched the surface that day. I spent most of my time near the giant Grenadier Pond, watching people walking by with their family and friends. It was a very relaxing area. I will have to come back again at some point to explore the park a little more.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bata Shoe Museum

Last week I joined some fellow sketchers at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. I became a bit obsessed with the high heels.

Some of the pieces, like the satin bejewelled Roger Vivier pair, were very architectural. The 1920's T-strap features intricate cut-work and hand-stitched detailing on the 'vamp' (upper top) and toe box. Another earlier example mixes tartan fabric and leather, dyed mauve. It's doubtful many women could have afforded such luxuries.

Toronto Urban Sketchers inaugural meet-up

I thought it was appropriate to start my first post here with my sketch from the inaugural meet-up of the Toronto USKers this past Thursday.  It was absolutely delightful to see everyone immediately whip out their sketchbooks and materials and get right down to drawing. Our waiter didn't even bat an eye!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Second lunch at Rice Factory

I missed Toronto USK meet-up but I had a strong intention to make it. Obstacles, obstacle...
Anyway, a couple of day before I visited that magic lunch place I've discovered recently and it brings me a new discovery!

Bistro has a golden fish pool with a fountain in it's patio!.  All that in the middle of the urban fabric full of midweek-day's razzle-dazzle... Dzen galore! 
I think I became a lunch a food sketcher. Though it's also considerate as urban but still...

Friday, October 11, 2013

My laundrymat

It's not the typical Urban sketch fare. It's not glamourous. It's not famous. It's my laundrymat in the west end of the city. What they do offer is a never ending stream of 80's hits over the sound system... score!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bata Shoe Museum

I went out with some fellow urban sketchers from Toronto and Kitchener to do some sketches at the Bata Shoe Museum. It was very interesting to see all the different shapes of shoes, read the history behind their design and visually get to walk in other people's shoes. I never realize how much shoes can tell a story before this. I managed to draw four shoes from various parts of the world and various time in history.
The Paduka from India looked very uncomfortable. I can't imaging having these large knobs between your toes and lighting all that weight with your toes. They were used by people in the upper-class.

Lotus feet, which are very small feet that have been prevented from growing through foot binding, used to be a coveted feature on women back in the days in China. The method used for foot binding was a little creepy. Grown adults essentially had baby feet with only one toe. As a results, they needed special shoes and the shoes that were made for these women were very small. It's quite something to see. The shoes were typically designed by the person who wore the shoes. This one was very intricate. 

I really like the Apache boots with all the symbols created with beads. They are really works of art. It must have taken quite a bit of time to put together because the beadwork was very intricate. All the colored parts are rows of beads arranged in a way to create various patterns and shapes. These boots look like the most comfortable.

I had 30 minutes left before closing so I decided to drawn something simple : clogs. I always wondered why would people want to wear heavy flat wooden shoes like clogs. I learned that they were created for gardeners for them to smooth the ground after they had sown seeds. The more pointy clogs, with the upturned toe, was used by fishermen. The pointed part was used to catch the net with the shoe to allow the fisherman to use both this hands to repair his fishnet while the show would hold the net. Neat, isn't it? 

At the end, we got together to check out each other's drawing. It's one of my favorite thing to do when going sketching with a group. I get to see things that I missed (it's fascinating to see what attract other people's eyes in the same environment), learn about new techniques, new materials, get inspired to try different things, etc. To me, it's one of the major benefit from sketching in group. There's always something to share and something to learn, no matter what your skill level is. This time, I learned about stone paper. I'd never heard of that before. It's paper made out of stone and a bonding agent. The surface is very smooth and the paper is heavier. I'll have to try it at some point. I also saw what kind of pen was good to use on colored paper, which is also something I'd like to play with in the future. All in all, it was a great session. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Bloor Gladstone Library

I love going to the Bloor Gladstone library to sketch people. If you're into people sketching and having them move minimally, this is your place! What wasn't captured in this drawing was the man sitting in the next seat to me humming and swaying to himself. Gotta love the characters you can find in this library!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I'm Eugene, the one who created and published "Toronto Graffiti" - Travel Sketch Book Combination of an urban sketch book and comic book. You can have a look at the first part here:

Shame of me that I never completed the second part and never published the whole HC issue. May be later.

That doesn't mean I stopped sketching. I still do. I try to sketch all the time. Best of all I succeeded to sketch during my lunch time. Here for instance my latest sketch of the patio at Chai bar - marvelous place at Dupont and Spadina area:

Unfortunately the first September rain doesn't allow me to finish sketch and my lunch. I have to go there again!