Monday, December 30, 2013


Spending a few hours alone with Frizzzbee last week finally broke my dry drawing spell, and the closest things lying around were a ballpoint pen and a paper bag.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wanda's Pie in the Sky. Kensington Market

I stopped by to pick up a Lemon meringue pie for tomorrow's Christmas dinner with the family and I decided to sketch a bit. A small space but really nice to sketch in, if you like sketching people pretty much face to face.

Anyways, here's my last entry the night before Christmas. Merry Christmas, Toronto Urban Sketchers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jet Fuel Cafe on Parliment

A nice americano and and hour of drawing before I had to meet a friend. Next time I'll come in a bit earlier so I could finish the sketch.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Art Battle

I attended the Holiday Art Battle and did a little urban sketching while on site. The event took place at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse, which is a beautiful space. The canvas were bigger than the ones in the previous Art Battle event I attended a couple weeks before, so we only got to vote once. Once again, it was great to see live painting and how each artist had their own painting strategies to tackle such a bit canvas in 45 minutes. Some started by tracing an outline, some started with shading and others went straight for the background first. After the painting session, the artwork were auctioned off to the public. The winning art piece sold for $1100. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Toronto Holiday Comicon

I found out through a fellow sketcher that there was going to be a Toronto mini Comicon for the holidays, so a couple of us went out on Sunday to check it out. I figured it would be a great opportunity to sketch fun costumes, and it was. There was all kinds of costumes from the very simple to the intricate. I saw many known characters like Sailor Moon, Batman (he was uber tall), Dr Zoidberg, Picard, Poison Ivy and a couple unique and personalized characters like pink spiderman and a creepy realistic zombie in a wheel chair. It was fun to see various characters walking around the convention centre, checking out the items for sale and taking pictures. It's impressive to see their level of creativity especially considering those made by hand. 

I  was able to draw a few of the people sitting around or standing long enough for me to capture them. There was so much more to draw! I saw a lot of creative and talented people in this conferences. It's definitely a feast for the eyes and something that I will do again, perhaps for the annual ComiCon in March

Monday, December 9, 2013

TOUSK Meetup #6 : Balzac Coffee

Toronto Urban Sketchers | Coffee Balzac at the Distillery District

The plan for our 6th meetup was to go sketch the Christmas Market at the Distillery District, but we were so cozy and comfortable at our meeting point,  Balzac Coffee Shop ,  that we decided to stay and sketch there the entire time. Despite the place being packed due to the holiday attractions all ten of us managed to find a nice spot on the second floor. It gave us a great opportunity to get a birds eye view of the space.

This coffee shop has a lot of character and interesting vignettes to sketch. I managed to capture various groups of people enjoying a hot drink after waiting in line forever. I felt bad for the staff, they were going non stop.  The coffee machine just couldn't keep up with the volume order fast enough. While I was waiting for my drink, I took the opportunity to sketch the sweets on the counter and a portion of the only coffee machine. The staff was moving too fast for me to capture them.

It was great to see all the sketches from the other artists. It always amazes me to see the variety of subjects that can come out of a single location.  
Toronto Urban Sketchers | Coffee Balzac at the Distillery District

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Steam Whistle Brewing at The Roundhouse Park

Originally this was not my choice of subject.  I was going for the John Street Roundhouse, which is a preserved locomotive roundhouse home to the Toronto Railway Museum at the Roundhouse park.  They have a collection of trains positioned around the park, and I was drawing one of the featured train with the Roundhouse as the background.

But since I only have a couple hours after work to get to the location and sketch before the sun goes down, I only managed to finish sketching half of the train.  When I went back for a second session another day, I realized something was off. The featured train doesn't look like the one I was drawing before, and then I realized that the park actually rotates the trains around, so it has a different configuration every day.  The train I was drawing was no where to be found.

Not to waste precious hours before the sun sets, the Steam Whistle Brewing tower with the featured railroad alert sign is what I have decided to draw instead.

There are lots to do and sketch around the Roundhouse Park, here is the wiki page to provide more information about the park:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TOUSK Meetup #5 : Union Station and Subway

On our 5th meetup, we first went to the Union train station. It's a beautiful space with lots of great architectural details. I could spend hours sketching in this space. We had planned to go to the Skywalk as well but it didn't work out that day. There was way too many people for our group to comfortably find a spot to sketch, so we went back to the union station for a little more sketching before heading towards the subway station to meet the Toronto Subway Sketch Group. It was really fun and we had a great turnout. It was funny to see the reaction of some people entering our cabin and seeing a couple of us with our sketchbooks sketching people.  I managed to do a couple sketches, but I always wish I had done more :) 

We're lucky to have Mei, who's also a photographer, in our group. She took quite a few awesome photos  of us during the event. Check out her facebook page ( to see more from our latest meetup as well as several other sketching events and her own sketches. 

Our next meetup will take place at the Toronto Christmas Market on December 7. Then, the next day we'll join Sketching Around the City to sketch at the University of Toronto Campus downtown.