Sunday, March 30, 2014

Water and Coffee

It was a beautiful day today. I had to get out and do an outdoor sketch to harken the arrival of true spring time weather (unfortunately it stayed pretty cool). I went down to the waterfront and walked along the Martin Goodman trail and saw a little patch of beach with some armour rock and a beautiful uprooted tree. Perfect subject matter for a sketch! I'll be returning to this spot to give the root another try.

I had to warm up after the beach sketch so I headed up Roncesvale to one of the many ubiquitous indie coffee shops, for a coffee, scone and some sketching.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Sketching While Waiting for a Dunlap Lecture

I got a chance to attend Neil DeGrasse Tyson's lecture the other day at the Convocation Hall of the University of Toronto. Since Dr. Tyson is kind of a big deal, the organizer's repeatedly reminded us to be there in advance and that any empty seats would be given away after a certain time if the ticket holders didn't show up in time. So I made sure to be there in advance and brought my sketchbook to do a bit of urban sketching while waiting for the lecture to start.

I first sketched the crowd and view from my seat. I was lucky to get a seat where I had a great view of the stage and screens. People around me were keeping busy playing guessing games, talking and watching videos of Tyson on their laptop. There ushers were making sure every seat were occupied. They did a good job organizing the crowd. Each areas were filled in sections as people came it. The main floor was filled before people were directed to the balconies.

The convocation hall has great architectural features. It has a cupola with interesting carvings around it. I attempted to reproduce one of them. On the right is one of the attendants who was reading from his tablet while waiting for the lecture to start. After the initial introduction, I switched to sketchnoting

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sketching at the Bedford Academy

Some members of the Toronto Urban Sketchers group got together for a brunch and sketch at Bedford Academy. We got a nice cozy spot where the temperature is above zero and there's a lot of natural sunlight. I attempted to take a picture of the room I sketched with my drawing but the reflected light was too bright to show the background. There was a group of four eating and talking together that I was able to capture. They seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Since we stayed there for a couple hours, I also got a chance to sketch a customer (on the left) who was very animated with during his conversation with his friend and had an interesting style. After they left I also captured one of the sketchers sketching (on the right) and bits of conversation we had during our session.

We had a great turnout and the sketchers did a great job capturing various elements of the pub as well as the group.

Monday, March 17, 2014

CSI Coffee Pub

Today I met with a couple people at  CSI Coffee Pub. They have a large open space with an interesting decor. One of the things that I like about the design of the space was the installation on the windows. Plants were suspended from the ceiling right in front of the windows in a nice grid of three columns and three rows. It looks like whoever installed this put careful thought on how to arrange the plants as the larger ones were aligned on the top and bottom row and the smaller ones were aligned in the middle row. It's a clever way to add plants and art in the room without taking any extra space. 

There was a lot of people working in the space. It seems like it's a popular spot to work in group. In front of me was a group of people seemingly working on solving a problem. Who knows, they might be working on the next big social media application

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Back Sketching at The Allan Garden

It's still cold outside in Toronto but at least we have the Allan Garden to be surrounded by plants. A group of us went there to sketch and were welcome by the beautiful smell of the flowers for the spring show. I spend most of my time in one area, interacting with the other sketchers and working on my plant sketching skills. It's a little overwhelming because there are so many plants and it's hard to know where to start and how much details to put in. It's still a fun exercise and I can already see improvements compared to my previous sketch from there. I'll probably go back and sketch there again.

Below are some of the sketches from the group using various mediums.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bloor Gladstone revisited, again.. for a third time.. maybe a fourth.

RGD HeadStart Conference 2014

I decided to attend RGD's HeadStart Conference to get some constructive feedbacks on my portfolio and also learn more about the graphic design industry.  The event was located at the Toronto Reference Library, a truly magnificent building with a tremendous sense of space.  I'm ashamed to say that this was the first time I've been inside this library.

My first session was the portfolio review.  I was assigned to Team-K, which consists of professionals: Andy Edgecombe, Emily Fung, and Philip Yan.  While talking to Philip Yan, he introduced me to the practice of sketchnoting, which is sketching the notes instead of jotting down the notes. Curious, I decided to attempt at this practice by doing sketchnoting in both seminars after my portfolio review.

I don't know if I succeeded, but I had a ton of fun doing different fonts and drawing the panelists while listening to their sound advices.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tequila Bookworm

I host a creative gathering called "Simply Sunday" every other sunday. The location changes every time, and this past week we met at Tequila Bookworm on Queen St. West. The interior was cozy and colourful, and on a whim I skipped the ink and went directly to my paintbrush. It was so fun and felt so free that I think I might be putting away my fountain pen for awhile.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simply Sundays

I spent two hours today with a group of like minded creatives at the Tequila Bookworm. Some sketched, others braided. It was nice to meet some new faces.
The main subject (i forgot her name) of this sketch was braiding, i think a wrist bracelet.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Sign of Spring

As I was looking for something different to sketch this month, I remembered the EDM Challenge from Danny Gregory. It would be good for me to participate as a simple way to practice sketching everyday with watercolors. So starting on Day 59, the only sign of spring I  can find around in this unusually cold weather in Toronto is the bits of yellow-brown grass peaking through the melted snow from previous warmer days. The only green comes from this old lump sided pine tree. I think it got damaged during the ice storm. Most of the branches on the left side are gone. I'm looking forward to warmer weather.