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 ...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A day around the waterfront

 Toronto's Union Station, the central transportation hub, that was modelled after New York's Grand Central Station.

Sketching some boats  down by the waterfront. Nothing like a stiff, cold wind up the pant leg to hasten the pen strokes.

A metal smith working on some jewelry at the Waterfront Centre's open air studio.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Celebrating Year 1

The Toronto Urban Sketchers group recently celebrated its first year anniversary. It seems like it wasn't that long ago that I created my first post on this blog hoping to meet local sketchers in my new home city.

For the event, we were fortunate to be able to get together at Station 477 for a night of food, drinks, sketchbook perusing and great conversations. We were also fortunate to receive several prizes from Above Ground Art Supplies, a local art supplies store whom we've recently partnered with and plan to work on great projects in the near future. Thanks to them, everyone who attended got a prize (sketchbook, pencil, pen, brushes, conté, etc).

Everyone had a great time. We also had a little slide show of our first year, displaying photos of our various events (shown below),  and started some discussions about what we could do for our second year.

I'm looking forward to year 2 and all the fun upcoming sketching projects. If you're in Toronto and are looking for a group of people to sketch with, I hope you join us.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

 Tim Hortons and smart phones... The only good thing about smart phones that it holds its users hypnotized while I sketch them.

Sketching a construction site on a cold afternoon. (I already miss you summer.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014


It's getting cold here in Hogtown, so I'm headed back to my tried, tested and true (and warm) sketching environs of the Bloor Gladstone library.

People sitting by the railing counter at the St. Lawrence Market.

Kensington Market

Thursday, October 2, 2014

1 Year, 325 members, 23 sketching meetups and 1 sketchcrawl

Almost a year ago, the Toronto Urban Sketchers had its first official meetup at a pub. A year later we have a growing community of over 300 members in our facebook group, 23 get togethers and 1 sketchcrawl under our belt. In order to celebrate this first milestone, we'll be organizing a little celebratory get together and talk about plans for our second year. We're currently looking for a sponsors to help make this a great night for the participants. For more details, you can contact me at mj[at]

A big thank you to our first ever sponsor and partner Station 477.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Toronto Antique Vintage Market

A couple of us went to check out the Toronto Antique Vintage Market, looking for some whimsical and colourful scenes to sketch. The market took place at the Queen Elizabeth building in the exhibition place. Despite being a small venue, there was plenty of interesting and colourful set ups to sketch. Had I known I would have gone on both days to sketch a little more. It's  a great event to practice editing when it comes to sketching on location. There's a lot to take in, so focusing on a few important subjects while ignoring or minimizing the presence of other subjects is important if we want to avoid putting too much on one page and creating a busy sketch.