Monday, November 21, 2016

A New Project: Sketching For The Ottawa Wrench

My sketch entitled "Broke Not Broken" (pen and ink)
I am excited to be working on a new project with some great Ottawa folks who have established a street paper in Ottawa called "The Wrench".

When I recently read in the Metronews that the paper had only just begun, I wrote to the organizers and told them that I was an urban sketcher and that I was very inspired by the work of Washington Post graphics editor/illustrator/artist Richard Johnson and especially his series on "The Invisible"

 Artist Richard Johnson's Series "The Invisible"

This sketch by artist Richard Johnson as part of Washington Post series "The Invisible"

This sketch by artist Richard Johnson as part of Washington Post series "The Invisible"
(NB: "Street Sense" is a Washington, D.C.-based 16-page bi-weekly street newspaper that was founded in 2003)

I volunteered to create sketches in the style of Richard Johnson's and/or sketch anything else that they might need for their paper. This led to a meeting at The Well the following week where I received a list of the planned stories for the November 2016 and January 2017 issues.

I am happy to report that the November issue is now off to be printed and you will be able to find it on the streets at the end of this week.

I am looking forward to contributing more of my sketches to this great project in the future.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Starting A New Moleskine

My daughter loves Moleskine journals. She is a writer (and artist) and has been buying this brand of journal for as long as I can remember. I had never owned one!?

A page from my last Moleskine sketchbook ( a gift from my daughter) and the new one

My daughter bought me a small purse-sized watercolour sketchbook (Christmas 2014) and last Christmas (2015) she bought me my first large Moleskine sketchbook.

It was perfect-sized (5" x 8 ¼") for my small sketch bag and I used it to experiment and play with my new Noodlers inks and fountain pens (Noodlers and Lamy) and to focus on creating more black and white sketches.

I used the sketchbook to sketch out in the field and at home. I used pencil, ink, watercolour and gouache and it handled all of them surprisingly well.

This Moleskine features:
  • 104 pages
  • 111 lb. acid-free paper
  • an expandable inner pocket
I thought I would scan and share some of my favourite pages here.

B&W coffee shop sketch and W/C photo sketch
Both of these double-page scans (above and below) show sketches done:
  • in the field (sitting in a coffee shop and waiting in my car at the Riverside hospital)
  • from a photo at home (a photo texted to me of me walking my dog Lexie and a photo I took of a window washer from my car)

B&W Riverside hospital and W/C pencil sketch of window washer

I didn't scan all of the pages in my Moleskine sketchbook but picked some of my favourites and sorted them into four categories
  • "Black and White" (B&W) 
  • "Watercolour" (W/C) and or "Gouache"
  • "Bike and Sketch" 
  • "Hospital" sketches. (I spent a LOT of time in hospitals in 2016) 

Black and White Sketches

I tweeted the sketch below ( of a lecture that I attended at the Library and Archives Canada with Guy Berthiaume and Jacques Godbout done with Noodlers Lexington Gray ink.

Guy Berthiame and Jacques Godbout sketch at LAC
I did the sketch below while I was waiting at the Ottawa VIA rail station and this sketch demonstrates one of the things I like most about my Moleskine - it's size is quite inconspicuous and perfect for sketching people in public!

Waiting for my train at the Ottawa VIA rail station
I loved doing the sketch below from a photo taken by Ottawa historian/photographer Christopher Ryan  of the Ottawa snow storm. I used the Lexington Gray Noodlers ink and a white gel pen.

Ottawa Snow Storm Feb 17, 2015
 The sketch below was done from a photo of my daughter and our yellow Labrador retriever when she was a puppy

"Puppy Love"

The page on the left below was done from a photo that I took of the never-ending construction in my neighbourhood. ( The sketch on the right was done while waiting in the Passport office - a wait that was MUCH shorter than I thought it would be. (Sketchbooks are great for places where you think you will be waiting a LONG time!) 

Construction in my neighbourhood and the Passport office.
Double page scan of more B&W sketches
Double page scan of more B&W sketches
Double page scan of more B&W sketches

Colour Sketches 

I love sketching "Pets In Windows" and, in this case, on balconies. These cannot really be done in person because standing outside someone's window with a pencil and sketchbook would be super creepy. So they are all done from photographs.

Pets on Balconies

The sketch below was done from photograph that I took at the Byward market. I had "gessoed" the page to take gouache and it really got quite sloppy and awful at one point but I persevered and I'm happy with the result.

Trying to add gesso to the Moleskine - the Byward Market, Ottawa
Loved making this sketch below while all of my ingredients were getting prepared to make my favourite Butternut Squash soup recipe

BEST Butternut Squash soup recipe!

My Moleskine flower sketch

Spring blossoms

My old red Kodiaks

My Messy Corner

Bike and Sketch


My New Ride

My first "Bike and Sketch" (Ottawa River)

My Hospital Sketches

The Groggy Patient

Having a Chai tea at the Riverside hospital
I hope you enjoyed this small sample of my Moleskine sketches from 2016. I am looking forward to starting my new Moleskine sketchbook today!