Urban Sketchers Montreal workshop

Marc doing a drawing demo of the Maisonneuve statue on Place d'Armes.

Marc doing a drawing demo of the Maisonneuve statue on Place d’Armes.

Today was day 1 of Watercolor Sketching in Historic Montreal with Marc Taro Holmes and Shari Blaukopf. I was lucky enough to attend and I got to hang out with Marc and Laurel Holmes and a group of amazingly smiling and enthusiastic urban sketchers. I posted a few watercolour paintings from life recently. These were mostly done in preparation for this event, because I have a bit of pride and I didn’t want to show up without any practice.

Laurel ready to snap pics of the event.

Laurel ready to snap pics of the event.

We started out on Place d’Armes, which is a big paved square surrounded by a cathedral, an ancient bank head office, a seminary and other historical buildings. It features a large monument sporting 5 statues of historical figures and 4 fountains. I got over ambitious and worked on a building with way too many windows so I was not able to finish my painting (that and my brushes were too small for the size of the painting.) I’m planning on finishing it next week since it’s just minutes away from Atelier de Bresoles.

Happy Urban Sketchers from all over North America.

Happy Urban Sketchers from all over North America.

The weather forecast rain and possible thunderstorms, but we were fortunate and got sunshine all day (and easel collapsing wind once at the second location.) Marc’s demo consisted of a part where he talks about drawing accurately, placement of the subject on the page and concentrating on the focal point and then he dove into painting and showed us his Tea, Milk and Honey process. Of course, all workshops are a balancing act between demos and hands-on practice and we hurried to draw and paint as much as we could.

Square Dorchester demo.

Square Dorchester demo.

Then, after a short lunch break, we moved on to the second location, Square Dorchester where we could draw Basilique Marie-Reine-du-Monde. We again got a drawing and a painting demo. The subject I tackled this time was much more complex than my painting of the morning, yet I’m much happier with it. Here is a picture of the Basilique and the drawing and painting stages.

My painting for the afternoon. It took about 50 minutes for drawing and another 50 minutes for the painting. I ran out of clean water, hence the stormy looking sky.

My painting for the afternoon.

It took about 50 minutes to draw and another 50 minutes to paint. I ran out of clean water, hence the stormy looking sky. It was done in my Strathmore Visual Journal Mixed Media Vellum Finish (that’s a mouthful) with the watercolour set I wrote about in my Arundel post. I also used the ghetto easel I made yesterday for about 5$. I’ll post about it soon since it was a cheap but efficient tool. And now I have to go to bed, because it starts again tomorrow morning!

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