I spent the past weekend at a friend’s cabin. It rained all day Saturday, resulting in our being stucked inside with 4 kids under 10 and 6 adults. Understandably, I was thankful to be able to sit outside by myself Sunday morning and paint this. I eventually had a visitor, but it still was a nice quiet time.
A few weeks ago, I traveled to Prince-Edward-Island for the first time. It was a lucky thing, my boyfriend was going there for work and I was able to tag along. It being october, a lot of the tourist attractions were closed, but fortunately, there were still a few cruise ships dropping by and some tourists at the hotel so some places were still open. The weather was quite good for the season too, we got almost no rain.
I took some of my time there to paint. I walked around a lot, scouting for good places to paint. On my second day, I chose to paint the cruise ship and the Cows ice cream shop. Now, Cows is a big deal in PEI, they even have a big plastic Cows cow in the Charlottetown airport. I also traveled to The Port La Joye-Fort Amherst historical location. It was closed but the trails were still accessible. It was much bigger than I expected and I kept thinking I’d find a better spot just a little further. In the end I didn’t take time to paint as it took me long enough to trek around the park lugging my easel and paint around that I didn’t feel like going back to the good spots.
I also got to paint St-Dunstan’s Basilica, but boy did I freeze my arse (and feet, and fingers, and face.)
All in all, it was a great trip, the food was amazing (Fish and chips!) and the people were super friendly. I even found a comic book store where a lady spun local wool she got from one of her customers and sold the result. Comics and homespun is not a mix one expects, but since some warn geeks are as rabid as comic fans, it’s a good match.
It was my first time traveling somewhere with the goal being to get some painting done so I learned some lessons: If you find a good spot and the light is good and the weather allows, paint it RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait, tomorrow it might rain, or there might be a funeral at the church you want to paint, or you might not have time. Also, find a way to not have to carry everything in your hands, it’s a pain when you just want to take a picture or even zip up your coat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Yep this is it! 300th post. If I was better at planning I would have gotten a special post and everything. But as it is, I just have a few new watercolour sketches done from life.