Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I spent some time drawing birds at the Ecomusée. These birds have been injured and would not be able to survive in the wilderness again, so they are taken care of at the aviary.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer Drawings

I am deeply grateful for all the information, tips, and encouragement that flows through the EDM groups. I have been inspired by a lot of members who post about their creative process and techniques, and by those whose tenacity takes them to accomplish their personal drawing goals, whether they are looking for a career in the arts, or just for the pleasure of sharing their very own perspective on the world. Thanks EDMers! And of course, thanks Danny for starting the group and keeping it alive and running!

Sometime ago I read in the forums about Caran d'Ache's neocolor watersoluble crayons. Having trouble carrying a maybe-too-big-for-travel watercolor palette I decided to give the crayons a try, and so far, I have achieved the goal of adding color on site. I recently had a picnic some miles west of Oka, Quebec, and drew the view of the river (below). The fish (above) were done while strolling along the Japanese pond, at the Montreal Botanical Gardens.

Do you like scary rides? I used to love them in my teens, now I only draw them!
This quick sketch would also be a part of the Montréal B side series, because the foreground is an alley in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district. Across the river, on Ste-Hélène Island, you can get a glimpse of the Goliath, one of the roller coasters at La Ronde. The drawing is 2.5 by 4 inches, done in a really beaten up notebook that is not used for sketching, hence the smudges.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Close to the park in watercolor

This is the same house as yesterday, but with color and some touches of ink applied.  I think the foliage of the maple tree in the background would need more work, but I was afraid of creating a mess. The oak in the foreground is still bare. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Close to the park

This was a beautiful spring morning and although I had a number of errands to run I didn't feel like driving. On my way to the bank I couldn't help it: the drawing bug bit me and I had to stop, scratch the itch, and draw this house...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Montreal Backyards 1

The facade of a building it's usually its most attractive side. However, there's something about the "B side" of buildings that remains worthy of sketching.
I'm trying to use more colors and accentuate the shadows.  I think the drawing looks kind of flat though.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rue Milton

This neighborhood is officially known as Milton-Parc, but everybody calls it the McGill Ghetto. It is densely populated by McGill University students and  therefore, is a very lively street, with good  coffee shops, restaurants and a nice second hand bookstore called The Word. I had a good half an hour to spare, so I went into the bookstore and perused around the art shelf. I was most pleased to discover Leonardo Drawings: 60 Works by Leonardo da Vinci, which I bought in anticipation of a visit to the Leonardo exhibition in downtown Montreal.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Montreal: Dawson College and Parc des Écluses

A couple of sketches I did last spring. The first one is a view of Dawson College from Barat road. The second, a sketch done at the Old Port of a place called Parc des Écluses.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

EDM # 51-Draw your TV

Well, this is my TV and the shelf which keeps it off the floor. I can't count how many times there have been plans to replace them: a hd flat screen and a proper stand are still in my wish list...
The pictured show is not my favorite. It just happens that I did the sketch on Sunday, the night of the Jutra Awards (thik of it as the Québecois Oscar).  I think it would be really difficult to draw a sitcom or a series: I would get distracted by the plot and by hitting the mute button at every publicity break. 
Drawing with the permanent liner was challenging and required more concentration than sketching with pencil. It forced me to really focus on the different planes to avoid overlapping, and to constantly check for the right proportions and relation between the elements before drawing a single line.  I would definitely try more inks in my future drawings, I get a sense of discipline when I use them.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Old Sketches (5)

St-Jean-Port-Joli, Québec. This town is best known for its wooden sculptures, arts and crafts. However, what I most remember is the delicious meal at La Boustifaille. This sketch of the town church was made while still savouring a crustade aux pommes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old Sketches (4)

When I was a child, I accompanied my grandparents to many funerals. I didn't like the funeral homes, which always seemed dark, crowded and oppressing. However, I liked the religious ceremonies, in which most people seemed to find some peace and consolation. At the cemeteries I used to read names and dates on the tombstones and my imagination would make a ghost-like image of the person as I thought he or she might have been in life. 

This is a sketch of the church and the graveyard after a funeral at Les Cèdres, a town 30 minutes west of Montréal.  August 2007.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Old Sketches (3)

A peek at Wood Street from Barat Road. I began to draw the house closest to my parking spot, but the owner noticed and I just couldn't keep sketching under his zealous surveillance, so I just turned the page and fixed the lateral mirror. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Old Sketches (2)

The windmill was sketched at St-Zotique beach, a popular destination to beat the summer heat some 40 minutes west of Montreal, close to the Ontario border.
This series of old sketches were all made in pencil on a small sketchbook (10x15 cm/4"x6") I got as a Christmas present. I was able to haul it everywhere which was essential to take up a drawing-everywhere habit.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Houses on Avenue Sainte-Croix (final)

I have finished the sketch. Yesterday, a meeting was cancelled and I drove right to the spot to complete it. Drawing in the car is great when the cold wind is blowing and the only place to sit down is actually a parking lot, but I look forward to plain air sketching in the following weeks!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old sketches (1)

In an earlier post I mentioned how much I used to enjoy sketching in the car. This is the first I made while parking on Barat Road. It was in the middle of winter, 2006. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Houses on Avenue Sainte-Croix (2)

 I did't make it past day 5 of the Thing-a-Day Blog: it was difficult to find the time to scan and blog about my day 28 days in a row. Nevertheless, I'm committed to finish this sketch of Avenue Sainte-Croix houses. Here's step 2  (at this pace, by the time I finish the snow would have melted completely and the trees would have leaves!).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Houses on Avenue Sainte-Croix

I had a few minutes before a meeting today, so I sketched in the car. The sketchbook I'm drawing on is a Galison with bright and smooth acid-free paper which takes well some water to make a light wash. However it's very bright when scanned (see 01.01.09 post!) so I have been trying to adjust for a better screen display using the Gimp software.

I had forgotten how pleasurable it is to sketch in the car. The past two years I got to sketch almost every Tuesday afternoon. Every twenty minutes I had to turn on the car for a couple of minutes to warm up a little (my ecological conscience would not allow me to keep the engine running for more than that) and make sure the car battery would not fail because the radio was on all the time.

I'll try my best to finish the sketch later this week.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year-Nouvelle Année-Año Nuevo

Visit to the Montréal Botanical Gardens. This is one of the Christmas trees inside the Main Exhibition Greenhouse.

Visite au Jardin Botanique de Montréal. Un des sapins de Noël dans la Grand Serre.

Visita al Jardín Botánico de Montréal. Este es uno de los árboles de Navidad en el Invernadero principal.