An Old Friend Re-visited

Some years ago, I spotted this great old barn just off the highway on Vancouver Island. At the time, my favoured medium was photography and the photo I took that day has been one of my favourites ever since.

A few weeks back, I began to create a sketch from that photo but stopped myself, realizing that since I was travelling out to the Island for about ten days for a little R & R, the opportunity was there to stop by and complete a live sketch of an old friend.7B1F5DFC-A61B-4F7E-A5E1-7D8722BC77C0

Quick and easy

By Peter Norman

While I wait for the end of this eternal, snowy, Calgary winter, even here in the midst of spring, I find myself often parked in front of the television.  While it is not my first choice as a sketching location, it does provide the same opportunity for live, people sketching as being out in the world. In fact, it can be more challenging, since it is fairly certain, given the time frame of TV shows, that your subject will be gone within a minute or less.

This sketch was done, almost as a single line drawing. I had to move fast, because I never knew whether the camera would switch back to my subject for a last glimpse of some detail in the helmet or the uniform of this Seal Team soldier.

It is a great way to practice capturing the essence of a character without being too concerned about making it so accurate that it is poster – ready. Give it a try. It is great fun.


Marching into Spring

by Peter Norman

100Hey sketchers. Here is an idea that may help us get to the spring thaw, an activity to keep us busy until the temperatures warm sufficiently that we can stay alive to complete an outdoor sketchwalk. Marc Taro Holmes, a major figure in the international urban sketcher organization, has issued a repeat of last year’s challenge to sketch 100 people in one week. It was tremendously successful last time and I’m sure it will be again. This year’s dates are March 5 – 9.

While it sounds daunting it need not be. The sketches can be as simple or as detailed as you like. The awful picture at the right shows the first few I attempted for last year’s challenge. I realized quite quickly that the sketches deed to be much simpler if I was ever to complete the task.  It was great fun and great practice. For information and ideas on the challenge check out Marc’s Citizen Sketcher site here. You can follow the challenge as sketchers post their work and even add your own.  Take a look at some of 2017’s results here

I need a locater beacon

by Peter Norman

I’m told that in 2017-18 Calgary has received the most snow ever recorded. That would probably why it has been suggested that we put avalanche warning signs on the snowbanks. This one is in the parking lot behind my office. I approach my vehicle with caution, and very quietly so as not to set off a slide.

Snow lot

This sketch was done in short sessions, ducking out he back door for a few minutes at a time, with frequent dashes to the indoors to thaw my fingers. It takes awhile but it works. Nevertheless, I am looking very forward to spring and more pleasant sketching.

The agony of beginning

by Peter Norman
Welcome to the Calgary Urban Sketchers. Our hope is that this will become a gallery, an information sharing network, a billboard of events and a home for the urban sketchers of the Calgary area. We invite you to reach us through the Contact page and request access to this site. We will respond with everything you need to write your own posts and upload your images. Keep in mind that this is a new venture and that there is a steep learning curve involved. Beginning a new site/ blog on behalf of urban sketchers of Calgary is a daunting task for one who has never seen WordPress, much less used it to construct something legible (I’m initially resigned not to shoot for attractive). The learning curve is littered with landmines, just waiting for me to press an ill-advised key and blast away hours of work.
Nevertheless sketchers, I will WordPress on and soon we will have a useable, postable site for the dedicated sketchers of the Calgary area.
I’m sure that with a lot of time and effort, the work will become easier as the tasks become more familiar and committed to memory. In the meantime, stand by. The Calgary Urban Sketchers platform is almost ready to receive your fabulous artwork. Now, where did I see the instructions on setting up a gallery, hmm…

From the local ‘sketchy’ community

by Peter Norman
Here are just a couple of the sketches I did in and around Calgary over the past many months, most prior to the arrival of winter. The first is one of the oldest buildings in the downtown area, the Calg2original McDougall school.  And the second is known by virtually everyone in Calgary and beyond.  It is the iconic Calgary Tower, once the tallest building in the city, Towerit is now (despite the perspective in this sketch) dwarfed by other structures, such as the Bow Building also shown here. To see larger versions, select the Image Gallery option in the sidebar. Feel free to offer your comments. We are very brave and might well benefit from what you offer by way of praise or critique.