A house at Crescent Heights

Crescent Heights has a wonderful overview of downtown Calgary from across the Bow River.

I thought I would draw a wonderful vista of the downtown on Tuesday night, but when I got there I was somewhat overwhelmed by what I saw. I settled for a sketch of a beautiful brick and frame house at the end of the block. It took about 30 minutes to rough in the pencil sketch, then another 30 to ink in most of the lines, and then I had to stop for the night. As an instructor once told me, “the mind can’t absorb what the butt can’t endure.” I finished the lines this morning and then the watercolour washes later today.

This was in a 5-1/2″ by 8″ sketchbook.

House at Crescent Heights

Calgary Marathon on Sunday May 26

Just realized the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is happening on Sunday May 26. It starts and ends at the Stampede grounds and goes out to Bowness. The marathon will cross the Bow using the Zoo bridge to Inglewood, Centre Street, and 14th St W, will use Memorial Drive and will pass through the Beltline along 11th Ave S. This may make it difficult for some to reach Barb Scott park (our next sketching location) on Sunday morning.

More informationĀ  can be found by searching on “Scotiabank Calgary Marathon.”


From a snowy day in February

This is the Alexandra Centre in Inglewood, drawn on Feb 16 but only coloured with watercolour washes a few days ago. I struggled a lot with the colour of the shadows, and scrubbed off at least two versions before getting this cool gray on. On the right hand side, you can see where the “waterproof” ink was starting to give up as I scrubbed off the previous wash. The day was cloudy with a lot of snow falling, so the shadows were pretty weak.

Alexandra Centre cmprsd


From the new Brookfield building

From Saturday Jan 19: I sketched the Central United Church in downtown Calgary from the second floor of the Brookfield building. Trying to get the proportions correct, I spent almost the whole time measuring with my 2H pencil and scratching in some construction lines on my sketchbook page.

I inkedĀ  the lines the next day at home, and added watercolours yesterday. I tried adding shadows by adding the complement of the sandstone yellow.


central united church 2019-01-19 cmprsd

ATCO Park Dec 8 2018

Finally got through the seasonal chaos and found some time to finish washing in colour on this sketch. This is from a new building here in Calgary – the ATCO Park facility in the southwest. It’s quite a nice set of three buildings, interesting shapes and an inviting lounge/restaurant area in the main building.

The pencil sketch was done on site in about one and a half hours. So many lines and angles, I didn’t even try to ink in any of the lines while I was there. Hope you like,


ATCO Park 2018-12-08

View from new Central Library

We went to the new Calgary Central Library on Sat Nov 17, 2018. It is a great building, lots of open space, activity, and windows looking out at everything around it.

Below is my sketch of the City Hall C-Train station just to the west of the building, as viewed from the top floor. I was sitting a few comfortable chairs over from Chris, who has already posted a much nicer, looser, sketch. I spent almost two hours sketching with only my pencil when I noticed that the shadows had gotten a lot longer since when I started. So I packed up and finished the inking and watercolour at home.

Hope you like,


City Hall station from Central Library

From the ground

I went for a street view of the Sunalta station. Less wind at ground level, but always looking up with some tricky angles. I also used a larger sketchbook to try to capture extra details, 8-1/2 by 11 inches laid flat for 17 x 11 inches. I did the pencil sketch on site, and inked the lines and added washes at home. I added the train afterwards from a photo I took on site.

Inbound approaching Sunalta cropped