Warm and Welcome

Given that on this last week of summer we are experiencing winter, complete with snow and cold, the Devonian Gardens in Calgary’s downtown CORE shopping Center were the place to be for our sketch walk this week.


Tropical beauty, warm temperatures, and whispering fountains were a great respite from the foggy, cold day beyond the windows.


There may be some who chose to capture the detail of the scene they chose, I opted for generalizing the thousands of leashes and flowers, which meant that for the first time, I was able to complete my sketch in the two hour timeframe. All in all, it was a great time, in great company. These moments are the highlight of my week.


Back alley @ Palomino smoke house

It was great meeting my favorite bunch of people and sketching on Saturday! As always I just planned on doing one detailed ink sketch and mess with the paints and washes at home. The back alley scene was interesting, as I got a worm’s eye view, as I sat on the curb to sketch. Lots of brick detail in the architecture giving a great character to the space.

On the way back home, as I waited at first street station, I sketched the front of Palomino smoke house that hides the secret alley we sketched at earlier. Watercolor washes were all done later at home. These are few of my sketches.

More Sketches

Last Saturday was great weather to do the back lane. I thought it was a good opportunity to practice wall textures, perspectives and shadows.fullsizeoutput_1846


The Odd Fellow’s Hall looked like an easy one but when you sit, study and try to capture a building you become aware of all of its detailing and unique features. I sat for two hours and could only do the line work. The extra detail and watercolour ( and cats) were added in the days following.fullsizeoutput_1824


The George C. King Bridge ( who is he? ) was a challenge with with those leaping, flying structural arches. Due to my little misunderstanding I ended up alone on the island, just me my bicycle and the geese.


Downtown West Kerby Station was another exercise in drawing curved elements. It was a windy and smokey morning.




The are many opportunities for indoor urban sketching. One of them is coffee shops. Capturing coffee shop patrons is a good way to practice people sketching.


Juliet’s Castle on 16th Avenue northeast is a pub with live musicians every Saturday from 3:00 to &:00 P.M. They are happy to invite you to sit and sketch the band along with great music and your favourite kind of beverage.

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I am out of town for a few weeks but will post my travel sketches.

Happy Sketching Everyone!

A New Record!

How fantastic it was to have ten sketchers out on a windy, cold, and occasionally moist Saturday morning to sketch the Oddfellows Hall in Calgary’s downtown. That’s a new record for us. Either none of us have a life or we are passionate about getting out on sketch walks. I think it is the latter.

We greeted friends and welcomed newcomers, who we hope will sign up and join the ranks. As I commented to someone, “ We spot a building or a scene and we say, Gee, I’d like to sketch that.” And then, once we arrive on site, we realize that the subject is far more complex than we originally thought. The Oddfellows Hallwas a lot easier when it was treated as a ‘sketch’ which is what I did. That freed me up to not have to capture every detail of its architecture. The result may not find its way into a frame in my living room, but it does meet the definition of a “sketch.”


Odd Fellows Hall

I agree with Jim’s comments – this was a tricky building so I concentrated on the people sketching the building hoping that would help with the perspective. Then I turned to the Wonderland sculpture in front of the Bow Building. I learned that these two buildings were built 100 years apart – Odd Fellows Hall in 1912 and The Bow Building in 2012.

Afterwards we met in a nearby Starbucks for a sketch review….always great to see how everyone approached this building differently.

Here is my attempt….it’s a very busy page spread….