Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Heritage Day


Today was dedicated to commemorate Nanaimo’s heritage with a parade downtown and with family fun activities on Diana Krall plaza and in Maffeo-Sutton park. Events were well attended as the weather cooperated.

I took this opportunity to try out my new OPUS sketchbook for making another impression of the Bastion. This product is an 11″×14″, 140 lb cold pressed paper supposedly with a 100% cotton rag content. Turns out that it meets the expectations; the pen glides nicely across the surface and it appears to be well suited for applying watercolours.


When it got close to noon I had the drawing finished. At that time a Scottish piper came out as well as a lot of spectators to watch the cannon firing. This is when I escaped to take a lunch break. When I returned all was quiet again allowing me to get my brushes out and have some fun. The lighting had changed significantly, so I used a photograph that I took at the start showing the stark shadows of the early morning sun, which attracted me to this scene in the first place.

To break up the long horizontal line or top of wall along the bottom of the picture, the massive white railings were somewhat redesigned and simplified to connect the foreground with the middle part. I hope that the architect who designed these furnishings originally is not offended by this; it was not meant to be a comment on his work. The tree on the left is a Gary Oak and is indigenous to the BC Coastal region. The tree on the right is a weeping birch; an ornamental tree. Both trees still have leaves with spring  coloured greens.


Author: John Hofman

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2 thoughts on “Heritage Day

  1. Fabulous sketch John, love the intricate railings and the light on the Bastion.

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