Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Leave a comment

October Sunshine

The last few days were perfect for bike rides and pausing in a warm sunny spot to make a sketch. This picture is a view of the lagoon in Swyalana Park near the downtown core, showing Cameron Island and its reflections.

Next is a view of the city core as seen from Machleary Street, where the Malaspina Lodge used to be since 1925 or so untill it was demolished about a year ago. I made use of one of two lawn chairs that were left at the site to sit down and make this sketch.

The sketchbook (6″×9″) that I carried in my backpack was too small to record all the big and small buildings and trees that were spread out in front of me at the bottom of the hill. I have to return with better equipment hoping that the chairs will still be there and before the empty site is filled up with another apartment building.



Last Sunshine Days

We enjoyed exceptionally nice weather this week to go outside and make some sketches before the upcoming rain season directs us indoors.

This is a 9″x16″ drawing of the Howard Johnson. Rumour has it that it will cease operations before too long. It is obvious from the architecture has it has been here for 50 years or so.

These two quick sketches were made along the waterfront on 6″x 9″ sketch block to try out my new sailor fude pen.

1 Comment

Made in Canada

When searching the internet for Canadian made watercolour paper one gets many products from other countries and a lot of them coming through vendors from the USA. However, one paper maker from Montreal pops up, called Saint Armand.

I had to try this out and purchased their panoramic sized pad with 30 sheets of 150 lb. water-colour paper in a 9″ x 20″ size. It has a soft cottony surface, more absorbent than the common brands of paper but still produces crispy ink lines.

When in Steveston with some time to kill, I tried out my new paper and made this pen and ink drawing that I rendered two days later at home with some colours. It will take some more tries to get comfortable applying water colours on this Canadian product.



This weekend we participated in the “Grand Prix of Art 2018” in Steveston, B.C., just south of Vancouver. This is a community event organized by Mark Glavina, a local artist who has been successful, for several years now, in attracting more than 100 artists to go outside and paint for three hours, rain or shine.

People brave enough to take part in this were assigned a spot along the waterfront or in the old village centre, where heritage features and idyllic scenery are abound. Many visitors and onlookers interact with the artists to make it a unique event.

It took me almost three hours to draw these tanks located in front of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery heritage site, on a 12″×16″ sheet of arches watercolour paper, with my favourite TWSBI fountain pen and a brown ink complimented with some watercolours.

Afterwards all work was displayed in one of the historic wharf buildings, attracting about 2000 visitors Saturday and Sunday afternoon; the duration of the exhibit, showing a huge diversity of work produced by the participants.

Leave a comment

Cruise Ship

The travellers that came off the cruise ship this morning were blessed with sunshine. When there are so many people walking around in downtown and surrounding areas, it makes the place come to live with an almost festive mood.

On this occasion, a farmers market and craft fair spring up on the water front plaza, attracting a lot of visitors. This is one of my preferred events to sit down in a corner and do some sketching, with live music in the background and many happy people wandering around.


Between Rain Showers

For the last few days and nights we were blessed with much-needed rain. Today, the sun came out for a while and people emerged from wherever they were hiding from the wet weather.

I used the opportunity to go out for a walk and make some quick sketches. It was notably colder than last week and instead of looking for shade, one had to find a spot in the sun and out of the wind. And, not to overlook, one needed to wipe water off the bench before sitting down.

These are pen and ink sketches with a W/C wash in a new little sketchbook that I found competitively priced on the “back to school” shelves in a big department store.