Plein-air pen and wash on paper


More on Qualicum Beach

Here are two more pictures of Qualicum Beach town centre, that kept me busy this week.

This should do it for a while; want to move on to another subject.



Keeping at It

The winter weather drives us back indoors to play around with ideas and maybe develop new insights. These are two sketches (4″×6″ or so) with water-soluble ink, followed by two larger images on 11″×15″ watercolour paper that were started with waterproof ink drawings, copied from photo references, and rendered with watercolours.



There are a lot (too many?) of choices to make, such as paper surface, pigments, colours or monochrome, and the amount of editing applied to the reference photograph, to mention just a few.
This keeps me going without knowing where I want to arrive, but I don’t feel lost, not yet anyways, and will probably keep at it in the days to come.

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Back to Sealand

Today I returned to the same spot of yesterday’s sketch, this time with my folding chair to get in a better position for a somewhat different view.

It was becoming cold and I had to seek refuge to warmer places to finish the sketch with some watercolour washes.

Looking at the weather forecast, this may be the end of bike riding and on-location sketching for this season, unless I take the car along.

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Some Quick Sketches

Today we were blessed again with sunny weather albeit that a notably crisp autumn air required a warm jacket and gloves to stay comfortable. I had to make my outdoor sketches quicker than normal, and this time while sitting on the bike’s luggage carrier with a sketchbook on the saddle.

The first sketch shows the irish pub from a different angle than usual. On Monday mornings the parking lot is almost vacated so that this side of the building is exposed.

The second sketch is in the same area, close to the Brechin boat ramp. It shows a cluster of some buildings that were at one time referred to as Sealand. When we first came to Nanaimo there were several vendors in these buildings with local produce and a variety of crafts; sort of mimicking the cozy market atmosphere of Granville Island in Vancouver.

Currently there is a pub and a kayak rental place in operation that seem to do good business, although the buildings appear somewhat dilapidated. The massing of the structures and the variety of roofs make it an interesting subject for sketching.

The first photo from my sketchbook was shot in daylight, showing the actual colours of the brown ink and the sienna wash, while the second one was illuminated with lamplight on the dining room table, producing faded colors.

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More Quebec Sketches

We enjoyed some nice weather this week and some rainy days that were used to finish my on-site pen drawings from Quebec City with water colours.

These are all 8.5″×11″ in size on Fabriano 140 lbs cold pressed paper, a format that fits in my backpack and that is amenable to work on while keeping it in your hand or on your knees when you sit somewhere outside.

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Sketches from Quebec City

During our last visit to Quebec I made many pen sketches on 8.5″×11″ watercolour paper. Weather conditions and other circumstances prevented me from colouring these sketches with watercolour on the spot. Recently I picked these up again using my photo references and took some liberties to complete these pictures. This is one of them showing three progressions on the original sketch.

The drawing was made while sitting on a concrete divider, in the sun and along a busy road with lots of tourists walking by me. This is far from anyone’s preferred working location, but I was determined to get this monumental view on paper from the original source.

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Autumn in the Park

Maffeo Sutton park is connected to downtown with a waterfront walkway, one of my favorite spots to sit around and make a sketch such as this one.

These two trees are quite spectacular specimens of some imported species that I don’t have a name for and that are now turning into fall colours. I used only three pigments for this picture: prussian blue, quinacridone burnt orange and benzimida orange, a combination of leftover paint tubes that rarely see the daylight. Except that the roof of the building needed some cerulean blue, which has a permanent spot in my paintbox.