Sketching the Line 2015


With all the construction going on on the subway line, I often have to take a shuttle bus instead to get to town, especially on Sundays. It's a little inconvenient, but at least there are shuttle buses and this time there was enough space to sit, so I decided to sketch some of the people in front of me. It's interesting to see how strangers sit next to one another sometime. In this case, the girl on the left was sitting as far away as possible to the guy on the right. I think she was so preoccupied by her phone, that sitting comfortably was not even a question. A older man was standing right near the door in front of them, I really like the contrast of his bright yellow cap and his fluffy grey curly hair. 

Speaking of sketching in public transits, Sketching the Line, an international exhibition of sketches of commuters by commuters, will be happening again next year. Earlier this year, Art In Transit featured 78 sketches drawn by 18 artists on screens in various Toronto subway stations, the Edmonton LRT, and the Calgary Airport. Some of the participants included fellow urban sketcher Richard Alomar and Jason Das from New York, as well as local artists Bobby Chiu, founder of Imaginism Studio. 

Art In transit is currently looking for more sketches for their second exhibition. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2015. If you're interested in participating visit their website to find out more.

Public Sketchbook Project

toronto urban sketchers coffee shop

A couple weeks ago I discovered this neat little project curated by Above Ground Art Supplies store called the Public Sketchbook Project. They a sketchbook and all kinds of art material in various local coffee shops for people to sketch while they're having coffee. There was all kinds of interesting artwork in there already and I decided to add a little sketch of my own of the view from where I was sitting and a shameless plug for our sketching group.
toronto urban sketchers coffee shop
toronto urban sketchers coffee shop

Karaoke at The Office Pub for Halloween

Karaoke Office Pub Toronto Urban Sketching Watercolor Moleskine Sketchbook

What I love most about Halloween is seeing people's costumes. This year, I joined a couple friends at the Office Pub on the third floor where they host a karaoke session. It was a great opportunity to sketch colourful characters in a party atmosphere. I was able to capture a fraction of the costumes that were created for the occasion, especially while they were singing their favourite songs. On my way back home in the subway, there was also a couple interesting characters riding the train. How cool would it be to spend a couple hours sketching costumes in the subway for Halloween next year? I think I need to plan that for next year. 

Sketching at Bampot

Toronto Urban Sketchers Bampot Tea watercolor illustrations by MJ
Last weekend, a couple of us went sketching at Bampot Bohemian House of Tea. It's a very eclectic looking space with a lot of interesting things to draw and sketch. I kept it simple and sketched teapots and teacup on the table. I was more focused on talking and eating. I had the house chai and special. Both very good. 

Toronto Urban Sketchers Bampot Tea watercolor illustrations by MJ

45th World Wide Sketchcrawl : A Weekend in Ithaca, NY

A couple days ago, urban sketchers from Toronto, Kitchener, Montreal and New York got together for a weekend-long sketchcrawl in Ithaca, NY. The goal was to capture the beautiful scenery around the many falls and on the Cornell University campus.

On saturday morning, we managed to squeeze a couple outdoor sketches despite the rain on the first day. The scenery was breathtaking. A couple of us even sketched on the suspension bridge. It was an interesting experience as you can feel the bridge moving as people walks or job on the bridge. We then joined the rest of the sketchers, including some locals who found out about our little road trip and sketched with us for the day. 
Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

The weather was a little less cooperative in the afternoon. But I still got to sketch the statue of Andrew Dickson White, co-founder of Cornell University, located in front of the Goldwin Smith Hall. I had a "Truman Show moment" as I was contemplating sketching the surroundings of the statue : Just as I was thinking about whether I should continue or find an location indoors, a bell rang, the wind picked up and it started raining, like a carefully orchestrated scene. Weird. So we headed inside the building to continue our sketching session.  There were a couple interesting statues inside the building, named after a British historian and journalist who lived in Toronto.
Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

On Sunday, the weather forecast was predicting freezing temperatures, so we changed our plans to sketch outdoors and opted for indoor locations. In the morning we went to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, which had a lot of interesting features, including a beautiful zen garden visible from inside the museum where I spent most of my time there sketching after taking a look at some of the artwork on one of the floors. We then moved on to the Museum of Earth in the afternoon, to sketch all kinds of interesting skeletons. Mine didn't quite fit the page properly, but next time I might use Marc Holmes' method of spreading the sketch over multiple pages got hid sketch of the whale's bones.

Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

I had a great time sketching. It was great meeting like minded people, making new friends in a new location and learning from each other during this trip. It's fascinating the amount of insight you get just from looking at what others are doing when it comes to sketching. We had such a good time that we're planning to do this again next year, probably a little earlier so that the temperature's a little more convenient for outdoor sketching.
 Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY Toronto Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl Ithaca NY

First World Dog Problem #43


ANIMAL CONNECTION 030 : Strange Birds


Here's another Inktober sketch based on a photo on Reddit. This time I took a little bit more time to put it together. That's a lot of birds.

ANIMAL CONNECTION 029 : A Couple of Pomeranian Puppies

A couples days ago, I found a photo of Lucy Liu holding a couple of Pomeranian puppies on Reddit, so I did a quick sketch of if for Inktober.