Earlier this month, I organized a sketching event at 401 Richmond for the Toronto Urban Sketchers group. It's a very interesting restored heritage building right in the middle of the city and is home to several artists, cultural producers, microentreprises, galleries, festivals and shops. It's always a bit of a challenge to find indoor spaces that will accommodate a large number of people comfortably with interesting things to sketch when it's cold outside, but this building fits the bill. It wasn't too cold in the sun so some people event ventured outside in the courtyard and created beautiful sketches. (You can see them on the Toronto Urban Sketchers blog and Facebook page)
Manning the event and taking pictures of the sketchers tend to eat into my sketching time, but I managed to sketch the view from the second floor into a parking lot. There was this skinny long building right in the middle of the parking lot and a little parking shack next to it, surrounded by tons of barrels. Weird. It also looks like the top floor is someone's home. If that's the case, the surroundings are not very welcoming and the stair leading straight to the parking lot are rather steep. There's absolutely no green space around it either, kind of sad.
I usually get to play "Where's the Urban Sketcher" during these event, capturing them in their element, totally focused on what they are sketching. I managed to capture quite a few in the zone. It's great to see how they benefit from this relaxing activity and how they interact with one another.
The event is typically divided in two sketching sessions. For the second part, I spend most of the time exploring the building with some of the participant but still squeezed in a quick sketch of a really neat art installation made out of drinking straws, shown below.