24 February 2013

Thoughts on sketching "on location" in the winter

It's a perpetual challenge to be an urban sketcher in the northern climes.  Half of the year, the weather is inhospitable enough to prevent even the most motivated sketchers from spending much time outside.
"Live" sketches at the Montreal Biodome
Copyright Bethann G. Merkle (2013)
Not to be dissuaded from their pursuits, plenty of Quebec sketchers find creative solutions to sketch away from the snow and cold.

Samurai helmets - part of an exhibit at
the Musée de la civilization; copyright
Bethann G. Merkle (2013)

One particularly active and dedicated example is Quebec City sketcher Larry Marshall.  He writes about and posts examples of his almost-daily museum outings at www.larrydmarshall.com.  He has shared great tips for asking museum management in advance re permission and terms and conditions for drawing.  As we've learned in Quebec City, some museums are more welcoming and flexible than others.

The Urban Sketchers Montreal group has been hitting that city's many museums lately.  There are lots of great ideas and sketches on their blog: urbansketchersmontreal.wordpress.com.  There are also a lot of clever ideas re how to draw the great outdoors without freezing your fingers (and your sketching supplies).  In particular, Shari Blaukopf and Marc Taro seem to have perfected the sketching from windows and cars approach.  Marc has also been behind the scenes during the whole process of developing a theater production, and his work suggests a whole new different angle for winter sketching.

Chapel in the Musée de
l'Amérique Française - copyright
Bethann G. Merkle (2013)
I've been taking advantage of all kinds of indoor sketching opportunities.  There was a wonderful episode at the Montreal Biodome (see first sketch in this post), and there were the extraordinary details of the armor in the samurai exhibit we've enjoyed for several months.  I joined other local sketchers for a great time at the Quebec City January SketchCrawl in the Musée de l'Amérique Française.  Yet for me, though, winter often means hunkering down, heating the house and myself by cooking, and of course, capturing it on paper.  See more at www.fruitrootleaf.com.

How do you go about sketching in the winter?

Cookies, baked squashes for pumpkin pie, and grains and malt for
homebrewed beer - copyright Bethann G. Merkle (2013)


  1. Nice sketches!
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  2. All sketches are very gud!
    Live sketch is a humorous play or performance of representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study. To know more about art visit http://www.india-gift.com/