Saturday, April 29, 2017

Can you imagine that you really sketch the real warplanes?

It was an extraordinary experience to me to sketch the warplanes in the museum. Thank you Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region for organizing a sketching event at The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
The staff are very knowledgable! They know everything about the planes. You can sit in the pilot seat for some planes. The museum is not very large but it has a lot of information and history about the war and these planes. I learnt a lot from this visit. You also can book a flight to let these planes take you up to sky. Most of these planes still works very well.

Thank you Nick for telling us so many things about these planes.

I always want to draw the real planes and I am so happy that I did it!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

My 2017 completed sketchbook

This was my most hardworking sketchbook. I completed it finally and with all circumstances it
took 3 years for some reason. So I shot video instead of scanning pages.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sketching in Tokyo!

Japan is a special country. People are very polite. The streets are very clean. "Simple and caring" is my impression of Japan. We stopped over in Tokyo for few days on the way to Toronto. I met some Tokyo sketchers there and had a fun afternoon. It was a bit chilly but nothing affects a Torontonian, really. We met at Omotesando Station then we decided to stay in the Spiral building where is quite and neat. There are glass walls in the building with chairs facing the glasses. We sat there and looked outside. People were rushing on the streets, coming in and out from the restaurants and shops. 
The buildings on Aoyama Dori opposite to the Spiral Building
We sat there and looked outside

Thank you Kumi and everyone!

Our sketches from Spiral Building

Then we went to a shopping area near Harajuku (原宿). I used a water-soluble pen to draw the line and then fill with watercolour. I touched some lines to make them bleed. It was quite interesting. We were supposed to spend an hour on the street OUTSIDE. However, it became quite cold and we decided to find a coffee shop to stay after about half an hour staying.

Our works on the street outside! 
Look at us! With the hot drink in our hand, we chatted and shared our works. Yumi and Atsuko sketched us when we were talking. We shared everything! Edgar is a talented artist who uses red wine to paint. I enjoyed very much the whole afternoon. The weather was cold but the sketchers in Tokyo were so welcoming and warm! Thank you!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

12 Trees @ Gardiner Museum

It is a 12 trees show in Gardiner Museum. The Toronto urban sketches group has an event here. I picked up the one piled up with books. When you get closer to the tree, it will speak. And other trees was made of men's shirts, The pattern is quite interesting. The trees are designed by different artists in different styles, very creative! 
The museum is located in a very convenient location near the subway. It's a small museum but very cozy and informative. You went to the second floor where they have different ceramics from different periods and different countries. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Robarts Library - University of Toronto

On October 30, TOUSK met at the University of Toronto Library called Robarts Library. We hoped to sketch outside since the building has a very interesting architectural structure. It is shaped like a turkey, or maybe a peacock, or is it a turtle... ; ) We all seemed to hear and see different things...
Nonetheless, the cold weather drove many of us inside where there was lots to sketch. 
Here are my 5x7" sketches, done in 6B pencil on 90lb watercolour paper. 
I didn't bring watercolour paint with me since I wasn't sure the library would be cool with it... so, I added paint to this one once I got home.
The students were so busy studying, they didn't notice me drawing them.  Also, I don't believe there is enough of a likeness to anyone to cause offence. 
 I liked the composition of this one below, so I left it alone.
 Practising a bit more perspective on this one. 
There were lots of new member there last week. Great to see so many more Urban Sketching Enthusiasts out there!! See you all next time.
My Etsy Page -

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Day at the Harbourfront


I spent the day down at Toronto's Harbourfront sketching on Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper (Fluid Brand) with my Micron 03 pen. 

I tried to get a foreground, a mid-ground and a background in. Here's the finished result, with watercolour added. : )
There was a woman relaxing in the park, so I quickly drew her too. I tried to keep my lines spontaneous and relaxed in order to capture her mood. 
And here's the finished result with watercolour. I added splatters of paint to match my pen lines.

Happy Painting Everyone

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Old City Hall view from Toronto City Hall Green Roof

I didn't know there is such a nice place on the 2nd floor at The City Hall. You can walk around and see different views around The City Hall. Lots of high rises there. I picked The Old City Hall to sketch. It is the only old building in the middle of the high rises and seems that the time has frozen there no matter how the surroundings change. It was really hot today, but we found shades and stayed there for sketching. There were not many visitors and was very tranquil. If you have found the ground was too noisy and crowded, the green roof definitely is a nice and quiet place to visit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

McMichael Plein Air Painting Competition

I always want to paint at McMichael and didn't think that the first time I painted here was in a competition. We were about 50-60 artists painting on location during the weekend. We had a sunny but not very warm day, unless you stayed under the sun without shades.

The arrangement was simple and easy to follow. McMichael staff and volunteers provided the artists fruits, coffee and water twice a day, one by one! We scattered around McMichael and Kleinburg area, it was not easy for them to find us. Thank you!

The first day I painted the gallery building because I wanted to paint this building. I loved the sunlight behind the cloud and put more trees behind the gallery. I had not enough sleep the night before and planned to work faster so that I could go home and sleep. However, I was very tired and worked very very slowly. When I got home around 4 pm, I threw myself on the couch and slept right away.

On Sunday, I went to Kleinburg, a beautiful town, to paint one of the beautiful houses made of logs and this painting was selected to be the 3rd place in the group 11" x 14"

Some of my artist friends won too. Congratulations to Hasibush Shaheed and Dougal Haggart from our group, and Karin from my art club, amazing works. I met many talented artists there and saw their wonderful works, same locations, different styles, definitely very inspiring. It is always amazing to see different approaches, styles while everyone is painting at the same places and similar scenes.

Monday, July 4, 2016

My Travel Watercolour Palette

Flower pots in front of Sony Centre on Front street.


Some people keep asking me about what kind of travel watercolour set I am using/  what do they consist of. I have to say I am an amateur painter who is still finding the colours that suit my style best. I have yet to try all of the different watercolour brands or art supplies out there.

A few years back I wanted to sketch on location, I started off with Winsor&Newton Cotman Watercolour Set for my first travel watercolour palette. The reason I bought this set was because of its small size, convenience and the colour quality is good enough to paint on my tiny sketchbooks. Later I realized some of the colours were not bright enough for my style. I personally love vibrant colours, so I purchased some artist grade watercolour paint to try out. 
Here are the colours I am using in  my travel watercolour palette - Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Winsor Red, Cadmium Orange, Purple Lake, Lamp Black, Sap Green, Viridian Hue, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine, Indigo, Burnt Umber and a couple of tiny colours I put on the top are Cobalt Blue Hue and Permanent Rose.

I would love to hear what travel watercolour set are you using. Want to share? Comment below.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Oakville – Plein Air June event – “Paint the Town Extraordinaire” 160626

I travelled to the historic downtown Oakville for the last day of “Paint The Town Extraordinaire”.  It was a plein air event put on by the Oakville BIA and Oakville Art Society. The Town of Oakville, home to over 180,000 people, is located 30 kilometers west of downtown Toronto along the shore of Lake Ontario.  I was hoping to meet some local Oakville artists and socialize, but it seemed that I was the only one painting that day.   I felt like a foreigner from out of town who would be painting alone on the main commercial street. But I set my heart on challenging myself.

I was pleasantly surprised by the volume of people up and about mid morning – eating breakfast, jogging, walking their dogs, biking…engaging in life.  It seemed like a very active and vital community.  Many people stopped and said hello and were very curious about what I was doing on the street painting.  My first painting was at a place called The Goldstar Café.  It is one of many cafes on the main street teeming with people while manifesting a rich street life.

After painting on the main street in the mid-day heat, I moved to the waterfront.  It was much cooler and the view from Lakeside Park was spectacular. The many large historical homes that I walked by are a painter’s/sketcher’s dream.   

I painted at the OAKVILLE Museum gardens that sit at a high point along the waterfront and my painting captures a view over a pier that has a lighthouse at the end.  There was a naturally sculpted pine tree in the foreground and the gardens poetically framed the view.  In general, the harbour is wonderfully picturesque.

I was delighted to discover that the Post Office and Thomas House at the museum was also open for visitors.  What a treat to explore.   I toured the old historic buildings and learned a bit about the history of Oakville.  I sat and sketched these two historic buildings that had been relocated and now overlook the lake.

What a lovely day I had. It was a truly an experience “Extraordinaire”.
Thanks for the invitation.
I will visit again soon!