Autumn sun in Kingston

March 11th, 2024 § 0 comments § permalink

I almost decided not to attend this month’s Urban Sketchers meet-up. The temperature was predicted to hit the mid-30s, and I am not a huge fan of hot weather, but I figured a morning outing would let me get in and out again before it really got unbearable. We met at Green Square in the old part of Kingston, and I settled under one of the big old plane trees to sketch the Caribou pub — a Canadian-themed establishment that I REALLY want to visit for dinner sometime. I have always wanted to try poutine! I have added it to our date night list of places to visit.

The building itself is one of the fancier ones in the vicinity, and try as I might, I have not been able to find out its origins. The area itself was established in the early 1920s to support the nearby industrial area and has recently been gentrified after languishing in urban decay for decades. There are snazzy new apartment buildings and shops all around, but this lovely little old-style village green has been preserved as a place for the community to gather and enjoy the oasis of grass and shady trees … and, of course, fabulous coffee and food.

I set up my sketchbook spread ahead of time with the heading, map and metadata stamp and completed the main sketch on location. My experiment this time round was to use Mike Daikubara’s paint first, draw second method, and paired that with using brown ink rather than black to give it a softer feel. I am pleased with the way it turned out, though I think I should have done the drippy technique on the red sign as well to lift the bottom of the sketch where the details are sparse.

As always I finished the spread at home with photos and some journalling to fill it out.

Sketching alongside me and looking at the same view was my friend Sally, who you may remember I went out food sketching with last month. She kept up a steady stream of fun chatter, and we laughed together at the kids running around near us and quietly applauded the parents who were most effective in corralling their little ones with firm but fair guidance. We giggled most at a little girl being called by her mum … “Squirrel…come here please.” Was this child really named Squirrel? Perfect! We learned her real name after mum had repeated her pleas to the youngling several times … “Julianna! Come here now!” Sally and I both have grown sons, but remember vividly those times when we were the mum in that position. Though, Sally is an early childhood teacher, and she encounters squirrelly kids regularly!

We were lucky not to get whacked with the soccer ball that was whizzing around on the green beside us. I cannot get cranky at little ones enjoying the sun, running around, making happy noises, and having fun. No chats with strangers this time!

I had time to make two small postcards to leave behind as abandoned art to bring someone a smile with absolutely no expectation of hearing whether or not someone picked them up (though I did give the portrait to the lady I sketched, and she rewarded me with a surprised smile.).

Like last month, I videoed my act of guerilla kindness.

Green Square has some lovely quirky spaces. I took the photo of the laneway with the intention of sketching it sometime — it would make for fabulous perspective practice, and provide me with a challenge to make a traditionally dull space look interesting.

Autumn is here, so in spite of the summery temperatures, there were leaves of various hues dotting the ground. I also happened across this pair of handsome fellows in one of the arcades. I was not expecting that! Isn‘t it fun when we are greeted with these little surprises?

It has been a while since I showed my face here, so I had a play with my new phone — the portrait mode is fun — and saved one of my experiments to share with you. Hello!

Thank you again for reading. If you are interested in my Urban Sketching, I currently have an illustrated essay running in my newsletter that covers an 18-month project I completed to document the facelift of my local shops. Part two was published a couple of weeks ago. You can subscribe using the link in the side bar … it‘s free.


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