It was a very cool Friday morning when I went to meet a friend in Port Hope. While I was waiting, I sat on a steel chair outside a cafe and sketched the buildings across the street. I was wearing my arm warmers for the first time this season and still was shivering. However, this building pulled me in; I was struck by its perfect symmetry, six brick columns encasing ten casement windows. I’ve said before that this is what keeps me sketching old buildings, actually seeing such history and design when you look up. The street-side windows reveal the sorry state of small town downtowns–and Port Hope is surviving much better than many–but the glories are still there if you just look up.
I wrote about this sketch the day I did it, over a week ago–and was delighted when I read Liz Steele’s description of her workshop in Brazil to hear her express much the same sentiments…
Trusting your own personal response to a building is far more important when sketching architecture than achieving absolutely accurate proportions or perfect perspective. I don’t think so much about the bricks and mortar as I do the skill that designed and put it all together. The act of sketching becomes more than just observing an inanimate object – it generates an exciting personal connection with the mind (and often genius) of the original creator and even the culture of a different era.
I am thrilled that Liz is offering an online course, Sketching Now Foundations. I know there is a danger to doing too many courses–and Sketchbook Skool Storytelling starts this Friday–but I’ve long been hoping that Liz would offer an online course and I can’t wait. It is her set of lessons in Sketchbook Skool that I refer to most often. I like her approach and her subject matter.
Here is another sketch from that day in Port Hope, a set of row houses dating from 1845.
Last Friday we were in Kingston for the Writersfest (highly recommended!) and I had time to sit in the park and sketch the City Hall, one of my favourite buildings. This day, so unlike the week before, was warm and sunny and outside sketching was perfect. Kingston has many tourists and on such a beautiful day many stopped to talk and even photograph the sketch.