Tag Archives: watercolour sketches

Summer Days, 2016

This past week we visited the exhibition of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun ( French, 1755-1842) at the National Gallery of Canada which will end this September 11. She is a prominent 18th century painter with more than 600 portraits, 200 landscapes and this is her first retrospective. The Ottawa NGC gallery exhibition stated, “her talent, her extraordinary capacity for work and her social skills” were her outstanding qualities and we see this before our eyes as we walk through each room. Vigée Le Brun painted about thirty portraits of Marie Antoinette but with the start of  the French Revolution ( 1789-99) she fled quickly from France. Her talent and gifted skills continued to give her a portait career in Italy, Austria, Russia and England. She returned to Paris when her name was struck from the list of enemy émigrés.

Portrait of Marie Antoinette with Rose, oil, 1783

Portrait of Marie Antoinette with the Rose, oil, permanent collection Palace of Versaille, 1783


I received a gift of Caran d’Ache, Fancolor 15 from a friend and wholesale distributor of these products. The thin metal container is 11 cm by 28cm by 2.5 cm, is ultra light with a full range of pan water-soluble pigment: 14 in total plus a tube of white gouache, a nice mixing area and a small quality brush. I used it, as I do my regular watercolour pigments on a quarter sheet of Fabriano, cold press, traditional white, gsm 300. For myself, the small light size with a few larger brushes and water container make it an ideal plein air kit.

Plein Air, Coteau du Lac, Caran d'Arch, FANCOLOUR 15

Plein Air, Coteau du Lac, Caran d’Ache, FANCOLOR 15


Blockhouse, Coteau du lac, Caran d’Ache FANCOLOR 15, 2016


Mill, Coteau du Lac, Caran d’ache FANCOLOR 15, 2016

Here are some sketches completed during the summer at Linda Drewry’s favourite Tuesday plein air sketching group.


Pointe du Moulin, Ile Perrot, East/south view, 2016


Ste Anne de Bellevue Locks, northside, 2016


Ile des Moulins, water spray on pond,  Terrebone, 2016

Free or almost free, cool places to sketch

This summer in Québec the weather is balmy and usually 30 degrees. No excuse not to get out and sketch. One of my favourite spots is the Sanctuaire in Rigaud, free but accepts donations. Shady, peaceful and usually quiet except for a yell from youngsters finding Pokémon on their screen. It is a place of meditation. Quiet is the command here but miracles do happen and need to be celebrated.

Sanctuaire de Lourdes, Rigaud

Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Qc

Another cool spot, Parc Valois, 331 Avenue St. Charles,Vaudreuil-Dorion on the water has free parking and entrance.

Parc Valois, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Qc

Parc Valois, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Qc

Worth a visit, Parc Historique, Pointe-du-Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I’Île-Perrot, free on Monday and Tuesday.

La Pointe du Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I'île-Perrot, Qc

Le Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I’île-Perrot

As always, the flowers from the garden await brush, pigment and water.

Summer Bouquet

Summer Bouquet

The Red Sail is here

The world’s biggest Viking ship, Draken Harald Fairhair. (Jan Kaare Ness / NTB Scanpix / AFP)

The Draken Harald Hårfagre has left Newfoundland and is sailing up the St. Lawerence. We can follow it thanks to a tracker installed on the ship ( have a look here ) and via Facebook. The ship will arrive June 15 in Quebec City as posted by the Captain on Facebook. Opportunities to see this beautiful ship are coming our way as it heads towards Montréal.

My hope is to see and sketch the ship. For now,  here are some of my sketches from the past two weeks.

Watercolour, Derelict Lock, Soulanges Canal, Pointe Cascades, QC

watercolour, Derelict Lock, Soulanges Canal, Pointe Cascades, QC, 2016


watercolour, Pointe Claire Yacht Club, 2016

watercolour, Pointe Claire Yacht Club, Qc, 2016


watercolour, Pointe Claire Yacht Club, QC, 2016

watercolour, Pointe Claire Yacht Club, QC, 2016


watercolour, Dollard des Ormeaux, Qc, 2016

watercolour, Centennial Park, Dollard des Ormeaux, Qc, 2016




July Sketches 2015

Early in the month of July, the Montreal Urban Sketchers were invited to Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire, Quebec. Eighty artists participated and their sketches posted in the Adjacent Room of the Gallery for the months of July and August. The sunny day plus the offer of free coffee, ice cream, paper, pencils and clipboards was too perfect to refuse.

Urban Sketchers, Stewart Hall, photo by Rhonda Massad

Linda sketching at Stewart Hall, photo by Rhonda Massad


This year's equipment for Plein Air

This year’s equipment for my Plein Air

Linda Drewry continues her weekly Tuesday paint outs in and around Montréal. All are welcome. You show up…paint, draw, photograph or just lazy around.

Baie Valois, rue St. Charles, Dorion, Qc

Linda Denis, Bay Valois, Dorion, Qc., watercolour, 2015

Just before the thunder storm,

Linda Denis, Just before the thunder storm,water-colour,2015

historic home on lake of two Mountains

Linda Denis, Greenwood on lake of two Mountains, watercolour, 2015

Residence on the Hill, Rigaud, Pq

Linda Denis, La Résidence, Rigaud, Qc, watercolour, 2015

Interiors, Exteriors

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 15th century Byzantine iconWhere to go to find a sanctuary in a foreign place? In Guayabitos the Catholic Church is open to the public on extended hours, no admission fees, beautiful and comfortable. I go there to sketch and remember my loved ones with a lighted candle. It not the simple act of lighting a candle and giving a donation. You need to cross the street and buy your candle at one of the local depanneurs or 7-11 stores. There is a good selection of votive candles; hot pink, red or lime green or religious icons for about 30 pesos. The offering box is near the main alter. You give what you want. The church is named, The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The icon of Mary and Child associated with this church harks back to the Byzantine era of the 15th century.

interior of Guayabitos Church

Linda Denis, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, watercolour, Venezia Sketchbook, 2015

There are other places of tranquility but not of the same quality. Beyond the maleçon in La Peñita the fishermen beach their boats when not out in the bay.

Another Beached Boats, La Peñita

Linda Denis, Parked until the next Sea Journey, watercolour, Venezia Sketchbook, 2015

Beached Boat, La Peñita

Linda Denis, Beached Fishing Boat, La Peñita, watercolour, Venezia Sketchbook, 2015

I return to the building site on the maleçon for my final look at progress.

Construction workers, La Peñita

Linda Denis, Progress on the Construction Site, La Peñita, watercolour, Venezia Sketchbook, 2015

Then, I take out my sketchbook to do a watercolour of suburbia Guyabitos. Here quiet persists except for the barking guard dogs and a few pedestrians out for a leisurely walk or a quick walk to the swing bridge to look at the crocodiles.


balcony view

Linda Denis, Storm maybe Today, watercolour, Venezia Sketchbook, 2015