Sunday, December 11, 2016

Urban Sketching @Gardiner Museum with Toronto Urban Sketchers

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. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Holbein Aqua Duo + Painting Project

Gardiner Expressway
It is one of the busiest highways in Toronto. When we drive on this highway, the highrises are around us. It reminds me when I was in HK. I put my car in the painting. Guess which one?

Today I went to a demo about water soluble oil paint and bought some of them. I always want to try this product. It's quite good, easy to control. I am going to paint a series of miniature paintings.


You can see them everywhere. They are very lucky to be in Canada. If they are in China, guess that they lied on a table to be a dish already. You cannot kill or hurt them here. If they cross the road, you must stop and let them cross.

Wilcox Lake
Old Firehall Confectionery

In the Library
Such a quiet moment for a nap. I sometimes need to stay in the Fairview Mall Library for about 2 hours. Sometimes I do sketches, sometimes I do research. Reading books will make me fall asleep, especially it's just after the lunch. I tried not to sleep hardly but I saw him. He was taking a nap. I want it too.
有時候我要在Fairview Mall圖書館等太約兩小時,這裡溫度適中,環境清靜,是午間小睡的好地方。有時我在這裡畫速寫,有時候則搜集資料。每次我盡量金睛火眼,不打瞌睡。可是看到他,好夢正甜,正在午睡,我也想眠一眠呢。

Day 3: Royal Ontario Museum
You will never forget this architecture once you saw it. It doesn't match the surrounding buildings. This is an expansion of the ROM. It is one of the largest museums in North America, the largest in Canada. The old part of the museum was Designed by Toronto architects Frank Darling and John A. Pearson, the architectural style of the original building is Italianate Neo-Romanesque, popular throughout North America until the 1870s. The new part was designed by Toronto architect Gene Kinoshita, with Mathers Haldenby, the curatorial centre forms the southern section of the museum in simple modernism and completed in 1984. When the new part was completed, some Torontonians didn't like it. I have found it was liked a crumpled paper dropped on the ground.

這是個你一見難忘的建築物, 因為它與附近的建築物格格不入。這是安省皇家博物館的擴建部份,在原本的博物館旁。這個館是北美最大的博物館之,在加拿大是最大的了。舊的部份是由多倫多兩位建築師Frank Darling 和John A. Pearson設計的,是1970年代北美流行的意大利新羅馬風格。新的部份是由另兩位多倫多建築師 Gene Kinoshita及 Mathers Haldenby所設計的,以簡單的現代現代主義風格,於1984年完成。當這所新的部份完成時,有些多倫多市民很不喜歡,認為形嚮了原本的和諧。而我覺得它就像一個弄皺的紙圑拋在地上。

Day 2: Kensington Market

You can see a range of colourful houses through the alley. My favourite colour is the one in the middle with teal. One of them put a canoe to the wall. Two walls of two building in the front and the shadows on the ground formed a natural frame for these houses.


Day 1: Kensington Market

這是一幢很搶眼的建築物, 紅色的外場, 地下正在擺賣, 太陽傘的反光剛好在深色的背景襯托出來。馬路與行人路的橫線在畫面上看來不太順眼,加了些陰影在地上,看起來好很多了。

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kensington Market

This was a DAVC paint out event. To do the paint out in Kensington Market is not easy, it's better not doing during the weekends. Friday morning is good, shops open and not so crowded. We were still able to find a spot and sat down . Alleys, corners of the streets and empty stores were perfect places for setting up our plein air equipment. I sat in front of an empty unit and sketched the opposite side of the street where the sunlight hit on.

Kensington Market is a multicultural neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto. You can find different kinds of buildings and subjects around the area to paint. Whether the people activities or buildings, everything is worth to be part of your works.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Markham Auto Classic Show

We parked and walked along Markham Road from 26th Avenue. There we were! Lots of classic auto parked here. I am not a big fan of cars but William is. However, I felt like I was back to the past.

The weather was beautiful. I was standing under the trees and doing my sketch. A little bit different this time, I did it with my Android tablet, very easy and convenient!

Before I left, I saw another classic auto in mini version. That really reminds me my old time. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Milne Dam Conservation Park

I remember that we visited Milne Dam Conservation Park few months ago for a tree planting event. Today I decided to come again for plein air painting. The park is Markham's largest park which has 123 hectares. The Rouge River in the park provides a place for many migratory birds, which can be best viewed in the early mornings and evenings in spring and fall.The 2.3 kilometres of trails are suitable for walking ,jogging and cycling.

It is located on the east side of McCowan Road, just south of Highway 7. I saw a father and his son fishing at the river. If you want to fish, you need to apply for a A MNR fishing permit at Canadian Tire stores or bait shops.

Milne Park now charges admission per person. $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and children 16 or under are free. At the gate, the staff will give you a hand band so that you can have multi-entry with it as a proof. However, it is free admission on weekdays.

We sat down at the picnic table and I started painting the scene in front of me. I couldn't help taking photos and videos with the bird flying around the river. Again, I felt like I am a Discovery Channel reporter.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sketch with San Diego Urban Sketchers Group (聖地牙哥城市速寫會)

It was fun fun fun!!!

It took us 2.5 hrs drive from LA to San Diego. I was so excited to meet everyone from San Diego urban sketchers group. Once I got off from the car, I saw Lydia right in front of me. She introduced the group members to me and some of them just like me, the first time comers.

The Balboa Park is very big and is located in the north of the downtown area. It consists 12 attractions including San Diego Zoo, art museum, museum, theatre, restaurant and the gym centre. You can buy a "Passport to Balboa Park" for US$20 dollars for museum admission fees. The park was named after a Spanish navigator "Vasco Núñez de Balboa". In 1868, San Diego government developed this area as a park. The architectures now in the park were built in 1915 for The Panama–Pacific International Exposition.

I saw a wonderful architecture while we were driving. It is the Museum of Man. I decided to sketch this building. The detailed and complicated sculptures on the building cost so much time to depict. I could only simplify them. The architectures here are quite different from those in Toronto.

At 3:30 pm , we gathered again to show our sketches. There are so many things you can sketch in the park. Everyone did a great job with the variety of objects and styles. We took a group photo and The group has some announcements too. The Sketchcrawl had an event after this one near the zoo area. I really wanted to join but I also wanted to explore this park. One time one thing. I decided to hang around in the park. I grabbed something to eat in a café and visited a couple of places. The San Diego Museum of Art takes only $5 admission fee after 5 pm.

The group told me that there were food trucks coming to the park on Fridays in summer. In fact, I didn't expect that there were so many members could join the events on Friday afternoon. It was an awesome experience and I love to be one of the urban sketchers. I brought them a copy of our "
Urban Sketching Disappearing Landmarks in Toronto" to share our sketches from our group with them. We are not only showing the world, one drawing at a time., but also connect each other all over the world with a common interest. Love San Diego! Love you guys !

巴爾波亞公園有1,200英畝,位於市中心北區,有15座博物館包括著名的聖地牙哥動物園(San Diego Zoo)、美術館、博物館、劇場、餐廳以及娛樂健身設施等。如果你還想逛一逛園內的博物館的話,可購買US$30的"Passport to Balboa Park"。
公園是以一位西班牙的航海家Vasco Núñez de Balboa命名的,1868年聖地牙哥政府將這土地規劃為公園。現今公園內許多華麗的博物館建築, 均是1915年巴拿馬加州博覽會, 舉行時所留下的偉大遺產, 繁複的城堡建築反映當時西班牙殖民文藝復興時期的特色, 也有哥德, 巴羅克與洛可哥風。加州塔高達200呎內有100個小吊鐘,每十五分鐘百鐘齊鳴, 有如天籟之音。

今次去洛杉磯,有一天是會去聖地牙哥的。當我知道要上洛杉磯的時候,便立即上網找找那裡有沒有Urban Sketchers的群組,果然找到了聖地牙哥有一群組。於是便聯絡了他們,他們特別為我在8月12日舉辦了一次聚會,很感動!活動地點是巴爾波亞公園(Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park)

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.

Sunday, July 10, 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. I was so happy for them. I met many talented artists there and saw their wonderful works, different styles. It is always amazing to see different approaches, styles while everyone is painting at the same places and similar scenes.





在四時多左右,我們到了會場,看到其他參賽畫家的作品,非常有水準,雖然大家所描繪的地點都是差不多,但不同的手法和構圖真的令大家大開眼界。我的其中一幅作品在11" x 14"的組別獲得了第三名,我認識的一些畫友亦獲得獎項。大家都過了一個充實的週末。

Friday, July 1, 2016

Unionville - A house on Carlton Road

I have done many plein air paintings in Unionville but all are at Too Pond Pond. Today was Monday, less people on the Main Street. It was very tempting to paint the houses there. However, it was a hot steamy day, I decided to paint a house near the place I parked my car and under the shade.

來過這裡很多次寫生,但每次都是畫Too Good Pond.今天是星期一,早上在Main Street人不多,很想畫那裡有特色的房屋,可是今天實在太熱,我還是選擇畫一幢在我泊車的停車場附近的樹蔭下畫了這幢漂亮的屋子.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

En Plein Air Painting Workshop with Jake Mol at Earl Bales Park

I attended Jake's demo on varnishing watercolour painting before and love the way he shares his knowledge and experience with us. This morning, I came again for his plein air workshop held by Toronto Watercolour Society. He picked a nice location where he painted a small white house. We were watching him painting and he told us everything about his painting, as well as answering our questions. The demo was about a little bit more than an hour. Then we started painting ours. I didn't pick the white house as his painting was too impressive to me. I wanted to try something different. So I picked the playground and challenged myself to paint the figures and the scene.

After 2 hours, we gathered again for our lunch and for the critique part. As he said, we should learn from each other as well. He made the points on our paintings. I did learn a lot from his options on everyone's work as well as mine.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Riverdale Farm

It was the first time I went to the Riverdale Farm. The farm is not huge and it has everything. It is located on the east side of the downtown area, a very convenient location. However, it was not very crowded even on Saturday.

The night before the weather forecast said there would be a thunderstorm next morning. Someone asked if I would still go. Well, I had to because I was one of the hosts and in case someone showed up. Surprisingly, the sun was shining when I woke up in the morning.
You can find chicken, goats, horses in the farm as well as beautiful buildings and architectures. I didn't walk around because I needed to save my time for the painting. So I picked where is the favourite of everyone to paint. I chatted with people, walked around to take photos while I was painting. I left during noon and it had been 3 hours already.

第一次去Riverdale Farm,很喜歡!雖然今天是星期六,但遊人不是很多。前天天氣預告說會有風暴,有畫友問我還去不去,我說去,因為我怕到是有人會去,見不到我們畫會的人。怎料今早起來,陽光普照!這農場在市中心近東面。農場內有雞有羊有馬等,亦有一些頗有特色的建築物,為了爭取時間,我沒有把整個農場遊覽一遍,和大部份人一樣,在羊和雞欄寫了一幅畫,有時又走開影相,有時又跟途人聊天,不知覺間已是中午,又要趕著回去。

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Victoria Day (我的Victoria Day假期)

We didn't go anywhere for the long weekend.  I planned to go to The Distillery District to complete my unfinished painting. However, the booths blocked most of my view. Went back to the car, I felt at least I needed to do something before I left. I saw a senior crossing the road with a walker rollator. I put her on my sketchbook, adding the background for her as well.

One of my favorite ramen restaurants is Kinton. We always go there whenever we come to the downtown area. I love to sit at the bar table and watch the staff preparing the ramen, using a fire gun to cook. 

Before going back home, we went to St Lawrence Market. I have found a good spot under the shade. It was not much traffic. People were walking the dogs, buying lunch. Everyone seemed to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.

在Victory Day的長週末,我們沒有像其他人出外旅遊,反而去了Downtown Toronto享受了城市中的清靜。本想去Distillery District完成未畫完的寫生畫,但因為那裡有活動,那些攤位都把我想畫的景阻擋著,一心來到,又不甘心什麽都沒有做便離開,坐上車之際,看見有位婆婆拿著助步車過馬路,便把她速寫下來,也為她配上了背景。


最後我們去了St Lawrence Market,在附近我們找到一個合適的位置,就畫下來。人和車也多,大部份經過的都是附近住的人,他們有的在放狗,有的是買外賣,每個人都很享受這個長週末的最後一天假期。

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

G Ross Lord Park

The sky was so wonderful this morning and there was no class for today. I decided to ask Monica for the Plein air painting together. We hadn't decided where to go but I didn't want to go to Too Good Pond again. Finally, we found a place called G Ross Lord Park. I am not good at finding new places. So we decided I would drive after hers. Not far from the parking lot, few cars went between us. I thought I was going to lose her track. However, she drove like a turtle and those "few cars" moved to the fast lane. We finally got together again. I have found that we have some kind of connection after this drive. When we got off the cars, we couldn't wait for a high five. The park is located at Finch and Dufferin.
We walked around and decided to drive to another end, to see if we could find a nicer spot. Finally, we picked a spot where we could see the creek and the opposite dryland.

今早天氣很好,又沒課堂,便約了Monica去寫生。還沒有決定地點,又不想再去Too Good Pond。找到了另一個地方,便是G Ross Lord Park。我認路不好,所以決定開車跟在Monica的車後面,怎料一出路口,便有幾輛車在我們早間,我以為她已開得很遠,怎料她以X速令她後面的車無法忍受到快線。最後我又跟到她後面去。途中也有些情況差點跟不上,但是我發覺我們頗有默契。下車時也不禁High Five一下。公園地點是近Finch and Dufferin。


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Goddess Project #8 - Blue Fairy

We got a very charming little lady tonight. She had her hair in blue and with the costume on her, she was really a fairy.

I borrowed a book about fairy art from a local library for reference and did this study sketch. I put a skirt made of leaves for her. She would be sitting on a tree trunk.

For the watercolour, I am thinking to put the blooms as the background.

Half Sheet Watercolour
1. Paint the Skin
Colour: Vermillion(R) + Permanent Orange (R) + Winsor Blue(WN)
Wet the skin and paint, after the 1st layer dry, do the 2nd and third to get the shades down.
The dress is revised to cover the body in the watercolour version.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Goddess Project #7 - Inanna

March 23, 2016
Inanna was a Sumerian Goddess. Inanna's name derives from Lady of Heaven. She was well-known as the goddess of sexual love but is equally prominent as the goddess of warfare. She was always associated with lions. We had a beautiful model with us. The costume she wore was made by her for a Halloween party.

I first used a quarter size paper to do a study painting. Only use Indigo to paint all the dark areas, and then glaze with other colours for different areas. It's not easy to paint the correct skin tone. After I finished the painting, I have found the hands and legs are too small in proportion. 

Back home, I prepared the draft for my half sheet painting and decided the background. It is a stone wall.

The colours were Ultramarine Deep, Burnt Sienna, and Vermilion. Somewhere were rubbed with a white crayon before painting the colours on.

I put the first wash of Raw Umber mixed with Alizarin Crimson and some Cobalt Blue and lifted up the paint for the highlight. Other washes applied on different areas on the face were mixed with more Alizarin Crimson. Darker areas were Permanent Blue Violet and more Raw Umber. The eyelids were painted with Raw Umber and Permanent Blue Violet.

The head dress was painted with Yellow, Olive Green and Indigo, same colours were applied on the neck dress and the lion pendant.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Landscape - Rock

Step 1: Paint the rocks
Colours: Raw Umber (Holbein) / Ultramarine Deep (Rembrandt) / Vermilion (Rembrandt)
  • Paint the rock with Ram Umber
  • Add Ultramarine Deep in the shading areas
  • Drop some vermilion on the rock randomly
  • Wait for it dry about 50%-70%
  • Use Palette Knife or Credit Card to scrape the texture on the rocks

Step 2: Paint the water
Colours: Cerulean Blue (Rembrandt)  / Ultramarine Deep (Rembrandt) 
  • Paint the mid-tone in Cerulean Blue and fade out 
  • Paint the water near the bottom in Ultramarine Deep 

Step 3: Sky
Colours: Azo Yellow Medium (Rembrandt) / Vermilion (Rembrandt)
  • Paint the sky near the water in Azo Yellow Medium 
  • Add more Azo Yellow Medium and paint upwards
  • Add a bit Vermilion to Azo Yellow Medium and paint the top of the sky 

Step 4: Reflections of the rocks
Colours: Raw Umber (Holbein) / Ultramarine Deep (Rembrandt) / Vermilion (Rembrandt) 
  • Paint the water near the rocks in Raw Umber and Ultramarine Deep
  • Put few lines of Vermilion accordingly
Step 5: Shadows of the rocks
Colours:  Ultramarine Deep (Rembrandt) / Vermilion (Rembrandt) 
  • Mix Ultramarine Deep and Vermilion and paint the shadows of the rocks
  • Use the same colours to paint the water surface near the rocks 

Step 6: Yachts
Colours:  Ultramarine Deep (Rembrandt) / Vermilion (Rembrandt) / Azo Yellow Medium (Rembrandt)
  • Use light green (the mix of Ultramarine Deep and Azo Yellow Medium) and light orange (the mix of Vermilion and Azo Yellow Medium to paint the Yachts
  • Paint the bottom in light Ultramarine Deep
  • Reuse the colours and paint the reflections accordingly

Step 7: Background
Colours:  Ultramarine Deep (Rembrandt) / Vermilion (Rembrandt) 
  • Use light purple (the mix of Ultramarine Deep and Vermilion) to paint the mountains on the background