Monday, April 29, 2013

Robbins Health Learning Centre interior

The interior of the Nursing School building at MacEwan University has some generous spaces, including a long, linear 4 storey atrium that connects the classroom floors, lit from above through a clerestory. The interior finishes are relatively stark and simple -- glass rails, exposed concrete structure, bits of drywall... on quiet lunch hours like today (there have been no classes for a while), this space feels more like a cathedral than an educational facility. 


My son is now heavily into the Urutoraman ("Ultraman") series, thanks to an extremely cheap DVD set I purchased at a local supermarket of all places. He ended up napping with the paper mask I created.

Incidentally, these sketches were done using a Pilot Parallel Pen (2.4mm) I bought last weekend. It's taken a bit of getting used to, and although I anticipated using it to make creative use of broad and thin lines, I've found that the ink doesn't flow as smoothly with the flat side down; it limits the sense of spontaneity I imagined could be possible in the linework. However, to my surprise, I've enjoyed using the nib's edge instead. Unlike regular fountain pens, the unique square metal nib doesn't flex vertically or horizontally, and keeps solid ungiving contact with the paper, leaving a satisfying sound as though making audible the paper's texture. The ink flows nicely in the process, and though the lines are thin and relatively consistent, they still possess character.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jasper Avenue

Jasper Avenue on a windy lunch hour, but possible the warmest of the year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

northeast Edmonton panorama

School's out at MacEwan University, and the Nursing Building is quiet, allowing me to sketch from lounge areas usually packed with students.
I spent two lunch hours putting together this panorama looking towards the northeast from the top floor. It's become a favourite spot on cold days like today, and I hope to capitalize on the relative freedom and tranquility of a campus full of no one but administrators...

The view in this spread includes (from right to left) the Epcor Tower, the series of totemic concrete towers at MacEwan's downtown campus, Commonwealth Stadium, the Coliseum (way back on the distant horizon), and the Royal Alexandra Hospital (at the extreme left).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday afternoon

 An opportunity to sketch my wife and the kids together (though I've not drawn my wife's likeness), on a rare lazy Saturday afternoon...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

kitchen utensils

I am always inspired by other people's sketches and the unique ways they see the world. I recently bought several books by Danny Gregory, including one called "Everyday Matters". We all begin drawing under different circumstances and driven by different aspirations, but I was struck by the way this author started his journey into the world of sketching more as a therapeutic act than anything else, drawing anything and everything he could find in his house as a way of coming to terms with a traumatic turn of events in his family life.
This story, in turn, inspires me to turn my own eyes towards the mundane, everyday world around me... how else can you begin to see the beauty of each object in the kitchen, as though they were flowers in a vase, but each developing its own character, evoking scenes of sunny Saturday morning pancakes, the smell of garlic and olive oil, and the sensation of potatoes being mashed before the family Christmas dinner...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Since the last post of the kids was my son, this time it's my daughter's turn.She's still heavily into princesses (a la Disney), Barbies, and dressing up, but has now gradually let go of her purple blankie and claims to have a boyfriend in her kindergarten class.

I came across a book at a used bookstore today documenting the growth of the author's daughter in page after page of sketches, from birth till the age of 18. It was intimate, endearing, and inspiring. But I dread the day that my daughter will no longer let me sneak into her bedroom to sketch her after she falls asleep like this...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

108 street... north of downtown

A view along 108 Street, north of MacEwan University. It retains the light industrial and mixed use character that is the remnant of the days of the rail yards, but is in stark contrast to the upgraded boulevard treatment that 108 Street gets on the opposite, south side of the university.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

cafe interior

 A visit to a busy cafe...