Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy 400th Birthday, Québec.

This July marks four centuries since Samuel de Champlain and his crew of 28 men stepped ashore from their little boats on the bit of land that was later to become Québec city.

Here is a croquis of Québec rooftops. I did this sketch while sitting in a dry bathtub, the only place in our hotel room with a good view. The hollow rattle of a horse's hooves on cobblestones floated up from the street below.

I started by laying broad watercolor washes with a ¾ inch white nylon flat over a light pencil drawing. The last step was to add the brown lines with a Waterman fountain pen. The copper roof was weathered to a gray-brown color under the cornice alongside the clock. I tried to suggest that effect by dragging my finger over a passage of wet pen lines.

Bonne Fête, Québec!
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See also the GJ posts on bronze weathering and the watercolor-with-fountain-pen technique


7 comments:

Fred X said...

Beautiful. Have you ever considered setting up a video camera aimed at your canvas when you're outside paiting? I'm sure we'd all love to see you in action during a plein air oil session. That's a DVD I'd buy!

I love your blog. Thanks for sharing. I like the way you think and your art is not too bad either :)

Eric Orchard said...

Beautiful painting. I think old Quebec is one of the most amazing places ever. My wife and I went there foe our first big trip together, we even found a hotel that let our dog stay too.

Jared Shear said...

FANTASTIC!....really enjoy this piece James. A lot of nice depth in the piece and the composition works well. I find my self being sucked into all of that wonderful little detail you captured with the fountain pen.

qitsune said...

When I visited your blog this morning I sure wasn't expecting to see a painting of my city in it. Beautiful painting. You are always very resourceful.

Daniel Potvin said...

Magnifique ! The light and the perspective are really well rendered. And I can spot the Laurentian mountains where I live in the background :-)

Dianne Mize said...

What a lovely little drawing. I spent a chunk of time exploring all your little lines and washes. There's a bunch of joy there.

laureline said...

Yes, this is wonderful. The inked lines are a perfect finish.