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Sketching Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

November 29, 2011

Winter is coming! It’s cold out there sketching in 7c. I have committed myself to winter painting this year. Got some silk undies (not the sexy kind) and some big boots. (Also not the sexy kind).  We’ll see how well this works.  The first thing I discover – is the light is totally different. It’s a study in close neutrals. Or some might say, pretty damn grey.

But I really enjoyed it. You don’t have to worry about the light changing for one thing. There’s no directional shadow at all. It kind of made the drawing more subtle. Like a calming effect on my normal desire to go for maximum contrast.

I was on the west side of town, in an area they call NDG – short for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Which is both the name of the town, a street in the town, and the church on the street in the town. They’re all NDG.  Three times over.

And to top it off, the church is at the intersection of Rue NDG and Ave. Prud’homme.  M. Prud’homme was no doubt an interesting guy. Besides owning the land at the center of NDG, he was the town’s Justice of the Peace, the Captain of the Milita, and eventually the Mayor.

By the way – I’ve made this sketch available as an 8×12″ archival print on watercolor paper, over on my Etsy shop.

Nearby the titular NDG is another fascinating structure. The confusingly named River’s Edge Church. (I could not see a river nearby). A little research tells me it was originally L’église St-Augustine de Canterbury. There are some large shamrocks prominently carved above the bell tower – so is it stereotyping to think that it must be part of Montreal’s Irish Catholic heritage?

In any case I really enjoyed it’s fanciful tower – and will be back for a more detailed drawing some day!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    November 30, 2011 1:56 AM

    HI Marc- these are stunning studies in grey! (we never get this type of light!)

  2. November 30, 2011 8:10 AM

    Totally love this beautiful watercolors. :-)

  3. November 30, 2011 9:14 AM

    These are fantastic, Marc! Nice work, as always!

  4. December 1, 2011 11:43 PM

    I would agree with all of the above!!!! Stunning!

  5. Becki permalink
    November 7, 2015 5:38 AM

    Love, love, love…..

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