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Lining up to visit Parliament

October 3, 2017

Sometimes it seems like I never draw anymore! With my watercolors – once you master mixing stronger colors, (and add some rich-dark pigments to your palette), you can do anything an ink drawing can do, but with the ability to work with shape as well as lines.

Still, there’s nothing more instantaneous than a direct ink drawing. Or more convenient. You can’t beat the immediacy of just a pen in hand.

These are done with a platinum carbon pen (extra fine line) and a brushpen (extra bold, of course).

They’re all done while waiting in line to visit the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Then, carrying on doodling while following the cellphone snapping tour group.

I’ve drawn this place from the outside – but never taken the time to go in. But we were vising with friends for the weekend, so we thought, ok – lets finally do this touristy thing.

Ok, well, the opening sketch up top is from breakfast at the hotel, not the tour itself. Our friends were some kind of card carrying VIPs. They had us upgraded so we could all enjoy the view from the members lounge.

So, actually, I hate to admit it – but the tour is kind of worth it. I must be getting old! I’d never have stood around for this before. But I was surprised to find myself enjoying it.

The interior architecture is fabulous – especially the Gothic library, the only one of it’s kind, done in carved white white pine. (No drawing allowed there, too hush hush. Important people working on important speeches!)

The halls are full of big’ol historical paintings and memorial statues. The docents do a great job of explaining the quirky traditions of our governments’ hallowed halls. Even with the canned jokes they must have to deliver 100 times a day.

I suppose, every so often it’s worth it to go on a holiday and leave your paints behind. Not everything has be a trophy winning piece – isn’t that right Lord Stanley?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason Mullins permalink
    October 3, 2017 11:09 AM

    Great energy in your line work. Love it! Thanks for posting.

  2. Estelle DeRidder permalink
    October 3, 2017 11:14 AM

    There is something special about your directness and spontaneity that I find very invigorating Mark. It just flips a switch in my brain and my body – – – – so today is going to be a pen-and-ink-day. No matter what. Thank you for stimulating me and getting me back to basics in this ‘advanced techniques’ jungle. Hug

  3. Luikatjie permalink
    October 3, 2017 12:30 PM

    Regarding stronger and darker watercolors, do you ever have trouble with bronzing? I find that my colors often bronze and become unpleasantly shiny when I try to push the dark values.

    • October 3, 2017 12:36 PM

      I’ve seen it happen yes, especially if you get it on a bit thick. I’ve never had it so bad that I felt it ruined an image? I can’t say I’ve ever researched why it happens. Sometimes I might blot that one spot?

      • Luikatjie permalink
        October 4, 2017 5:33 AM

        I’m not sure what’s the cause either, but I suspect it might be a buildup of gum arabic, maybe. In any case, I’ve recently purchased some dark-valued paints (perylene maroon and indigo) that I hope will help with achieving darks more easily and perhaps solve the bronzing problem too!

        • October 4, 2017 1:09 PM

          Excellent! Two of my favorite colors :)

  4. Judy Sopher permalink
    October 3, 2017 1:55 PM

    These are great, Marc. I was glad to learn you use a brush pen as well as the fine line pen. For some reason I have wanted to do that but hesitated. I usually add darker or larger black accents but doing it with a pen point is rather lame.Now I will try it. Thanks.

    • October 4, 2017 1:31 PM

      Oh yes, I love the combination of the finest possible line and the bold marks the brush makes. That was all I used for a few years at the beginning.

  5. MarySusan Farmer permalink
    October 3, 2017 3:49 PM

    Marc: Have you7 heard of the “Inktober Challenge”? It will get you drawing again, guaranteed! My daughter has taken it on again this year……….

  6. Coco Carey permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:40 PM

    Just wonderful!

  7. Bernadette permalink
    October 3, 2017 7:53 PM

    I think your drawings ARE award winning! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to share. The drawings are wonderful.

  8. joantav permalink
    October 5, 2017 10:06 PM

    It is fun to see you go back to the basic ink lines once in a while, especially since your drawings are so good!!

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