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Ready for year three? #OneWeek100People2019

March 6, 2019


Top Posts!

October 3, 2018

Aug 19, 2019: I need to go on a blogging hiatus again. Various projects around the studio are demanding my full attention.

You can follow what I’m doing with my oil painting over on my studio page

And for now, here are some of the more useful urban sketching posts on the blog:

Gear_Easel (2)

Thanks for stopping by, and best of luck with your drawing and painting!


I’m moving to Instagram!

September 29, 2018

Hey everyone! I’ve set up a home for my oil paintings:

So- what’s going on? Well – I’ve been writing about sketching on location for ten years now. In that time you’ve seen me go from an itinerant sketch-book artist to a published author and online art-instructor, and eventually, a painter inducted into our national watercolor society.

Today, in the fall of 2018, it’s time to start a new chapter.

Over on, I’ll be sharing my new work – alla prima painting in oils.

Life is change. Old dogs learn new tricks. As artists, we’re continually expanding our abilities and interests. I can only follow where inspiration leads.

I’ll be leaving CitizenSketcher online for now, as the blog is still a good resource for students and sketchers. But I won’t be adding to the archive or actively answering questions. Honestly, everything I have to say about art is here in these pages. Anyone who wants to follow in my footsteps can head back to 2007 and watch it all happen before their eyes :)

If you want to reach me going forward, give me a follow at

See you in the painting studio :)

~ Marc

Announcing a Limited Edition Print : We Own The Night

July 11, 2018

I’m excited to announce my first limited edition print

“We Own The Night”

From an original watercolor by Marc Taro Holmes

11×14″, printed with Epson 200-year-rated archival inks and paper

Only 12 copies made

$150.00 CDN + shipping

Inquires by email at: marc(dot)taro(at)gmail(dot)com

[detail, enlarged]

This is a very limited set of only twelve impressions. I want this artwork to be a unique experience for collectors. To own one of a select few reproductions, of a work I consider to be the best I’ve made to date.

I printed these myself in our home studio. The color rendition is my ideal representation of the original painting. This is a print I am proud to release into the world.

Every time I look at this scene, I am once again walking through that perfect night in early spring, when winter in Montreal is just losing its grip and the city is coming alive.

In a way, this image encapsulates my artistic career as an urban sketcher. This is what it feels like to be on the street, senses open, experiencing the world through art.

~ ~ ~

To purchase a print, email me at: marc(dot)taro(at)gmail(dot)com.

We will reply to inquiries in the order they arrive. Prints are $150.00 (Canadian), plus postage to your location. You may transfer funds via paypal, which supports e-cheque or credit card payments and international currency conversion. Artwork ships flat, in waterproof mailers, un-framed, and un-matted.

Thanks for your support!

~Marc Taro Holmes

Last video (for now): working a little more transparently

July 7, 2018

Here’s a portrait sketch (from a tiny black and white google-image). This is some more edge-pulling, but, with thinner, more transparent layers than I might use on location. Useful for more rendered things, that you want to look more three dimensional.

This is the last of these edit and audio test projects I’d made. So there won’t be any more of these right away. But I think they do stand as a good example of how I’ve been working in the last few years.



Watercolor in 2 (ish) Layers: Growing a Silhouette Shape + Sculpting Shadows

July 6, 2018

Here’s a bit longer demo (10ish minutes), showing how to grow a silhouette shape with plenty of color variation – which, you intend to cover later with a shadow shape.

This is another sculptural subject, but of course, this is the same way I’d paint anything, from a landscape, to an architectural subject.

Enjoy! And I hope you’ll find this combination of base layer + shadow can help you get more solid looking objects in your own work.

Thanks, ~m


Unfortunate news about Portugal – and a video by way of apology :)

July 5, 2018

I have unfortunate news, that I will not be traveling to the 2018 Urban Sketchers Symposium in Porto.

I very much regret letting down the students registered for my courses, and I will very much miss sketching Portugal with friends new and old.

As regular readers will know, my stepfather has progressive dementia, and we are taking care of him at home. Though we now have part-time nursing, his condition has deteriorated to the point where I cannot be away overnight. There are falls, incidents of confusion and aggression, and many and varied late night panics that require a team of people to handle. It has become a health and safety issue that I can’t ignore.

Thanks in advance for your understanding, and again, I do apologize to anyone looking forward to my demos. Still – I know you will have a fantastic time drawing in Porto. There are so many tremendous artists and wonderful subjects – you will have the drawing event of your lives!

So, as a partial replacement for not being there to do a live demo, here’s a painting video :)

This is a detailed look at Edge Pulling. A fundamental technique for placing color on the page, and blending the edges with clean water.

This video was part of a larger project, I’ve had a few false starts learning to do voice recording at home, so I apologize if the audio is a bit murky. But! I’ve decided I might as well start sharing what I have – not sit on it forever, waiting to make it perfect. <This is a mantra of mine no?]

So enjoy, and – I’ll have a few more of these in the upcoming days!