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Canada Parliament Complex, Ottawa.

March 14, 2011

It’s been a month and a half since my last post; I am glad that my friends and visitors did not give up on me.  I had to tend to personal health problems and I am back for a while.

This brings to mind that sometimes you want to sketch a view and just do not have the time to do a thorough job. In my earlier posts I gave tips on sketching while travelling with a tour group, where you sometimes have only seconds to make a sketch.  In this example I had time enough to do a decent job, but I did not have the opportunity to select the view and perspective I would have liked. It was a cold and bright morning in Ottawa, Canada. I was touring the National Art Gallery and from the coffee shop the view of the Parliament Complex made an interesting architectural composition.

Not to be disappointed that I had just one view, since I was on the opposite bank of the Ottawa River, I made this quick sketch because I would not have the opportunity to sketch the complex again. I am sure you are faced with such predicament many times. Make the best of your situation. Le Corbusier was good at this. With his sketchbooks always handy he made many quick sketches for references; many of which are so personal that they seem incomprehensible.

You may think that this sketch is a “walk in the park”, but far from that, you have to plan just how you will transfer this image into your sketchbook page and make the finished product interesting and complete with your observations for future references. In my mind the Parliament Library and the Clock Tower are the iconic parts of the complex, so I was careful to balance theses two structures on my sketchbook page. In addition the details here are more important than in the other parts of the complex.  On your next sketching journey try sketching a view where you just do not have the situation in your favor.

One Comment
  1. George Chinnery, (1774 -1852) who lived in Macau 1825 to 1852, did numerous quick sketches of rural folks, fishermen and animals depicting the livelihood of the people of Macau. He certainly did not have the opportunity to select views of his subjects to suit his compositions. His collection of sketches are timely masterpieces of the activities of the people of Macau during that period.

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