Some sketches from Lebanon

Before I got to Lebanon, I connected with the local urban sketchers group.  The motto of the urban sketchers (, or is “see the world, one sketch at a time,” and I’ve been meeting up with them in lots of places for the past few years.  (There’s a group in Newfoundland, too – leave  me a message here if you’d like to join us.)  So whenever I could get away from work I started sketching Beirut, sometimes with other folks and sometimes on my own.  I’ve posted a few examples here.

This was my first sketch, the day after I arrived – from the Minister’s (of environment) conference room, waiting for a meeting to start.  The el-Amin Mosque, the Mediterranean, the mountains north of the city.

2014-10-2 Beirut from conference room s

This was from the balcony of my apartment, looking towards the port.  The original is in color, but I accidentally photoshopped it into black and white, and I actually like it better that way.

2014-10-19 Beirut Port 2 b&w s

This one is near my apartment, in a neighborhood called Mar Mikhael.  I’ve been trying to change my style, and do less scratchy line work – I think this one succeeded at that.

2014-10-11 buildings s

I want to a talk in a gallery in my neighborhood, and sketched the other people listening.

2014-10-10 Galerie Tanit talks 1 s

I’d been wanting to do night scenes for a while.  It’s really hard with watercolor, but once I bought some gouache it was much easier!  This is out the window of my office, after everyone else had gone home.

2014-10-24 Beirut highway at night s

This is a view of eastern Beirut – an area called Achrafieh – from Bourj Hammoud, an Armenian area east of the city.

2014-11-1 Beirut from Bourj Hammoud s

This is the Mediterranean from my balcony.  The weather wasn’t really quite this dramatic, but I was watching the rain on the water and the storm blowing in.  Somewhere in there it started raining on my balcony, too, and I had to dash inside to finish the sketch.

2014-11-4 freighter in storm Beirut s

I left work early enough one evening to sketch at dusk.  This is the port and the hills as the sun was setting.

2014-11-7 Beirut bay and port dusk s

This one was trickier – I was standing in a quite dark spot, and realized that it’s rather hard to sketch in the dark, you can’t see what you’re doing and you definitely can’t see what colors you’re using!  I put down the sky, the mountains, and the water and then went home. When I got there, I realized the colors were pretty good, so I finished off the sketch with my ever-so-handy gouache.

2014-11-7 Beirut bay dusk s

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Other work from G77 members – on the road

I’m not actually going to the Group of 77 sessions right now – I’ve been on the road since late September.  (“I” am catteau on this blog – also Joy Hecht in the real world).  My first stop was Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.  One Sunday I put my work aside and did this sketch of the road next to Lake Anosy (that’s pronounce “anush”), with its towering trees and the old palace on the hill above it.

2014-9-15 Lac Anosy s

Then I stopped at a nice terrace restaurant for lunch, and sketched the umbrellas over the tables (minus the other people having lunch!)

2014-9-27 Terrasse cafe umbrellas s

On my way out of Madagascar I sketched the Robert shop at the airport – purveyors of very fine chocolate indeed.  (I’d bought mine in town, though – they charge twice as much at the airport!)

2014-9-28 Airport Tana s

I had to change planes in Kenya – this is the sun setting out the window of the Nairobi airport.

2014-9-28 Airport Nairobi s

I was flying to Paris, where I spent a couple of days visiting a friend.  We went bird watching at a lovely reserve in St. Quentin en Yvelines, where I sketched this view of the reservoir and some water birds (yeah, those dots in the water are birds).

2014-9-20 St. Quentin en Yvelines s

While my friend was at work, I explored his neighborhood, and did this sketch of the center of Chatillon, an old village that is now a close-in suburb of Paris.

2014-9-29 Chatilon s

From Paris I headed to Beirut, where I’ve been since the beginning of October.  I’ll show you some of my sketches of Beirut in another post!.

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October – November, Cathy’s portraits

Cathy sent along a series of photos from October and November.  She’s working in watercolor, or watercolor and pencil – the color is a pleasure!  This is Barb, posting with a cowboy hat:

Barbara by Cathy Driedzic, Oct 2014 s

This one is Darroch – looking much more sedate than he did when he posed on September 9th!  (See those images here:

Darroch by Cathy Driedzic, Oct 2014 s

Heather was calm and relaxed in this sketch.

Heather by Cathy Driedzic, Nov 2014 s

And then of course there was the Halloween sketch – at least I hope this was a Halloween costume!

Smiley Witch Bonnie by Cathy Driedzic, Nov 2014 s


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September 30, Tracy’s sketches

Tracy sent a couple of photos from September 30.  In the brilliant red cape, this is Evelyn Peyton-Murphy, in her graduation nursing outfit.  She doesn’t usually come to sketching sessions kitted out this way!


And a wonderful dancer, not a regular at the sketching sessions but making a great model.  I know this woman – she and I meet every summer at the NL Folk Festival dance workshops.  Every summer we say “oh, yes, we met last year” and we introduce ourselves again.  And then forget each other’s names, and don’t generally run into each other again until the next summer.  It’s been four months, so of course I have forgotten her name.   She doesn’t just tap dance (as in this outfit) – she does all kinds of wonderful things.  She’s quite awesome to watch!




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September 9, Darroch on holiday

Darroch Withycombe photo

Darroch in tourist garb.

Darroch got out his best and brightest Hawaiian shirt to model for us – lots of fun for those working in color!  Unfortunately we didn’t get the artist-info on most of these photos – so if you’d like to identify yours, please do so in the comments!





Darroch 6 s    Darroch 5 s    Darroch 1 s

Darroch 3a s

Version one of this sketch . . .

Darroch 3b s

. . . and version two









Darroch 4 s    Darroch 2 s

Darroch by Kathleen Knowling

by Kathleen Knowling

Darroch by Joy Hecht

by Joy Hecht

Darroch by Joy 2

also by Joy Hecht

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September 9, one too many!

Barb Rieti photo sBarb came prepared to model in what I think used to be called a tableau vivant, not just fancy clothes.  After a long night out, she came with her bottle, glass, and long-stemmed red rose, and slumped on the model’s boxes to sleep off the contents.  Not her usual state, as you can tell from her photo!

There were lots of people there that day to sketch her alter ego, paraphernalia and all.



Barb by Byron Smith s

Byron Smith was sitting behind Barb to do this pencil sketch.

Barb by john bear s

And John Bear captured her pose from the front in his pencil sketch.

Barb by Joy Hecht s

Joy Hecht worked in charcoal on her sketch.

Barb portraits unknown s

Two artists whom we haven’t identified chose to do portraits.

Barb by kathleen knowling s

Kathleen Knowling did a rapid ink sketch.

Barb by terry thomson s

Terry Thompson captured the transparence of Barb’s shirt in pencil.



Barb by ed snook s

Another view from behind – this by Ed Snook

Barb by marlys tilley s

Marlys Tilley’s pencil sketch

Barb by Evelyn Peyton Murphy s

Evelyn Peyton Murphy, pencil sketch

Barb by Carolyn Morgan s

Carolyn Morgan’s pencil sketch


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September 2, Fringe sketching

September 2, Marlys came to model in a fabulous fringed leather jacket embossed with the insignia of music groups quite unknown to at least some of us, and posed in a defiant stance, hands stuffed in pockets. She hastened to insure us that this was indeed her jacket, not one she had borrowed from her sons or anyone else whose life might seem more edgy than hers. But with her lavender-tinted gray hair, we shouldn’t have expected any less of her!

Marlys by John Bear s

Pencil sketch by John Bear

Marlys by Barb Rieti s

Barb Rieti, colored pencil

Marlys by ? s

Pencil sketch – artist not identified.

Marlys by Gerard McNiven s

Pencil sketch, Gerard McNiven

Marlys by Ed Snook s

Pencil sketch, Ed Snook

Marlys by Cathy Driedzic s

Pencil and water color, by Cathy Driedzic




Marlys by Tracy Dillon s

Marlys by Tracy Dillon – who had changed out of her wedding dress to switch from model to artist.

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