Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Great Day in Ottawa's ByWard Market

It was a cool, crisp morning so the group decided to sketch the courtyards first starting with the Beaux-Arts Court where the cast iron angel  is located.

Sketch by Cindi Moynahan-Foreman of cast iron angel in the Beaux-Arts Court  

It was quite sunny when we arrived and folks managed to do a few quick sketches before it started to get a little windy.

Sketchers in the Beaux-Arts Court  
We decided to warm ourselves up and sketch inside while having scones, tea and coffee at the Planet Coffee in the Clarendon courtyard.

The first "Official SketchCrawl" photo of the day at Planet Coffee
The market was filled with beautiful fall colours and the vendors created wonderful displays. Everywhere there were beautiful, bright orange pumpkins! There were lots of shoppers and buskers. There was so much to sketch it was hard to choose.

Sketch by artist Jaymie Dylan

Vendor's booth  on ByWard St
Sketch by artist Mari Brown Virtanen

Plenty of pumpkins
Sketch by artist Suvitha Ramaswamy

Everyone met for lunch at noon (at the Byward Market Moulin De Provence Bakery ) and some more sketchers joined us there for the afternoon.

The second "Official SketchCrawl" photo of the day at Moulin De Provence Bakery
Sketch by artist Alain Godbout

After lunch, Ottawa artist Laurie Foster sat inside the Tea Shop and sketched this beautiful sketch of the ByWard Market's Moulin De Provence bakery which was across the street:

Sketch by artist Laurie Foster
Artists Kerstin and Mari stop to sketch vendors outside Le Moulin de Provence bakery

The second level of the Byward Market building provided an extra challenge for sketchers. This angle from upstairs was challenging and the whimsical, papier mâché cloud called, "McClintock’s Dream" added interest and fun!

Sketch by artist Mari Brown Virtanen

Upper level of Byward Market & McClintock's Dream
Sketch by artist Alain Godbout

A few sketchers decided to sketch York St. from the second level of the parking building. It was a perfect vantage point and sheltered from the wind!

Sketching York St. from the parking building

Walking to the Irish Village for our final check-in

The third and final "Un-Official SketchCrawl" photo of the day at the Heart and Crown

Sketch by artist Alain Godbout

The temperature fluctuated throughout the day with great, grey rain clouds coming and going, but the rain held off for us thankfully!

It was a great group of folks who seem keen to meet again and do more sketching so stay tuned for the next Ottawa sketchcrawl.

Sketch by artist Cindi Moynahan-Foreman

If you are interested in seeing what other artists at SketchCrawls around the world did on October 24, 2015 for the 49th WW SketchCrawl - visit this link

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ottawa's 49th WW SketchCrawl - See You Tomorrow!

Meet at 10 am in front of the Ottawa School of Art
The weather network is now showing a small chance of precipitation in the afternoon for our 49th WW SkechCrawl in Ottawa - so pack an umbrella (Weather network for Ottawa is here:

And remember, you can come out and sketch for an hour or sketch from 10 am to 4 pm. We would love to see you there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Weather Forecast for this Saturday's 49th WW SketchCrawl

The weather is looking good for this Saturday's 49th WW SketchCrawl in the ByWard Market.

Ottawa weather forecast (courtesy of the Weather Network)
By "good weather" I mean no rain, no snow and above O°C in October. In fact, the forecast for Saturday is 9°C!

The ByWard market is a great, weather-proof location for sketching with plenty of places to go to warm up between sketches; sheltered courtyards to get away from any wind and you can always buy some great food at the Market Square and sketch inside there! So pack light and dress warm.

Saturday's 49th WW SketchCrawl in the ByWard Market
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Get more details here:

Read more about WW SketchCrawls here:

The Chicago Urban Sketchers created a great graphic for their blog "Dressed for Sketch-cess"

USk Chicago

I have modified the Chicago USk ""Dressed for Sketch-cess"" and created an Ottawa USk "Dressed for Sketch-cess"

Ottawa Urban Sketcher Gear
by Cindi Moynahan-Foreman

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    WW SketchCrawl 49 - October 24, 2015

    Photo source: Wikimedia Commons; Suwannee.payne
    The ByWard Market (known also as Marché By) is where Ottawa was born...

    and where we will meet on 

    Saturday, October 24, 2015 

    Sign up on Facebook 
    and invite your friends

    "The history of the ByWard Market area is the history of fire, of working-class folk, of farmers, industry, brawls and bawdiness. Although today it is best known for its trendy restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs, this was not always so. The Market area was until two or three decades ago known simply as Lowertown, Ottawa's oldest blue-collar neighbourhood and the cradle of the city's French population." (Source:

    For our WW SKetchCrawl, sketchers will find plenty to sketch with the outdoor market, the courtyards, the Byward market building, public art and a number of architecturally significant and interesting buildings and lots of people.

    This location is weatherproof with plenty of places to warm up between your sketches or you could spend the day sketching inside from many of the locations within the market. There are tea shops. coffee shops and  food shops with windows looking out into the busy market.

    "The Market offers a variety of architectural styles in residential, commercial and mixed-use forms, reflecting the vital and continuous evolution of economic, social and cultural activity within the city core. The boundaries extend from St. Patrick Street on the North to the south side of George Street on the South, and from MacKenzie Avenue on the West to the east side of Dalhousie Street on the East."

    Sketch The Outdoor Market

    Established by Lt-Col. John By in 1826, the ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets. Outdoor vendors are an integral part of the ByWard Market experience.  Unlike some other market experiences, you'll find ByWard Market vendors outside no matter the weather, 363 days per year (closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day)!

    Typically, agri-food vendors are open May to November, 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 5:30 p.m.  Bad weather will rarely disrupt selling. Art and craft vendors usually operate May to October and start at 9:00 a.m. sometimes until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m (Source:

    Expect lots of pumpkins, squash and Halloween inspired crafts
    Photo Source:

    Sketch the Courtyards

    The courtyards we know today were simply back alleys for the disposal of garbage and storage of junk for the Sussex Street stores. Over the years they became used as parking lots, which they remained until the 1970s when the NCC decided to restore them into interior pedestrian spaces. They provide shelter from the wind and good places to sit and sketch.
    • Tin House Court: The most popular is Tin House Court.
    • Beaux-Arts Court (Between Murray and St. Patrick)
    • Jeanne d’Arc Court  (Between York and Clarence)
    • Clarendon Court: (Between George and York) Clarendon Court has served as a tavern, a hotel, a barracks, an art academy and a hospital during its lifetime.

    Clarendon Court (near Byward Market Square)
    Map Source: Wikimapia

    Sketch the Byward Market Square Building

    The ByWard Market Square building is the heart of the ByWard Market area.

    The original market building was constructed in 1848 and the current one was built in 1926.   It was renovated in 1975 and re-opened in 1976. At this time the building became a domain for Art and Craft producers.

    It is fun to sketch from the outside or the inside and is a great place to warm up between sketches.

    Photo Source:
    Inside the Byward Market Square Building
    Photo Source:

    Sketch the Public Art

    Public Art: The Tin House

    Sketch Buildings With A Story
    The Rochon House, 138 St Patrick

    City of Ottawa - Official Plan - Byward Market


    When: Saturday, October 24, 2015 (10 am to 4 pm) We will start at 10 AM but feel free to come later. Stay for the full six hours or less

    Where: Byward Market. Meet at 10 am in front of the Ottawa School of Art 35 George Street. ( Look for the SketchCrawl sign.

    Meet at 10 am at the Ottawa School of Art
    35 George St

    How: OC Transpo buses stop at the Rideau shopping centre. The Byward market is a short walk from there. Drivers: there is only metered parking spaces available in the surrounding Byward market area. The exception is the World Exchange Plaza (45 O'Connor St - a 15 minute 1.1 km walk) which offers free indoor parking on weekends.

    Lunch: 12 Noon - Meet at the Byward Market Moulin De Provence Bakery 55 Byward Market Square

    Afternoon: 1:15 Continue sketching in and around the market

    Show and Tell: At 3:15 head to the Heart and Crown ( to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined. The Heart and Crown was chosen because of its ample seating - it is actually 5 pubs (Heart and Crown, Snug Pub, Mother McGintey’s, Black Rose and Peter Devine's) under 1 roof (with 6 patios) and stretches a full city block in the Historic ByWard Market.

    Show and Tell at 3:15 at the Heart and Crown on Clarence

    Oct 24 - Mark your Calendars!

    The last WW SketchCrawl 48 was on July 25, 2015 in Ottawa. You can read our report here:

    If you are interested in participating in the upcoming WW SketchCrawl 49 on October 24 - sign up for emails in the box on the right or check back here soon for more details.

    Read more about WW SketchCrawls here:

    Thursday, October 8, 2015

    Urban Sketching Ottawa in Autumn

    The purpose of this blog post is to compile a list of potential locations for some autumn urban sketching in Ottawa. Concrete sketch outings will be announced on our USk-YOW facebook (FB) page and through the creation of a FB event.

    Weather Matters for Urban Sketchers

    This year, September 2015 was incredibly warm. Ottawa urban sketcher John Wright had his last swim in the Ottawa River at the Britannia club pier from his boat in the last week of September!

    Then, by the first week in October, folks in Centretown were spotted wearing hats, scarves and mitts!

    The weather affects our art materials and our ability to sit for long periods outside. This will be an important consideration for our fall outings

    In Ottawa, the average weather is as follows:
    Autumn Indoor Locations

    These evolving indoor/outdoor location lists below will aim to include sites with no costs; accessible by public transportation and sketcher-friendly policies. 

    For any indoor location listed below, I have written to the managing organization ahead of time and asked the following question: 

    "What, if any, are the rules for artists/urban sketchers who would like to visit your museum/event for the purpose of doing a number of small sketches for a duration of no more than 2-4 hours?"

    I thought that this was important to do when I read that the National Art Gallery of Canada actually disallows a lot of artist materials within their gallery (including erasers!?)

    On their website visiting FAQ, they wrote:

    A: Drawing is permitted in the galleries with pencil only (erasers are not permitted). You may be asked to stop if the galleries are too crowded.

    Free Ottawa Museums

    • Museum of nature: (FREE) Thursday evenings: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Admission to the Permanent Galleries only) Policy on sketching: (to be provided once response received)
    • The Canada War Museum (FREE) Thursday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. (General Admission) Policy on sketching: (to be provided once response received)
    The Byward Market: Policy on sketching: (to be provided once response received)
    Autumn Outdoor Locations

    The following outdoor locations were chosen because they are close to public transportation and offer plenty of shelter for warming up (i.e. coffee shops, restaurants etc)

    Centre Ottawa
    1. Centretown
    2. The Byward market
    3. The Glebe
    4. Sparks Street Village
    West Ottawa
    N.B. Park without paying On Saturdays and Sundays, the World Exchange Plaza shopping centre offers free indoor downtown parking. This is great for visitors to the mall or those looking to take in spots nearby — such as Parliament Hill, which is just two blocks away. (Map to World Exchange Plaza at parkopedia)

    2015 Events to Sketch for Free

    • Annual Biology Butterfly Show: FREE Saturday October 3, 2015, to Monday October 12, 2015 Opening hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.** (On the weekend, lines close at 3 p.m. due to volume) Policy on sketching: (to be provided once response received)