Tim Hunt’s – Main Street Sketches

Image by Tim Hunt

                                            Image by Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt explores his community outfitted with a
small sketchbook, pen, and watercolour kit. In our regular
feature, he shares the pages from his sketchbook and tells
the stories behind his work.

Sitting at the base of one of the grand willow trees near the Rideau Canal, my Saturday morning goal was to draw the Pretoria Bridge in its raised position with a boat passing underneath. One of the challenges of drawing on location is all the moving parts; a scene can change before your eyes, whether it be clouds, cars, people, or in this case, boats and bridges!

To construct a drawing on the fly, there is some creative risk involved, one must be ready for change and be able to go with the flow. The mechanics of this table-lift bridge are efficient, there was not a lot of time to get it down on paper before it descended. My solution was to draw everything around the lift portion of the bridge first, and then snap a photo while it was raised. I was then able to sketch in the bridge position from my photo, and fill in the details from the span in its resting state. The bridge was raised three or four times during my session, so while it was up I was able to make corrections to shadows. Similarly, for the boat, I photographed the line of boats that paraded under the bridge each time, and chose my favourite to sketch in the space I had reserved for it. Finally, I lightly sketched in the kayaker as he drifted watching the boats pass through, and ended up relocating him twice in the sketch, so he wouldn’t be in an awkward position in relation to the other elements of the drawing.

While I have waited impatiently a number of times to cross this bridge to pick up groceries or to run errands, I really enjoyed observing this historic bridge fulfilling the duty it was designed for over 100 years ago.

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