2006 Sketching School

The Dory Shop, Lunenburg - David Covo

The Bluenose Shed, Lunenburg - David Covo

Masters student Mazen Chamseddine in Lunenburg - David Covo


Professors: Ricardo L. Castro and David Covo

Place: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Dates: Thursday, August 24 to Friday, September 1, 2006



A wide range of hotels, motels and inns are available and students are expected to arrange their own accommodation. The Google search engine will provide you with a full list of Lunenberg websites of inns, motels, B&Bs, chalet rentals, and campgrounds. A printed set of the Lunenberg websites will be available, for viewing only, on the front counter in Room 201.



A variety of travel choices are available to students. The School has found that the most economical way to travel is by Via Rail from Montreal to Halifax. The telephone number is (514) 989-2626. The cost for a student for a round trip economy/comfort ticket is $303.11, including taxes. In order to obtain this fare a student must have an ISIC Card which can be obtained from Via Rail or Travel Cuts Voyage Campus, McGill – cost $16; proof of registration is required, i.e. receipt of tuition fee payment, or confirmation letter from McGill University’s Registrar’s Office. The train departs from Montreal every day except Tuesdays, at 6:30 p.m. from the Montreal (downtown) station, and arrives the following day at 4:20 p.m. in Halifax. Trius Tours provide bus transportation from the Halifax Via Rail station to Lunenburg, every day at 6:26 p.m., arriving in Lunenburg at 8:00 p.m. Cost of round trip ticket, with the ISIC card is approximately $34 including taxes. Trius Tours’ telephone number is 1-800-903-5664.

Returning from Lunenburg to Montreal: Trius Tours departs Lunenberg on Saturday, September 2, 2006, at 10:20 a.m. and arrives in Halifax at 11:55 a.m. The train departs from the Halifax Via Rail station on Saturday, September 2, 2006 at 12:35 p.m. and arrives in Montreal the following day at 8:15 a.m.

NOTE: Train travel is very popular at this time of year, especially during the Labour Day weekend. Please book your train tickets as quickly as possible.

Van rental may also be quite economical for groups of 6-7 people.

Health Insurance

Please remember to bring your Quebec Medicare Card, and/or proof of any other supplementary health insurance you may have. If you do not have supplementary health insurance covering you outside of Quebec, please arrange to purchase a temporary health insurance plan.

Required Equipment

Water colours, water colour paper, brushes, pencils, pen and ink, conte crayon, sketch books and drawing paper of varying sizes and types. Sketch pads, sheet material and watercolour blocks should range from 9" x 12" to 18" x 24".

If you haven’t yet covered watercolour in Freehand Drawing, and need to buy a set of watercolours, you could consider a set with ‘cakes’, or you could purchase separate tubes of pigment. If you decide to buy the separate tubes, you will need to develop a versatile palette. Below is one suggestion for a 12-colour palette - please note that the palette does NOT include black or white, which are unnecessary and even undesirable.

  • Reds: Alizarin Crimson, Indian Red
  • Blues: French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue
  • Yellows (difficult): Cadmium Yellow Pale, Yellow Ochre
  • Greens: Hooker’s Green Dark, Olive Green
  • Browns: Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber
  • Other: Payne’s Grey


The first experiments in watercolour will be based only on French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber, which produce a surprising range of values and colours.

As for sketchbooks and pads, we recommend, in addition to the list above, a small pocket notebook or sketchpad for thumbnail sketches and experiments with wash and watercolour. A few good sable or synthetic brushes will also be required: a small and medium round, with a medium to large (1/2 inch or 3/4 inch) flat are always useful.

Bicycles have always been valuable additions to the standard "kit" and are highly recommended. We have also found that a folding camp stool or small foam pad can make 2 to 3 hours on the cold ground much more endurable.

Schedule and Meeting Format

The emphasis is on field sketching as opposed to studio work, so students draw outside every day, working individually and in small groups, and under the supervision of the instructors for the first four mornings of the course.

There will be three morning workshops for Sketching School 1 (Sketching School 2 is welcome to attend). The first will take place on Friday morning, August 25, at a location to be announced.

Every second evening, the group meets in a gymnasium, hotel meeting room, community centre or some other place large enough for the class to assemble comfortably and with enough wall space for two day’s worth of sketches. A minimum of 5 evening meetings/reviews are scheduled:

  • Meeting 1: Thursday, August 24, 6:30 p.m., parking lot of the Museum of the Atlantic (the entire class is expected to attend)
  • Meeting 2: Friday, August 25
  • Meeting 3: Sunday, August 27
  • Meeting 4: Tuesday, August 29
  • Meeting 5: Thursday, August 31


These 90-minute sessions provide a forum not only for a review of the work but also for informal discussions on the intentions of the course and on the process by which images and memories are formed.

Please visit this website for any changes to schedule and meeting places.


During the course, students are expected to explore both townscape and landscape and to make sketches that describe what they find. Final evaluation is based on a portfolio of at least twenty (20) pieces, the majority of which must be substantially worked. All portfolios must be left in the freehand drawing room (one pile for Sketching School 1 and another for Sketching School 2) by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6, 2006, in Room 508.

Each student is required to attend ARCH 324 Sketching School 1 during the B.Sc.(Arch.) program, and ARCH 680 Sketching School 2 during the M.Arch. (Professional) program. Registration for ARCH 324 is possible up to August 1, 2006, via MINERVA – Summer 2006 term. Registration for ARCH 680 is possible up to September 1, 2006, via MINERVA – Fall 2006 term. If registration (including withdrawals) is problematic, please contact Mary Lanni-Campoli at (514) 398-6702, before the commencement of Sketching School.

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