Close up of sketchbook, someone drawing in the gallery

City Explorations: Outdoor Sketchbook

Learn basic skills and concepts for keeping an urban sketchbook/travel journal. How to observe, document and capture the flavour of your surroundings in drawing and painting. Weekly meetings en plein air in the lovely urban environment around the AGO.

Students are asked to show a copy of their receipt and meet your instructor at the south doors of the AGO in Grange Park. Masks are required for safe gathering outdoors. Spots are limited to 15 participants.

Rain or Shine: Should inclement weather occur, students will be notified by the email used to register for the course.

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Participants must be 18 or older. 


Week 1: Introduction and materials. Gesture, continuous contour, mark making, negative space.
Meet at Grange Park, south entrance doors of AGO off Beverley Street.  

Week 2: Continuous contour, ink and wash. Focus on composition. 
Meet at Grange Park. Explore AGO perimeter 

Week 3:  Architectural perspective, proportion. Adding wash to line. Journaling ideas.
Meet at Nathan Phillips Square.

Week 4Drawing exploration and capturing mood; communal play drawing.
Meet at Osgoode Hall, Queen Street Entrance 

Week 5Longer compositional studies focused on capturing mood and the artist’s perspective.
Mutually agreed upon location – students choice 

All locations subject to change. 


  • Sketchbook or travel journal (coil-bound and hardcover is recommended), 9 x 12 inch, or similar with paper that will accept a wash, something that has watercolour-weight paper. (or bring a small thin drawing board)
  • A small cardboard viewfinder or slide frame (to be discussed in week 1) 
  • A collapsible stool (please pre-test), umbrella for sun or rain
  • A pair of scissors and a sheet of black paper (dark colour will do)
  • A pencil, sharpener (self contained shavings) and eraser.
  • Sakura Pigma GRAPHIC marker, black size 1 and Sakura Pigma MICRON marker, black size 05 and your favourite drawing implement
  • Something to paint washes with India ink, black acrylic, watercolours if you have them.
  • A small set of watercolour pencil crayons
  • A small water colour or other brush, small closed water container, a palette and a cloth.
  • Weather appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

These are the recommended materials for this course. All sizes are approximate. On your first day of class, your instructor may recommend additional optional materials. Our Instructors will do their best to accommodate alternative materials whenever possible. 

Some suggested retailers for purchasing your art materials.




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Wednesdays, - | 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm (5 weeks)

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