The Queen Street Project by Ailsa Craigen

These drawings are the first few from a series I am working on called "The Queen Street Project” where I have started from the Broadview Hotel on Queen East and proceed west. I started this series as a way to get to know my own city and to see how the Queen Street building typologies change from one side of the city to the other.  

682 Queen Street E


668 Queen Street E


668 Queen Street E - 1 Munro Street

660 Queen Street E Quince Flowers


For all my drawings I start with basic pencil lines and then build up with Muji 0.38 pens and when required 0.03 Unipen for areas that need finer details All the drawings from this series are kept in a dotted grid sketchbook.


650 Queen Street E


As cliché as it might be, sketching helps me “see” what I’m looking at. It allows me to catch details that I may have missed from just looking at a building and I get a greater sense of appreciation from that. During my first few sketches of The Queen Street Project, I have learned a lot about the history of the buildings I have been drawing and the Riverside neighbourhoods in general thanks to information given to me by the Riverside BIA. 


655-651A Queen Street E


What I like about sketching as a medium is being able to see how others interpret places or things. I also appreciate seeing how others bring a unique style to sketching through the tools they use, their lines, shading technique, etc. Within architecture, I like that sketching can help bring a mood to a building rather than just the straight representational quality we are used to in architectural drawing sets.


8_643-639 Queen Street E


All my art is done outside of work; however, I think there will always be a connection to the architecture profession in my art particularly through The Queen Street Project since it is still dealing with the built environment. I am also working on a separate series called FOUND that takes a more realist approach to drawing objects from around my apartment. I still use ink for theses drawings but the technique is completely different than the lines and hatching that I usually use for my other work. This series is probably the largest departure from architecture that I’ve taken through my art. 

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