A Week in NYC: Part 4

By the second day of the “Puzzling Out the Picture” workshop I had a head cold, which might have something to do with having spent a day in wet clothes during the storm. Our meet up location was Times Square. And it was again cold and windy. So I arrived with every bit of clothing I’d brought piled on me.


If you’re a film director you want to have lots of options for the scenes you create. If you’re a sketcher wanting to tell a visual story, it’s the same. In this setting we had everything in such abundance, and packaged in such endless distraction, that at one point, I think I blew a creative gasket!


As a person who loves sketching figures, I was constantly pulled away from the “bones” of city shapes. Some Broadway dancer would dance by or fashion photographer set up his beautiful model posing a few feet away and I would abandon my thumbnails.


Finally I stuck with one scene long enough to tell a story.

By then it was getting cold enough that we walked to Grand Central Station for an indoor location.


And now we really got down to the business of directional flow of people in different visual planes.  And actually, because of the movement involved, we were also recording the passage of time in a single drawing as people entered and exited the scene. Quite hypnotizing actually.


The close-up people were story-worthy. I discovered that having a person walking into the picture from outside the frame helped to see it as a dimensional space.

NYC43 The last exercise was to open up the sketchbook (to 24″ X 9″) and sketch across the scene. This is the left side. (Note the girls on the left pointing at the zodiac ceiling.)


And this was the right hand side. The little elf on the left was for real, with hair spiked up about 2 feet and bright red clothes, just standing there. But my favorites were the workmen/guards in their uniforms, not going anywhere very fast.

At this point it was actually hard to stop drawing, but the workshop was over. Time to look at all the drawings, say goodbye to new friends and thank our wonderful teacher.



  1. Your sketching is truly amazing, Susan. I’m very impressed and happy to be on your e-mail list to receive the sketches and your stories about them. Thank you! I love NY!


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