It was a week of sketching people. Not that I don’t already sketch people a lot. But it was fun to put in some dedicated time and fill up some larger pages with figures and trying different materials.
Here we were back at our large Starbucks where people tend to come and sit a while, talk to friends or study/work/surf the internet.
I started out drawing with continuous line, which is not so much a way to be accurate, but it feels so good to move the pen on the paper. It’s also good for drawing “characters” that don’t necessarily have to resemble the subjects.
Another day, sitting at a table in the Costco food court with a good view of people wolfing down hotdogs/pizza as well as lining up with their carts. I thought it might be a stressful environment, but it’s amazing how the act of concentration required for drawing from life actually stills the mind and smoothes the sensory input! This time I tried a combination of watercolor graphite wetted and applied with a brush and a Derwent Inktense watercolor pencil.
I think I prefer the ones where I didn’t use the pencil, but just direct watercolor graphite. The “first time model” was a guy sitting directly in front of me watching while I brazenly sketched him. He noticed and smiled so I raised my brush to him questioningly and he nodded consent. When he’d finished his hotdog, he politely kept position until I finished and thanked him, showing the sketch. He was pleased and said “my first time as a model!”
On Saturday I was at the Farmer’s Market with Bob and no sketchbook. But this merry woman was standing in the frigid air in front of the garden there, playing merrily on her accordian. All I had time for was to snap a quick picture and sketch it at home. I still haven’t gotten over how people here in Olympia perform outside in the winter, let alone without layers of down and long johns! At least she had a knit hat!
Our Saturday downtown led us to our favorite bookstore Browsers Bookshop, where there was music and the sound of children laughing upstairs. Once again I wished I had my sketchbook with me to capture this delightful scene of parents and small children enjoying the entertainment together. I perched on the top of the stairs behind them and took a picture, then sketched from the picture quickly at home, imagining I had only minutes to capture the scene with my kakimori pen and watercolor. I think I’ll check Browser’s schedule for their next story time and come back with my sketchbook to enjoy it live!
So that wraps up this week. I haven’t counted the people I sketched. Probably not 100, but certainly a decent number. I’m happy with some of the results and understand that the others are there to teach me how to improve. And the main thing I learned, or at least remembered, this week is how happy it makes me, how quickly it relieves my life worries, to sit and focus on line and shape and the movement of my hand and imagination. It’s really quite stupendous, regardless of the result!