Sketching people in cafes is one of my favourite things to do….a good coffee, read the newspaper then find someone else doing the same and sketch them very quickly without them noticing. I draw directly in ink without pencil under-drawing for two reasons….Firstly because an under-drawing adds extra time (which I don’t have)….. Secondly because drawing directly with ink forces me to look really closely to the subject before putting ink on the page….with waterproof ink I’m totally committed to each line (I do make mistakes but they are either incorporated into the final picture or simply ignored – life is not perfect either). Before putting pen to paper I decide on the story I want to tell and develop a mental image of how I want the final sketch to look – the composition on the page – what will be included / how much / where to place things for maximum effect. I usually start drawing a person with the nearest eye and draw out from there, looking for connecting and intersecting lines – assessing the geometry of the face (drawing is a really about triangulation). The drawing on this probably took about 15 minutes, with about 20 minutes for watercolour – adding paint into already wet washes to get graded colour. As for the choice of subject (or victim!)…. anyone who has just sat down with a full cup (so I know they will be there for a little while). Interesting faces and expressions (some people get involved with the news articles and make lots of facial expressions when reading). The guy below had a lovely soft white beard and thinning hair on top that I wanted to try to capture…..
My collection of sketches for the #OneWeek100People2017 challenge….all drawn from life at the beach/coffee shop/on campus. Overall I’m quite happy with the sketches…given that they’re all real quick scribbles…the photos below are random. I started drawing with ink in my favourite TWSBI fountain pen but soon switched to a neutral grey Inktense pencil which is quite soft and gives better variety of line weight – light grey to deep darks – better for quick sketching. I feel I definitely improved my sketching techniques….having to draw quickly there is less time to get caught up in detail.
Urban sketchers Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel have a sketching challenge happening this week…to sketch 100 people in 1 week (5 days) which works out to be 20 people per day. Here are my first couple of days scribbles. I did start a day early and miss a day (sometimes life just gets in the way) but the challenge is flexible so….. here are people on the beach and students on campus….drawn with TWSBI Eco fountain pen (the best!) and coloured with ballpoint pen on the second sketch….
The Urban Sketchers Perth met this morning at the Old Shanghai Food Court in James Street, Northbridge for our monthly sketch-meet. We started with some blind contour drawings of each other to warm up (and have a laugh at the results!!!). I think it’s really important to warm up before starting sketching….it loosens the fingers and relaxes the mind before starting a “proper” sketch.
This is my blind contour sketch of Heather…it has some elements of her character (except that she doesn’t have 2 noses!). To do a blind contour drawing there are only 2 rules…..don’t look down at your paper and don’t take the pen off the page….try to slowly follow the outlines and form changes with your pen/pencil and feel your way around the object you are viewing. Invariably it won’t be accurate but it is a lot of fun and always brings laughter from the sketcher and the subject.
This is my quick sketch of the interior of the food court…quite dark except for the lovely bright red paper lanterns and the neon signs of the food vendors. We arrived at 10am when the place was empty of customers…only the cooks preparing the delicious foods.
This is the honey chicken, rice and spring roll that I enjoyed….sketched first…about 20 minutes…yum.
These three images are of a guy checking his phone whilst waiting for his food to arrive. I drew on location with my trusty Lamy Safari fountain pen and De Atramentis black ink. The watercolours I added later at home from memory in stages, taking photos in between to see how the colours changed the feel of the sketch I can’t decide which version I prefer the original pen only sketch or the final with the red cup…..
Last but certainly not least…..everyone’s sketches from this morning….what a variety of different scenes that everyone chose to draw….we were all sitting around the same table but focused on different things….