These are a few sketches I have done in the past two months, I'll be posting more as the days go by. In this post I'll also be explaining a few thoughts that must have been going through my mind as I sketched these people and the journeys durations on public transport.
Just a recap on what I use: An A6 Daler rowney Sketchbook with 150gms of acid free paper, a simple Bic Ball Point pen (Medium) and a Number 75 Tom Bow Dual wash pen(Cool Grey).
All these are done with the mind to observe, study, appreciate, record, explore, investigate, report, capture and practice the simple skill of sketching people I meet everyday on my journeys in London. Sometimes they last only a few seconds, sometimes they go on for up to 15mins or 30, depending on the journey and whether the person moves or changes position. The whole essence of this is a constant way of seeing and improving the necessary-EYE-HAND-CO-ORDINATION that representational artists need to thrive in their craft and above all it's simply my passion!
The lady on the left was sketched from Canon Street to Victoria on the Circle Line-I have made a few colour notes-I might want to paint from this later. A person sleeping or reading as I think she was-are great periods to sketch because they don't move. The guy on the right, kept moving, he was always looking into space, hence, I kept on altering the right side of his face and it really affected the overall anatomy. But I had more time here, as I sketched him from Abbey Wood to London Bridge-A journey that takes 27mins.
This page has four heads-I sometimes decide to put more that 2 heads on a spreadsheet to make the page look interesting, to save space in the usage of my sketchbook, to create a composition or to interpose different heads at different stages of completion. The woman on the left was sketched from Canon Street to Embankment, she had a smile as she read her book. From experience, I know she'll be absorbed in it, so I sketch at moderate speed, catching the most important lines and curves. The next guy was sketched from Woolwich Arsenal to Abbey Wood, I like faces like his, with a strong masculine character. The next lady, whose features are hidden with a beautiful cloth she wrapped round her head to cut off any distractions while she slept was a wonderful opportunity to sketch. I regard this one as one of my bext because, I hardly see people looking this way and I was glad I recorded it in such a short time-From Woolwich Dockyard to Woolwich Arsenal. And around the right hand corner is a faint sketch of a man I sketched from Canon Street to Mansion House. His face hardly has much information but it's amazing how a few lines can bring out the character of a face.
Writing about this page freaks me out! I don't even know where to start, there are 6 heads and all I can say is that they were very short periods to sketch, hence, the very look of incompleteness. The one sketch I really liked here is the first one on the top left hand side. I sketched her from Bermondsey to Waterloo, and it was as if she was meditating-there was a calmness that spoke all over her features- I was happy I had to get off the train and not overwork it!
The first three standing figures here were all sketched at Charing Cross. Masoud, the Filmaker was doing a video of me sketching right in the middle of the busy streets and I saw the first guy at the Bus Stop and also the lady. While the guy playing the guitar was a busker a few blocks down from the Bus Stop at Charing Cross. The other head of a lady was sketched at Earls Court, she had a real intense look.
Apart from the sketch of the guy wearing a cap on the lower level. The three sketches in the middle of the page are of the same guy. This is a technique I devised when an interesting person keeps moving and I really want to capture them. I work on three heads at the same time. As he moves, he retains the position of one of the three positions he has here and that makes life easier for me. I sketched him from Charing Cross to Woolwich Dockyard- A jouney of about 25 minutes.
Just to note here-The guy I sketched three times in the sketch above, is the same guy who comes in as the second head from the left. I think I really enjoyed his features. The first guy with the head tilting was a very hard one for me, as I attempted sketching and recording with my camera at the same time but it flopped. so I just continue with the sketch until he moved. I sketched the next lady at Westminster and the last head is a line drawing of some of my features
These three heads were sketched from London Bridge to Canada Water on the Jubilee Line. I have nothing much to say here than that I like the way three heads worked out on the page. they were not all sitting together, but at different stages of the journey they just caught my attention.
And finally these were all random heads sketched on a journey on South Eastern trains- I can't remember much here but I know that I tried two heads of the same guy in the middle of the page-on the top level. I always like pages with two or more versions of the same figure.
SPECIAL QUOTE "If you desire to know how to do a thing you must first have a complete desire to do that thing. Then go to kindred spirits-others who have wanted to do that thing-and study their ways and means, learn from thier successes and failures and add to your quota"-Robert Henri, The Art Spirit