SKETCHING ON THE TUBE: My 2 hour workshop on the Circle Line

A5 sketch pad biro copic brush marker fixative graphite materials used in sketching people public transportation sketchbook sketching tombow wash pens tube

On the 10th of March I took 6 students from different Universities in London on a 2 hour Workshop on "Sketching on the Tube". I had a Masters Student from Metropolitan University and 5 Under-graduates from Middlesex, LCC, Wimbledon, Byam Shaw and Camberwell. This event was organised and sponsored by The Fine Art Collective and Winsor & Newton.

Winsor and Newton provided a bag with the essential materials each student needed on this bite size workshop. A sketchbook, two graphite pencils (one for lines and one to shade), a Black Bic Ball point pen (for lines) and a warm grey Copic brush marker (for shade) and a spray can of fixative. I gave them all my 25 tips for sketching on public transport and hands-on demos on how I go about this from day to day.

The venue for the meet up was at Paddington Rail Station. We then used the Circle line for the actual hands on demos. It was good to give this a go using real life situations. It allowed the students to see the possibility of this great habit and how the public reacts.

Just before we popped onto the Circle Line for the main part of the workshop. I had to introduce myself, show them some of my sketchbooks, give them my printed hand-out of tips I have acquired over the past 7 years of sketching on public transport, room for questions and what they all expected from the workshop and then I gave them a brief talk on what they'll experience from the trip. They all looked so eager and willing to give it a go and we focused on the ball point pen and Copic brush marker-which are my favourite combinations for sketching. Some of them have been sketching but not as much as others, while it was a totally new experience for others. The benefits of sketching for the representational artist, these days, are endless and even for designers. We all have ideas and often try to sketch out on paper, sometimes as artists we understand things better by sketching them. We plan our compositions by sketches. But the main purpose of this was to help them understand how I go about this with all public eyes on me and how they can train and improve their eye-hand co-ordination.

The feedback was really positive, even after the workshop we gathered to discuss our sketches and how it all went. They asked more questions and from this I have developed a relationship with some of them for further assistance and help. It always great sharing knowledge-the student gains and the teacher gains. The learning process for both parties never ends!


"In drawing, one must look for or suspect that there is more than is casually seen. The only difference in drawing is what you sense not what you see. There is other than that which lies on the surface."- George B. Bridgman on Heads, Features and Faces

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