‘People watching’ is a good way to understand human movement and interaction. This might be at the supermarket, on a bus or train, in a pub or café, cinema queue or takeaway. Night or day, observe different kinds of people – how they stand, how they interact, what they carry, what they’re doing with their hands, and how they dress. If you can do a few small and quick sketches on the spot, that’s great. If not, take a few discreet photos and try to keep the atmosphere of the scene in your memory until you return home, then try to recapture the colour, movement, drama, noise, etc., in your sketches.
How successful were your attempts to retain an image of a scene to draw later? How might you tackle this in future? Make some notes in your learning log.
My pocket drawing kit – an old Staedtler propelling pencil, refills and rubber.
This is a made-up grouping taken from different individual sketches of figures from street life observation and the illustrated book Glasgow: 24 hours in the life of a City (1990) London: Chapmans Publishers Ltd. to celebrate European City of Culture status.
An Inverness street scene.
Top – an Inverness street scene; and bottom – from Glasgow: 24 hours in the life of a City.
Top – from Glasgow: 24 hours in the life of a City; and below – an Inverness street scene.
Both sketches drawn from Glasgow: 24 hours in the life of a City.
Sketches 9 and 10 drawn from dance company images http://www.planbcreative.org; and sketch 11 drawn from Glasgow: 24 hours in the life of a City.
I think the sketches of images taken from the book and website are my take on what I saw in them that attracted me about their simple story-telling impact. The Inverness street scenes are much rougher in execution, having very quickly sketched down the basics and completed the sketches later on back at home – a tricky exercise and one that will need much more practice to begin to feel comfortable with.
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
6 January 2016