If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have never heard of (or been to) the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, look them up and go! They’re located in a gorgeous beach house in Half Moon Bay. There’s always fantastic music, food and wine. And sketching at a live performance is one of my favorite things to do: it’s fun to capture the music, the atmosphere and the action.
The Marcus Shelby Orchestra featuring Tiffany Austin performed last Sunday, and we went. And I sketched.
It’s a challenge to be mostly in one spot and do a series of sketches: your angle doesn’t change, you can sometimes ‘zoom in’ on a performer, but for the most part, your view remains the same. So you get to focus on things other than composition : capturing the feel of the music, the energy of the musicians, the atmosphere of the place…I’ve posted all my sketches I did, in the order in which I sketched them. ( I sketch in two books, and if I’m mid-sketch and see something I just must capture, it either finds it’s way into what I’m drawing, or I set aside what I’m working on midway, switch books, do a quick capture before I return to my earlier piece, so some of these might be sketched in parallel.)
It’s interesting to see how the pieces become more a capture of the music and less like portraits of the musicians as they progress. My brush pen and gelpen replaced the sharpie and fountain pen as I progressed.
What was in my kit?
L to R: Sailor Bent Nib, Sharpie Ultra Fine Point, General’s Sketch and Wash Pencil, Stabilo CarbOthello: blue and white pencils, Pentel and Kuretake Brush Pens, Uniball Signo Gel pen, Escoda Travel Brush, various brands of artists’ watercolors in a Winsor and Newton Travel Kit, 1 Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook and 1 moleskine watercolor book.