I totally get the idea of doing pages and pages of little observational sketches, and when I teach a workshop, we spend the first half of our time doing just that) but every so often I start to get fatigued and the process seems a little robotic. That’s when I remind myself that this is just the warm up, the practice. Drawing people from observation is what prepares me to be able to tell the stories I see and want to tell in sketches.
Two of my favorite books on the subject of drawing people and telling stories through them are The Urban Sketching Handbook: People and Motion by and The Urban Sketching Handbook: Reportage and Documentary Drawing by Veronica Lawlor. If the idea of telling stories seems big and difficult to you, these books will really redefine your idea of a story, and will make you think of what you want to say with every gesture you draw.
Back to today’s sketches…I had much, much less time to sketch today. So I stuck to simpler media and started with quick gesture drawing while waiting in line to get my coffee. Here are a couple of pages from today.
These are my quickest sketches, the prefect warmup to any day of sketching for me: they take only a few seconds each.
The sketch below took a little longer. I remembered to take a picture of it halfway so you can see how it was done.
These two people were having a really intense conversation over coffee. So I decided to sketch in the shape around them to make sure I captured their lean-in postures. I drew this with a water-soluble Sketch-and-Wash pencil, and then I ran a wet brush over the background and worked some of the greys into the figure to capture the shadows. After that I just added in a little bit of linework.
The rest of my sketches from today? They’re all on instagram @suhitasketch .
2 days down, 3 more to go. How are you doing with the challenge?