Saturday, April 21, 2012


I dedicate this impulsive sketching post to a good friend who's venturing into the world of drawing and cartooning. You know who you are, "N". :) We were talking the other night about trying to sketch people, on the move. That is, life drawing the folks around you in everyday situations. Of course, folks continually move. They're not posing for you. And of course, any attention drawn towards your drawing would break the magic. Just tell anyone you're taking a photo of them, and the spontaneity of their pose and looks usually fades away. Same goes for sketching. But I digress.
We were talking about not having time, under these situations, to really draw someone. I gave him my take on this. First take a quick rough or gesture drawing, then finish it off later. I kind of equate it to taking a snapshot with a really primitive camera that doesn't see everything. That's why I called this post: "Sketch-shots".
I was in the local shopping mall, waiting for my family to finish up in a store I didn't really want to be in, and I had my mini-sketchbook, and a stubby pencil. What to do? Oh well. Surrounded by folks that wouldn't stand still, I decided on the 30 second approach. This time, 30 seconds to take my sketch bearings (gesture lines of sorts), and later 30 seconds to enhance, or stress the salient points of the sketch of the person, rather like, stress the personality of the sketch-shot.
The first two were mid-way "kiosk" dwellers, filling in their time idle time in conversation. The other two were random folks, one in the cell-phone wave pose, the other had a significant hair style to capture (that last one through store glass). The last lady, well, she was very much into her conversation, and had interesting facial expressions, hard to resist drawing.
Anyway, the point I wanted to stress to my drawing friend was that you can pretty much capture a situation, look or emotion from someone, from the pose, in a few seconds, and work on it as much as you like later. It doesn't matter if you make it look like a cartoon, as long as the image's message comes through. I didn't sketch any masterpieces here, but I'm happy with capturing the moments. The experience becomes part of you, and later, no matter how badly you portrayed someone, it serves you as a learning tool, and something you can "draw" on the next time you're at it. Its all about learning, all the time, and if you hit a good one along the way, celebrate it. I celebrate even my ugly mistakes (look at that ugly hand and arm with the cell phone guy). But I drew, and that's what I wanted to do.
Hope you liked these... they were fun to do, and now they served a purpose, I hope. Onwards, art warriors!

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