Every day in May no. 21

I went into town to run an errand after work today, and while there I managed to sit down for a few minutes and do today´s drawing. I decided to do some fast sketches of people. Difficult but fun – if you can let go of the perfectionist inside. None of these sketches took more than 30 seconds, most of them only half, and in that time you don´t get it right. It´s just not possible. And for me, that gives me a more relaxed approach to drawing.

I´ve done a few of these before, it´s a good drawing exercise. Feel free to try it, just shut your Inner Critic up first, because a lot of these sketches end up looking extremely weird. 🙂

What I do is sit down (with a nice cappuccino) in a place where a lot of people pass by, in this case on the second floor of a mall in Stockholm city, where you have a perfect view of the main flow of people on the first floor. Then I try to spot someone interesting down there, could be someone with nice clothes, a funny way of walking, or – to make it easier on myself – someone who looks like they´ll be standing still for a few seconds. And then I put pen to paper and draw away. I look more at the subject than at the paper, sort of a semi blind contour thing. I draw as fast as I can and I try to “freeze” part of the image of the people every time I look. For instance, I check out the head and shoulder and left arm, then I draw that – fast – and then I check out the other arm and one of the legs and draw that, and so on. If someone gets away before I´m finished, I either find someone else with similar body shape and keep drawing, OR they end up without legs, like the woman to the left in the top drawing.

This is more like playing a game than trying to draw people in a correct way. It´s tricky, sort of like crosswords or sudoku, but very amusing. And in the end, I often end up with one or two sketches that I really like. In this case, my favourite is the woman on the red background. She´s a darling.

Both drawings are about 12 x 8 cm, Lamy Safari with Noodler´s Lexington Grey on a small Moleskine Watercolor page. The watercolors were added afterwards. “Sunspot” is the name of a shop in the mall, I´m am in no way connected to them, never bought anything from them, and I won´t even tell you what they sell. I just thought the sign was cool.

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