In the evening of day 2 I did a bit of research about drawing people in motion: an instructional leaflet from Citizen Sketcher and a video on youtube. Both stressed the importance of drawing freely and not being bogged down by detail. In the video I saw how the artist moved over the drawing without stopping almost. He also says to find the direction or the rhythm of a movement and to incorporate that into the drawing, maybe even exagerate it. Citizen Sketcher breaks down a drawing into four main steps: First the gesture – very loose and fast to capture the pose, then the line drawing – in ink to define the drawing more, then the darks – find the shadows and fill them in to give the drawing contrast and life, and last to add colour.
In my drawings from day 3 and 4 I concentrated on the first step only. I moved around and stopped when I found something that caught my interest. In the group below it was the woman’s hands just for a short moment. In the woman with the children I liked how the children moved in different directions and how they all held hands.
I found that drawing fast and loose was very liberating. I got more open to subjects and poses I knew would only be visible for a couple of seconds. Some of them resulted in interesting drawings.
I like working men, their poses are varied and different from people on the street.
After a while I sat down at a bus stop from where I had a good view of a stretch along the station where people walked past me for quite a while and at a bit of a distance so that I had time to observe how they move. For some of these drawings I spent most of the time looking and then drew from memory. I tried to get the gist of the movement into the drawing.
I very much enjoy this challenge. It is fun to really look at people, to see how varied we all are and to capture moments in my sketchbook.
The next step would be to make line drawings out of the gesture drawings but I feel apprehensive. Drawing in this way requires a good understanding of human anatomy to make it work. I also feel that I need to get more comfortable drawing faces. I often like my gesture drawings until I try and put in eyes and a nose… The gesture drawings work because the brain fills in a lot of information and is forgiving if something is not right. In a line drawing it would be less so I fear.