Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sketching Adventures

A few weeks ago I was sketching in a small eating space at SuperTarget. My own "target" was a woman sitting across the way with her young daughter. My sketch was not coming out well at all. I would glance at her when I hoped she wasn't looking, and try to correct the mess. After a while of this, the woman pointed at me and clearly whispered to her daughter (as though it were me that was on display and not her): "Look at that man over there - he's drawing." I was utterly flummoxed, and that was that, but a bit amused too.

Fast forward another week. I am in an Einstein's Bagels sketching a man at the opposite end of the place. He is in a booth, completely absorbed in conversation. My small Moleskine notebook is hidden behind the book that I am not reading. My basket with the half-eaten bagel is to the side. People are between us. I am completely safe. I cannot be seen.

My wife says that when I draw, I make all kinds of facial contortions: peeking this way and that, squinting, biting my lower lip, etc. I choose not to believe this. I expect that it can't be true, or everyone in Einstein's (and every other place I do this) would stop what they are doing, drop their bagels and their jaws and stare. And they don't do this. At least I don't think so.

So I am drawing the man, hoping that his conversation will last forever so that I can get a detailed drawing, when he abruptly gets up and leaves. I sketch a few more marks on the unfinished head. And again, that is that.

This is when the couple next to me loudly exclaim, "Now what are you going to do?!" with exaggerated shrugs and smiles and winks. So what can I do? I show them my drawing, and we have a nice conversation with introductions all around. Can you think of a better way to start the day?

Here is the unfinished picture of the man's head, along with the sketch of a girl I saw at a Florida Turnpike rest stop a few days before.

I had better luck at a Panera's. This man was so absorbed with his laptop that there was no chance he would notice (and his eyes really did bug out just like that,I swear):

Heads, heads. Got to expand my horizons.
Back at the Fort Lauderdale airport, I was able to sketch this entire girl at the baggage claim.

Here is another sketch done at the airport of a man looking at flight information. I had less time for this one.

Still, this evening I visited That site flashes 30-second sketches of poses. What a workout!

My conclusion? Everyday there is so much to do, but there is always time for a sketch or two.


  1. Your sketches are great, i envy your skill. I love the sketch of the girl sitting in the airport and the face of the man in Panara is excelent. Thanks for sharing your talent with the world!

  2. Just amazing one, really great work. A great issue about the subject!


    "The Temporary"

  3. I especially like these last two. They are very good. I like how well you've captured the postures. I went and tried the posemaniacs that you mentioned. That was tough!