Monday, February 12, 2007

The way I've been sketching lately

I normally like to sketch during my commute to work. That used to be pretty simple when it was a 45 min train ride... but now that I'm closer to work, my train ride is just 2-3 minutes... sometimes less. I also switched from the smooth riding Bay Area Rapid Transit trains to local underground city subways; things are a little bit shakier and a little bit more crowded. Drawing in the bigger sketchbooks becomes alot more noticeable - and believe me, I had my share of angry people catching me drawing them (thanks to my poor ninja drawing abilities).

To be able to draw in the more confined space of undercity subways, I decided to dump my larger (11x14 & 9x12)sketchbooks for a 3x5 inch moleskin plain paper. Drawing on the smaller book is a lot stealthier and I can quickly pull the little 190 page notebook out (w/ my stubby black verithin) at anytime & anywhere to do some quick sketching. Most will just think I'm taking notes, but little do they know that I've secretly stolen their soul and burned it into my little black book MUHAHAHAHA!

Most of the drawings turn out like dirt... sometimes having less than 5 seconds to draw. Not to mention that the train bounces and people constantly coming and going. And the lack of elbow room!!!

You'll notice below a mass of sketches. Most if not all are quickstudies on the train. Those with a seamingly good finish tend to be 3-5 minutes. A lot of the other quickstudies ranges from 1 - 30 seconds... some go unfinished, others might be drawn while intoxicated, and most get the "I'm the artist, I draw as I please!" mentality - lines going everywhere, artmarks, overstylizing :)

For an artist, as they say, Pencil Mileage is very important. I try to keep that up during my spare times. That's why I'm glad for the train rides, even though they are short - It's a nice brief workout before tackling the bigger drawings/paintings later during the day.


Alina Chau said...

THese pages of people watching sketches are awesome!! It makes a great visual diary of everyday life too!!

Grant Alexander said...

Hey you monkey, quit drawin' Bill. Hope you are well.

Le_fish said...

Everyone should be able to draw with eyesclose and hands tide up on the back by now... *smile*

Nice sketches. I missed my commute after moved to downtown as well. Now I have make a weekly sketch trip just to get my fix.

Miwa & Mikael said...

Awesomely inspiring! Thanks Al.

Eli said...

You've been holding out on us Al. You're line is what I strive for, not to mention the character of your subjects. Fun stuff. The "meat and potatoes" stuff is just killer.

The Laughing Chimp said...

Great stuff, man. Great stuff.
I wish I were there to sketch with you, man. How's everything? Cindy and I are waiting for you guys to come visit us.
Keep up the postings, Al. They're really inspirational.

PS: The animal on my illustration, the small one on the right is an australian kind of jelly fish. Good guess, man.

RoB said...

Hi Al,

Wonderful Blog. Great sketches.


Roc said...

real nice work u got here!

Jelter said...

these came out really nice, i wish i could break down shapes so stylishly