Monday, 2 May 2011

Two train sketches.

Yes I know, still sketching on the train.

Laure asked about how I draw. And I wish I have a philosophy to expound, but the simple truth is, I love people. I am fascinated by everyone, every gesture, every unsaid thought, every curl of hair and placed foot. And when I see people ( every day, I don't live in the Arctic circle - although that would be nice ) I have to look at them, and understand them, and, if possible, draw them. I recently became better attuned to the unsaid, ( which is, more often than not, Love ) and just want to record it. And I have always carried sketch books, a small pocket one for notes, and a bigger one for full frontal sketching. And half a dozen pens at various stages of drying out.

Nothing special, The pens I like at the moment were £2.50 for a bag of ten from Tesco's, and the note books are whatever I find that is cheap. Expensive materials scare me, they impose themselves between me and the drawing, and I have enough to fret over without questioning if what I am drawing is worthy of 140lb HP Ingres.

So when I get on a train, or enter a room, ( or sit in the park, or on a bus, or on a beach ) I will always see something I want to record. Even if I have forgotten a book there is usually paper around. And all my friends are so used to it that they don't take any notice. In fact, the mark of a good friend is how relaxed I feel about sketching in their company.

Better shut up and put a sketch in now.

I liked how her hair fell either side of her shoulder.

And I liked the circle on his t-shirt.

Silly little things that catch my eye and make me look at a person more.

Mind you, everything I draw is about me, at the end of the day, my taste, my take, my fetishes. I used to think that you need to look at the world long and hard to understand it. Now I know that all you need to do to understand the world, is look at yourself.

BTW - I am crap at landscapes.

This is great, your comments are making me question the whole process. More please.


  1. For someone who doesn't have a philosophy to expound as regards their drawing you seem to have a great philosophy! There can be no better reason for doing anything than out of love.

  2. I can totally relate to this post. I think drawing people takes the art of people-watching to a whole new level...makes it productive! And ditto the landscapes!!!!! Not nearly as interesting in my book :)

  3. Thank you, Keith! Interesting take on this. I too am a people watcher and quite fascinated by them. I've tried sketching people in public a couple of times and gotten busted for it. Makes me uncomfortable when that happens and then I have to work up my courage to go again!

    Thanks for the insights! And I think I hear Tina Turner in the background..."What's love got to do with it?!"

  4. I'm just amazed that you can sketch at ll on a train, unless your UK trains are better behaved than ours and don't lurch and jerk about!

  5. Steve - aw thanks man. Feelin' it.

    Suzanne - and it also stops your people watching being an arrestable offense. Which is useful.

    Laure - it is the artist's right to look and sketch anything they want. It is why we are here, it is the service we provide. So grab your sketch book and damn them all.

    Sagittarian - our trains lurch like fairground rides... makes for interesting sketches sometimes. But at least here it is just the trains lurching, not the entire city.

  6. I'm a people watcher but have never attempted sketching them. Well..I actually did, and it didn't turn out as interesting as I thought it would be. Thank you for dropping by my blog and I am browsing more through yours. I am loving it, Keith.

  7. Its wonderful finding avid people-watchers...its making me want to sketch is a fabulous philosophy...I keep thinking that I'll catch that indefinable air that is around the person I'm sketching, that's what keeps me doing it!

  8. Mice - Just keep on looking and sketching.

    Lrc - it's what keeps us getting the pens out, just one more time.