Sunday, 1 May 2011

We've only got 10 seconds to sketch the world

Sam offered up the 30 second sketch challenge the other day. Had a go.

Made me aware how I look at things. I tried to pick people who would be gone almost as soon as seen, and to just look, and imprint them in my mind, sort of photographic memory. ( and as I write this I instantly think of Barbara Windsor in Carry on Spying -  which says waaaaaay too much about my film tastes ) But found I couldn't, and it was a real struggle to lock everything in my head before I started drawing. Which makes me wonder if there is a difference between seeing and looking ? If I have removed seeing from the process and need to rediscover it.

Anyway, here is one of the results.

And I think it was because it was such a familiar view that I could get it down. He was gone long before I had even got to his shoulders, and really had to think to get the arms and backpack in place. Also almost managed the mythical one line drawing.

Liked this one.

But am cheating, as he sat down, stretched like this, then stood up again and wandered off and I just got his hand down before the mental image faded, and I liked it too much to ruin it by trying to draw any more.

Oh, and happy May 1st everyone.


  1. Working at speed seems to lend itself well to capturing the attitudes of people. Makes you realize just how much our attitude and posture makes up the physical us.

  2. Keith, I am curious about your process...especially the pieces from the train. Do you have pen in hand as you walk in the door? How do you keep from getting caught sketching others? It seems from all the work that you have a pen and paper in your hands at all times.

    If you've written about this before, just direct me to the post!

  3. Pinch punch first day of the month to you! I'd class this as a successful mission - these are great. Backpack guy looks like a 3D wire model - there's a real sense of depth and movement to him. And you've got enough in the leaning sketch for us to fill in the gaps..that's why I like the fast drawing sometimes - you have to be economic and quick thinking to make the best use of your time.
    As for difference between seeing and looking, I'll have to reread Sophie's World and get back to you! Top scribbles.

  4. I agree with Steve, working at speed you've really captured a posture. It's like Stancfield's gesture drawings. The leaning guy is great, my eye just filled in what was missing because what you got down was captured so well. And I can't talk for Keith Laure but I wander everywhere with a small sketchpad and pen in hand and just don't worry about getting "caught". It's a great conversation starter.

  5. Steve - Thora Hird always said she started her characters with the shoes, because they would dictate a certain posture, which would then dictate everything else about that person.

    Laure - see next post.

    Sam - Cheers, ( although I hated Sophie's world and think John Berger should be the default check point )

    Peter - that is interesting, to what extent does the success of a drawing depend on the viewers' ability to read it ? Is a good drawing really just a good appeal to other's assumptions ? Hmmm will think more.

  6. I have tried the one line drawing. I liked it. The lines created are interesting...i guess that's just me.

  7. Mice - it is the classic taking a line for a walk time.