Drawing Class. Session 1, Homework (plein air sketching)

October 21, 2011

Alex Trevallion Plaza, Marrickville NSW 2044. Warm-up with blind contour figure drawing: something I’ve never done before. Sharpie FX pen. New resolution: fewer buildings, more people! Happy I got one likeness out of about a dozen attempts…

Watercolour added first, on-site; I usually add it later at home. Sharpie FX pen. My Greek philosophers in discussion. Some are opting for straw hats and fedoras now it’s summer, instead of baseball caps. Slow down the line!

Marrickville Post Office cafe. The outdoor umbrellas have been unfurled for the first time in months, now that Summer is here. Drawn to the shadows of the umbrellas, but my line is way too fast. In the sun. Bring hat next time. Patrons seemed jumpy today; one umbrella was moved four times in ten minutes. Can barely keep up with turnover of coffee drinkers…

Marrickville Post Office cafe. Again the line is way too fast. Not enough contrast between loose/controlled line. Added watercolour on-site. Baby stroller came into frame as toddler stopped for his morning snack from his Mum. Lamy Safari pen and Sharpie FX pen. Unable to “settle” on an approach or materials, so I turn my back on it all…

Facing the opposite direction, facing out of the direct sunlight. Find these tables and chairs outside the Emadame Sushi house, ready for the lunchtime crowd.  A sort-of exercise in proportion, enrichment shapes and trapped shapes… Graphite pencil.

Not happy with today’s performance. Far too unsettled. There’s not much in the Urban Sketching literature about the influence of mood. And dealing with heavy-vibe, really busy environments. Felt exposed (and mildly threatened) by proximity to subjects; they’re all racing around being urbanites, too busy to notice really! Perhaps I need to come back several days in a row so the local shopkeepers get used to me drawing their customers. Blend in more. Wear dark glasses. Shaken up too in the wake of Drawing Class earlier in the week: lots more blind contour, far faster line than normal.

Walked away. But will be back for another day!


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