A quick one this, between a couple of stops on the Northern Line just now. The textured brush works brilliantly for stubble, but however much I play with Brushes, the single line just keeps drawing me back (no pun intended).
So I was recently rather amazed to find myself accepted into the hallowed membership of the Groucho Club, that denizen of artists, writers, and theatrical types of all sorts.
It’s a wonderful place, and ideal for the freelancer who needs a friendly spot to work in London, free of hassle and away from the clatter and clutter of the coffee chains.
It’s also pretty good for doing my little portraits, and the other day I did these two. I can’t claim that they’re among my best, but I try to document anything half-decent, and these scrape in under that criterion I think.
The poor chap with the spectacles actually looked quite friendly, whereas his portrait makes him look pretty frightening. In fact it reminds me rather of that Gestapo fellow in Raiders of the Lost Ark:
So apologies to him, whoever he was. (At least he’s unlikely to recognise himself.)
I’m sailing close-ish to the wind with these, as Club rules expressly forbid photography or filming on site. Dark threats of expulsion hang over anyone considering such a thing. But sketching on an iPad isn’t photography, is it? It’s certainly not filming. So hopefully I’m safe.
Here’s a dramatic-looking lady from the Tube the other day, about whom I’d quite forgotten until I found her waiting patiently on the iPad.
She was all thick, black, glossy hair, heavy black leather jacket – and, yes, a great expanse of chest. Well, when you’re standing right over people, that’s the view. I try not to look like a pervert doing these, but it’s not always easy.
All I can say is that boobs – even gender – are irrelevant to my choices of subject. And I think previous posts bear this out, thankfully. (Just so we’re clear, that white line is her iPhone headphone cable. You knew that, right?)
Did a couple of sketches today, mostly abortive as people kept getting off. (The train, not with each other.) But I had a little inspiration on one of them, which was to whack in a background and then ‘cut out’ a silhouette of the subject to draw into.
I tried it again here, as you can see, and it worked quite well. The girl in question was reading her book, which always helps: the more absorbed they are, the less they wriggle about. Mind you, she looked quite like Clémence Poésy, which was a little distracting.
(Oh, forgot to mention: I bought a new stylus. Two, actually. These. They work really nicely.)
Still haven’t found my stylus, so this is still officially finger-painting. Even so, I was quite pleased with this quick sketch of the girl reading her book opposite me on the Tube.
The weather is pulling scarves and hats and coats out of the drawers and wardrobes of Britain. Good news for me: those rich folds, loops and layers of fabric always make for an absorbing subject. As long as I don’t forget to do the faces too.
I’ve lost my stylus. That’s the thing. I put it down in the kitchen at home, days ago, and now it’s gone.
I’ve had a desultory look around, but I share said home with two small boys, two largish dogs, and a growing glaring of cats. (Four, at last count.)
So I’m guessing one or more members of that menagerie has got hold of the stylus. And very possibly eaten it.
Hence the lack of recent Brushes. But today I grew restive and emboldened, and had a go at a stylus-free sketch. Fingertips only.
Of course, he got off too early for me to get properly started. But he was fun. He and the lady I took to be his wife sat opposite me, joshing each other, chatting animatedly, nudging and chuckling away. The kind of people we’d all like to be when we grow up. Lovely.
Next up, the woman who took the seat vacated by the one in the previous post.
This one was older, and seemed much less relaxed. Her predecessor had a big hardback book, which she was reading calmly and contentedly. This one had a newspaper, which she hunched over and scowled at, as you can hopefully see here. Mind you, it was the Evening Standard, so one can hardly blame her.
The yellowy line is the long gold chain she was wearing, rather than the wires of a blingy pair of earphones. In case you were wondering.
Back again after a bit of a break – holidays and such, which means my iPad spends most of its time as hostage to two small boys.
So, two quick sketches between Waterloo and Tottenham Court Road Tube stations yesterday. First, this young woman, who lasted only one or two stops. Happily, I feel like I caught something of her in that time, which is pleasing.
When he looked up from under his cap, this fellow looked a lot like Ridley Scott. Perhaps it was Ridley Scott, although I’m not sure why he’d be on the Dorking to Waterloo train.
The hat’s rubbish, a pretty lazy bit of drawing frankly. But the beard, using the same brush I used for those lads’ hair, worked quite well.
I don’t really think it was Ridley Scott.
This one was on the Tube. (See previous post.)
Only after I’d started did I have the thought of making each line the right colour for the thing it represented. Which is why only half her hair is yellow, and the other half is blue. She didn’t have blue hair.
Come to think of it, she didn’t look much like this at all. But none of you knows that, so who cares?