Three recent Brushes, following another hiatus. Quality definitely dips with lack of practice: I’ve done much better than these. And that poor chap with the beard: he looked quite cheerful in real life. Sorry sir.
Another hiatus, another little flurry of drawings.
I recently opened an office in Soho Square, which means suddenly I’m a commuter again.
You’d think this would bring a deluge of Brushes, but so far the workload hasn’t allowed it – most of my train journeys are spent with my laptop open. But I had a little burst of Brushing the other day – here are the results.
The guy in the yellow hat was on my train home, the other two were lightning sketches on the Tube.
Wish I had the energy for a caption. Here are today’s brushes. Actually a lovely escape from a very stressful day.
I’ve been drawing a fair bit recently, but my ridiculous current workload has kept me from posting. So here’s a crowd of recent strangers.
After a spell of focusing on just the broader brush approach, I went back to the line, which felt like a refreshing change. I think (hope) there’s something interesting to be done by combining the two. Just wish I had long enough with each sitter to do it.
This was a real quickie, on the Tube, peering down at the poor unsuspecting girl on the seat in front of me.
I must say, I’m getting more and more keen on these quick, literally broad-brush portraits.
Back up to date. I did this one today, on the Tube. The colour scheme was obvious. This chap really was all in shades of grey. Pale skin, salt-and-pepper stubble and hair, grey clothes. It was like someone printed him out cheaply. Poor chap.
This chap was pretty irresistible. Sound asleep, for a start, so there was no irritating fidgeting to work around. And then that hood: all mottled fake fur, inviting me to try out a few of the pattern options in Brushes.
Then people piled onto the train and got between us, which was very annoying of them.
This is one of the sketches where I started to feel I’d cracked it: both the drawing itself and the use of Brushes.
It just seemed to come together, from the first rough, broad grey outline of this old fellow’s head. Unlike many of my drawings (I confess), this one really looked like the subject. I’d like to think a member of his family might recognise him from this – and that’s definitely not always true.
He kept very still, which helps, of course. Contrary to how he might appear, he wasn’t asleep – or worse. (Daniel Gray described this sketch to me on Path as ‘a dead Lloyd Grossman’.) In fact, he was reading a book, which was clearly absorbing as he barely moved a muscle.
There was a professiorial air about him, and his face seemed to have been formed by someone scrunching a loose bolt of fabric: all soft folds and pleats. And then that purple scarf: a casual, rather flamboyant touch, tossed over the shoulder of his sober black coat.
I couldn‘t help imagining that if you caught his eye there might be a similar touch of the eccentric, or dramatic, in his otherwise placid gaze: hints of bright colours within.
I’ve got back into the sketching in the past couple of days, starting with this splendid fellow, opposite whom I found myself sitting yesterday.
There are some people who so fully embody a stereotype that it’s hard to believe they’re not dressed for a film role. (Maybe he was.)
This chap, ruddy-faced in that way that suggests country air, horses and buckets of sherry, also had startling hair. It looked to have been petrified by Brilliantine into a golden helmet locked in place on his scalp.
The white-collared blue shirt; the gold tie with little blue emblems; the herringbone coat with black velvet collar detail: he’d been groomed and dressed by Central Casting as ‘Rural Toff’.
All of which begs the question, what on earth was he doing slumming it on the Tube in the middle of the afternoon?