The people on the train with me not only make great life drawing studies , but on occasion, they also inspire me to write, as was the case here.
These are from a sketchbook back in 1999. In order to enable a bit of creative risk taking, I splattered colored ink all over the inside cover, setting an anti-perfectionist tone to the sketchbook. Everything on the first page of the sketchbook (the second page shown below), was done with a fountain pen loaded with sepia ink. I was working at art supply stores at the time, and I specialized in fountain pens, so naturally, they became my drawing tools. The sepia ink was inspired by original sketches done by Salvador Dali rendered in the very same ink, which I had seen at a gallery down in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Some intersections in Washington, DC are rather busy, and as such, serve well for quick lunchtime sketching. The right intersection will offer a plethora of traffic signals, street signs, architecture, and other random detail for days upon days of sketching. This one particular intersection in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood has been a wellspring of subject matter for me, and this particular sketch served as a color study of the many traffic lights at the corners.
Urban sketching is simple; walk around, spot something interesting, draw it. While taking a lunchtime stroll one day, I spotted this scene at the entrance to a parking garage. The sign was interesting and the surrounding objects were simple and colorful. A few pen lines covered the details and a quick swipes of my markers caught the colors. The whole sketch took inside ten minutes, and I was done before the cold air stiffened my poor fingers to numb inaction.
When sketching people on the train, I don’t always get to fully capture the person from head to toe, and sometimes, that’s just fine; the cast of characters on the train is so diverse and unique that even just a few head drawings leave me with enough details and interesting features to make pushing the pen for a few minutes worth the effort.
Washington, DC, is a city of world-famous monuments and landmarks. And being a city means that it’s also rich in visual details, especially for quick lunchtime sketches. Only about mile from the White House, there are alleyways that offer me plenty of subject matter to work with, as seen in the sketch below.