When sketching on the Washington, DC Metro, I sometimes come away with a nice capture of a full person, their detailing and personality, or even a rich color study. Other days, though, I come away with bits and pieces of people, half-drawn poses, or a mangled-mess of heads, hands, and faces. I have a name for pages like these; I call them “practice”, and between every page containing a Behance-worty sketch, there are tons of pages that look like the ones below, with the former not being possible without the latter.
When I want to draw simply for the sake of drawing, I work from a few go-to subject matters that I always keep in mind. One of them is bicycles, which I’ll draw from my mind, completely freehand, and without the aid of rulers or protractors. I’ll start at a particular feature, like a brake lever or a crankset, and branch out from there. I’m not sure when I drew this bicycle, probably back in 2009. If you know (read: obsess over) bicycles, then you can probably tell that this is some townie singlespeed, and can pick out the Chris King headset.
Why do I choose to sketch certain buildings here in Washington, DC? Amongst several factors is whether the building can be sketched in small increments over several days, as I do these while out for quick strolls during my lunch breaks . This one particular building presented such an opportunity. Very modular, with a nice balance of symmetric and subtle asymmetric details, it was an easy building to draw to a certain identifiable point one day, and pick up from there the next day, as seen in the process shots below.