A few more pages from my “Ugly Sketchbook”, a cheap 3″ x 5″ sketchbook for anything-goes kind of sketching, drawing, doodling, and defacing. These three pages embody pretty much that, and just happened to run on a bit of a sick and nasty theme.
If you’ve ever ridden the Washington, DC, Metro, then you’re accustom to the unique interior colors of the train; a palette of burgundy, orange, yellow, and blue straight out of the 1970s. Though decades old nowadays, they still sometimes visually complement the colors of the clothing worn by some of the commuters. I sketched this individual on the Metro, noted down the colors, and then completed the sketch with my markers at a cafe immediately after debarking from the train.
Back in 2009, doodling hipster bike messengers into my sketchbook (or even just hipsters styling themselves as bike messengers – can you really tell the difference?) No photo reference for these; just working it out of my cycling-saturated head. Did a loose freehand sketch, then developed the theme over the next two pages of a 4″ x 6″ sketchbook.
After extensively sketching the urban architecture of Washington, DC, I figured I would take a shot at rural architecture while visiting a farm in suburban Maryland. I thought that this would be pretty easy, but I was rather mistaken; while I had developed a visual and aesthetic fluency in the architecture of historic urban neighborhood buildings, rural farming structures were something totally different, and were more challenging than I thought (I also had limited time to do these sketches.) Hopefully, I’ll get back to attempt these again some day.
Full frontal/facial sketches are some of the most challenging sketches to attempt on the Metro; while I try to be discrete and respectful of the people I sketch, sketching people sitting directly across from me presents the greatest risk of being noticed. Generally, though, these people are either asleep or too fully focused on their devices to notice me. Of course, there’s always that other challenge; on-boarding passengers unknowingly blocking your view and pretty much ending the sketching session.