Lotus Elises, that girl with the pearl, an excuse to go to the pub and some pigeons🖌✏️

Here's that familiar girl, first drawn as a crosshatch practice and then redrawn exercising the brain cells a little harder to imagine the light coming from the other side.

A great exercise as you have to develop the 3D model in your brain rather than just copying shade and light shapes.

The end result looks a bit odd but it's a useful exercise I can recommend.

The Tudor Rose 🌹⚔️

That's the name of the pub which had this sign attached which I chose to sketch.

The associated brewery is Shepherd Neame, Britain's oldest brewery and it seems that in recent years they've transferred all their signs to this style of drawing.

I wonder how they go about the designs as there must be hundreds. To have designed that many, I assume by hand, and to retain the style but remain unique- quite some work!!

Quick sketching of people, and some pigeons. Neither of these subjects stay still for long so you need to be quick, there's no other way.

This is another practice I'd recommend doing to exercise the brain's visual memory and recall, plus it's quite fun.

Once you've gotten past the nervousness of drawing in public spaces. For some it's easy to do so, for me it took two years of concerted effort to overcome that limitation.

Quick ink sketch of some Lotus Elises at a track day in Abbeville, France.

This was again purely a crosshatch practice with a ballpoint pen which has quite wet ink. Recently I've found that a normal bic biro with it's drier ink is better if looking for a smoother gradient of shading.

3 comments

  1. It’s interesting that you mentioned nervousness to draw in public. That is a fear that I am currently needing to overcome because I think it is holding me back. Any tips you could offer for overcoming that fear would be wonderful. As always your sketches are inspiring. Thanks for sharing them!

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    • Yes, it was, and still partly is, a real issue when you see these “urban sketchers” online and want to get out and have a go.

      Hmmm…. tips…. not sure I know the “right way” but this was “my way”.

      – start off with 5 min practice drawings outside but where it’s quite unlikely to experience any passing traffic. Aiming for the quick sketch rather than anything detailed, if you close the pad with just a few lines or shapes that’s fine.
      – when comfortable with being able to vaguely represent a scene, an object, or the sort of thing you’re going to draw relativity fast (usually by omitting the details) then it’s time to start making the bold steps.
      – carrying your pad and pen (no pencils, or at least no eraser, that implies aiming for perfection and not required for this stage) go along to something that you want to draw. Now this sounds counter-intuitive but if it’s somewhere busy with lots of passing people but not pausing people then that’s best. Find a spot to look from, with your back to a wall or tree. And just look, for a solid five minutes – not fidgeting around with other distractions such as looking at your phone. Don’t draw, just look. I did this at least 5-6 times extending the time until I felt comfortable being ‘unusual’ in the busy world. Unusual because I can guarantee that most people will be engaged in their own little worlds, ferreting around, rushing along, engrossed in conversations with others, engrossed with their phones, a million different distractions. Soon you will start to almost feel invisible to the crowd whilst you silently, thoughtfully take in the scene.

      At some point you’ll be overcome with the need to take out that pad and get sketching. Doesn’t matter if it’s only for a couple of nervous minutes. Once you do it then you’re on your way…

      Next steps will come naturally, doing longer sessions, drawing from a variety of places. Experiencing abject failures (the sooner you accept failure as an essential part of the process the better you’ll feel).

      After a while you’re bound to be approached by someone wanting to take a look. This is it, the biggest fear surely, what will they think? What if they think it’s rubbish, why didn’t they spot me last week when I was doing a good drawing? What if they mock me?
      Yeah – that’s a lotta dilemmas for a one second thought process but that’s along the lines of what I had. And you know what, so far I’ve only ever been approached once with a negative response. It was by a security guard concerned as to why I was drawing their watchtower – fair enough I suppose. I did point out that had I been suspicious then it’s unlikely I’d be in broad daylight for 40 minutes with a sketch pad when any camera phone would capture far more detail in a split second.

      Places to avoid at first- trains, buses, tourist attractions where people are milling around taking photos, anywhere where you’re easily overlooked. Anywhere with people but not crowds of people basically, I’ve been noticed far less in crowded places.

      I’m still trying to battle with the anxiety of drawing on the train but I do do it, again forcing myself to face the fear head on. It’s having 5-10 people in close vicinity that can (gasp) look at what you’re doing or even (horror) talk to you. My current method is to stick the headphones on and get stuck in, they don’t need to know I’m not listening to anything. Half the time people are too engrossed in their phones or asleep to be bothered with that saddo sketcher in the corner (oh yeah, I’m always in a corner, no overlooking).

      After a while of doing public sketching I noticed that I was in my own bubble concentrating on what I was doing. These are the best times when I forget about all those scary people. Often they’ll be the better drawings as well.

      I’d definitely recommend giving it a go Michael. In fact I’d say that it’s directly due to overcoming that fear of people seeing my sketchbook that I ended up doing this website and opening up an instagram account. Showing my drawings to close family members five years ago was about my limit, if you said back then I’d be showing the world I’d have thought “never”.

      Bit of a lengthy reply, I may copy paste this into a separate blog post 😉👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you immensely for taking the time to provide such a thoughtful and complete response. I already carry a small sketchbook and pen with me daily. I just need to find the courage to crack it open and have a go in a public space. I will try to use your advice and see if I can overcome my fears.

        I also think this topic would make a wonderful blog post!

        Once again, Thank you for the reply!

        Like

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