Stretching

After a long winter indoors, and then lots of time in my garden, there is really only one thing I long to sketch. People! People in motion, people in cafés, people at markets, sitting people, standing people, walking people — all would suit me just fine.

With that in mind I headed out this morning to a park where I was pretty certain I could find some life. And I was rewarded almost immediately with an outdoor kick-boxing/circuit training class in progress. I spent an hour or so drawing anyone I could see from my spot at a picnic table in the shade — the exercisers, a mother dancing with her kids to the fitness music, and then lots of people walking by. Each drawing took about 20 seconds or less. In each I tried to capture a gesture, a movement, an expression, a distinctive item of clothing, some great hair, an original hat — really just one thing — in as few lines as possible. It’s a great exercise. As each person walking by me I would pick that thing and begin the sketch with that. A good example is on the third page. There’s a man walking with a tray of coffee cups, and in that sketch I started with his arm and the cups. When the person walked out of sight I would move on to the next person. Near the end of the hour when I started to get warmed up, I added a bit of shading. By the time I put away my pencil, I started to feel like I too had had a bit of a workout.


27 Comments on “Stretching”

  1. Judy Sopher says:

    Wow-these get better and better. You certainly did capture the gestures, postures etc I love the ones marked “stretching.”. And finally -no masks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Judy, Yes, it did feel great. And finally most people are comfortable not wearing masks outdoors, although it is still required in all indoor spaces. We are so used to it now. But it really is wonderful to see people exercising in groups outdoors.

      Like

  2. Cindy Wahlstrom says:

    Great exercise!

    Like

  3. Pamela Jeffrey says:

    Love these quick sketches – you capture the energy and immediacy of the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Susan says:

    Fantastic Shari. Isn’t it great to be getting back to normal. (Or feeling normal)

    Like

  5. Laura Kate says:

    I’m so impressed that you can draw people while they are moving! I tried to draw people who were sitting, but eventually they moved, and I could never work fast enough. What is your secret?

    Like

    • Thanks Laura. In answer to your question, the secret is to just keep practicing. Some drawings will be better than others but just keep doing. Eventually you will develop a memory for the proportions and what she body shapes look like,and you will be able to make something believable. But it won’t happen unless you keep on drawing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pete D. says:

    Hi Shari, what I really appreciate is that you’ve put in all your attempts, good and the not so good. I feel much more empowered by the latter and they help me lose some of my inhibitions when it comes to having a stab at adding people to my sketches, they’re all good enough.
    Thank you!

    Like

    • “they are all good enough” I love that Pete! That is so true. I think that most of us are far too critical of our own work, right? But you have to just keep doing it, and doing it and doing it. Eventually there will be more of the good and fewer of the not so good. Thanks so much for writing! Much appreciated!

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  7. lois says:

    Twenty seconds or less?! You did amazing, Shari!

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  8. hbart789 says:

    Interesting and useful . . . Thanks . . .

    Like

  9. gramaspaint says:

    Thanks for sharing this Shari. It gives me hope that I might be comfortable with whatever I try at the sketching workshop. Trying not to get nervous. See you in September. … Where have I heard that before?? Karen

    >

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    • Karen, we will all be a bit nervous in September, so don’t worry about it. Don’t forget, I have taught in person for 16 months. Everyone feels like that in a workshop but it will be so much fun, and that is how I hope you approach it!!

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  10. Ginette Pierson says:

    Useful info

    >

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  11. Northern Traveller says:

    These are great Shari – good for you. It’s so nice to get out again isn’t it?
    For some reason I hate drawing people so I stay away from it at every chance possible. I’m sure this only means I should pay attention and do it more…..sigh!
    Mary (TO)

    Like

  12. Helena says:

    Shari, so good to see you sketching people in motion! I am participating in the 30×30 right now and after Suhita’s workshop about sketching people, I am so pumped up to paint tennismen from French Open in direct watercolour which may be a bit too much stretching. Anyway, I am enjoying the process. I may take my pens out on location like you did, certainly some stretching too, but with less sore “muscles”.

    Like

    • This is great to read Helena! It just makes me happy to see people pushing themselves once again (me included!) to get out and sketch from life! Or from live tv! Suhita and I sketch together every week on Zoom but we are both missing sketching together in person. Hope that will be soon too!

      Like

  13. mcammeehan says:

    Is it wonderful just to be outside!

    Like

  14. Really good, quick studies of characters.

    Like

  15. Joan Tavolott says:

    How fun to be someplace where you could finally do quick sketches of people.

    Like


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