This past week, I travelled from our little island in the Canadian Maritimes to Georgia to visit family. Part of the trip involved several hours in the Detroit airport. These days, what with the constant presence of CNN and cell phones in airport waiting areas, I find it difficult to read. Reading had always been a favorite way to pass the time in airports, but it's increasingly hard to find a quiet spot. This time, I decided to sketch instead.
Detroit's a busy airport, and people scurry like ants from gate to gate with their bags. I positioned myself in one of the busier terminals and caught people as they came out the gate. It was challenging, as I rarely had more than 30 seconds per figure. I had no time for a meticulous study of correct proportions. Instead, I was forced to capture only the essence of a figure hurrying along.
It didn't take me long to discover the secret. It's the BAG that anchors the dynamics of each human figure. I found that if I tried to capture the solid weight of the bag right off, I could easily build the human figure around it, and accurately. Mass in the bag, and all the thrusts and lines of direction created by arms, legs, spine, shoulders and hips follow from that.
To give you an idea, here's a sample page. (As always, you can click on the thumbnail for a larger version.)
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