Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Airport Sketching

While cleaning up my studio this week, I came across yet another stack of sketchbooks.  Flipping through them, I found many pages of sketches made in airports—more than I thought I'd made.  I guess I fly more than I remember.

Looking to hone your skills at capturing the gesture of the human figure?  Next time you fly, take your sketchbook with you.  Airports offer a motley assortment of figures, from the ragtag to the aristocratic, and a full range of poses, from leisurely lounging to scurrying in fear of missing a connection.

I particularly enjoy sketching someone in a hurry—a carry-on bag often serves as a weight around which to build the figure.  If I'm lucky, I may have 15 seconds to sketch one of these panicked travelers.  That's enough time to go beyond the simple stick figure to a filled-out clothespin and to capture a sense of movement.

These people are in such a hurry they never see me sketching them.  But if I want to make a more careful study of a head or figure, such as  someone watching TV, talking with a companion or enjoying a snack at one of the airport food counters, I have to be more stealthy; these people are more aware of their surroundings.  I usually position my body obliquely, so it seems I'm sketching someone else.  I've never had anyone catch me—yet.

Here are a few more pages from my airport sketchbooks:

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