They have been lining the drains around here for most of the week, and whilst I am not too sure what the process involves, it has clearly taken a great many vehicles of all shapes and sizes, pumps, generators and swarms of orange-clad men in white helmets who, between sporadic bursts of manic activity, did a lot of standing around, talking. Which was most fortunate for me, once I realized they weren’t going to be changing position very often, as it gave me the chance to try and draw them. They mostly stayed still except the one on the left in this sketch who kept wriggling his legs I think in an effort to keep warm, but for all I know he could have been rehearsing his part in an upcoming pantomime. Anyway, they seem to have lost interest in our road now.
There are a lot of these around at the moment. Obviously not drawn from life as these guys tend not to hang around while one fumbles for a pencil, so a little help from my mobile camera was much appreciated. Anyway, it was fun to do!
My people sketching was done a bit later in the day than the rest of the week, so a little busier. We had some interesting weather during the night, so not a lot of sleep, branches off trees, garden waste bins sent flying, that sort of thing. Still windy during the day. People’s hair flying every which way, and when it wasn’t raining the sun was so bright there was an outbreak of sun-glasses. Well, it is March..
I had a sort of idea how I wanted people spread across the pages today, but things never go quite as one hopes. On the other hand, I did the best I could as people came and went, and one doesn’t have a lot of time to think when people insist on moving so much . And at least I’ve nearly reached the magic number which I wasn’t sure if I would or not on Monday.
If I thought people were bustling on day one, they really stepped up a notch today as the wind and the rain swept in. There were one or two people who stayed still (almost) long enough to complete them, but mostly I had to remember their headgear and attach part of another body to it, which made for some rather lumpy people today. It didn’t help I had to keep cleaning the windscreen so I could actually see something.
There were one or two I would have liked to develop a bit more, and my original plan had been to try and group people a bit better, but it didn’t really happen. There is always tomorrow.
Everyone wears hoods or hats these days. Umbrellas are out of fashion.
The supermarkets must have special offers which appeal to the older generation on a Tuesday, as there was a noticeable difference in the age range of shoppers today – and more trollies being trundled. One good thing about the slightly slower pace was that I was able to do a few sketches and then add colour to a chunk of them while waiting for other people to come.
The only trouble was, I miscounted and had to squeeze two extra people in at the last minute…
Rather rashly, I decided to try out the #OneWeek100People challenge created by Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel. I believe this is year 5 and I have not tried it before.
The idea, for those who have not come across it before, is to spend a little time each day for a week, sketching people wherever you find them (while also being socially responsible this year). You can share your work on the facebook group page or any social media using the hashtag #OneWeek100People.
Normally I would have been quite happy to settle down somewhere with a cup of tea or coffee and and sketch other people, which would have been the better option as at least my ‘models’ would have been relatively anchored for a while.
However, life being what it is, sitting in a cafe is not yet an option this year, so where could I find people and observe them safely?
How about from the car park outside a supermarket? It sounded a good idea. Normally there are any number of people standing around chatting. Not today! Today, people Bustled. Not surprising really as it was distinctly chilly. Too chilly to stand around outside. Probably not the best day to try out this project for the first time.
I soon realised I was not going to achieve many full figures, so I began with a few heads, which was about all I had time for before they disappeared inside the store. I managed a bit more when a couple of people stopped to use the cash machine. Then there was a while where nothing much happened at all, which is why I included a trolley. I don’t know if that counts as one of my people, but I’m counting it any way for the moment. Then suddenly, there were people everywhere and I only had time to put in a few lines while I could and then go back and join some of them up later. Only two of these people were actually together. The others were, as far as I’m aware, unknown to each other and in reality were more socially distant than appears on the page (in case you were worried).
All of them were sketched from life and the bits of colour were added at the end of my session while still in situ, but from memory. I don’t know how the rest of the week will go. I think I will have less time towards the end, but at least I have made a start.
Sitting in the car outside a supermarket early this morning, I hoped to sketch some more figures. At first there were not so many people and I wondered if I was too early, then all of a sudden people came thick and fast and I had no time to manage a whole figure before they disappeared from view. Here are a few who came and went in a short space of time. I added watercolour later.
Random figures seen today while out for some exercise. None of these figures were actually in the same place at the same time, although they were there within about an hour of each other. Some were scribbled in with a pencil and inked over after they had gone. The man with the wheelbarrow kept stopping for a rest. I leant against a wall most of the time but the larger figure was walking in front of me, talking to a companion and I was able to follow at a safe distance unnoticed. I tried to use the ink pen (make unknown) loosely, but turned out not as loose as I’d like. It also smudged a bit which made me think it wouldn’t take a wash, but when I applied some colour later on it didn’t move as much as I thought.
I really miss being able to sit somewhere with a cup of tea and sketch people when they are not moving so much!