Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sketchcrawl by Streetcar

We 4 friends met Saturday morning for our monthly Sketchcrawl, this time by streetcar. We started across from the library and rode the entire loop, up to Good Samaritan hospital and down to the new riverfront development, getting off along the way to sketch or photograph. The day was so cold (33 degrees) that we were discouraged from sitting out on a convenient bench so we took images as they came to us. I drew the buildings from the edge of the sidewalk and didn't take out my watercolors until I return home and by then I had forgotten what the colors were except for the one red brick building.

I did the little sketches on the left as I rode MAX, our local light rail, to downtown. Everyone was bundled up in black... a very Portland winter look. I've found that once people are settled they usually return to one relaxed pose, making it easier to finish a quick sketch. And of course drawing someone from the back when riding on public transportation is the easiest of all. That's Jan's head.

And drawing people as they wait in line for coffee give me lots of opportunity for quick gestural drawings.

I recently discovered the blog of a talented London artist who draws people on his long commutes across the city. He's sometimes on the bus for 3 1/2 hours and he uses his time to sketch. Have a look at Adebanji Aladi's incredible work.

These sketches are in my little Moleskine sketchbook that I carry everywhere. There are other small sketchbooks available but I prefer this one for its overall quality and durability.


  1. Jo: thanks for the great link to the blog of Adebanji Aladi. Wow. It goes to show what dedication to sketching can do for an artist! And then, I have to say I am enjoying seeing your current work! You seem to be in a tad bit of transition, and I like it. Beautiful color as always, these more realistic pieces are like an invitation to come into the painting and look around.

  2. Hi Jo,
    Great sketches! There are so many opportunities for we artists to pick up our sketchbooks are draw like you have done!
    I'll check out Adebanji's blog!

  3. Leslie, thanks for your observations about changes in my work. I don't see it, here with my nose to the grindstone, but you've known my work a long time and I value your opinion.
    Manon, thanks for the compliment on the sketches. I love to do this and don't know why I don't make room in my everyday life to draw a lot more.
    Adebanji is incredible, isn't he?


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