Saturday, August 6, 2011

The "art" of people watching

  Have you ever "People Watched?" It's fun, you can do it nearly anywhere, and its free. Just sit down where some people are and casually look around. It's fascinating observing people's behavior when they think no one's watching them. They aren't posing to look good or saying things to impress you. They're just being natural.
  Artists are able to take "people watching" to the next level when they sketch the life they see around them. In my opinion, the most powerful life drawings are the ones that are spontaneous, when their subjects are unaware they're being drawn. In this way artists are able to capture tiny snapshots of "mundane" every day life. These are things that are rarely officially documented but the very things we're dying to know about a decade or two later.
  The following images are drawings from my sketchbook I've from life done over the past few years. Almost none of my subjects knew I was drawing them while I was doing it, not at first at least. I love the element of surprise. It left my subjects loose and natural, just going on doing what they do best, whatever that was. What results is an intimate glimpse into my youth, the people and places I went and experienced. If you look carefully, on some of the sketches I jotted down what they were saying as I drew them.
By the way, they're all in order of the date in which I drew them. Do you think I improved any over time?

Highschool Sketches

A "friendly caricature" of my freshmen science teacher.

The old man who babysat us in study hall.
Bob can't draw

"One Eyed Jake" got shot in the eye with a roman candle. I think he's all healed up now though believe it or not.
I called this kid Mouse Man. It was his birthday when I drew this. He was usually very shy but that day we had a long conversation. He was oblivious that I was drawing him the entire time.
A left and right view from my desk in Spanish class.

College Sketches

Various people from the lobby. The eyepatch guy was a real person but I screwed up on drawing him :P

 dirty hippie loves being a model 

I love her enthusiasm for life! (And Lionel Richie)

He's mad. The school wouldn't let him use his hookah.

So, now that you've peeked into my sketchbook, does anyone want to share what's in theirs?

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