I had to do some work this week at the American Museum of Natural History and was able to do a few more quick sketches of people riding the subway. I normally don’t ride the subway when it’s so crowded and I had a challenging time trying to see around people in order to draw the person sitting directly across from me. These were two that seemed to work out alright.
A few days ago I had to take the subway again into the city and was able to do a few sketches of two people sitting across from me –asleep of course. I think I should do a series of drawings titled “asleep on the train.” It seems to be a common element.
One of the best things about drawing on the New York subway is the diversity of “models” to choose from. Every nationality is represented and you never know who will sit across from you and where they’ll be from. Yesterday this Asian woman sat down and quickly closed her eyes. I knew I had to pull out my sketchbook and quickly try to draw her since I had to get off in only 4 stops.
New York City hit 104 degrees yesterday and today isn’t much better unless you consider a 2 degree difference refreshing. My wife and I knew that our window unit air conditioners weren’t going to cut it so we grabbed our laptops along with my sketchbook and our daughter Emma and headed to the Tea Lounge. We obviously weren’t the only ones with that idea. When we got there we couldn’t even find a place to sit because the place was entirely packed. We didn’t care. It was about 78 degrees inside and felt like we’d just walked into a meat locker. As Emma polished off a red velvet cupcake and my wife caught up on some work on her computer, I pulled out my sketchbook and started to sketch the woman reading on the couch in front of me.
It was quite challenging since it was such low light and it was difficult to make out key features. It’s funny, but I think I’ve become spoiled with the lighting on the subway and having a model only a few feet from me. Anyway, I gave it my best shot and, best of all, stayed cool while doing it.
Comments are welcome.– Dave
I spent the day up around Times Square on 45th Street doing a job and figured I’d get there a little early and take along my sketchbook. On the way there I was able to do a quick sketch of a young woman that was sitting across from me on the F train listening to her ipod. The sketch only had a brief work time though since she got off after only a few stops. Too bad. I was feeling pretty good about my start.
When I finally got to Times Square (around 8am) I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat at one of the tables that are throughout the closed off section of Broadway. A guy sat down a few feet from me and I thought I’d try sketching him. Like almost all the people I’ve been drawing lately on the subway, he too fell asleep. It was really tough to focus on this drawing as cars and buses were racing directly behind me on 7th Avenue. At one point about 5 firetrucks even rushed past with their sirens blaring as people darted to get out of the way. I must say, it’s been a really long time since I tried drawing a cityscape like this and I definitely struggled. Unfortunately I had to be at work at 9am so I wasn’t able to complete this drawing to my liking, but I thought I was able to get a good sense of the environment.
On the way home I sketched this guy that, of course, was passed out on the F train. I mean really out. His mouth was even open and he barely moved a muscle for about 6 stops before getting off at 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.
Overall I’m pleased with all three sketches and I can’t wait to try another cityscape. Maybe next time though I’ll pick a location that doesn’t happen to be the busiest, most congested spot in all of New York City.
Another ride on the F train prompted a quick sketch of the woman sitting across from me. I think it’s pretty obvious what inspired me to take out my sketchbook this time. It’s too bad she got off the train a few stops before mine because I was really enjoying this drawing and felt I was starting to get into the flow of it.
It’s always a roll of the dice when you pick a model that happens to be on the New York City subway.
Comments are welcome.
It’s rare that my son Sebastian sits still long enough where I can actually attempt to draw him. Teenagers usually aren’t real interested in staying in one place. However, he recently purchased an ipad for his 13th birthday (yes, he saved enough money) and it seems to be the thing that will keep him occupied and frozen in time. Well, that and reading- but he usually does that in his room.
So this was my attempt to draw him sitting on our couch
completely mesmerized by his new toy. I think I captured the look he always has on his face when he’s in his ipad coma. I really could’ve used about 20 more minutes to develop the drawing further but I figure the 30 he gave me was about 20 more than what he thought he was going to do.
Now how do I get my 6 year old to sit still?
All comments or suggestions are welcome.
I think I may have to title my series of subway sketches “Exhausted in New York” because it seems like everyone I ever draw on there is asleep. Part of it is done intentionally because it’s obviously much easier to draw someone when they’re not moving and not aware that you’re sketching them. Then there’s the other part that is just because New Yorkers are exhausted and the subway is a great place to catch up on some Z’s. On the way into Manhattan I sketched a guy who was completely passed out. He was wearing a baseball cap and was barely holding onto his backpack. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on the drawing since he miraculously woke up and left after just a few stops. I guess it’s that innate ability you develop as a New Yorker.
Heading back home though I sat across from a dad who was with his 4 kids and wife. I lucked out and was able to sketch him for at least 6 to 7 stops on the F train because I got off before him and in that time he barely moved a muscle. Sitting with his head propped against the handle of his suitcase and holding his groceries, you could tell that it had been one long day for this exhausted dad. I can definitely relate.
Overall I felt pretty good while doing both sketches and really moved throughout the drawings with a little more ease. I guess I’m starting to get my “drawing legs” back under me.
Thanks for checking them out,
Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion.