Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Inside the Lincoln Center


It seems that sketching indoors has pushed me to try new compositions that focus on groups of people rather than on the overall streetscape or individual subject. Although this was probably the largest number of people that I've ever fit inside any of my drawings, I still feel that I wasn't quite able to capture how populated and vibrant that place really felt. 

As a slow sketcher, I'm still struggling with my bias towards recording the "easy targets" - the stationary elements of the crowd that give me enough time to be drawn in "sufficient" detail. I'd be very interested in hearing other sketchers' thoughts on drawing crowds and "populating" a drawing. 


  1. Jimmy - You did a great job on these! I find it is impossible to draw the entire crowd or even all the furniture in some of the views I have. I just edit a lot like you did.

  2. Jim Richards taught a class in Barcelona that had an approach you might like.

    He starts with a line that represents eye level. Then he looks around at the moving people and tries to capture them. The drawings of the people can actually be little more than short-hand symbols but he's careful to hang them on the eye line. The people are different sizes depending on whether they are nearer or further away, but the consistency of having every person's eyes, (or their belts, or whatever is at your eye level) on the same line adds to the illusion of reality.

    Then he fills in what you would consider the "easy targets", using the eye level as a reference point for the horizon line. The consistency of all the buildings, or the tables being drawn consistently with the horizon line adds to the illusion of reality.

    When you see his people they are more "playful" the exact, but the whole things works beautifully. This is harder to write than it is to demonstrate. Next time we''re sketching remind me and I'll show you his technique.


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