I had some time to kill yesterday, and spent it paging through the notebook I carry in my bag. My memory is not the best (I blame a nasty blow to the head that may or may not have happened – I forget), so it was great for me to look at some of my notes and sketches and remember things. One of the things I really like to do is to make quick sketches of people I’ve seen, sometimes surreptitiously, and sometimes from memory.
I did these while working at my stand at the Biscuit Mill market some time back. I kind of invisibly lurk amongst my tea towels, and people are moving quite slowly, so they make great subjects.
Sometimes people have such great faces, I’m seized with the desire to get them onto paper. It’s a bit heart-in-the-mouth though, cos I’m terrified they’ll spot me eagle-eying them, followed by furious scribbling, and demand to see my sketches.
One day, Paul and I were driving, and a wonderfully nerdy girl sprang out into the road suddenly. We slammed on brakes, and she leaped across our path, all smiles and hunched waves, grateful and embarrassed at once, and we were left with an impression of spaghetti legs and a speccy grin that had to be noted.
Paris was so full of sleepy-eyed mop-haired boys on bikes, and this could have been any one of them.
Dogs don’t mind if you draw them, but I only drew this one, spotted at Merci in Paris, after I got back home. Couldn’t quite get his long, long nose and jaw right, but he was just as friendly as his portrait looks.
These are my friends, Marion and Elsa, sketching by the river at Algeria in the Cederberg.
And this was in the absence of anyone else around to draw on a lazy Sunday at home. It’s quite difficult to draw yourself drawing yourself, actually! Bit of brain gym involved.