Sketching moving people

I have started doing small, really quick capturing of people moving. Putting a pen to paper en sketching them on the move, not lifting the pen and only trying to capture the movement of the body, the suggestion of a movement, no details. I also choose people a little further away in distance, not close to me, so that I don’t get trapped in doing the details. Just by looking at the first and last image, you can already see the improvement – in the first, I still wanted to capture details and even if I couldn’t see it, I somehow sketched what I thought should be there, which turend it all into failures. In the last, I’ve more or less started succeeding in only going for suggestion, with some still not at all recognizable, but much better than the first images.

These sort of figures are very useful in paintings – adding some figures into a beach scene or a landscape, or a street scene. It gives movement and some personality and life to a painting. Not always, but I’ve seen street  and beach scenes come to life with just a few “idling figures” around.

It also helps a lot with concentration and focus and “connecting” the hand with the image you’re trying to capture. When looking at fast moving legs, it is hard to decide where to put which line and this is a great practice for that. I fist started looking at what the arms and shoulders do in movement and then move onwards to the hips and legs.The people sitting next to me on the sidewalk(having coffee) were very impressed by this kind of capturing and thought the little figures were trés mignon…very cute.

I so admire Gabi and José with their ability to quickly capture these little action figures in ink and they inspire me to keep working at these. I might just get better at it the more I do it. And besides, it is really fun!

They are done in moleskine with ink, and are really small and quick. Measure about 5-6 cm (1,9″-2,3″) for a little figure)…and look…NO WASHES!