Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Subway Sketcher

More from New York City subway sketchbooks. For the figurative and portrait painter, the New York City subways are a goldmine. I can think of no other place where the most authentic and interesting characters are available for the artist to draw. The model is compelled to hold their pose for an indefinite amount of time- perhaps the entire route from Times Square to Flushing or from the Bronx to the furthest reaches of Brooklyn. Conversely it may be for only one stop.
The Subway sketcher has to be swift and have a penetrating gaze. They must be able to encapsulate the character and the anatomy in their visualization field and pull from their memory.
The Subway Sketcher must also melt into the background, swiftly glancing from half closed eyes at their Subject and then quickly averting the gaze to the sketchbook, lest the subject be alerted to their being observed. As the doors open , commuters pile in, finding an available seat or position from which to settle in, and the Subway Sketcher immediately sizes up the new opportunities, scanning the faces and postures for the most interesting attitudes. The Sketcher prioritizes instantly, selecting those poses that will most likely change while mentally scheduling the sleeping commuters for later, picking those most transient and beautiful "shells on the beach" first, before they are swept away.

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