More brush and ink sketches

Nearly all of my sketches during the week are of fellow train passengers.

In the past I have sometimes grown tired of sketching the same thing every time, but I have realized what a great opportunity this is.

People are clearly my favorite subject, and every time I ride the train I find free models who are sitting fairly still for short periods of time.

Of course, the session ends if I am caught by the model who becomes too self conscious to sit still, but this only happens when I'm sitting with one of my children.

The sight of a second head eagerly bobbing up and down during the sketch session is just too conspicuous.

My favorite sketchbook for brush and ink is the hardbound type, such as a Moleskine notebook or one of those standard black ones you see in every art supply store.

It just feels classy, and is less conspicuous since people will assume you are just reading a book or making journal or calendar entries.

I have begun to just draw on the right hand pages and leave the left pages blank.

The paper is usually so thin that drawings on both sides of one page will compromise each other's impact.

Besides, drawing on the left side is just plain difficult in most hardbound books.

Often when I'm sketching on the train there is not enough time to even add gray to the ink sketches, so I stick to black.

Usually, there is not even time to think about how to approach the sketch or where I will put my first stroke, so I basically stop thinking and let my hand start where it wants (it usually begins the first stroke at the top of the model's head).

When I put my mind into neutral like this, I am often a little surprised that my hand has begun a sketch of someone while my mind is still trying to decide whether or not to tackle the subject!

Last January I decided to concentrate exclusively on brush and ink drawing.

At the time I was having difficulty using a brush to make those continuous line contour drawings with all the freedom and restating that Bert Dodson talks about his in Keys To Drawing.

I love that style, and it really is more accurate than my old style.

Well, here it is December, and I'm happy to report that I've made progress.

The sketches on this page were very quickly done with a brush pen and black ink with no preliminary drawing, and no planning.

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