Month: October 2018

Coke Machine

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Today at my urban sketching class I did a demo for a few of my students. We had been talking about creating volume using 3-D shapes and I wanted to find a scene to demonstrate that. In a small cafe area near our classroom, I saw the red Coke machine. A rectangular solid shape if I’d ever seen one! As I got my supplies out and ready to sketch, a man came up to buy something. I quickly sketched in his figure on my page and that was the first thing I sketched. I have shared how I often find “sketch anchors”—those things that don’t move on you—- and sketch parts of those, then move to people, then when they move off, I go back to the sketch anchors. The Coke machine provided a good sketch anchor, as does the stainless steel counter and the ice cream machine on the far right. I sketched in the woman behind the counter eventually, as she was standing there long after the man left doing things at the cash register. Though there were plenty of things in the background like lights, machines, and other food items, I decided to keep it simple and bath it with a golden light. This was a fun little sketch and provided a segue into much of my lesson this morning. Sometimes things work out just right!

Airport Sketches

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When I travel, I often try to get sketches of people at the airport. Here are a collection of 3 sketches done at different times. The first is my favorite. This woman in Jacksonville, FL, was sitting directly across from me at the gate. What attracted me to do a sketch was the huge yellow suitcase and blue handbag. Just the angles, her posture, plus the thermos hanging off, all grabbed me as well. She was so busy on her cell phone she didn’t even notice me!

This next sketch was done at a gate as well. I was traveling with my daughter and we came upon this sleeping man. I guess colors grab me because I knew I had to sketch his riotous green socks and bright orange suitcase. He was sleeping for a bit, so didn’t see me observing him.


Finally, a sketch done recently in Minneapolis. I was sitting at a cafe table and noticed three men—two on phones and computers dressed in almost identically-colored salmon pink shirts, just feet away at other tables. I also noticed a man reading a book, dressed in a sweatshirt. He turned the pages slowly, then eventually put it away and left. All sat still long enough for me to grab quick sketches. It’s fun to sketch people in airports, there are so many characters!