Street Folks


People walking down the street are one of the more challenging subjects for me draw. They are always changing shape and size or just disappearing before I can study them long enough to get down on paper. As I’d rather not end up with every single one of my cityscapes looking like someone just dropped a neutron bomb and depopulated the place, I try to practice a technique for capturing people in motion. It has to be atechnique rather than an actual observation, of course, and so I have to work out shorthand and special practices to get the job done.

When I draw a person, say, waiting for the light to change and standing still for a moment, I can usually capture about half of their pose. Then I watch another person in a similar position and finish up a composite of both of them in one figure. I figured this approach out at the zoo in Milwaukee ( sorry, the the Como and Minnesota Zoos in Minneapolis!) a couple of years ago, when drawing animals with my pal Roz. Many animals would assume three or four different positions but then go back and forth between them so I just did several drawings simultaneously on the page, moving back and forth between the poses.
I did these particular drawings one evening while waiting for Patti to meet me on the street corner. It was fairly hectic and there was a lot of coming and going so I found it quite hard to really lock into to the exercise. I imagine that if I had the patience to take more life drawing classes and concentrated on short poses, I’d be well served.
I learned quite a lot drawing stuffed animal specimens at home and at various natural history museums. Maybe I should visit Madam Tusaud’s. It’s just so hard to find decent human taxidermy.

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