Thursday, June 15, 2006

Self-portrait: sketching on the tube

This is my first entry in Wally's self-portrait marathon which I guess will be added to the 97 other entries (as of this morning) in the self-portrait marathon gallery.

This is a sketch of a reflection of me! I was travelling to Kew in the middle of last month and sketched the reflection in the carriage window opposite where I was sitting on the tube. I was a bit short of models on what is a longish journey and had to resort to drawing myself at times!

Drawing on the tube is not easy. Drawing a reflection also makes life just that bit more difficult. However, if you ever feel too precious about getting a line 'just so' go and draw on the tube - you soon learn that really useful skill of 'pencil dancing on the page'. Lines don't tend to go where you want them to so you end up focusing on trying to make the spiders web make some sort of sense - and working very fast when the tube is in a station and isn't lurching from side to side! The lines in the image in the window were quite indistinct and I remember trying to get the values right rather than the lines as that was what had made me notice my reflection in the first place.

I seem to recall that the great British public (i.e. the man who sat down next to me and peered over to see what I was doing) declared it to be 'very good!' However, I would hasten to point out that the only bit that is really accurate is the pen gripped in my hand and the Moleskine sketchbook peeking out as it rests on the knee of my leg which is crossed over the other. It gives a great drawing angle!

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  1. I like the amorphous feel to this. You can project all sorts of ideas about the woman in the drawing because she is suggested rather than very specifically drawn.

  2. yay, glad you've joined the marathon, I'm discovering this self-p thing can be quite addictive, be prepared!

    I love the mystery/who is that woman/can't quite make her out of this, reminds me of Bonnards indistinct self portraits

  3. Thanks Julie and Cin

    I was thrown initially by young Sparky's injunction to develop the portrait as we went along - and I thought I'd bring myself slowly into focus and finish with a grand finale. Of course in the last week I'm going to be very preoccupied with other things so will be pushed to finish an S-P unless I start early!


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