Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel's #Oneweek100people project came around much faster than I was expecting - I'm sure it's not a year since the last one!? But I always enjoy this challenge, in spite of a great feeling of laziness and denial beforehand. Once out, I love the people watching, trying to capture the variety of shapes, styles and characters, and usually notice an improvement during the week. I started almost by accident last Sunday when I had been standing in a long, long grocery queue for a good 10 minutes before I realised it was a great sketching opportunity. Of course as soon as I started doing that, the queue started moving along really fast.
It was a real effort to get out of the house and seek people the next day. First I sat at my steering wheel and sketched people moving around in car parks - mostly going far too quickly for proper observation.
I've been asked how I sketch moving people so fast, and of course they're very often out of sight before I finish. I can draw basic figures, in about any position, from memory - after many hours of figuring it out, and staring without always trying to sketch (if the left foot is forward, which arm is swinging to the front?...if I've drawn that leg there, how would the other leg make sense, at what angle/where is the weight? etc.etc.) and practicing, and trial and error. Observing the live subjects provides details like body shapes and postures, hair and clothes styles, defining features, and I'm often craning my neck to see my subject's particular standout shoes or headwear, or whatever captured my attention in the first place as they disappear into the crowd or distance.
I then decided to find more stationary subjects, and found a table at a café with a good view of the other customers. People on phones are pretty much oblivious to anyone staring at them, I find, but had to peer surreptitiously at others through sunglasses.
It's ironic that the week I ventured out of a long semi-hibernation is the week Covid-19 arrived in this country. I certainly noticed very thorough and regular cleaning of surfaces by restaurant staff at the two I visited, but were still bustling with customers. I'm sure that will drop off drastically this week after the president's announcement of a state of disaster last night, and infection numbers double every other day. Please take care and stay safe everyone.
Another outside table at the Zone in Rosebank, some people staying put for a few moments on what is apparently Smoker's Bench right in front of me - others approaching from or departing into the distance, giving me a little time to catch some details.
And my last day, at Emmarentia Dam's dog park, where people seemed to arrive in batches. I had to include some of the dogs, so much fun to watch (and yes, I did get dam water shook all over me and my sketchbook!) but I ended up with some strangely rendered specimens! I counted 95 attempts at people - the most I've got to doing this challenge over the years, only five escaped!