Saturday, April 11, 2009

Watching Television

People hold still when they’re watching television, and that’s a big help to the portrait sketcher.


A few days ago in Pittsburgh I had lunch at a restaurant with some friends. There was a TV set hanging from the ceiling near our table. A golf program captivated my friend’s son. He gazed upward with an angelic look and didn’t move until his hamburger came.

In 2003 my son sat like a statue at a diner while waiting for his scrambled eggs.

Next time you find yourself in a waiting room or a sports bar, pick the seat near the TV looking back at the watchers. You’ll have your choice of models. If they glance at you, just smile and say “I’m sketching your picture,” and they’ll go back to watching.

9 comments:

ARMAND CABRERA said...

Jim,

I'd like to suggest airports too. They are a great place to sketch people who usually are reading or working on a laptop while waiting for their flights.

Armand

Eerie Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eerie Eric said...

the bottom portrait is very nice. i'm curious did you have any family members who were artists growing up?

i read that another one of my favorite artists, Jim Henson's grandmother was an artist and encouraged him to be creative at a very early age.

growing up my mother was a art teacher and always encouraged creativity and art and i loved it!

Susan Adsett said...

People watching bands are great, too. My man is a guitar player, and likes to sit where he can see the guitarist, so I sit across from him and sketch the audience.

I also have a lot of sketches of the backs of people's heads....

=shane white= said...

What's crazy is you captured that subtle similarity in facial structure that your son shares with you.

Really nice.

=s=

Pat said...

I love sketching people who are sleeping. There's this calmness present when their eyes are closed.

Joe Sutphin said...

thats a good quote. i frequently struggle with the idea that the subject may become bothered with me staring too much. i may try this next time i feel the urget o sketch someone.

Angela Lo said...

That's a good idea. I believe Ronald Searle did the same:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_itxeexAFd4U/SPnCYBE6EoI/AAAAAAAAEFs/_YPKBrqoUow/s1600-h/BierHaus.jpg

Even though it's easier to draw people watching tv or whathaveyou, I still want to avoid their glance. So I also use the "sunglasses method" or cover my petite sketchbook with a bookbag so they can't immediately spot that out that I'm drawing.

Jeremy Elder said...

This is a great tip!