jeudi 20 mars 2008


A few days ago I happened to be waiting for my wife at the train station. Luckily for me the arrival was delayed and I had the chance to do some quick sketches of passengers waiting to board.

People in lineups, especially at train stations, bus depots or airplane terminals are good models to draw because they stand around waiting, talking and drinking coffee. I have noticed that although never totally immobile most tend to revert back to the same posture over and over again.

An added visual element is the occasion to draw people carrying luggage either on their backs or over a shoulder. The varied shapes, colors and textures from the combination of people and baggage make for interesting compositions.

Because one has to work quickly, often from a certain distance and sometimes from an uncomfortable viewpoint I have found that sketching with of a fine point felt pen and permanent felt markers works best.

My standard procedure is to sketch the contour of the subject with a thin felt marker and then render the flat shapes with the broad nib end of the double-ended marker. When time permits I add a watercolour wash over parts of the drawing using a reservoir brush and pan colors.

All of the illustrated sketches were done in a 4 x 6 inch sketch book. If the paper is thin I place an extra sheet of backing underneath the page being sketched on. This prevents the markers from seeping through to the next page.

With a little practice you will find that the vibrant colors of the markers make for a wonderful sketching companion. They combine well with permanent felt tip pens and watercolor.

Now, for your next “trip” take a trip to your nearest train, bus or plane terminal and sketch trippers!

TECHNICAL NOTES: All of the illustrated sketches of passengers were done in a 4” x 6” Modeskin Pentalic sketch book. I sketched the contour lines with a Pigma Micron archival ink pen (Waterproof and fade proof). COPIC Markers were used to render the masses. These markers are fast-drying, double-ended and available in 322 colors. They are also refillable, permanent, non-toxic and dry acid-free. The watercolor washes were added with a reservoir brush and Fragonard pan colors. All these supplies are available at Art Tec in Montreal.

The painting of “Tools for Quick Sketches” (8 ½ “ x 10”) was done on Peterboro Illustration Board No. 79. I used a HB pencil to draw the bones of the set-up, then re-drew the contours with a Micron 01 pen and used both COPIC markers and Sennelier watercolour pigments to paint the elements. The watercolour was applied with an Isabey Petit Gris brush.

Raynald Murphy sca

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