28 May 2019: It was a beautiful day yesterday, and I was finding it difficult to get motivated to go outside. Because I had pared down my sketch kit, I told myself that there was no excuse to at least take a walk and maybe inspiration would strike. Central Park is less than a half-block away.
Within minutes I was at the Great Lawn, looking south. Because of the holiday (Memorial Day) the park was bristling with energy.
Since I have been so keen on drawing people lately, whatever I chose to sketch, I wanted the people to come first. The Great Lawn seemed like an ambitious endeavor, but I took a few minutes looking around, trying to find a vantage point that would get me sketching. I plopped my gear down and began to assess the situation.
It was hot in the sun. I wouldn’t last three minutes before I became too miserable to accomplish anything. But I was stubborn. I opened up the sketchbook anyway.
Luckily, a shady spot opened up just two feet behind me. I took a quick sketch of the scene with my trusty Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink.
I pulled out my watercolor supplies:
It didn’t take very long to splash in the paint.
I didn’t worry too much about details. I just wanted to have fun, and I did! I was so surprised when the Urban Sketchers Instagram reposted this sketch for all of my sketching heroes to see! Thank you Urban Sketchers!
I wanted to go out and sketch for a few minutes this afternoon at the Natural History Museum a few blocks from where I live. I thought it would be fun to take a few pictures of the gear I take out with me.
These Miquel Rius cases are so cool because they are covered with urban sketches from one of my favorite artists, Lapin!
The pen is always ready to go. I have the sketchbook in hand and I can stop and sketch whenever I have a moment.
The larger case fits my watercolor palettes, some extra water, a towel, a couple of paper towels and a #6 DaVinci Series 503 sable watercolor travel brush. Paint swatches with pigment information sometimes helps.
The small watercolor palette has an integrated water bottle and a cup. I just had an older one rust out on me so now I have two cups, one for clean water and one for cleaning the brush. Great system!!
Here’s a sketch made after I took the photos of the gear at the Natural History Museum!
1 May 2019: I have been on a roll lately with my social media postings with Facebook and Instagram, but I don’t keep up this blog as much as I wold like. One of the reasons that this happens is because that it takes time away from the important schoolwork and studying I try to keep up on. Yet I still manage to keep filling up sketchbook after sketchbook!
I am able to make all of these sketches because I have made it easier on myself to be ready to sketch at a moments notice. I keep my supplies close, and the sketchbook is in my hand most of the time when I am out and about. And my fountain pen is also ready to go because I keep it attached to the sketchbook with a magnetic pen holder that grips the front cover. Keeping my supplies simple and available has made it much easier to sketch when the opportunity presents itself.
There are a couple of magnetic pouches on the back cover to hold things like a spare fountain pen when I run out of ink. Probably the Lamy Vista broad nibbed fountain pen. Also, paintbrushes and cotton napkin and paper towel for when I am ready to play with my paints.
Speaking of paints, I keep a tiny watercolor palette in my pocket so I am always ready to paint.
For those times when I want more mixing space and I have a little bit more time, I keep a larger palette with full pans in my over the shoulder messenger bag.
That’s the basic overview of the equipment that helps me to keep it simple!
This morning when I got onto the downtown C train to school, I had my glasses on, sketcbook in hand, I stationed myself at the far end of the car with nobody behind me and I could lean on the door so I could have both hands free. I picked the left side of the train to begin. I put pen to paper and went for it!
That’s what I managed to sketch on my way to school. On a short break, I added the watercolor.
Coming home, I took the A train uptown, picked a side and went for it again!
In my 4 X 6 inch Stillman and Birn Alpha Series Hardcover Sketchbook I used my Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink to take a few sketches of the people on the subway. On break from homework, I quickly splashed in watercolor.
On the way to and from school today I managed to squeeze out a couple of sketches on the downtown and uptown A train. Sketched with the Kaweco Sport extra fine nib fountain pen and the Sailor 1911 Standard fountain pen with a zoom nib, both loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor in my Stillman and Birn 4X6 inch Alpha Series Hardcover Sketchbook.
It was a late start for me. Today is the official last day of the challenge, but I started it yesterday. They are not very detailed, and I didn’t make it to 100, but for two days in my limited time I squeezed about 86 people into my sketchbook. Maybe some of them don’t count, but I was waiting for this challenge to come around again since last year and I went for it. Starting with yesterday, the subway to school:
then a couple from school:
train ride home:
And then today, 12 March, train to and from school:
It was a lot of fun, even though I didn’t make the goal. This challenge caused me to become addicted to drawing people when I participated last year.
All sketches were done with various fountain pens, Platinum Carbon Black ink and watercolor in my 4 X 6 inch Stillman and Birn Alpha Series Hardcover Sketchbook.