A Couple Of Quick Subway Sketches

7 March 2019

This morning’s subway ride to school gave me a couple of opportunities to sketch the fleeting moments that go by in an instant.

Usually, rush hour on the downtown A train from the Upper West Side is extremely unpleasant. The subway cars are packed to capacity making it nearly impossible to sketch. Once in a while, I am able to get to my ideal spot at the doors at either end of the car. This location allows me to lean on the door so I have my hands free. I have my sketchbook in one hand with a bulldog clip holding the page open and a magnetic pen holder that attaches to the cover so that I am ready to go as soon as the opportunity strikes.

The first opportunity came when many people exited the train at at 42nd street, giving me space to hold up my book. I noticed the man wearing his white Apple Ear Pods leaning on the door. I started the sketch by outlining the ear pod, worked my way around the ear, the faint hairline and shape of the head and worked my way around to the collar, the neck, chin, lips, nose and the edge of the glasses.

Downtown A Train, 7 March 2019 #1

I try to keep the pen down and follow contours, the creases in the sleeve of the coat, etc. and begin to work on the shapes of the furniture, poles, other people, windows, whatever I can get quickly.

I try not to be noticed. Being at the end door means that there is nobody behind me or next to me, and I can lean back without holding onto a pole. It also allows for a slight bit of stabilization for sketching, because I am not bouncing around like a jumping bean.

This position allowed me to quickly sketch my next victim.

Downtown A train, 7 March 2019#2

I started with the eyebrows to the eyelashes to the nose, mouth and shape of the face as it was being covered by the hood of her coat.

These sketches were started with the Sailor 1911 Standard with a Zoom nib, which I love to use because of the wide range of lines it can make. This pen is filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink, which is perfect for painting watercolor over because the lines are waterproof. I painted with watercolor later.

The train uptown was too crowded to sketch.

Thanks for visiting!

See you later!!!


Some “Other” Tools

24 February 2019

Making and creating music is my number one source for feeding my creative addiction. It has been a while since I’ve posted any new music on my SoundCloud page, but I have been secretly working on a batch of new experiments. I’m not ready to share any of that music yet. Hopefully before too long I will have time to flesh out some stuff and update. In case you are interested, https://soundcloud.com/sean-patrick-kupisz is where you can hear some of my ideas from the last couple of years.

I started a new sketchbook the other day, and sketched my sketching supplies.

I also sketched a couple of my other tools.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Monitor Headphones atop a Tascam VL-S3 Powered Desktop Monitor

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones have been my headphone of choice for listening to music. I’ve used them so much that I have replaced the ear-cups at least five times!

The Tascam VL-S3 desktop monitors aren’t the best, but they will do for now.

Warby Parkers Atop Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface

The Focurite Scarlett 2i2 is the tool I use when I want to plug an instrument into my computer when I use audio production software to record my musical ideas.

My Warby Parker glasses are my main glasses to see what I am doing. I was wearing a different pair of glasses on when I made this sketch (Foster-Grants from CVS).

I used different techniques for these two sketches. For the headphones, I used a Platinum Carbon Ink Pen with Platinum Carbon Black ink to first sketch the contours, which I lost concentration several times, hence the wonky left earpiece!

I sketched the glasses first using watercolor on a brush, trying to work on the overall mass first, and worked my way down to the interface. Once the watercolor was dry, I sketched over the watercolor to define the contours with the Carbon Ink Pen.

It was interesting how the different techniques contributed to the end result. I have a lot to learn, but it was fun splashing pen and ink with watercolor onto my sketchbook pages!

Thanks for visiting!

See you later!!

Starting Fresh With a Fresh New Sketchbook!

22 February 2018:

After Finishing a Larger Sketchbook, It’s Nice To Go Smaller For A Little While!

It took me from October 2018 to 21 February 2019 to finish a larger format of this book.

Amidst health issues culminating in making my Fall semester nearly impossible to finish, my creative habit continues to roll on, albeit at a slower rate, especially as I start my 2019 Spring semester and my internship duties.

With that said, I decided to pare down my travel kit to make it easier to sketch at a moments notice. I am keeping my sparse supplies in one place. My favorite Winsor & Newton Sketcher’s Case has a shoulder strap and my sketchbook and pens are easily accessible under the front flap, without having to open any zippers.

First Spread Inside Front Cover

I decided to begin the new book by sketching my supplies. On the left, the Sketcher’s Case is closed, but upon lifting the flap the pens and the book are revealed and instantly ready to be used.

Normally I would quickly grab the sketchbook along with the Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib (left of the sketchbook in the pocket) and be ready for the next sketching opportunity.

When I have made a sketch on the subway, I wouldn’t be able to paint on the train because it gets too tricky and messy, so I add color later.

To access the painting supplies, I simply unzip the case.

Unzipping the case reveals the supplies for painting watercolor.

The pockets inside the case hold the watercolor palette, a few brushes, a mister, extra water, paper towels and a cotton cloth along with an extra pen or two. The watercolors are in a tiny box that holds its own water and two water cups, one for clean water and one for rinsing brushes.

I made swatches of the colors to keep me reminded of their characteristics with varying degrees of strength.

If I am going into this much detail, I though it would be nice to make a sketch of my pens and brushes on the next page!

A Detail Of Brushes And Pens

It’s always fun to sketch art supplies, particularly at the beginning of a new sketchbook. It helps to “break the ice”, and it’s also useful, especially the color swatches. It helps to keep things simple.

It’s good to be back! It was hard to be motivated for a short little while, so I’m hoping to keep this habit up!

Thanks for visiting!

See you later!!!

Fountain Pen Day!!

2 November 2018: Fountain Pen Day!! Subway sketches done with the Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib except for the right side of the second spread which is the Pelikan m800 EF because the Sailor ran out of ink, I refilled the Sailor after that sketch. Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor in Stillman and Birn 5×8” Alpha Series hardcover sketchbook. #fountainpenday #sailor1911s #sailorzoomnib #pelikanm800 #platinumcarbonblackink #stillmanandbirnalpha #schminckehoradam #justaddwatersilly #nycurbansketchers #urbansketchers

30 October 2018

30 October 2018: Updating wasn’t as painful as I had originally envisioned, although there is still quite a bit to catch up with. Vacation sketches, post vacation sketches, equipment sketches, all kinds of sketches. I can’t catch you all up today, but someday perhaps there will be some sketchbook tours.

This morning I took the train to school, and on my way back I managed to pull out a single sketch from the uptown 1 train:

Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor in Stillman and Birn 5×8″ Alpha Series hardcover sketchbook.

I usually write these posts when I am home, but as an experiment, I am trying the Word Press app on my iPad. This makes it easy to draft when I am on the move.

I am not online so I can’t upload anything. When I get home I’ll try to upload so if you are reading this then it was successful.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!

Overwhelmed and I Don’t Know Where to Begin!

28 October 2018:

After a couple of months, so much has happened! A vacation in Curaçao, back to school, starting my volunteer position at New York Presbyterian, most of which has been documented on my Facebook pages and groups, as well as Instagram, but I usually take more time and get more detailed about my experience when I share here on my blog which adds to my self-imposed pressure, not to mention the lack of time due to the demands of school and work.

I am looking forward to sharing those experiences and how I managed to feed my creative habit, but I will have to start with the here and now.

I have gone through a few sketchbooks since last post, but I have slowed down considerably since school and work, but I started a new sketchbook last week after finishing the Moleskine watercolor sketchbook I had been sporadically using throughout the year.

The Stillman and Birn 5×8” Alpha Series hardcover sketchbook is in a larger format than what I have been used to. It doesn’t fit in the sketchers case that I had been carrying around and I am finding myself having to cut down on what I bring with me on a daily basis. My main sketching pen these days is the Sailor 1911 Standard with a zoom nib.


This morning on my way to work I did a quick sketch on the uptown B train:


After work I took the A train to school:


So that’s a quick update.

Thank you so much for visiting!

See you later!

The Week in Sketches:A Successful Interview and Other Stories

Thursday morning I had an interview for a volunteer position at the Allen Hospital, way uptown. I took the 1 train to 215 street and did these quick sketches with the Pelikan m205 loaded with Platinum Carbon Black ink in my trusty Pentalic Traveler sketchbook  5 X 3 inch 74 lb sketch:


The interview was a success! I will be joining the team after I am cleared! On my way back home, from the 215 Street station waiting for the downtown 1 train, I took this sketch with the Platinum 3776 Century with a soft-fine nib, Platinum Carbon Black ink. I added a wash for the sky later.


The next two sketches were also done with the 3776 soft-fine. I decided that the soft-fine nib isn’t great for sketching on a moving train. I like the line variation but it requires a certain amount of finesse and a moving train makes an unpredictable situation. The nib can be somewhat delicate:


Back on solid ground, I was able to use the soft-fine nib to capture this family eating outside of the French Roast Cafe, where I treated myself to a cappuccino:


Just past the cafe were a couple of guys selling books on the sidewalk. They are more or less a permanent fixture in this neck of the woods:


A very exciting weekend is planned, since our niece, Chloe, is coming to visit us from Boston. Here is a sketch at the subway station, waiting for the downtown 1 train, Pelikan m205 fountain pen, extra-fine nib:


The left sketch is from downtown 1 train on my way to meet Julia at Bed, Bath and Beyond to get an air mattress for our guest. The right sketch is from Joe’s in the morning.


The next sketch is on the downtown 1 train, on my way to meet Chloe at the bus stop:


Saturday morning I felt like hell. I did not sleep well and I had a fever. I went to the emergency room to get checked out. It was a virus, so I spent pretty much the rest of the weekend in bed. I missed out on all the fun with Chloe and Julia. This sketch is a hurried one coming home from the emergency room Saturday morning:


Sunday morning I feel a little bit better, yet groggy from Dayquil and Nyquil. Here is a sketch of Chloe looking at her phone first thing in the morning. The air mattress is set up just behind the blue couch and I only saw the back of Chloe’s head, and the phone in her hand:


Chloe and Julia went out to run some errands and meet with Aunt Sonia. I went out for a cup of coffee at Joe’s and made these two quick sketches looking out of the window using the ebonite  Sailor King Of Pen with a medium nib loaded with Platinum Carbon Black. I painted the watercolors at Joe’s after the lines were drawn:


Thank you for visiting!

See you later!!!